By on August 20, 2016

2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

If you collected all of the ink spilled over the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup’s chances of entering production, it would overflow the unibody model’s abbreviated bed.

Well, Hyundai just put a year and a half’s worth of rumors to rest, confirming to Motor Trend that the car-based pickup is definitely a go, and will appear in 2018 as a 2019 model.

“We have made the decision,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We have not made the announcement.”

That announcement will come at either the Los Angeles or Detroit auto show.

Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

The youthful Santa Cruz concept first appeared at the North American International Auto Show in 2015, generating plenty of buzz — even from those with no personal memories of the long-departed Chevrolet El Camino. Blending a crossover and a pickup, the concept seemed destined to fill an untapped niche market.

Even this past week, speculation was rampant about the model’s looming approval.

According to Motor Trend, the Tucson-based pickup underwent a design review earlier this month. The automaker is close to finalizing a design, and anticipates that it can sell 50,000 units a year. Outsider estimates put the figure at 70,000.

Hyundai engineers are busy developing a diesel engine for European Genesis models, and that mill could find its way into the production Santa Cruz, giving the pickup respectable grunt.

In the interview, Zuchowski laments his company’s car-heavy market share, calling its model lineup an “adverse mix” of vehicles. Adding the Santa Cruz would diversify the company’s offerings, potentially luring new buyers to the brand with a unique product.

The timing seems right for the Santa Cruz, given recent sales growth in the midsize pickup market.

[Images: Hyundai]

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158 Comments on “The Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup is Absolutely Going to Happen, CEO Confirms...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Somewhere a retired one-time Subaru Brat owner is thinking….will it have those two plastic seats in the back?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I really wonder if Hyundai can sustain that kind of interest. Will it be 50,000 units a year for the first year, and then a sharp decline after that? Or will it be like the FJ Cruiser, a niche product designed to go away after two years, but that lasted a whole lot longer?

    Either way, this is cool. Bring it on.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I wonder that also. I can see maybe 25k, like the niche Veloster. But surprisingly, that car has sustained that sales rate for about 5 years.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        If Hyundai wants to ‘sustain’ interest they can do a few things…

        Sell it a a pickup. Put a back in it. Sell it as an CUV. Make it FWD option too.

        Done.

        This is a good looking vehicle. Even I like it. As an CUV it makes a lot of people wanting to sign up,

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “Sell it a a pickup. Put a back in it. Sell it as an CUV.”

          -Hyundai already has a compact crossover (Tucson/ix35).

          -This is a concept. The vehicle that goes to market will probably be toned down. I would presume that it will look a lot like the next ix35/ Tucson, but with a bed.

      • 0 avatar
        IAhawkeye

        They sell 25k of those a year? Color me impressed. The Veloster seems like a vehicle that at the end of the day really appeals to exactly no one.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          It reminds me of the old 3 door Saturn SC and Ion, except less good and uglier than even the hideous (outside of Red Line trim) Ion.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          IAhawkeye,
          I do believe the Veloster is touted as a “performancy looking” vehicle, a cheap stylish car subsitute. Chic. Its not even a CUV.

          This will compete with CUVs and possibly a small margin of potential midsize buyers, especially those after a Ridgeline.

          I’d bet also, Baby Boomer handy types and beach goers, etc will be the largest consumer of the Santa Fe.

          A utility vehicle to have just in case you need to go to Lowes and buy 20 screws and a bag of wood chips or take the little grand kids to the zoo and/or beach.

          In Australia we’d call this a “Cute Ute”.

        • 0 avatar
          IAhawkeye

          To all three of you I guess: yes it does sort of remind me of an uglier Ion. My reasoning for not exactly knowing why it sells is because it’s neither sporty or practical or super efficient really. Which in its class seem to be fairly important, that or their Corolla’s and Civic’s which will sell no matter what. It’s ugly and slow.. and the three doors while unique don’t really make it any more practical and it’s definitely not blowing any completion away with carrying space.

          BAFO specifically I wasn’t saying the Veloster was a CUV. Just surprised it sells that many, their thin on the streets around here. Yeah the Sante Cruz and Ridgeline really seem aimed at the same sliver of the market. It’ll be interesting to see how many actually they sell.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @IAhawkeye:

            Shall we agree to disagree? The Veloster is most certainly sporty in appearance, especially from the driver’s side where it offers a look not too different from a sporty two-door coupe. The passenger side is certainly more practical than a 2-door and is extremely logical as that’s the side you would typically load packages and people at curbside in left-hand-drive countries (which outnumber right-hand-drive countries significantly.) I can’t say one way or another about its performance, but were I not married and had no need for an open bed, I would at least consider one (though it would face tough competition from a Fiat 500 Abarth or Fiat 124 Abarth.)

    • 0 avatar
      mattwc1

      I am also quite curious on how the overall sales will be for Hyundai. If Hyundai can use the bones effectively (ala the bulk of the engineering)of the Tuscan and graft a pickup bed at a decent price point, I think it would be a sales success. This would represent a decent alternative to the “midsize” market .

