By on January 12, 2015

Hyundai-Santa-Cruz-Concept-14

Hyundai is aiming hard for the Millennial market with their trucklet, the Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept.

Power for this proposed four-door five-passenger “urban adventure” concept comes from a 2-liter turbodiesel producing 190 horsepower, 300 lb-ft of torque, and a fuel efficiency figure north of 30 mpg. The Santa Cruz’s HTRAC AWD system puts the power to the ground, though the transmission used to direct said power wasn’t mentioned.

Other features include: expandable bed; integrated tonneau cover; Brembo brake calipers; LED fog lamps; lens-free honeycomb headlamp projectors; tie-down cleats on the roof, wheel arches and bed rails; and a footprint comparable to a small crossover.

Hyundai states that the concept isn’t aimed at traditional truck buyers, instead choosing to pursue crossover and sedan buyers looking for a vehicle that’s truck-like, but better suited to city life. No word on whether or not the automaker will make the Santa Cruz a reality, however.

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141 Comments on “NAIAS 2015: Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Unveiled...”


  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    This is the greatest thing Hyundai’s ever created, even including the Scoupe.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    How exactly is this aiming hard for the millennial market?

    • 0 avatar
      hiptech

      Great question, seems like every time a new model comes out with a stated target audience it inevitably ends up being sold to everyone else…

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        Anything aimed at millennials has to cost like $10,000. They have no money!

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        They say it’s for millennials so it will seem cool to old people who actually have money.

        This is why Scions are full of old people, and VW Bugs are full of old people. And so will this!

      • 0 avatar
        celebrity208

        I’ll tell you what’s aimed at millennials… 2010’s. They either are or should be looking at the used market.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          You guys know millennials were born between 1980ish and 2000, right? Makes the oldest millennial around 35. There are no 25-35y/os with a decent income? I’m 32, we bought a $40k CUV a month ago. I’m hardly the only one. “Millennial” doesn’t only describe 21y/o college kids who can’t get a barrista job.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “You guys know millennials were born between 1980ish and 2000, right?”

            These sorts of things are pretty poorly defined. I’ve read that 1980-1995 were gen Y and 1995+ were millenials. Not that it really matters as a “generation” is a pretty loose concept.

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            I think the youth culture wrought by the baby boom after WWII has done a Pavlov on marketers and rendered them abhorred by the notion of pitching things to their actual intended customer base.

            Can’t say something is for old farts who can’t or won’t bend enough to fit in an ordinary sedan/coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      strafer

      Well… I’m a millennial trapped in a middle aged body.

  • avatar
    hiptech

    This is exactly the type/style truck I’ve been looking for… I don’t want/need a full size (do you hear me GM, Ford & Chrysler?)

    • 0 avatar
      strafer

      Me too. Subaru Baja was just too small to be useful.
      If Hyundai brings this to production in a year, they’ll have my money.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You know, I think the Baja’s issue was that it was a wagon->truck. This is a CUV->truck which works much better.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Honda tried that without success.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Thank you, it’s a Ridgeline. Actually it’s not nearly as functional as a Ridgeline, so double- meh

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah but I don’t imagine Honda was putting out Ridgelines to FICO 5xx just to move some volume. Hyundai just might… the power of subprime compels you!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This looks cool and size-manageable though. The Ridgeline is both uncool looking and too big. :(

            And too damn thirsty!

          • 0 avatar
            Signal11

            Yeah, but the Ridgeline was just an ungainly looking vehicle.

            Put it another way – with most vehicles, side profiles generally imply a sense of movement. This thing has it. The Ridgeline did not. Hell, even when it was moving, you didn’t know whether it was coming or going.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            After reading more about it, I’ve changed my opinion, this is well thought-out and seems very practical on many levels, it just needs a proper gasoline engine for the NA market and it’s good to go

    • 0 avatar
      hiptech

      If Hyundai ever decides to run with this I could easily see another design morphing from it… how about an Isuzu VehiCROSS type vehicle?

