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Saturday, November 26, 2022
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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Soft-roader SUVs are more popular than ever, so it would only make sense to make a soft-roader pickup right? 

Well, right or wrong, Hyundai has done it anyway, and I have a feeling it will be a great seller amongst the “lifestyle” community. 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Styling

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz grill
Hyundai

The unique and quirky design elements are embedded in the design of this new pickup. Just like other vehicles in the Hyundai line-up, the daytime running lights are embedded inside the grill giving the pickup a questionable look. 

In the bumper area, you will find the main running lights, which is strange. Most cars on the market right now have the headlights mounted as high as possible due to safety regulations. 

The looks of the Santa Cruz and the way it sits on the road remind us of a modern SUV. No wonder though, underneath it shares many components with the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. 

What About Its Size?

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz driving on a highway in the desert
Hyundai

The new pickup from Hyundai is slightly smaller than a mid-size truck. The wheelbase is at 118.3 inches which is about 7 inches shorter than a Honda Ridgeline and 9 inches shorter than a Toyota Tacoma crew cab. The total length is 15 inches shorter than a Ridgeline and 17 inches shorter than a Tacoma.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Bed

Hyundai Santa Cruz truck bed filled with gear
Hyundai

Being at the smaller side of the pickup range the bed is only 4 feet long and features a cool cover that can be useful for storing overlanding gear. Furthermore, underneath the bed floor you will find a lockable storage space for things that need to stay safe and be clear of dust and water. 

The whole bed area is lockable, and the sliding mechanism can be completely removed if unwanted. Tie-down points are also available.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Bed
Hyundai

Engraved in the bumper are some useful side steps which will make accessing the bed much easier. 

Engine and Drivetrain of the Santa Cruz

Engine and Drivetrain of the Santa Cruz
Hyundai

Being based on a soft-roader means that buyers will have the option of a 2-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive version. Engine choices include two 2.5L 4-cylinder engines with different power outputs. The cheaper version is rated at just under 200hp and the more expensive one at 275hp. 

The less powerful engine is mated to a traditional 8-speed automatic transmission whereas the more powerful version is paired to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Off-Road Capability

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Off-Roading
Hyundai

You are probably wondering if it is going to be any good off road. The fact that it is based on the Tucson tells me that it won’t keep up with Tacoma’s and Jeeps. Therefore, expect similar capabilities to any other crossover. 

Vehicles with the less powerful engine come on 18-inch wheels which will provide a better platform for slightly larger all-terrain tires. 

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Towing and Payload Capacity

Pickup Bed full of camping gear
Hyundai

Towing capacity is rated at 3.500lb for the less powerful version and 5000lb for the more powerful one. 

Payload capacity is a very impressive 1700lb and that’s down to the added rigidity a unibody structure provides to the bed. 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Interior

Hyundai Santa Cruz dashboard
Hyundai

The interior is exactly what you would expect from a cross-over interior in 2022. A big screen is in charge of most of the controls and the top of the line models get heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a very welcome sunroof. 

A cool addition is a big cargo compartment underneath the rear seats which makes for a great storage area for stuff you want to keep safe.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Interior
Hyundai

The interior is exactly what you would expect from a cross-over interior in 2022. A big screen is in charge of most of the controls and the top of the line models get heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a very welcome sunroof. 

A cool addition is a big cargo compartment underneath the rear seats which makes for a great storage area for stuff you want to keep safe.

Obviously, this is not a traditional truck, it was never meant to be. I believe this is a very appealing option for someone who is into outdoor activities such as surfing, mountain biking, and camping. It is economical and the all-wheel-drive version will be able to take you a bit further down the beaten path. 

What do you think? Would you use the new Santa Cruz for some mild overlanding?

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