By on May 20, 2015

Hyundai_Santa_Cruz_Crossover_Truck_Concept

Remember the Hyundai Santa Cruz from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show? The trucklet may soon be coming to a showroom near you.

Hyundai Motor North America CEO Dave Zuchowski said the Santa Cruz has a high probability of being approved by the parent company in South Korea, The Detroit Bureau reports, and would be accompanied by a subcompact crossover set to battle the likes of the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax.

The trucklet takes a different approach compared to other midsize competitors, such as the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins, focusing more on young city dwellers with active lifestyles who seek a vehicle with a place to stow their gear without dirtying the interior.

As for the proposed subcompact crossover, Zuchowski says Hyundai wants “a piece” of the growing segment, going as far as to decline bringing over an offering from China due to its conservative styling. The North American model will have its own platform, and have more striking styling, he adds.

An announcement is due within the next two to three months after Hyundai finishes studying capacity needs for the two models, with the United States likely to receive a boost over Mexico.

[Photo credit: Hyundai]

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96 Comments on “Hyundai Santa Cruz, Subcompact Crossover Close To Production...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Uh, oh. The one rig that could beat out the Renegade as my next car.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Cameron Aubernon
      Not according to Australian websites, Hyundai ,does not know whether to make this a work ” 1 tonne” Pickup Truck or leave it as a Lifestyle Vehicle and sell it NA

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        The Colorado does 1,370 to 1,570 pounds. This will be able to do at least as much. The unibody Transit Connect can do 1,652 pounds.

        Nobody cares about the AU market compared to the US market, Hyundaia will build whatever the US wants.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          What it will or won’t do we don’t know yet. But RideHeight has it right–this is fully intended to be a part-time truck–a simple utility vehicle to carry the occasional outsized or dirty load. It’s not meant to be a workhorse in the sense that mid- and full-sized pickups are.

          It’s almost exactly what I want.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            If you look at the capacity of LatAm unibody pickups and US unibody vans, along with the Ridgeline, I bet this will be good for at least 1,500 pounds.

            LOL at “meant to be a workhorse in the sense that mid- and full-sized pickups are.” Mexican and Brazilian unibody pickups probably see more work than most US cowboy Cadillacs.

            If this can come in around $4k less than the Colorado/Canyon it will eat their lunch. A less expensive, more efficient truck with as much capability.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Its almost exactly what you want? Well, Honda called, they want to know where youve been the entire time the Ridgeline has been on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            racer-esq. – I’d be surprised if this had any more than a 1,000 lb cargo rating in the USA market.

            The rest of the world is a different animal.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            John, look again at the Hyundai and the Ridgeline. Specifically, look at the cab style. What’s different? Which one only has two doors?

            I’m going to assume you haven’t followed any of my previous conversations about pickup trucks or you would know I Don’t Want Four Doors! I don’t need them and for me they are a waste of space and money.That extra twelve to eighteen inches would serve me far better in the bed than in the cab. I only need enough room behind the front seat for a bag of bowling balls for each passenger.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            Lou-BC – Look at what the Transit Connect and Ridgeline are rated for in the US. This thing will be good for at least 1,500 pounds.

            The US is way lower than other countries on tow capacity but fairly consistent on payload.

            If people can go on cars.com or autotrader and get this for $4K less than a Colorado then it will get a lot of buyers for both work and recreation purposes.

            The Colorado is the lifestyle vehicle. This is more like the discontinued Ranger.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            racer-esq. – if this is released with a 1,500 lb capacity that would be a surprise.
            The Colorado is 1500-1800 lb depending on configuration. The Tacoma crewcab is around 1,100 lbs. Most Ram 1500’s are around 1,300 with peak capacity in plain jane trucks is around 1,700 lbs. Ford varies from around 1,100 to 2,300 (Crewcab) and GM is similar to Ford but tops out a 2k. Ford requires max cargo package and GM requires max tow to hit the high numbers. Ram doesn’t have a max tow or haul 1500.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Agreed on that. This is the kind of truck that’s useful to me – and that’s frightening, because other types that have caught my eye haven’t lasted long.