      • 0 avatar
        zipper69

        Since the S10 and Ranger got shot in the head there IS no “midsize” market.Ford, Chevy and Ram make fat profits from the bigger stuff and have left this gap for smart manufacturers to fill.

        If it’s not overloaded with BS styling and accessories to pump up the price it could sell well….we shall see…

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I know a lot of people hoping for this in the US

    • 0 avatar
      cornellier

      Kyree, what about a lame-ass lifestyle vehicle is “cool”?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Too many people consider the concept of such a ‘truck’ in the US as a “lame-ass lifestyle vehicle, yet the exact same type of vehicle is very popular, at least in South America, with people who have no need and no desire for anything larger. Worse, they seem to completely ignore that it’s exactly that size and approximate type of vehicle that has become so popular around the world, albeit with that back area covered over because it is more utilitarian than full-sized trucks simply because it’s easier to maneuver in typically tight driving situations such as densely urban environments and the older small towns scattered around the country founded when people walked or rode horses everywhere.

        My first pickup truck was little more than a compact sedan minus the back seat area and a large, open, trunk. It was the Mitsubishi version of the Dodge D-50 pickup truck and it offered nearly everything I wanted in a truck except the space to carry things inside the cab. My current truck is a ’97 Ranger which is somewhat larger and taller overall, but still only as large as a modern full-sized sedan. (I say ‘full-sized sedan’ with respect to the current line of models such as the Ford Taurus.) As long as I’m the ONLY person in such a vehicle, that’s large enough for me and that “grocery-getter” mindset some have but still gives me room to work with carrying larger loads like 300# of bagged mulch and topsoil, a dozen or so potted bushes, lumber for repairing outdoor stairways and decks and other, bulky, malodorous and sometimes dangerous loads like the scrap lumber from that stairwell/deck repair that would destroy the interior of a typical CUV. The problem is, as a married man I often carry the wife along, at which point there is simply no room inside the cab to carry smaller, lightweight and often weather-sensitive packages that would be blown around and out of that same open bed. Yes, there were some few extended-cab versions, but that concept really didn’t hit it big until the crew-cab craze at which now even the smallest available truck is far, FAR too large for those people.

        That’s why they own CUVs; because there is no open-bed vehicle small enough for their needs.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      The big question is whether or the not the sliding bed will survive the design and manufacturing requirements. I’ll be the challenges of that feature will be too much to overcome at this vehicle’s price point.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        They could probably do it the same way Fiat did the Toro’s extendable bed. The advantage is that it would be both easier to set up and offer more strength than sliding the floor panel in and out.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I don’t get little beds like this. Hauling manure and applicances is about all I can think of. Maybe a motorbike?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Its a “lifestyle” vehicle, it isn’t intended for things an F-250 is.

      Gardening supplies, few bags of concrete mix, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Yea but I put that stuff in my Sportwagon.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          You’re going to have a load of beauty bark dumped into a station wagon? And you’re going to put trees and shrubs inside the wagon? A refrigerator? Cinder blocks? A cooler with fresh-caught fish? Scrap aluminum (cans for recycling)?

          You must have a damn good detailer, and/or don’t mind trashing the interior.

          If you don’t need a pickup, fine, this obviously isn’t the vehicle for you.

          That doesn’t mean everyone’s needs are going to be met with a station wagon.

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            No, I put BAGS of garden supplies in my wagon. Bulk materials I have delivered because I got a back to save. I do take it hunting so a cooler of deer meat goes in the back. A tarp is enough to protect it.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            You’re nitpicking to save face, its quite obtuse to say that everything a pickup can do, so can a wagon. As I said, maybe for you in your situation, but not everyone.

            Not even Hyundai is pretending this will be a vehicle for everyone. But, for some, it will be absolutely perfect.

            Side note: I find it far easier to rake bark out of a pickup where its needed, rather than to lift bag after bag. You also get plenty more for your money buying it in bulk.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            He’s not really nit picking; it’s what I was thinking too. I’ve put 600+ lbs of Quikrete in a Civic sedan several times; the people using it whom I had with me had a greater effect on the interior.

            Same with small-to-midsize trees/shrubbery, bags of mulch/soil, firewood, appliances, big coolers, dirty bicycle gear, whatever. Put a damn cloth down. The interior of that car was still in near-perfect shape when it was traded in.

            If I couldn’t carry it in that car, yeah, rent a truck or have it delivered. If this had happened all the time, I’d have bought a real truck.

            Only if you’re constantly carrying tall, dirty, lightweight items could this be a purely pragmatic purchase. Otherwise it’s just because you like it, and that’s fine, as is not understanding why one would like it.

        • 0 avatar
          JD-Shifty

          I guess you’re ignoring the fact that some people don’t want to smell what they haul.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          @fred – exactly. I can do that kind of stuff with my Volt which is why I leave the pick-up parked at home.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Johnny,
        There are quite a few lifestyle SUV utilised F-250s around.

        What about the ones towing toys? Campers? Fishing boats? Or the lifted, soot producing ones?