      Or how about adding a stylized rear cap (à la 80’s 4-Runner or Nissan Pulsar NX) and transform it into a sporty little CUV style? This could give it a whole new dimension (and market segment). There’s a lot of potential here…

  • avatar
    kovakp

    “the concept isn’t aimed at traditional truck buyers”

    Guess not, since it’s less of a truck than any El Camino or Ranchero ever was.

    But putting a trunk lid behind that cool, angular C-pillar would work. I’ll definitely check this out if it emerges into reality, even as is. It’ll haul groceries and cans of paint. That’s all I’d ask of it.

    Oh, and it would easily fit in my garage unlike all these mongo “mid-size” trucks that’ve recently appeared. And it should pretty much laugh at most potholes.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “It’ll haul groceries and cans of paint. That’s all I’d ask of it.”

      So … why buy it?

      I mean, “handles potholes, fits in garage, carries groceries and cans of paint”; that tells me “buy an Outback or any small CUV/SUV”.

      Not this monstrosity.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I’ve heard that the US-South Korea free trade agreement phases out the 25% tax on truck imports by 2021…I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hyundai or Kia offer a mid-size truck in the next several years.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      However – you do realize they don’t HAVE this for their other markets. There is no real Hyundai “truck” in the American sense. They have utility vehicles, and the Bongo, which is a cab over engine utility truck as well.

      A mid-size or etc would be all new for them.

      Ssangyong has “trucks” though.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @CoreyDL
        Yes Hyundai has really avoided producing a Pickup. They seem to be strangely more Euro focused with their new Van and HDT Truck

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I think they know their markets, and it’s easier to make diesel cargo vans and utility stuff than to get into the ultra-competitive and very limited US truck market.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @CoreyDL
            A Hyundai spokesperson, said the the U.S. Pickup market was “a traditional market” and Toyota had struggled breaking into this market, because of it’s ASIAN background
            No you are not going to see going by that comment any Hyundai Pickup in the US. In fact Hyundai has not tried to get into the Global Pickup market either

          • 0 avatar
            Occam

            Toyota didn’t struggle in the pickup market. Toyota struggled in the large pickup market.

            There’s a strong parallel to motorcycles. The Japanese Big-4 own the small bike market, but they’re not taken seriously by the big cruiser riders.

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            They could easily get into the pickup truck market by going for the economical, inexpensive trucks like the Japanese did in the ’70s. 26+MPG, a bed that can carry plywood sheets, comfortable seats, reasonable performance, quality and durability, ready for aftermarket customization, and a low price point.
            They’ll have to do what the Chinese will do: offer a shiny product at a below-market price, but create a loyal following by backing it up with real-world durability.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    I think I’d buy one of these. Maybe.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    It reminds me heavily of the explorer sport that was sold for a number of years and made up a decent part of the explorer numbers every MY. So why not add in a second set of real doors and stretch the bed just a touch to make it more useful? I’m sure it will sell to small scale contractors and other working folks who don’t want the hassle of a larger truck but need to be able to haul as necessary. Otherwise it basically falls into the same category as ‘why would I buy this over a CUV?’

    Still it looks nice, I wouldn’t mind tooling around in it but I couldn’t see it as a mainstay vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Two things!

      1) Those rear doors are good enough, and they want it to stay small to appeal to the younger crowd. With 4 regular doors it just becomes an under-powered F150.

      2) I just linked this to my friend’s Facebook page, as he is searching for a replacement for his worn out Explorer Sport Track.

      • 0 avatar
        kovakp

        Yes! Vestigial rear doors (if any at all) and the “footprint comparable to a small crossover” they permit are crucial to this concept. If this thing appears old people are going to flock to it and we sure don’t intend to have any rear seat passengers. At least no two-legged ones.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      That’s a good point of reference Xer.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    No way. This thing wants a bed cap, which makes it a Santa Fe. I’ll just take the Santa Fe. I see no reason for this vehicle to exist.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The exact same thing could be said about producing a regular cab Silverado when the Suburban exists. And yet here we are with both.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        And we have a 4 door Silverado. So how is the regular cab pickup market these days? This thing is DOA without the option for a real back seat. Of course it probably was never going to see US roadways anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Guess I’m just too practical.

        I have a Kia Sedona that can haul 4×8 sheets or a couch inside it with the hatch closed – something most pickup trucks can’t even do today without hanging a flag from the merchandise as it gets rained on.