            I was always a sucker for the “pickup car” or “ute.” I was too young to buy a Ranchero in its heyday; and the El Camino went Brougham and got priced out of my range. The Rampage caught me when I was living hand-to-mouth; and my landing a solid job coincided with Lido pulling the plug on it. Within a year, even the Jeep CJ-8 disappeared.

            These days I use a Toyota Tacoma extended-cab as my wheels and toy-cart. But…Hyundai has quality; and if they can make this at a price that represents value…count me in.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @racer-esq
          It is what the Asian Market wants, not the U.S. one which is much. smaller. U.S. will the get the much smaller model they are considering as a Lifestyle Vehicle, IF Hyundai goes ahead with it

          “LOL at “meant to be a workhorse in the sense that mid- and full-sized pickups are.” Mexican and Brazilian unibody pickups see more work than most US cowboy Cadillacs.”

          Spot on about the above comment

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            I seriously doubt Hyundai expects to market this as a work truck in the US.

            It’s a small-ish crossover with the rear modified for open cargo, instead of seating. That’s it! Will some people go for it? Probably. Will it make a fun beach mobile? Sure. Will anyone pretend it’s a work truck? No.

            The only way it might be marketed as a work truck is if they stray waaaaay off the concept vehicle. I don’t think Hyundai would attempt that right now.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @RobertRyan,
        Cameron is more than likely correct.

        This vehicle will not be made in NAFTA.

        Read my comment below.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Replace the ass-clown ginormous wheels with 16″ and tall sidewalls, I’d be very interested.

    But what would a real production model look like?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    If they build what is shown above, I hope it bombs hard.

    “The North American model will have its own platform, and have more [SUCKY] styling, he adds.”

    Fixed it for him. I’d take Chinese styling at this point.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I like weird vehicles, but I’m very glad I won’t have to sell these. Good luck Hyundai.

  • avatar

    Put the v8 from The Genesis in it and you’ve got a KILLER DEAL.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Personally I like the styling. It would make a great Matchbox, Dinky Toy or Hot Wheel. But, I am certainly not in its target market.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “But, I am certainly not in its target market.”

      Yes you are, they’d just never admit it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Arthur Dailey – I’m not in its target market either. I need room for 4 adults and dogs as well as be able to carry something bigger than a weeks worth of groceries.

      @Vulpine – it won’t fit those 4×8 event tables you mention.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Based on what I understand about this model, Lou, I’ll agree they wouldn’t fit with the tailgate closed, but if they include the ‘extendabed’ and the split tailgate, they would still ride fairly well when tied down. More so than the typical short-bed mid-sized truck.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          This vehicle is for empty-nesters who want a fun DD with just enough utility for occasionally hauling the boxed-up generator back from Home Depot, a chest of drawers from an estate sale, boxes of floor tiles, a couple 55 gal. to the yard waste dump etc.

          It’s not about trying to tie big stuff down on the Clampett’s ’21 Oldsmobile. That’s what pickups and vans are for. This is a toy.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Wait isn’t that what every existing fake SUV is supposed to do (including those already offered by Hyundai)?

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            What’s “fake SUV” mean?

            The appeal of this to me is that it’s a groovy little coupe that’s kind of lifted and kind of tall and kind of useful.

            Plus it’ll have virtually Japanese build quality and reliability (totally agree with SCE/AUX on this), be easily garageable and get decent gas mileage.

            A fun toy for people who don’t need that much practicality any more.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Well, RideHeight–you described my purpose for wanting one quite succinctly. You might call it a toy, but it is far more utilitarian to me than any other purpose-built truck because it simply is not overkill. Even so, I think it’s going to be more capable in that reduced capacity than you expect.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I say this in general, the SUV was designed with real 4×4 (live axle) and towing capacity in mind irrespective of BOF or unibody in the case of Jeeps. Fake SUVs look the part but do not offer true 4×4 nor are they intended for serious towing, they are transverse car platforms with voodoo linkups to turn rear wheels for “AWD”.

            Hyundai should have learned from Honda’s Ridgeline that the truck market demands actual trucks and sort of truck market is apparently small based on Ridgeline’s poor sales (esp considering it is more or less unique).