        Just because a toy is bigger doesn’t make for “work”.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The ones towing 25-foot and larger campers and 20-foot plus boats are being used for legitimate purposes. Watching one to a bloomin’ jon-boat at only ten- to twelve feet long honestly look ridiculous. Smaller toys even like Jet-skis can be towed easily enough by something like the Hyundai. Anything larger that isn’t USED to tow or haul heavier loads is simply overkill and a status symbol, not a ‘working vehicle’.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Fred,
      The reality is most full size pickups never carry anything as well and only a passenger. “Looking and being the part” are two different things.

      I’d say a person who buys this will actually use it more than many who buy a full or even a midsize pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      My 650 Ninja (not a big bike) barely fits in the six-foot bed of mtyTacoma. That is the minimum bed length that I judge to be really useful. YMMV…

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @bunkie: I suggest looking into the specs of the concept version of this rig. The bed is extendable to roughly six feet •specifically• for purposes like yours… to carry a bike or similar load.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      You understand that, at least in the concept version, the Santa Cruz bed can be enlarged and extended by pulling it out – like a drawer. So it may be a lot more useful than one might first think. Now, whether this design feature will survive all the way to production is another matter. But I understand that making this feature work in a reliable and practical way was a big part of the decision on whether to put the Santa Cruz into production.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @Steve Biro: Considering the new Fiat-based trucklet, the one they’re calling the Toro, it’s already in production. I have to admit I really like that one, though it’s unlikely to come to the US unless this Hyundai does well. The Toro has the extending bed if you want to look it up.
        Not a lot of photos, but I did find a video review of it if you don’t mind the host speaking Portuguese.
        https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fiat+toro

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      If it follows the concept, will have an expandable bed.

      The small footprint is ideal for city-folk (and even suburbanites) who don’t want or need a large pick-up, but something that can carry a motorbike or kayak or other larger items for outdoor activity while also able to be used to carry larger furniture or landscaping materials, tree saplings, etc.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I wish they would let Kia have it. Their styling seems to have a quality their sister brand can’t match.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Interesting point. The Hyundai Entourage died early after it was introduced in 2006, but the Kia Sedona soldiers on.

      I always wondered why the main Hyundai product never caught on – maybe it was the interior or something. I actually test drove an Entourage around 2007, and didn’t like it. But our 09 Sedona has been excellent, and I like it much more even though they’re essentially the same thing.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Agreed. I usually prefer a GMC over a Chevy (or Buick if talking the big crossover).

        Its not that they make me feel superior or more important than if I was in a Chevy, its just the styling and such that usually draws me to the GMC over its twins.

        Likewise, I’d take an Olds Alero over a Grand AM hands down (just found a coupe with the 2.4L and the Getrag manual, in stunning red! If love to make it mine), or a Cutlass to a Monte Carlo (G body). Choice was a good thing about GM’s many divisions, even though it wasn’t a particularly good business model.

        The Optima looks great, the Sonata is “me too!” IMO. The Soul is interesting, the crossovers I don’t care for from either brand. I liked Kia’s BOF SUVs more before they got watered down into pansy crossovers.

        I always thought Kia should’ve made a pickup version of the Borrego and/or the first gen Sorento (with hopefully a more masculine front end on the latter).

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Supposedly, Kia will get its own version.

      Maybe build that (along with the Santa Cruz) at Kia’s new Mexico plant – that way will avoid the “chicken tax” prior to its expiry date and will be able to export to most South American markets (or Europe) w/o incurring a tariff.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The plastic seats in the Subaru Brat were more about getting around the Chicken Tax than it was for the consumer. With the seats the Brat was classified as a car and not as a truck. You could take the seats out of the Brat. If this Hyundai is made in the USA then it has no need for seats since it will not be subject to the Chicken Tax.

    It is a lot easier to haul appliances in an open bed than in a crossover or a sedan. I doubt most homeowners will haul manure but a partial scoop of mulch or top soil yes. Since I am a suburbanite and have hauled top soil, mulch, pavers, appliances and use my S-10 for that purpose as I previously used my Mitsubishi Mighty Max for. In my subdivision I am not allowed to park a trailer, camper, or boat so as for having a trailer that is out of the question unless I rent or borrow one. Also try hauling dirt or mulch in a crossover especially if it is not in bags. Many people do not need a full size half ton pickup and a smaller size is a better fit especially if you are going to use the vehicle for commuting to work. I myself would prefer a foot longer bed and an extend cab which my S-10 has.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      +1

      The Santa Cruz appears to have an extended cab albeit with a minimal rear seat, and it does need another foot of pickup bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      At the time seating more than 3 people was enough to take vehicle out of the truck class.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff S,
      I think a way around the short bed issue is to offer a single cab. That might give an extra foot or so out the back.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Big Al, The ideal configuration would be between a single cab and an extended cab. By that I mean just enough room behind the seats to carry a few tools, bungee cords, and some groceries. Something of that configuration could give you more bed without making the vehicle much longer. I like the truck but give me another foot on the length of the bed and offer a manual transmission

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        No need for that as the concept had an expandable bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      It will not be subject to chicken tax even if built in Korea. There is a phase out of the tariff on trucks with Korea due to the US Korea Free Trade Agreement. 2019 seems pretty close to when the chicken tax phases out IIRC.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    “We have made the decision,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We have not made the announcement.”