        But I suppose this concept would be useful if you want to take the party girls out to some sand dune under the stars.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I need an open bed and the Santa Fe doesn’t have one. Perfect reason for this to exist. I like it just as it is–without two full rows of seats.

  • avatar
    omer333

    Oh great, now the city of Santa Cruz has another reason to feel self-important.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    How is this different form the Baja? The subie bed was too small for a bike with out the bed extender.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Hola, Amigo. Don’t be a Brat.

  • avatar

    This is the first new car that I’ve seen in quite a while that I could see myself owning. I do hope that they bring it to reality, by that time my ageing fleet of oil-covered Swedish hotties would be ready for retirement.

  • avatar
    Occam

    If I can have this with a stick, I may be very tempted.

    The very act of typing that I’d willing pay money for a Hyundai is making a large part of my brain stammer and squint, and try to round up enough brain cells to stage a filibuster.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I love the names that Hyundai has been appropriating for their CUV/SUV/Crossovers. Up next the Hyundai San Fran-Bernadino!

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Not sure, but all I can say is stay away from the ‘Hyundai Gallup’.

      Comes from the factory with 100k on the odo, 4 mis matched tires, smells like an ashtray, and multi colored paint.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I’m not seeing it, sorry. It just looks very awkward to me. It’s a concept, all those fancy lights, wheels, body pieces, and mirrors are going to change.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I’d definitely give this one a close (very close) look should they produce it.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Would have to see the back seat. I tend to agree it will need at least the option of 4 real doors to sell in any appreciable numbers. Anyway, off the wall concept + small turbodiesel = you will never see this in the US.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Looks nice but we have seen with full-sized and small trucks that the only way to keep sales volumes up is by building trucks with 2 rows of legitimate seating.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I wouldn’t buy one with “two rows of legitimate seating”. I don’t need it and I don’t want it. I like the looks of this thing just as it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Vulpine – regular cab pickups are less than 20% of the market. Small trucks are 10% of the overall truck market. 20% of 10% isn’t going to pay the bills.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I couldn’t care less about regular cab since I want an extended cab. On the other hand, I think compact trucks could be far more than a mere 10% of the market. As such, I think that an extended cab compact truck could be PART of a 30% small truck market which would pay the bills. (I disqualify existing “medium sized” trucks because they’re simply too big for the people who want a true “small truck”)

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      At that point, you might as well just coat the trunk of a Kia K900 in bedliner and call it a day.

      • 0 avatar
        kovakp

        Make it a two-door and lift it 6″ inches first. Oh, and toss the trunk lid. That’d be a cool Korean Kamino.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          An extended rear overhang and an easily removable decklid might do the trick. There, I invented a new niche.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I gather that you missed the fact that the bed can extend beyond the tailgate.

            There. Eliminated your niche. It’s already covered.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            These press photos don’t tell the whole story. That built-in bed extender is a nifty item that really expands the practicality

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            A flat load opening and optional trunk extender could easily be designed in. This is clearly the greatest idea since the compact pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Can’t fit a refrigerator in a K900.

        • 0 avatar
          kovakp

          You’d look mighty silly trying to haul a full-size fridge in the Santa Cruz, too.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Don’t see how, kovakp; it has a proper bed and all the necessary tie downs. The weight would be sitting almost right on top of the rear axle.

          • 0 avatar
            Occam

            There was a car-based truck that had a permanent top attached. The space inside was huge, reconfigurable and could haul a full size fridge.

            It sold well for a while. Honda Element.

            I hauled a full size fridge, a bunk-bed set, a washer and dryer… only the couch required the rear to be open and tied down with rope.

            That car had quite a following, but Honda took lack of interest in buying a 8 year old design as lack of interest in the vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            Half its height would be exposed to the wind stream. Aside from looking like a scene out of The Beverly Hillbillies you’d need to chain it down like Mongo in the jail, with about as much success if you went on the highway.