            This particular Hyundai model is essentially redundant in the wake of the other Hyundai models which perform the same tasks and offer the same thing, the only difference will be a 4 foot bed. Ask Ford how well that went over with its Explorer UTE thing.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Hell’s Bells, 28, I and most other people just want to drive around on roads with our C/SUVs, not storm hedgerows in Normandy.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @rideheight: you are probably correct. Due to how my mind works, I would rather use a Dodge Caravan for those tasks. It might not look as ‘edgy’ but has far more practicality and until Sergio eliminates the Caravan, will probably be much cheaper, off the lot.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @RideHeight

            Each his own but what you describe essentially is “style” without substance. I don’t have alot of respect for style without substance, and I see the CUV as a more modern way to pay for an SUV without getting any of the functionality of the SUV of old. Why even bother?

            @Arthur

            The right tool for the right job.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    I’d be up for a Santa Cruz as long as I could get one reasonably equipped for under $25K. People may complain about the styling, which I’m sure would be toned down a bit by the time it reaches production. But at least it doesn’t look like every other silver/grey jelly bean on the road. Bring it, Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I concede your point but by your logic the Veloster doesn’t look like Golf/Focus/A3 therefore it is good.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      “But at least it doesn’t look like every other silver/grey jelly bean on the road.”

      Huh?

      It looks like they took one of their crossovers, notched out the back and threw 24″s on it, all while maintaining the same boring jellybean proportions of every bloated crossover on the market.
      Same low hanging plastic playskool bumper and all. Roof and glass that’s melting into the cabin area, windshield that’s inches from your face. All that poorly placed glass makes the cabin great as a greenhouse in the summer.

      • 0 avatar
        LectroByte

        some dude with an H3 for an avatar is complaining about a vehicle with the roof too close to the cabin? pitiful.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Your sitting down in it, not being having to look long ways through a windshield or be beat to death by the sun. Having an airy cabin makes any vehicle feel larger, having a dome just puts the pillars close to everyone’s head.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I don’t remember the Explorer SportTrac ever really going anywhere, and this looks even less useful.

    If I’m a “young city dweller with an active lifestyle” I’d just buy an Outback and stick a trunkliner in it. (and/or put the “outdoor gear” on the roof) That lets me haul plenty, and still carry around my hipster/yuppie friends.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      I agree, for an urban active lifestyle guy, having an suv with the ability to lock stuff inside it probably makes more sense.

      The Explorer SportTrac was interesting, but I think the problem with Baja’s and Ridgeline’s and other non-truck trucks is that given how nice and affordable and easy to live with that the current full-size and mid-size trucks are, then there isn’t a compelling advantage these other non-truck trucks offer.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Of course there is, all the people crowing about American (and Japanese wannabe) trucks being too big and too gosh darn American will love it…on the confines of an internet comment forum. None will actually purchase it, but they love the idea of some soft-as-cotton FWD crossover-with-a-useless-bed showing us stupid Americans what’s what. Look at the comments suggesting that no American truck does anything more than prance along the highway. Evidently, none of these people live in buildings constructed out of materials hauled on trucks, never use paper products produced by people in the logging industry using trucks, never drive on roads and bridges built by people using trucks, and never use utilities put in place using -you guessed it- trucks.

        This is despite the fact that this pretend truck will be all the things they complain about: a vehicle that is purchased by someone who could get by with a Corolla if they werent worried about looking macho and “active”. But, because it doesnt have a bowtie, a billy goat or a blue oval on the front, its awesome and JUST what everyone needs. Notice how the Tundra is somehow left out of their rants about “cowboy Cadillacs”? This inspite of the fact that its the most useless full size truck on the market, one almost exclusively purchased by commuters seeking “image” more than actual usefulness. But, thats okay, cuz its a ‘Yota, and they make the Hilux, so, ya know, everything they glue their name on is capable of anything you ask of it (except, of course, that they refuse to sell that truck here and instead give us its watered-down, femenine distant cousin).

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Or they don’t mention it because it moves just over 100k per year versus the 1M+ that the big 3 build.

          This is the 2nd time this week you’ve ranted about some pro-Japan bias here.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Let me fix that for you, John.

          * none of these people live in buildings constructed out of materials hauled on (Class 8) trucks,
          * never use paper products produced by people in the logging industry using (Class 8)trucks,
          never drive on roads and bridges built by people using (Class 8) trucks, and never use utilities put in place using -you guessed it- (Medium Duty Class 5+) trucks.