    What nonsense is this? You just announced a decision – but you didn’t announce the announcement??

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      In the auto biz, the Announcement is an official event. A little bit like when couples send out a “save the date” wedding invite–you know they’re getting married, but the official wedding announcement is coming later.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    For those of you who are invariably going to fixate on the evil poultry tax and how it is destroying America one F-150 at a time (while giving me entirely too much content to scroll past in the process), it should be noted that the United States now has a free trade agreement with South Korea that will exempt those imports from said tax. The phase-out of the tariff begins in 2020 and will be completed by 2022.

    To recap: Chicken tax on South Korean imports is going away. Chill the f**k out already.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      For a certain person that still won’t be enough. The chicken tax is the only thing protecting the absolute would-be failure of the aluminum F-150.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The chicken tax is the only thing protecting the absolute would-be failure of the aluminum F-150.”

        If that is what BAFO is claiming these days, then he’s even more obtuse than I had thought. And that’s saying something, as I didn’t think that it was possible to think any less of him.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Pch101,
      This will not occur if you are researching what is going on between South Korea and the US trade negotiations. If the chicken tax was going to be removed it would occur over a couple of decades.

      The US does not want to stop its protection of its full size pickup manufacturing.

      The protection of full size pickups with the TPP is presenting itself as a thorn in the side of some other nations.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You’d have to be a complete looney toon to think this Hyundai, or any midsize pickup (from anywhere) would or could impact the fullsize pickup market in any measurable way. They’d pull from about everything under the sun, before cancelling-out a fullsize pickup sale.

        Except for some isolated cases, we’re not talking about the same “buyers” as fullsize pickup buyers. Just ask Vupine. Especially not 3/4 ton truck buyer and up, which are a huge part of the fullsize pickup market. Mostly this “truck” will cannibalize other Hyundais, CUVs/cubes/wagons of all makes, especially Japanesse and Korean OEMs, and a couple midsize pickups here or there.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Chicken tax or no chicken tax, Hyundai already builds a vehicle which could serve as the basis for this in West Point, Georgia. The Santa Fe platform would make this more usable than the Tucson. Honda builds their midsize sort of truck thing on the Pilot platform. Hyundai would be wise to introduce this when the new Santa Fe bows and follow the new Ridgeline formula.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Santa Cruz will share a platform with the Tucson.

          http://www.motortrend.com/news/2019-hyundai-santa-cruz-pickup-almost-ready/

          Personally, I wouldn’t venture into this with Hyundai’s expectations of 50-70k units per year. But if Hyundai is intent on offering a truck to Americans, then it would be wise to build a compact, as it intends to do. There are two reasons for this:

          -This thing is global, so they may as well make one for everybody

          -Instead of competing head-on against the Ridgeline, this will have no direct competition.

          Whether or not there is demand may be another story. Personally, I would expect this to be similar to the Fiat 500 — it may be able to come close to hitting 50k units per year for a time, but it won’t be able to sustain it. Things like this generate excitement and serve pent-up demand for perhaps a year or two, but it won’t last.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I want to take a baseball bat to those insultingly worthless little mirrors.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    A pick-up without any of the real utility you usually get with a pick-up. Chicks will buy it because they think it’s cute, All will sell within a short time after the novelty wears off and they realize what worthless little vehicle it truly is.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Not everybody needs or wants an F-350. It would be perfect for going to the garden center for instance, can bring home plants or a bale of peat moss and then hose out the box.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        @ jagboi – But it can only seat 2 people. Either give a second row of seating or put a box on it than can haul something bigger than a picnic cooler. It is a concept, maybe the production vehicle will be a little more sensible.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Carlson Fan,
      Some people are prudent enough to realise they invest in a lot of capability (and money) in a full or even a midsize pickup, when all they need is a Hyundai Getz.

      People don’t buy a pickup just for “load and tow”, this is a fallacy. A pickup represents a certain mindset to display oneself. Most pickups are daily drivers to go to buy 20 screws at Lowes, take the 1.8 kids to school and soccer and to buy the groceries. This vehicle is more than capable to handle most full size tasks.

      I have a pickup and it rarely does any work. It is used to go off road and to carry my camping gear. I’d say this little Santa Fe will carry 80% of what I need when off roading. For camping or surf fishing, etc this will more than do for a couple wanting a few days away.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You know, Big Al, for all your sarcasm I’ve supported your commentary far more often than opposed it. Other than your bit of snark towards me above, I haven’t disagreed with a single word you’ve said in this entire forum. You are saying things now that I was saying three and for years ago on a certain other website.