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            Half its height would be exposed to the wind stream. As1de from looking like a scene out of The Beverly Hillbillies you’d need to chain it down like Mongo in the jail, with about as much success if you went on the highway.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’ve never seen an Envoy with the sliding roof panel in action, refrigerators, tall dressers and the like we’re not a problem

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “You’ve never seem an Envoy with the sliding roof panel in action, refrigerators, tall dressers and the like we’re not a problem”

            A friend of mine is a collector of oddball vehicles and has an Envoy XUV. Cool feautre, but the tracks on his seized from lack of use, as I suspect most others did. In spite of what some might have you believe, the average person rarely hauls fridges and other tall items and aren’t willing to accept the compromises that come with the ability for the 99.9999% of the time they aren’t moving a fridge.

            Those that regularly do aren’t buying vehicles like this for that purpose.

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            Envoy would swallow-up twice as much as the Santa Cruz’ tiny bed and roof line.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            With the slider open the Envoy doesn’t really have any more useable vertical space then this Hyundai would. Point being is you wouldn’t want to haul refrigerators all the time, but you could in a pinch

          • 0 avatar
            kovakp

            OK, at least I got to reference Mongo.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I know, it’s hard to look stylish with a Frigidaire in the bed, but even the Queen of England has to poop now and then

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Half its height would be exposed to the wind stream.”
            So? You have the same problem no matter what kind of pickup truck you carry it in. But at least you CAN carry it upright; you can’t do that in a CUV/SUV lacking a sliding roof.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Envoy would swallow-up twice as much as the Santa Cruz’ tiny bed and roof line.”

            You’re assuming an awful low roofline, but it really makes no difference; owners of the old compact trucks used to carry outsized gear in the beds all the time. I used to carry two giant rear-projection TVs in the bed of an Isuzu P’up back in ’92 with no issues. And the P’up made it EASY to tie ’em down.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          I have appliances delivered, like, well, *everyone else*.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            (To clarify, this is not because I lack a vehicle; my long-bed F250 can do it just fine, even with a canopy. Put it on its side, let it settle for a few hours once it’s upright, no issues.

            But the intersection of “moves enough fridges that renting a U-Haul or Lowes truck for an hour would be an issue” and “wants to DIY” and “doesn’t do that enough that this is too little vehicle” and “cares enough about that kind of thing to want this, but not a big truck” is … what? Ten people, figuratively?

            There’s a reason the market doesn’t serve your desires, real as they are – they’re *really uncommon*.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            People with pickup trucks almost NEVER have anything delivered.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I have access to multiple trucks and I pretty much have everything delivered that I can. Once you take that appliance out of the store it’s your problem. If they deliver it, it’s their problem until it’s in my house and set up properly.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Let’s just say that I don’t trust most delivery people; I’ve had enough poor service from them that unless it’s an item too heavy for me to wheel on a hand truck and lift up a few steps, I’ll carry it myself. On the other hand, if it’s a piano or connects to gas or plumbing, then I might–only might–have it delivered instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “There’s a reason the market doesn’t serve your desires, real as they are – they’re *really uncommon*.”

            Then please explain the glut of CUVs on the market–the exact vehicle type this is intended to combat. Even Hyundai is beginning to believe there’s an un-tapped market in small trucks.

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    Get rid of the Conestoga wagon wheels, and I’ll buy one.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Honda has not found success with its quasi-truck Ridgeline, nor Subaru it’s Baja, so I’m bearish on Hyundai doing any better (unless of course it wasn’t gigantic as it appears it is then you have the mythical small truck contingent’s attention). The only way this is going to be a success is through the magic of SUBPRIME.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Need to get over these LAME, incorrect posts.

      Sonata buyers have a higher education/income level and credit scores than Camry buyers.

      And the Elantra and Accent have a higher ATP than the Corolla and Yaris.

      • 0 avatar
        Occam

        “Sonata buyers have a higher education/income level and credit scores than Camry buyers.”

        So what you’re saying is… The Camry is more popular with retirees on a fixed income?

        I’m very impressed that Hyundai has retained the Accent/Elantra/Sonata core line-up names. It speaks volumes that they WANT people to see them, sit in them, drive them, and take note that they have improved, rather than the GM Chevette-Cavalier-Cobalt-Cruze or Metro-Aveo-Sonic (or is it Spark? I get them mixed up) route, where they hope to bury their failures behind them. (Or stable-mate Kia, with Sephia-Spectra-Forte).

