Hyundai provides the Santa Cruz with front-wheel drive and a naturally aspirated engine, however my loaded Restricted mannequin has all-wheel drive and a punchy 2.5-liter turbo I4. Because the Santa Cruz has so much in frequent with the Tucson, it is no shock the entrance finish has the identical ultracool lighting remedy, and the 4.5-foot mattress round again is fairly lovable. The Santa Cruz is a kind of vehicles that makes me give a glance again and smile once I stroll away from it in a parking zone.
We will have the “actual truck” debate till the cows come dwelling, however the Hyundai Santa Cruz has quite a lot of functionality. I would argue it is greater than sufficient for 95% of truck consumers on the market. My all-wheel-drive tester can tow as much as 5,000 kilos with a braked trailer, although front-drive examples decrease that ranking to three,000 kilos. Trailer sway management is customary, although it is value noting that, in case your trailer is not braked, Hyundai recommends a max towing capability of 1,650 kilos.
The Santa Cruz’s mattress measures 52.1 inches lengthy and 53.9 inches huge, with 42.7 inches of area between the wheel wells. No, you will not be flat-packing any plywood again there, however with a number of tie-down factors and sliding rail anchors, you may safe a complete lot of drugs. There’s underfloor storage that is lockable, waterproof and drainable, and the mattress’s tonneau cowl simply slides forwards and backwards, including one other layer of safety.
The mattress is smaller than what you will discover on bigger, midsize vans just like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma, however the Hyundai’s rear is less complicated to entry. The mattress flooring is simply 30.6 inches off the bottom, making it a lot simpler to load heavy objects. Moreover, the mattress’s sides are fairly shallow, so I can attain in with out a problem. A base Santa Cruz SE can haul 1,753 kilos of payload however my Restricted AWD tester can deal with 1,609. That latter spec is greater than what the Chevy Colorado, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma can deal with. Who you callin’ a pretend truck?
Hyundai calls the Santa Cruz a Sport Journey Car, although there are positively limits to the go-anywhere enjoyable you may have. The truck’s 8.6 inches of floor clearance is akin to different compact crossovers, and off-road geometry is nothing to jot down dwelling about, with a 17.5-degree strategy angle, 23.2-degree departure angle and 18.6-degree breakover angle. The Santa Cruz’s primary all-season tires do not assist issues, both, particularly the 245/50-series Michelin Primacy rubbers wrapped across the Restricted’s customary 20-inch wheels.
If I used to be shopping for a Santa Cruz for journey time, a carry package and larger tires can be first on my record. Nonetheless, this little man is not too unhealthy out within the dust. The unbiased entrance and rear suspensions can deal with dusty whoops at 15 to twenty mph, and a middle locking differential can present a 50/50 entrance/rear torque cut up. The Santa Cruz even has hill-descent management, although in testing I discover it to be just a little too speedy — you will positively want to make use of the brakes.
Clearly, my need for dust antics makes me a little bit of an outlier, and most of the people will preserve their Santa Cruzes on pavement. They positively will not be upset, particularly with the elective 2.5T engine, which produces 282 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. With an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission managing energy, the Santa Cruz has loads of scoot.
Base fashions include a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4 with 191 hp and 181 lb.-ft. With the Santa Cruz’s 3,700-pound curb weight, non-turbo fashions will doubtless really feel a bit pokey.
Driving round city, the transmission executes clean shifts, however it’s much less refined in stop-and-go freeway site visitors. The Santa Cruz’s trip high quality is nice, absorbing tough pavement with ease. The steering is properly weighted and correct, if a bit numb.
One of the best factor about driving the Santa Cruz is that it is small and straightforward to maneuver. Even midsize vans can really feel beastly from behind the wheel, however all that goes out the window with the Santa Cruz. It is nimble sufficient to shoot by site visitors and it is easy to park, all whereas sustaining a lot of the utility of its bigger brethren.
The 2022 Santa Cruz has an EPA gasoline financial system ranking of 19 mpg metropolis, 27 mpg freeway and 22 mpg mixed. After every week of testing I am observing 21.6 mpg. Not too shabby, contemplating I are inclined to drive quicker than most.
If it is superior driver-assistance methods you are after, you will need to decide an SEL mannequin or larger. Right here you get customary forward-collision braking, lane-keeping help, lane-following help, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear-seat occupancy alert. My Restricted tester goes a notch above with Freeway Drive Help that mixes adaptive cruise management with lane centering. The Restricted trim additionally will get the cool blind-spot view monitor that places a side-view video show proper within the gauge cluster when the flip sign is engaged. Every little thing works as marketed, and heavy commuters will love Freeway Drive Help because it actually takes among the stress out of stop-and-go site visitors.
The Santa Cruz comes customary with an 8-inch touchscreen operating the Hyundai BlueLink infotainment system, however my high Restricted tester goes huge with a ten.3-inch show. Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each right here, however curiously, the smaller 8-inch display helps wi-fi smartphone compatibility. I haven’t got many complaints in regards to the infotainment system as a complete, save for the dearth of a bodily quantity knob. I am additionally not digging the panel of touch-sensitive buttons beneath the display. They could be fast to react, however the icons are small and your finger has to hit the precise middle to get a response. Smudges galore, too.
In case you’ve seen the inside of the Tucson then you definately’ve just about seen the inside of the Santa Cruz as nicely. My tester has some orange distinction stitching and a splash of coloration on the sprint, however do not count on something revolutionary right here. Heated entrance seats are customary on the SEL trim and up, and my Restricted mannequin provides seat air flow, too. The seats are cozy sufficient for long-haul journeys, however legroom within the again is compromised at solely 36.5 inches. Solely put your children or small adults again there. Or your enemies.
After all, the Santa Cruz is not the one sport on the town. The Ford Maverick is just a little bigger and its mattress is a number of inches longer. It additionally begins at a super-affordable $21,490 together with a $1,495 vacation spot cost and comes customary with a hybrid powertrain. It additionally appears to be like just a little extra trucky. The Santa Cruz, in the meantime, begins at $25,365 together with $1,225 for vacation spot, and my totally loaded Restricted tester is available in at a whopping $41,540.
In case you do not want all-wheel drive, keep on with a Santa Cruz SEL to avoid wasting a bunch of cash. Positive, you will miss out on issues just like the leather-wrapped steering wheel, giant digital gauge cluster and a few driver-assistance options, however you will save $13,000. And hey, when you do want or need all-wheel drive, it is solely a $1,500 add-on.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a bizarre little runabout that I completely love. It is quirky and practical, with the potential to go far and huge given the proper aftermarket assist. I would definitely purchase it over the less-interesting Maverick and the bigger Honda Ridgeline. Some of us might have the bigger footprint of a midsize truck, however most definitely do not. For them, the Santa Cruz is loads of truck.