        I have a little 4-cylinder Ranger that more than meets my needs in all but one aspect; it’s a standard cab, not an extended cab. But hey, you can’t argue with inheriting an 18-year-old (at the time) garage queen with only 20K on the clock. The AC really eats the power from that 2.3L engine but when I can run without the AC, the acceleration is more than sufficient. But this Hyundai is far more fitting for my usage; yes, more car than truck but with enough truck capability to meet my needs carrying appliances, make landfill runs and light home repair duties for plumbing, lumber, etc. that simply don’t work in a Jeep Wrangler or other CUV. The open bed is big enough, especially when you consider it’s reported expandability for those slightly longer loads (like a motorbike.)

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Vulpine,
          My sarcasm has never really been directed at you, especially the comment above when I referred to you and your dogs.

          It was actually a compliment. I knew you really want to see a small pickup.

          My sarcastic comments are directed only when necessary and to a certain type of audience.

          The audience I target are really no different than being a Greenie, they just can’t see the forest through the trees is the best way of describing them.

          The US pickup market has panned out as I have stated quite a few years ago. Especially with the better refined midsizers you guys are getting now. Even my diesel ideas also came to fruition, ever so slowly.

          Midsizers are a genuine alternative to most full size half ton use in most every case.

          Looking at the pricing I would think the midsizers are making a better return at the moment than a full size. Just look at the Colorado, I’d bet a Colorado/Canyon sale is making more profit than a Silverado half ton.

          Ford could import Rangers from South Africa, but it hasn’t because it will deny the new beaut aluminium wonder trux sales.

          This Hyundai I don’t think will sell in huge numbers, even Colorado numbers, maybe Canyon numbers at best.

          It offers a real alternative pickup for one who just want a pickup the size of a small to medium CUV. Even midsizers are large and heavy by car standards.

          Running cost will also be greatly reduced with a Santa Cruz (I’ve been calling it a Santa Fe incorrectly).

          This isn’t directed at you Vulpine, but the “audience”. I’m not stating full size will not reign in the US pickup market, but their appears to be room for alternative pickups.

          This is occurring because the pickup has become a car/SUV/CUV. Like the car/SUV/CUV pickups need to come in a variety of sizes, shapes, types, etc.

          This is only natural.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            • Midsizers are a genuine alternative to most full size half ton use in most every case.
            — Agreed, but people I personally know in a surprisingly rural town say that the modern mid-sized truck is too large for what they want. Nearly every one of them currently has one of the so-called ‘compact’ SUVs no larger than a Jeep Cherokee.

            • Looking at the pricing I would think the midsizers are making a better return at the moment than a full size. Just look at the Colorado, I’d bet a Colorado/Canyon sale is making more profit than a Silverado half ton.
            — Agreed. For now the C-twins and similar-sized trucks have almost no incentives on the hood to encourage buyers, yet they’re selling in overall increasing numbers (with the occasional slip by one or another.) What I find interesting is how many Honda Ridgelines sold in just their first full month back on the market. I’ve been looking at that as an alternative (though still bigger than I want) and its features are especially appealing. Neither my wife or I liked the earlier version more because of the cabin size and layout than to any shortcomings in abilities. She’s long-legged and couldn’t sit comfortably under the wheel. Same issue holds true even with the new Tacoma. We haven’t tested the seating for size, yet.

            • Ford could import Rangers from South Africa, but it hasn’t because it will deny the new beaut aluminium wonder trux sales.
            — I’m intrigued with what Ford may end up doing. We all know they abandoned the mid-sized trucks because they were cannibalizing full-sized sales and I believe we all recall when Ford said they wouldn’t produce a newer, larger version because of that. Now that they’re missing out on those mid-sized sales, what will they do to recover them? Personally, I think they should go smaller than the C-twins but I don’t expect it.

            • This Hyundai I don’t think will sell in huge numbers, even Colorado numbers, maybe Canyon numbers at best.
            — Here I’m going to disagree with you, but ONLY if Hyundai keeps the Santa Cruz something like the concept image above. If they do, I think they’ll take a remarkable bite out of the CUV market specifically and might cannibalize some few (low percentage) sales from the larger mid- and full-sized trucks where they’re being purchased for their utility and not their ‘image.’

            I was talking to my landscaper just this past week and he told me how several of his friends bought their trucks simply because it was a big truck and not for any need or desire to haul things around in it. He made it quite clear that he owns a full-sized truck because he NEEDS the open bed and the V8 power for his business (he tows a fully-enclosed utility trailer for his heavy equipment.)

            * It offers a real alternative pickup for one who just want a pickup the size of a small to medium CUV. Even midsizers are large and heavy by car standards.
            — Fully agreed.

            • Running cost will also be greatly reduced with a Santa Cruz (I’ve been calling it a Santa Fe incorrectly).
            — Fully agreed. Fuel costs should be reduced due to lighter weight and more aerodynamic shape while it becomes far more functional as an everyday driver than larger vehicles can claim. Even my little truck falls short simply because I don’t have enough in-cab space for things I’d rather not lay in the bed.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Ford didn’t discontinue the Ranger because it was cannibalizing full size sales. They discontinued it because of the law that would have required stability control and the fact that the profit margins were too slim to be able to recoup that cost.