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The eleven most popular cars for subprime car buyers:

        https://carfinance.com/press/the-top-ten-most-purchased-vehicles-by-below-prime-customers-for-2013/

        Four Kias, zero Toyotas.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Pch101 laid some facts on ya…

        Top 10 new auto purchases by subprime

        1. Dodge Avenger and Kia Optima (tied)
        2. Kia Forte
        3. Ford Focus
        4. Kia Soul
        5. Dodge Journey
        6. Chevy Malibu
        7. Chevy Cruse
        8. Chrysler 200
        9. Kia Rio
        10. Nissan Sentra

        So the usual suspects of GM, FCA, and Hyundai/KIA with new entrants Ford and Nissan. Four out of ten Hyundai/KIA products, many sold out of joint Hyundai and KIA dealerships.

        The used picks scream ‘Murica with the three top pickups.

        Top 10 used auto purchases by subprime

        1. Nissan Altima
        2. Chevy Silverado 1500
        3. Dodge RAM 1500
        4. Ford F-150
        5. Chevy Impala
        6. Dodge Charger
        7. Toyota Camry
        8. Chevy Malibu
        9. Honda Accord
        10. Ford Fusion

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Keep in mind that the Optima has a higher ATP than the Camry and others in the segment (like the Sonata, Altima) and in some months has beaten the Accord.

          The higher SX and SXL trims have been popular on the Optima.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Sister Kia had the concept Kia Mojave years ago. Very Similar idea, Never got green light to market.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    I’m a homeowner who currently uses a minivan for projects & camping. I refuse to drive a longer vehicle and really just find the aged Honda Ridgeline too old and the new Chevy Colorado too much trucj for my needs.
    I will buy this from the manufacturer who gets it to US market.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Just in case this hasn’t been said. The El Camino meets a crew cab. Genius!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Honestly, I like it. The size looks just about right and the bed should be plenty big enough for me–especially since the bed floor expands to let me carry longer loads.

  • avatar
    EAF

    AWD + enough clearance + open cargo = perfect for my fishing trips on the beach! Must have a manual transmission, I’ve grown tired of breaking automatics.

  • avatar
    Les

    I want this.. I want this so bad.

    I want this like I wanted a Subaru Baja.

    I want this like I wanted a Ford Sport-Trac.

    …and if this goes into production, like the Baja and Sport-Trac, I’ll have finally gotten enough ‘value’ out of my current ride to justify getting back into the new-car market just in time to see this thing discontinued.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Hmmmm………….it really does look great and is a good concept.

    I’d bet the 2 litre diesel will provide over 35mpg on the Highway, probably near 40.

    From what I can gather if this was sold in the US market it would not sell enough to warrant Hyundai to construct a manufacturing plant to produce them. 100 000 a year is a figure I’ve heard to move any production of a “low” cost vehicle into the US like this Hyundai “pickup/ute” thing.

    So, they would have to be imported from Korea and Korea would look at the global market as well.

    What does this mean to the US?

    The US is having difficulty with the FTA with not just Korea, but all of Asia. The US can’t come to terms with agriculture and the Chicken Tax negotiations.

    The US will never see it even if it made it into production in Korea.

    • 0 avatar
      Rental Man

      The American factories building vehicles and exporting them are doing just fine. Ask BMW Mercedes and others.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Don’t disagree.

        But, this would be more a global vehicle in a more or less niche market. Even here in Australia. It would even be a larger niche vehicle in the US.

        So, since it’s cheaper to knock something like this up in Korea, why would you make it in the US?

        As I mentioned, unless this has a significant market in the US they will not be manufactured there.

        The VW Amarok would have a larger US market than this, and VW stated unless they can sell 100 000 in the US per year or the chicken tax is removed the US will not have the Amarok.

        Sorry, this is what occurs when an industry is offered too much protection.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Who would the US sell them too?

        The only countries that will accept them are the ones where a FTA exist with no chicken tax.

        Why would a country want to deal with the US when it is penalized for offering the same product?