          By the way, Hi, Denver. Like your new handle.

          Oh, and…
          * “This inspite of the fact that its (the Tundra) the most useless full size truck on the market, one almost exclusively purchased by commuters seeking “image” more than actual usefulness.”

          Interestingly, almost all of the Tundras I see are in active use as farm and construction trucks. One construction crew uses it to carry their diesel tanks for refueling their heavy equipment while I’ve seen several in heavy farm use hauling or towing agricultural equipment, feed and bedding for their animals and other farm related goods. In every case where I’ve spoken to the owners, they love it for its reliability. So just because YOU say it’s useless doesn’t make it so.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          :sigh: Talk about straw man.

          I don’t think people who complain about how big F-150s are doubt their usefulness as real work trucks. I doubt people who see the ridiculousness of big trucks used only for commuting (and not for actual work) complain about all the real work done by truly capable vehicles.

          I am one of those people who lament how large trucks are. I’m actively looking to purchase a smaller truck. I can’t fit a full size truck in my garage (nor can my friends who own those trucks fit them in their garages). I have no interest in looking tough or manly, and it’s not for commuting. It’s for the type of work I do, which is not building buildings or hauling freight.

          I only want a truck because I need to haul sod, dirt, saplings, etc., that I am not going to put in a car trunk or back of an SUV–liner or not. The most offroad I go is dirt roads. I don’t want a lot of suspension travel or 4WD. I want it to be low enough that I can pick up a generator over the side of the bed. I want enough space in the bed to fit a couple bikes, which makes SUV-trucks like the SporTrac impractical. I don’t move people, so I don’t need back seats. The current crop of Colorados & Tacomas are still too big, too tall, too ‘capable’ (and thus too expensive) for my tastes.

          I don’t have the money right now for a high 20s truck, so I’m looking at Rangers. But I don’t like their combination of piss-poor mpg & weak engines–that’s just because they are so old and out-of-date, so I would prefer new if such a product existed. If it takes FWD/unibody to get to my price point, I’m fine with that–I don’t care about image after all.

          If a new truck with an identical envelop as the Ranger existed with a modern engine & safety enough weight saving tricks to maintain the same weight for the low 20s, yes, I would absolutely be out shopping for it. But I fully acknowledge that I’m not a common consumer. I don’t care about creature comforts or refinement. I roll my eyes at anything “soft touch” in a truck. I want something cheap to buy/maintain/operate, reliable, and safe. Orkin pest control and I may be the only ones who buy such a truck (small, lower capability work truck), and I respect companies’ decision not to make it if the business case isn’t there. If Hyundai decides to move forward with their truck, and if it’s what I’m looking for, I absolutely will support them to do so.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The SportTrac went lots of places…

      on its roof or sides.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Doesn’t the Tucson already compete in the CUV market? Anything smaller won’t be useable.

    For both products, show me the less-cartoonish Kia version and I’ll consider it.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “show me the less-cartoonish Kia version and I’ll consider it.”

      Precisely how I’d hope things shake out.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I expect the cartoonishness is because it’s a concept.

      I’m more worried that they will keep the back seats and the bed gets too short to fit anything but *either* a washing machine or a dryer.

  • avatar
    FBS

    The trucklet could be intriguing, but my biggest concern is that it won’t be rated to tow more than a quarter ton.

    I have no interest or need for a modern full size truck but at the same time, giving up the interior space for a bed isn’t a good compromise if you can’t haul anything heavier than a few mountain bikes.

  • avatar

    “Damn,that’s nice looking”
    22 yr old Jeep driving co-worker

  • avatar
    Rday

    Great…the more pickup options we have the better for all of us. Love my Ridgeline and it it 10 years old and runs like knew. fiancee says that she never wants us to get rid of it. and i don’t plan on either. this new model will have its’ own market and i hope it does well.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Lol, runs like what? And you people think we are stupid in the south.

      What does a Honda running like “knew” after ten years have to do with a future (maybe) Hyundai? There are plenty of trucks on the road that are more than ten years old that still run fine. Most of the longest lasting vehicles on the road are American trucks and the SUVs based on them. My dad’s 99 F-250 has about 330k miles on it. No engine or tramsmission rebuilds, and quite a few of those miles were spent towing a travel trailer.

