2022 hyundai santa cruz driving

Here’s the new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck

I saw it. I sat in it. And I really appreciate what Hyundai is looking to bring to the table with its new Santa Cruz truck. Hyundai gave me a chance to see the thing up close recently and I shot a video on it for Autotrader.

Here are the basic stats you’re going to want to know:

  • Base engine is a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder making just over 190 horsepower and more than 180 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an 8-speed automatic.
  • The more enticing option is the 2.5-liter turbo four, which makes around 280 hp and over 310 lb-ft of torque. That engine is linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
  • Both engines can be had with the optional HTRAC all-wheel-drive system.
  • The smaller engine can tow 3,500 lbs
  • The turbo AWD Santa Cruz can handle 5,000 lbs.

It’s well laid out on the inside and the bed has some smart engineering despite coming in with not a ton of length. You have four feet of space with the tailgate up, or 5’8″ with it down. There’s also drainable under-bed storage and a retracting tonneau cover as well.

It’s a pretty cool compact truck that exists in a segment that really doesn’t exist here anymore. And you should be able to get a fully loaded version for a fair bit under $40,000, which is also good news. Now I want to see an N version with knobby tires and even more juice under the hood.

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14 responses to “Here’s the new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck”

  1. SoCalboomer Avatar

    Looks SOOO similar to the Suby Baja, which I loved. Was really sad that it didn’t pick up.

    1. caltemus Avatar

      Still has chest-height bed sides. You’d need some real powerful forced perspective to get them to look similarly sized.

      1. SoCalboomer Avatar

        Bed had higher sides on the Baja – not as high as this, but still, overall it’s really “baja-ish” – enough to make me want it. 🙂 Well, not to get rid of my Gladiator but still

  2. Scubie Avatar

    Looks like a Santa Fe with a tray…

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    I honestly still don’t understand the affection for pickups. This is not a work vehicle. What does it do better than the same vehicle in classic wagon shape? All I can think of is transporting dirty stuff, but I will much more often carry things that I’d rather not get dirty by road dust, rain or spray than the other way around. And for the truly dirty stuff that can’t just lie on a tarp or some sort of bucket, I borrow my neighbour’s trailers.

    1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

      I fully agree with you on this. Most of the ones I see around here, at least the half ton variants anyways, are used for nothing but commuting to work and what not. They would be far better off with a normal car. But I guess they want to be seen as macho and outdoorsy and they just have to have one for the handful of times when a pickup bed is actually useful.

      1. Lokki Avatar

        I live in Dallas, ‘Land of Steers and Pickups’, and when I was commuting to work every day, I would play a little game of counting the pickup trucks with empty beds (that weren’t commercial vehicles) to see how many I could get before finding one that had something more than air in the bed. I finally quit playing because I kept getting upwards of 75 or so in my 30 minute commute and it just got boring.

        When I did get to work, I always walked past parking spot of the guy who commuted to work in his F250 with big dual rear wheels on the back. It was alway immaculate and there were absolutely zero scratches in the armor-alled bed liner.

        I don’t get it, but then I am not an animal am not a real Texan or Pickup Truck guy. Even then, this thing strikes me as a pickup truck for my little sister.

    2. SoCalboomer Avatar

      Well, I have a pickup and I use it for “dirty” stuff all the time. No, you can’t borrow it (if you were my neighbor) because likely I’d be USING it, LOL.

      Obviously you have no need for a pickup. I do. It’s easier to throw sacks of dog-food or whatnot into the bed rather than opening a lift-gate or whatever and whacking my head on it (been there, done that). Messing with tarps is not for me.

      All of which is fine – you judge you by you and I’ll judge me by me. 🙂

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Haha, dæng, and here I thought I finally got my hands on the occasional pickup. ? I understand that different needs exist, and even I think this one looks cool. It just falls between two chairs in my mind.

        When it comes to dirty stuff, this is all a question of how much one disrespects one’s car. I do a fair bit of woodworking, but my tools and/or dirty pieces of wood usually fit just fine in whatever car I want to use.

      2. MattC Avatar

        I tend to agree. I have had a small pickup as a third vehicle in my household with few exceptions in the last 20 years. I just did a dump run today. However, I also agree that many full size quad cabs have supplanted the traditional station wagon (estate) as the the family vehicle of choice. My trucks are and have always been second hand S10’s/Rangers. ( I currently have a Reg cab 2010 Ranger) and the size is more than enough for my needs.

        I like the Santa Cruz and the Ridgeline (1st and 2nd gens) as they would meet all of my needs without sacrificing ride quality or fuel economy.

    3. OA5599 Avatar

      They’re good for bulky things, too, like furniture that doesn’t come from IKEA and riding mowers, and a five-burner grill. I’ve had all of those items (most of which I acquired on the spur of the moment) in the back of the Syclone, but they would not have fit in the Typhoon.

      Top-loading of items, such as an engine using a hoist, requires open space above. I did bring my 280 lb. drill press home in a wagon (laid on its side) but it took three people to load and the chore would have been a lot easier without a roof and D-pillars in the way.

      Also, if you are running various errands, the last thing loaded doesn’t need to be the first thing unloaded.

  4. outback_ute Avatar

    Needs a midgate. Wonder how it compares to the Honda Ridgeline.

    1. salguod Avatar

      Smaller and less useful, I’d guess. A Ridgeline can carry a full size ATV in the bed with the tailgate down, this can’t carry a mountain bike with the tailgate up.

      (This is where I’d insert the image of the Santa Cruz I saw with a single mountain bike sideways with the tire hanging over the tailgate.>

  5. Zentropy Avatar

    What a waste of metal and plastic that is.