        It must be a two way street.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “I’d bet the 2 litre diesel will provide over 35mpg on the Highway, probably near 40.”
      — The problem with diesel in the US though, is the fact that where I live diesel now costs $1.20 MORE than regular unleaded and $0.70 more than 93octane unleaded. No savings there, so just give us a decent gas engine/transaxle combo that has enough gears to keep the engine in power without forcing it to strain at either end of the band.

      “From what I can gather if this was sold in the US market it would not sell enough to warrant Hyundai to construct a manufacturing plant to produce them.”
      — From what I understand of the short term, I could easily see a lot of these getting sold in the first year; as the Hyundai spokesman said, the people looking for these are not the typical pickup truck buyer but rather want something sporty, fun, yet capable of carrying things you, “would not want to put in the back of your CUV”.

      “The US can’t come to terms with agriculture and the Chicken Tax negotiations.”
      It’s time such issues were taken out of the hands of big corporations trying to protect their markets. Even Ford has expressed a desire for the Chicken Tax to be revoked because quite honestly you’re right, the market’s not big enough in the US to warrant production in the States, but the market IS big enough to warrant importation. Ford has to pay extra now to bring in vehicles they want to sell because for them it’s cheaper to make a ‘global’ vehicle that can be sold anywhere than to build market-specific vehicles. America’s full-sized pickup trucks are really the only exception to that and that’s more because there is no real global demand for full sized pickup trucks (except as militant combat vehicles.)

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    A question for everyone: why didn’t you buy a Baja, Sport-Trac or suchlike when they were new? Why didn’t most people?

    That’s the issue this “car” faces: the market, in North America, for small pickup trucks is so small as to be unprofitable for all save Toyota. Of that “small truck” market, even fewer buyers are going to be a truck equipped with a unibody frame and a transaxle. And of those that would, they’d just as well get a CUV instead.

    Honda tried this with the Ridgeline and it didn’t work. Subaru tried it with the Baja and it didn’t work. Heck, Ford and GM tried it with the Ranchero and El Camino and even then it barely worked, despite their huge marketshares. About the only thing that works are new Tacomas and used Rangers.

    And, frankly, F150s on steep discount.

    Stop trying to make car-based trucks happen. It won’t happen.

    • 0 avatar
      kovakp

      There is an unprecedented situation with empty-nest boomers now that didn’t before pertain to marketing something like this.

      We have homes, ample savings and credit, we’ve been & done big vehicles and we’ve always loved highly personal, cool little rides but want something ergonomically easier to deal with that is also less vulnerable to crumbling roads.

      Being able to throw the occasional light load in the back, the small chest of drawers, boxed-up dishwasher, umpty bags of MULCH (!) etc. is just icing on the cake. But for taller objects, the Renegade will be similarly enticing.

      Maybe I’m just projecting my personal attraction to this cool-ass little truckster onto others, but I do think the market environment is now significantly different than the ones into which those earlier attempts were launched.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      In 1979 AMC introduced the Eagle and the crossover was born

      It was awkward inefficient and just plain weird, but the idea was sound and the rest is history. Just because the Ridgeline and Baja didn’t hit one out of the park doesn’t mean the formula isn’t sound. Thank God that automakers keep trying or else we’d all be driving Corollas

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        In 1979 AMC introduced the Eagle and the crossover was born

        It was awkward inefficient and just plain weird, but the idea was sound and the rest is history.”

        No, the Eagle wasn’t really a crossover; it was a four-wheel-drive car with a lift kit. As much as people seem to say that is what a crossover is, it really isn’t: crossovers have a higher roof and hip point and, increasingly often, front-wheel drive.

        The modern crossover is basically a minivan less the sliding doors, but with a bit more butch styling. It owes more to the Chrysler Magic Wagon and the Ford Explorer than the Eagle,

        The Eagle is an example of convergent evolution that didn’t quite get the formula right and died off. The Magic Wagon did a better job, and paved the way for truck-makers to slap truck styling cues on their minivans.

        “Just because the Ridgeline and Baja didn’t hit one out of the park doesn’t mean the formula isn’t sound. ”

        No, it does mean the formula isn’t sound. This niche is a resounding failure by almost every marque that tried it. Small trucks worked for a very short time when the following were true:
        * Big trucks rode and drive worse
        * Big trucks sucked a lot more fuel
        * Small trucks enjoyed a cost advantage.