      I have no doubt that on its hardest day of use, your Ridgeline has towed/hauled about as much as could have been handled by any number of FWD cars without breaking a sweat.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N – the amount of mileage one can get out of a truck depends on environment. A truck driven in a warmer climate (i.e. Southern USA) and mostly on highways and freeways will live a lot longer than a truck driven on gravel roads and in a cold climate.
        My brother has driven every brand of pickup as a field operations Forester in Northern BC Canada. He is lucky to get 100,000 miles out of a 3/4 ton truck (2 -3 year life span). He had 1 Chevy make it to 140,000 miles. He’s had some trucks get too expensive to repair and run at 60,000 miles.

  • avatar
    cornellier

    The glory of the El Camino and Ridgeline continues. Mullet-wearers rejoice!

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I’ll bet there’s not another comment on the entire internet that contains both Ridgeline and mullet besides what I’ve just typed.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      cornellier – this does not fit the mullet profile. A rusted out brodozer is the mulletmobile of choice.

      • 0 avatar
        cornellier

        The El Camino, Ridgeline and Baja are urban “truck-toys”. El Ridgeline is to a lightweight bike what El Voyageur is to a stack of 4x8s. The mullet, while a hairstyle, is also a state of mind. Let’s not take things too literally.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          cornellier – never seen a dude in a mullet driver anything that looks remotely trendy unless you are on the cutting edge. (haircut pun intended)

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            But remember, mullets aren’t just for men anymore.

          • 0 avatar

            Were mullets ever just for men, though?

            Exhibit A: http://isabelrose.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/pat_benetar_bw.jpg

            Exhibit B: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/71/13/62/7113623cb0390ba1483d1e9e2689b9e8.jpg

            Exhibit C: http://static.parade.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/threes-company-ftr.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Cameron Aubernon – those are mullets?

            MacGyver had one.

            This is what I think of when I think mullet….

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauldineen/galleries/72157622347269113/#photo_3820511142

    • 0 avatar
      sco

      Holy s**t there’s a little chevy SSR in there too

  • avatar
    RHD

    What the market really needs to shake everything up is a basic pickup like the Japanese sold in the ’70s. 4 cylinder, useful bed, room for 2 or maybe 3, reasonable price, with simple and utilitarian styling. Keep the bed low so you can actually put stuff in it and get it out without a stepladder. Make it durable and dependable and the young buyers will stick with your brand. (I hope the Chinese aren’t reading this!)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I agree, RHD. But since that’s not available, this Hyundai is the next best thing.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      If they made such a truck, noone would but it. “But why, when I can get a much more capable half ton for a few grand more, and have more room and only a few less MPG?”

      People love to remember things fondly, even though at the time (or faced with the reality of such in the present), people cringed at the prospect of being forced to learn yoga just to get inside, putting up with 75 hp and 18 mpg, dealing with manual steering, no creature comforts and not being able to hear the person sitting (uncomfortably close) next to you with out yelling over the noise of the unrefined engine, not to mention the road and wind noise with only a thin layer of metal and (maybe) vinyl/rubber for insulation. Little old trucks are useful and have their good points, but theyre not as wonderful as they are in your memories of 30 years ago.

      There is a reason the market moved on. Ask someone to step out of their 2012 Accord and into a 1976 Datsun truck, see if they dont say “forget it” after the first mile. A modern version would have to be bigger (for more room), more powerful, more refined, more comfortable and easier to live with…as is the Chevy Colorado/Nissan Frontier/etc. The trucks we have today are much better than they’ve ever been, yet someone is always there saying what we were forced to put up with decades ago is somehow better than the modern version without stopping to realize how hood we have it now.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      A base (reg cab, 6.5′ bed) Tacoma stickers for $17k and is a whopping 8″ longer than a Corolla. As long as you didn’t spring for the Pre-runner trim, the truck has a super low reach in height for the bed, too. Your hypothetical truck already exists/ed… and they sold so poorly that Toyota has completely dropped the regular cab configuration.