            They did however choose not to build the new larger Ranger for the US because they feared that it would cut into profits because it would steal some sales from full size trucks. It didn’t make sense to have to amortize the additional tooling with as small as the projected incremental sales gains would be and the historically low profit margins on less than full size trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Scoutdude:
            “Ford didn’t discontinue the Ranger because it was cannibalizing full size sales. They discontinued it because of the law that would have required stability control and the fact that the profit margins were too slim to be able to recoup that cost.”
            — You have proof of this, yes?

            “They did however choose not to build the new larger Ranger for the US because they feared that it would cut into profits because it would steal some sales from full size trucks.”
            — And you see how that has benefitted them. Now they’re losing out on sales and being effectively forced to re-enter the market, apparently the same way GM itself did with an all-American version rather than just taking the Global version and meeting US regulations with it.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            You can look up the NHSTA mandate for stability control that was phased in over several years with all 2012 light duty vehicles required to have it. Developing a stability control system is not cheap because it involves a lot of testing. At the time the Ranger volume was pretty low and mostly fleet grade vehicles w/o options which is where the real profit comes from. So the cost per vehicle would have been very high. With the situation of the economy at the time they would have had to start working on a stability control system there were many other places to spend their limited funds that had a much better potential to generate profits. It is for those exact same reasons that the Panthers were discontinued.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Stability control had to be equipped on ALL vehicles; it’s not like they’d have to build such a system from scratch exclusively for the Ranger. That’s what blows out your argument because they could use the same exact system they use in the F-150 with probably only minor software tweaks.

            The Panthers were discontinued for exactly one reason: they couldn’t get the economy up to EPA-mandated levels.

            Both of your arguments are totally specious.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            WTF?

            The global Ranger has all the electronic goodies, even stability control, hill decent, traction control, trailer sway and on and on.

            I don’t know what cabbage you are living under. Most all global midsizers have these basic features.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Vulpine,
            The small business in Australia operates similar to how your friend operates.

            We have trucks to carry things, instead of towing and the smaller midsizers which can do much of the work.

            Even sub contractors will have a small Izuzu type forward control trayback and a midsize ute, or a SUV, ie, Prado, Everest, etc and a CUV.

            Enclosed trailers are becoming more common in Australia over the past few years as well and cute miniature 5th wheelers.

            Trucks are used as trucks here. I do think its a better idea and safer. Towing is just increasing risk. Don’t get me wrong if you want to tow, tow. But we don’t try and have a greater general purpose vehicle than the midsize. It’s a waste. Sort of like fishing. If you want to fish the beach you buy a surf outfit, if you want to baitcast you buy a baitcaster, etc. A general purpose fishing outfit works, but not a good as a setup designed for a specific purpose.

            This is why a Wrangler sh!ts on a midsize of road. But the midsize if far better on road. But a CUV is even better.

            It’s all a compromise. The more a vehicle become general purpose the greater the comprise is in all areas of performance. A pickup doesn’t handle, accelerate, 4×4, even work as effectively as vehicles designed for those purposes. Because it general purpose, very general purpose.

            Now people are looking at general purpose and size, the are probably viewing it as “why do I need a huge vehicle, when all I do is get 20 screws, a bag of mulch and take the 1.8 kids to soccer and maybe once a year or two tow 5 000lbs”.

            This is Rams strong point. The biggest, bestest, mostest, largest, etc’est maybe is not what the consumer wants all the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Al, you really should look into reading comprehension lessons. Did I say anything about the F100???? which is what the Global Ranger was to be marketed as in the US. I was specifically referring to the US Ranger which never had stability control.

            The F100 was not released because they felt that it would cut into F150 sales too much and the projected total profit would have been less than with the F150 alone. It is more profitable to sell fewer of one vehicle than more of two vehicles because the biggest cost of a vehicle are the fixed costs of development, tooling and certification.

            They certainly could have made the current global Ranger US compliant relatively cheaply and easily as it was designed from the get go to meet US regulations unlike the GM twins that required a lot of rework to meet US safety standards and US consumer expectations.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            The previous US based Ranger is very outdated and uncompetitive.

            Ford can’t use the old Ranger. Even a D20 Nissan is a better vehicle.

            This is why the US full size market don’t sell vehicles based on 30 and 40 year old vehicles.

            As you call it the F-100 is probably Ford’s best bet to capture more of the market to have any hope of outselling GM and it’s broad pickup offerings.

            I’d like to see an Americanised version of the global Ranger, with a 2.7 EcoThirst.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Vulpine, Sure they had stability control computers on the shelf but it takes far more than a few software tweaks to tailor it to a specific vehicle. The fact is the program is different based on many things, so different programing is needed depending on drive, wheelbase and cab configuration. All of those things affect the center and distribution of mass which in turn alters the vehicle dynamics and the exact correction needed in a specific situation.