        Now that you can buy an F150 that gets better mileage than a Ranger, rides better than a Ranger, and costs only slightly more (and, occasionally, a bit less) than a Ranger, why buy a Ranger? Other than parking space, which doesn’t really matter to enough people in North America, there’s no reason.

        And this is with BoF: unit-body trucks are even more expensive to make and have the problem of not appealing to truck people.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          You went to a lot of trouble to write all this, so I won’t debate what does or doesn’t make a crossover. The point I was really making was that it’s good that auto-manufacturers try new things, how else would we know what works and what doesn’t? Going even beyond that what may appear to be a failure on the surface can be the basis of a huge success down the road

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “A question for everyone: why didn’t you buy a Baja, Sport-Trac or suchlike when they were new?”
      * Baja: came out two years after I’d bought my Saturn Vue–cancelled one year before I bought my Jeep Wrangler.
      * SportTrac: It was a Ford. My luck with Ford has never been good and I refuse to buy the brand. I’ve owned two Fords now and both of them tried to nickel-and-dime me to death with engine issues. Based on what I read even today, they’re still doing it.
      * Some such: AKA Ridgeline, Avalanche, etc. On average far too big for what I need and want. For one thing, I don’t need a full three-across-comfortably back seat. I specifically want my back seat to be uncomfortably short so people won’t want to ride back there. However, I do want enough space (preferably with the seat either folded or removed) to carry things inside out of the weather while letting me carry bulky or especially-dirty loads outside in the bed.

      So why didn’t I buy? Not available at the right size when I was ready for one. And yes, I really did want a Baja and would have bought one had they persisted just one more year.

    • 0 avatar
      S1L1SC

      Being in college and broke will prevent new car purchase.
      Being in a job and having worked for 6-10 years will allow new car purchases. I don’t currently see any baja-like vehicles for sale, nor have they been for sale in the last 5 years or so…

      El-Camino is on my short-list, as is the Ranchero.

      DD duty is currently handled by a Buick Roadmaster wagon – which at 250k miles is looking to be replaced… Not much out there as far as full-size wagons go though. Especially not when you are looking for something that will actually haul bricks, drywall, etc.

      Not a big fan of trucks, as I prefer a lower seating position.

      This might work, although i would look into getting it lowered.

    • 0 avatar
      honda_lawn_art

      My Dad did buy one of those four door S-10’s fifteen years ago because it held people and things but also fit in the garage. Drove like a walrus. Still has it though.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    This may have a chance if the vehicle meets two criteria:

    1. Plenty of interior room for driver & passenger plus gear & groceries.

    2. Room in the bed for any major appliance in the box, save for the ubiquitous mattress/box spring you see strapped onto every vehicle imaginable, flopping in the breeze whether rainy or not.

    Meeting those two, it may find a market, but then it’s a Hyundai and not a Ford, Chevy or Dodge/Jeep. In other words: “not invented here” or something to that effect.

    We’ll see, but I sure like the concept!

    • 0 avatar
      kovakp

      “but then it’s a Hyundai”

      I don’t know about anyone else but I now expect the same reliability and build quality from Korean as I do Japanese cars. So this being a Hyundai is a major selling point to me.

  • avatar
    daniel g.

    ok so is the avalanche 2.0 by koreans???

    maybe here in south america can be the new king, goodbye fiat strada and vw saveiro.

  • avatar
    marc

    I usually hate the “this looks like” comments. But doesn’t this strike anyone as a warmed over Toyota A-Bat from a few years ago? and just like that vehicle from a niche no one needs to fill, you can file this one under notgonnahappen.com

  • avatar
    rockets

    So if it offers the same or similar utility that my 14 year old Mazda truck does, with better ride, mpg, safety and comfort, and 4 seats, why not?

  • avatar
    hiptech

    @psarhjinian
    A question for everyone: why didn’t you buy a Baja, Sport-Trac or suchlike when they were new? Why didn’t most people?
    >>> I’m going to say because it didn’t fit everyone’s need and Subaru decided it wasn’t cost effective to keep building it when the market was clearly headed toward SUVs (i.e. more profitable).