      It drives me crazy that when I pointed this out to Vulpine a few years back, he pulled the “I’d rather buy from an american manufacturer” card. Well, I’m sorry. If you go buy a Fiat 500, Wrangler, and likely a Renegade instead of the vehicle you swear everyone is dying to get because it is built by a company based in the wrong country (even though the truck is built in the US!), manufacturers would be stupid to listen to that type of buyer. They’ll always find some reason to not buy and should be ignored.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Well ain’t that just darlin’; yet another straw man.

        First off, Quentin, even back then one of the things I CLEARLY stated is that I wanted an extended cab version. Of what you are apparently unaware is that since then I actually did try out the Tacoma… more than once despite the fact I didn’t want a Japanese brand; it and the Nissan were, up to now, the smallest pickups available new. Unfortunately, they both carry one severe drawback–not enough driver legroom. They’re too cramped even in the extended cab versions.

        FCA on the other hand, while not exactly American, does consist of an American brand as well as an Italian brand. I have no qualms with buying European. Yes, I own a Fiat 500 and dog-gone it the thing’s a blast to drive! I got rid of a full-sized pickup truck my wife refused to drive to get it and she absolutely loves it. I enjoy it too because of how quick and agile it is. And this is despite all the negative uproar still being spread about Fiat’s abilities and reliability. I’ve had the Wrangler now for very nearly eight years and it’s getting to the point I no longer trust it for longer drives; so I want something capable of handling foul weather and minor flooding and yet capable of carrying dirty or outsized loads that even in the Wrangler are difficult to carry (the steel bar across the tailgate when the vinyl window is in place makes it harder to put even things that WILL fit into it).

        Toyota doesn’t want me as a buyer by the simple fact that they haven’t offered a car I would be willing to buy in over 20 years. I don’t want a Corolla and I don’t like the Corolla; it’s boring to look at and there are hundreds of thousands of them on the roads even now. I don’t want a large truck and even the Tacoma is growing yet again–though probably not where it really needs to grow. In fact, the only car of theirs I used to like at all was the Celica and Celica Supra–later just known as the supra. Two doors, decent appearance and at least somewhat fun. But that was also 25 years ago. The newer ones are nice, but now grossly overpriced for my current desires; I’d rather go Camaro but even there GM has only today pushed for something that will here-on-out prevent me from ever buying another GM–especially if they succeed in their efforts. When I buy a car, I expect that car to be MINE. That’s why I don’t lease.

        As for the choice of Renegade vs Santa Cruz, for the moment it’s a toss-up. I haven’t yet driven a Renegade but for those who already own one, the reports are quite satisfactory. I did discover first hand they’re not as small as I first suspected, but having owned a Saturn Vue, I have no complaints about its size. This Hyundai? I haven’t yet gone to look at a Tucson but the size shouldn’t be too different and I’ll just have to wait and see on the fit. Either way you look at it, the Santa Cruz and the Renegade are significantly smaller than the Colorado and other new-generation mid-sized trucks, which means I’m far more likely to buy one of them than any other purpose-built pickup truck currently available in the US.

        Now, if FCA were to bring in the Ram 700…

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Vulpine- “Toyota doesn’t want me as a buyer by the simple fact that they haven’t offered a car I would be willing to buy in over 20 years.”

          Ummm.. looks like any current vehicle with a box aka pickup could be substituted for the word Toyota in that sentence of yours.

          “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference”.

          Maybe the Hyundai Santa Cruz is exactly what you want but it ain’t here yet and where is it going to come from?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Based on another article I read recently, Hyundai is talking about expanding one of their plants either in Alabama or Mississippi. Since the Tucson is already build in Alabama and the Santa Cruz is supposedly based on the Tucson, it’s possible they’ll build the American version there.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      So say we all.

      However, I generally agree with Quentin that few will buy it other than Orkin and a few like myself.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        redav – Orkin won’t buy it.

        All of the Canadian Orkin trucks I’ve seen now are Chevy reg cab 1/2 ton shortbox V6’s.

        I bet the 4 banger Colorado will be the next Orkin fleet queen.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Orkin will likely go with Chevy fullsize pickups here too, later this year when their Toyota contract is done.

          Orkin has been the biggest customer of midsize pickups, at about 2,000 trucks a year, but now midsize pickups force too much content on strippers, ‘extra cabs’ especially.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            “now midsize pickups force too much content on strippers, ‘extra cabs’ especially.”