            The Panther is similar in that case in that there were 4 different wheel bases each that would need different programming and all the testing required to develop and validate that programming.

            The Panther caused zero CAFE problems with the standards of the time or even up to the 2016 MY thanks to the flex fuel loophole.

            @Al the discussion that I was having with Vulpine was specifically about the reasons that Ford DISCONTINUED that Ranger. It was outdated, which is one of the reasons why they weren’t willing to invest in the stability control system that was needed to keep selling it.

            The F100/global Ranger is a completely, totally different truck and the reasons that Ford decided to leave it overseas are different.

            Ford does outsell GM when ALL trucks are considered since they sell more than twice as many Vans. Also their concern is actual profit, not winning sales wars. GM has a long history of putting sales totals ahead of actual profits which of course is why we have the new GM and they aren’t necessarily that different from the old GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Ford discontinued its Panther platform primarily because they can’t meet modern Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Its venerable Modular engine is also “obsolete” in comparison to modern designs in terms of fuel efficiency, weight, and power output notwithstanding its bullet-proof reliability.” — https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Ford-Stop-Making-the-Crown-Victoria

            “Unfortunately for Ford, police departments and taxi firms – along with the occasional rental car agency – were just about the Crown Victoria’s only customers. Since 2008, the sedan has been marketed exclusively to fleet buyers along with its Mercury Grand Marquis sibling, which was cancelled last year with the discontinuation of the Mercury brand. Competitors with more advanced unibody designs have outshined the Crown Vic’s body-on-frame construction, and smaller, more powerful engines that get better gas mileage have upstaged its thirsty V8.” — http://www.autotrader.com/car-news/ford-ends-crown-victoria-production-125273

            “Demand for better fuel economy and performance has choked off sales over the years. The Crown Victoria and Town Car get just 24 miles per gallon on the highway, a figure matched by some large three-row SUVs today.
            “Production levels at the [Ontario, Canada] plant have declined by 60 percent in the last decade as customer preferences shifted to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles,” Ford said in its announcement.” — http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/15/autos/last_crown_victoria/index.htm
            ==================================
            Not one word about the cost of installing ESC.

            ————————————————————————————–
            “The Ranger was due for a complete reengineering, and I don’t think Ford was interested in anything to rob F150 sales.
            “Plus, a new Ranger would be too close in price to the F150.”

            The Ford Ranger came in 7th out of 7 in this PUTC shootout — http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2012-midsize-shootout.html

            “We’re investing in F-Series because the small truck segment has steadily shrunk from almost 8 percent of total industry sales in 1994 to 1.9 percent of industry sales in 2012” — http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/trucks/a8845/reddit-reminds-us-why-the-ford-ranger-is-no-more-15388686/

            “The automaker is introducing a new version of the Ranger globally, but since it will be nearly the same size as the F-150 sold in the U.S., they’ve decided not to bring the redesigned model here. Ford hopes that rather than switching to another brand in search of a small pickup, buyers will instead opt for the V-6 F-150, the company’s most fuel-efficient full-size pickup.” — http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/best-cars-blog/2011/06/Why_Ford_is_Discontinuing_the_Ranger/
            =========================

            Again, not a word about any ESC costs while they clearly proved they were building a newer, larger, model for global sales. They took a gamble that the US mid-sized market was dead and they lost the bet. It’s as simple and non-technical as that.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Vulpine, most of those quotes are just one blogger’s opinion, not fact. The ones credited to Ford do not say that they couldn’t meet CAFE with the Panther, just that the market was shrinking and was thus one they were fine with exiting.

            For the Ranger again Ford’s statement was the segment was shrinking and thus they felt investing in the F150 was a better use of their money.

            Plain and simple the reason that the last year they made the Panthers and Ranger for the US was 2011 was because they weren’t willing to invest the money to make them comply with the 2012 regulations.

            “They took a gamble that the US mid-sized market was dead and they lost the bet. It’s as simple and non-technical as that.”

            Actually Ford did the exact opposite, they choose not to gamble on a then shrinking segment.

            GM on the other hand took a big gamble on reentering the segment and the jury is still out as to whether that bet is actually paying off. They are moving a fair number of the smaller trucks but is it enough to amortize all those development costs and provide funding for refreshing and updating as needed to maintain their share.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            What they don’t say, Scoutdude, is what you said they said; that equipping those vehicles with ESC would be too expensive. I was the one who said Ford made a mistake by not continuing the Ranger by trying to force that business into much larger trucks. I never once mentioned ESC as a part of cause or effect before you did. So my point is still valid whether you want to admit it or not.

            To Ford’s view of a “shrinking segment”, the arguments were loud and long even then that Ford, especially, had effectively abandoned that segment years earlier by not updating the truck since what, ’99? ’02? And why should the Japanese brands do more than cosmetic updates themselves since they were already better than the Ford?