    That’s the issue this “car” faces: the market, in North America, for small pickup trucks is so small as to be unprofitable for all save Toyota. Of that “small truck” market, even fewer buyers are going to be a truck equipped with a unibody frame and a transaxle. And of those that would, they’d just as well get a CUV instead.
    >>> That’s not necessarily true, small cars can be profitable (look at the Mini, VW Beetle, Fiesta, Fit, etc. it just needs to be mainstream and stylish enough to appeal to a wide audience. This is definitely a niche market vehicle (to start out) but if Hyundai can be innovative and keep it fresh it can be successful. There is a growing demand for these by aging baby boomers who are downsizing their homes and lifestyles. That is one reason I question Hyundai’s target millennial audience.

    Honda tried this with the Ridgeline and it didn’t work. Subaru tried it with the Baja and it didn’t work. Heck, Ford and GM tried it with the Ranchero and El Camino and even then it barely worked, despite their huge marketshares. About the only thing that works are new Tacomas and used Rangers.
    >>> The Ridgeline was largely unsuccessfully for several reasons, most pickup owners are very brand loyal (ask Toyota). Also the Ridgeline while unique was too quirky to appeal to a mainstream audience. Lastly, it doesn’t offer a high value proposition compared with the competition.

    And, frankly, F150s on steep discount.
    >>> Exactly, thanks to decades old Chicken Tax and extremely high profits Ford they can afford to discount in order to maintain market share while still maintaining healthy per unit profits. Pickups for decades have enjoyed disproportionate profitability thanks to lower manufacturing and development costs, reduced emissions and crash worthiness standards (compared with cars) that even the least equipt model can still be very profitable, imagine what they rake in on +$60K versions…

    Stop trying to make car-based trucks happen. It won’t happen.
    >>> You’re deluding yourself if you believe that, CUVs have recently overtaken mid-size cars in sales. Small pickups like this are a natural extension of this. These are not competing with full size trucks for obvious reasons, they are a “lifestyle” vehicle for ppl who don’t want or need anything more. If they are designed right and built well and have a large dealer body to support them there is no reason they can’t be successful.

    Regarding your other statements about the AMC Eagle “… it was a four-wheel-drive car with a lift kit.” Perhaps the concept was ahead of it’s time and not really ready for prime time but it was never designed to compete with body on frame SUVs of the time. The closest example of it does exist today and very successfully… the Subaru Outback. Just look at last years sales numbers.

    Lastly, your comment on the El Camino:
    “Heck, Ford and GM tried it with the Ranchero and El Camino and even then it barely worked, despite their huge marketshares.”
    >>> The El Camino was built off and on between 1959–1960 and
    1964–1987. That said, for most of it’s time it was highly successful but never meant to compete with traditional pickups. Like this Hyundai Santa Cruz it was a lifestyle vehicle designed to offer something few others did. I’ve known several ppl who owned these and loved them and none ever regretted or thought it was a pickup truck replacement.

    The Santa Cruz can work if Hyundai wants it to and even if it only available for a 6-10 years that is not necessarily a sign of failure. Look at the Ford GT, Acura TSX, Subaru Baja and Ford Sport-Trac these were all cars that were successful for their time and when times, styles and tastes changed ppl migrated to something else. If companies stop taking chances and just keep producing the same or similar models you would be complaining about that.

    Just like ppl do with their jobs and careers, very few ppl stick around for more than 7-10 years anymore… the same is mostly true for cars.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    “Yes, this is my truck.
    No, I will not help you move.”

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Agree whole heartedly. I need a truck mostly for charity work but also for my hobbies (one of which is going to need a fair supply of lumber later this year). Most of the time the loads I carry will fit well in the bed of this thing with room to spare–but not always. The bed extender that actually adds feet of length to the bed would be a huge advantage for carrying those large eight-foot event tables for the charity yard sale and other fund-raising activities. That’s all my big F-150 ever did, which is why its mileage while in my possession remained so low. One ratchet strap across the top at the front of the bed and another around the end to keep them from sliding out and I’d be set.


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