            Exactly. It relates back to my post above about a genuine, cheap, no-frills smallish pickup meant for doing light work.

            Orkin was famous for using Rangers because they didn’t need anything larger or more capable. They were cheaper to buy & operate and still got the job done. If such a truck came back on the market, I do think they would go back to buying those. However, I doubt many others would buy them, hence the (likely correct) decision by automakers to not sell them.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I doubt absolute strippers were taken away from lack of sales. Besides all the regular cabs Tacomas and Rangers put use commercially/gov/utilities, an awful lot of midsize stripper pickups are owned by civilians. The metallic paint give them away.

            If it was just lack of sales, fullsize stripper pickups would be gone 1st. Fullsize pickups have an even lower take rate of regular cabs. Midsize pickups are the obvious target for fleet, cheapskates and other bottom feeders, all looking for the lowest common denominator of pickups. Stripper reg cab midsizer pickups were practically the lowest common denominator of vehicles period.

            The midsize strippers were just too good of a deal. Unbelievable almost. Except not a good deal for the OEM. Terrible deal. That’s why they had to be killed.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The problem is the vulpii lifestyle demographic is extremely finicky and have very specific guidelines on what they’ll accept. Size/dimensions are absolutely everything. Must be able to fit in ‘here’. Has to be able to carry ‘that’.

    That’s not nearly as true for normal “lifestyle pickup” buyers, midsize and up. Probably because they’re buying more truck than they normally need and don’t have tight as heck parking.

  • avatar
    Marone

    I just don’t see it. This is the next Veloster. A bump in the beginning and then declining sales from then on. I’m also betting it will end up looking nothing like the picture above.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      If it at least has the functionality I desire at the size I desire, then I don’t really care what it looks like. The photo above makes it pretty clear it’s an extended-type cab with roughly a five-foot bed. Hyundai presented an extending bed and a split tailgate at the auto shows which would make the bed even more functional for light-duty work. Those last two items we’ll have to definitely wait and see. The rest fits my needs quite well.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    If it can haul a stack of 4’x8′ sheet goods, I will covet it.

    If not, same it for the “lifestyle” crowd, like the Subaru Baja. I wanted to love the Baja, but it was just a sedan where someone at the factory forgot to put on a trunk lid — rather than a small pickup truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I never really got the opportunity to study a Baja. However, the concept displayed some things that should make carrying to 4×8 panels possible, though not necessarily carried flat without some minor assistance from fore and aft supports as in purpose cut 2x4s to length or perhaps bed bars to lay the panels over the wheel wells. Many of the ’70s and ’80s vintage compacts used pockets in the bed wall for that specific purpose and I believe both Nissan and Toyota have something similar in their current mid-sized offerings. If so, all the better. If you check back on some of the earlier auto show reports, this rig has some imaginative tie-down concepts that avoid wind-catching exterior hooks that could be more effective than in-bed tie downs for oversized loads.

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    Kind of reminds me of a p/u version of the Isuzu VehiCross. Has that kind of vibe to it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    To me it doesn’t seem probable to build this in a NAFTA country and only supply the US market and some in Mexico. The demand will prove to be deficient to warrant the construction of a plant.

    I do consider the viability of these coming out of Korea, with both LH and RH versions. This type of vehicle will sell in the more affluent nations, more so than up and coming nations.

    Why?

    I read a very interesting article yesterday regarding the TPP or the Pacific Rim Nations FTA.

    Ford is furious and the most vocal Detroit manufacture arguing against the US government’s willingness to dump the vehicle protection racket in the US with the TPP. FCA is also not very happy, no mention of GM though. Why would GM worry??? They have a midsizer.

    From what I have read the trade barriers that exist on both motor cars and trucks would need to be lifted for the FTA to succeed.

    Like I stated, “changes are a comin”. Soon. The Chinese are using soft power and wooing many Pacific Rim nations.

    I do hope this Pacific Rim FTA succeeds as everyone will win, especially the consumers. Without us, there is no employment, union or otherwise.

    The payload would be around 1 200lbs and Hyundai should also consider a single cab variant.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      We already have the Korean FTA:

      https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/korus-fta

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @mcs,
        First up you are correct in your statement. But your statement doesn’t hold true or you have some misconceptions regarding how FTAs are structured. They are not necessarily “free” in trade.

