Hyundai Santa Cruz, Subcompact Crossover Close To Production

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

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]

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on May 21, 2015

    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.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on May 21, 2015

      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.

  • Kvndoom Kvndoom on May 21, 2015

    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.

    • Redav Redav on May 21, 2015

      The Ranger & Mazda B-Series also had available suicide doors for the supercab. It's a great design for this type of truck.

  • GoFaster58 GoFaster58 on May 21, 2015

    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.

  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on May 22, 2015

    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.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on May 22, 2015

      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).