        Secondly, what you didn’t state was there are going to be no changes to any trade of motor vehicles and tariffs until the Korean accept the US’es lower emission standards and lower design regulation.

        The UAW and vehicle manufactures lobbied DC to incorporate the Korean FTA as it currently stands.

        So, the chicken tax and 5% levy on Korean manufactured vehicles will remain that are imported into the US.

        Thirdly, Korea isn’t a part of the TPP. When and/if the TPP is finalised Korea will have the most to lose with automotive exports to the US in comparison to the other nations if Barack gets his way.

        The UAW and as I pointed out the Big 2 primarily are having issue with the TPP concerning vehicle and vehicle component trade between the countries involved.

        They want to reduce any competition. This type of behavior does and will affect markets. The consumer loses out.

        The Japanese are devaluing the yen. The Philippine’s are also manufacturers of pickups. Their wages are much lower than the Chinese. Malaysia manufactures vehicles.

        I have read one suggestion that vehicles can be partly assembled in Thailand, then exported to Malaysia for final assembly prior to export to the US.

        This would probably be a viable issue as well.

        My primary point was the viability of manufacturing this vehicle within NAFTA. I really don’t think the market would be large enough.

        Globally it would be. As cute as this vehicle looks it could end up becoming another one of those Suzuki X90(?) CUV 4×4 things. If you do know the vehicle I speak of. I can’t actually remember the vehicles designation.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          No, I understand FTA’s and have even looked at korus including the section on light trucks. I was supporting you with your opinion it won’t be NAFTA produced.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I have to admit, I like it. I would like it better if it was toned down a little, lose the reflectors or whatever they are around the wheelwells, and put some decent wheels on it 5 spoke, ALWAYS five spoke!), and if I was in the market for something like this, I would take a look at it.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      If you search out some of the early car show reports about this truck, you’ll find out those aren’t reflectors around the wheel wells; they’re tie-down locations to help secure the load when it’s too big to tie down comfortably with in-bed ties. And yes, if a load like a canoe or maybe mattress or something has to extend up over the cab, you have tie downs in the front wheel wells for the same purpose. It is designed to be functional.

      At least, the concept is. We’ll have to wait and see how the final product is equipped.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I just noticed it has suicide doors, a la RX-8. It would be awesome if it kept those, but I know it won’t. I’d really consider this if it’s not super expensive and I can get it with a manual in non-stripper trim. Otherwise I’ll just stick to the plan and pick up a Ranger someday. I do want a small truck of my own, but I’m not going $30k in debt for one.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    I believe I might like this. I prefer something the size of my 2000 Ford Ranger but this do look nice. It would fit my needs.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Hyundai would show balls by building and selling this anywhere, including the U.S.

    That doesn’t mean it will make money, though, nor offer any real utility of a meaningful sort.

    As it stands now, Hyundai is on my short list, along with Kia, as they’ve lost the plot of undercutting Honda and Toyota prices by 20% to 30% for equivalent sized vehicles, while offering longer standard powertrain warranties.

    It’d be one thing if Hyundai and Kia had improved their reliability index scores to come close to matching either Honda or Toyota, let alone NVH properties, or resale values, but neither have done none of these things, while still projecting a BHPH image.

    It’s even worse for them now that they not only don’t undercut Honda or Toyota prices by 20% to 30% for equivalent sized vehicles, but that Honda and Toyota, in many cases, UNDERCUT Hyundai and Kia prices on many segment competitors (e.g. Accord is about the same price as a Sonata, while Toyota is marketing the Camry super aggressively on price, undercutting the Sonata’s price).

    Hyundai and Kia are going to find market share growth, and even the ability to keep their current market share, very challenging, if they don’t change their strategy, going forward.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      At one time, VW, Toyota, Datsun and Honda undercut the competition (at the time, the domestics).

      Totally irrational to not think that Hyundai and Kia wouldn’t follow suit and eventually catch up in pricing.

      Right now, aside from the lack of CUVs, they are being pressured by the aggressive pricing from Nissan and Toyota due to the favorable Yen exchange rate, but so has Honda (which has tried to keep a limit on spiffs).


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