            Only GM was truly active in the segment and their withdrawal was more because they needed to re-engineer their truck already, even before that regulation. GM is also well-noted for making major mistakes in design and management in the years leading up to their bankruptcy and that 5-cylinder engine in the first Colorado was an example of it. The fact that the Colorado and Canyon pretty much sell as soon as they come off the assembly line (IIRC much less than a month in dealership inventory) shows they need to increase production to meet demand.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    Will it sell?, its an open bed CUV, enough said.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Good job Hyundai, now don’t f%&# it up.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Another running-shoe-looking vehicle – it even has a place to slide your foot into it.

    Lifestyle statement.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Judging by the comment of the Hyundai official it appear the final design will be put forward at a future auto show.

    This to me signifies that it will look different from this vehicle.

    Why don’t pickup manufacturers offer a fibreglass “trunk” lid and call them passenger cars?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What’s interesting is the diesel version for the EU market. We will hopefully get a diesel version. It will be a niche vehicle like the Wrangler here. But Kia is selling a midsize truck (forward control) that moves less than a thousand a year. So, Hyundai could possibly sell a thousand of these a year.

    If is has many shared parts with another vehicle, this will make it all the more appealing to release in Australia …………… with at least a two litre diesel ……… I hope.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Big Al from Oz
      Hyundai Australia said there was considerable demand for a ” 1 Tonne” version, not a mini Pickup version. Europeans would be equally unimpressed. They sell very few Pickups in Europe anyway
      How many want a Wrangler styled vehicle in Australia, close to Zero

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        RobertRyan,
        I would like to see Hyundai set up an engineering division in Australia like GM, Ford, Nissan and Toyota have.

        We could design the next Hyundai ute/pickup for the world market. Then have the Koreans manufacture them.

        Australia has done a great job with the Ranger, sold in over 180 countries!

        We seem to be at the forefront of designing global pickups and SUVs (real off road type SUVs). Its good for our economy. Keep the high paying, high skill jobs and export the process work. Real value adding.

        Plus the bonus is they buy our coal, ores, etc to build them, its a win – win for us.

        Looks like mining is in for another boom, smaller than the last. But hopefully the government doesn’t squander the money this time and actually invests it back into the country.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    This thing looks perfect for an urban, gay interior decorator. It looks good. It will haul what you need, and it is small enough to be easy to park in the city.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      jimbob457,
      I thought the LGBT community buy Subaru vehicles?

      Owning this is akin to owning a Wrangler by most. It will be a “look at me, I’m cool” type of vehicle. So, maybe my view that the Wrangler ends up being bought by the hairdressers, then you could be correct. Wrangler might also be a gay vehicle.

      If you have a cursory glance at the concept you’ll see that no manufacturer will build a vehicle with such deep shapes for little money.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m guessing what we are going to end up with is a “Tucson Sport Trac” kind of vehicle.

    Although Hyundai has surprised me before so maybe they will stay closer to the concept.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      ajla,
      The shapes look awkward to work with.

      The initial BT50 concept was a very nice looking vehicle, but Mazda ended up producing something, similar, but didn’t quite get it together and produced a fugly pickup.

      Will Hyundai screw this up?

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Fortunately, a quotable quote from the 19th Century German automotive journalist Otto von Bismarck helps me look upon concepts with something like equanimity:

    “Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it first seems.”

    Unless it’s got frickin’ mirrors smaller than a frickin’ dentist’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It sounds as if you want it to have a full set of wings coming out of the A-pillars.

      The thing pictured above is a concept. It probably won’t quite look like that because they almost never do.

      If you want to guess what it will actually look like, then take the current Tucson and imagine it with a mid-cycle refresh, then stick a bed on the back.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “It sounds as if you want it to have a full set of wings coming out of the A-pillars.”

        Yes! Silvered on both sides and controllable with a joystick so I can not only have a panoramic view behind me but also punish the blue-light-special idiots coming towards me at night!

        Would lock-on tracking technology from a fighter plane be cheap enough these days I wonder?

  • avatar
    Jimal

    It is good to see that the same experts, ignoring the data that the sales of less-than-fullsize-trucks are doing quite well right now, are double, triple, and quadrupling down on the same tired arguments that have been apparently already proven wrong.

    I love it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jimal,
      I must agree with you. There are many who live in the past. It just shows how many old farts there are living on past dreams, sometimes distorted dreams, but dreams never the less.

      The midsize market has left the full size behind in growth as a percentage. Even with the ridiculously high asking prices for many of the new midsize entrants.

      Nissan is moving Frontiers because they now look as if they are a bargain.

      I do believe this will sell in the US, but not in huge numbers like a full size, or even midsize. Hopefully they are manufactured in Korea so we can get them.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        It doesn’t need to. I don’t see this taking many – if any – sales from full-size pickups. The customer for this want the utility of a pickup, but don’t want or need a full-size truck, or can’t have one for one reason or another (like HOA restrictions). I think it is more likely to keep someone in the brand than it would be to simply cannibalize sales.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    I hope this inspires Subaru to take a sawzall to the Forester. A rebooted Baja XT ( with a 6 spd manual) sounds pretty good to me.

  • avatar
    cornellier

    Fans of this car: please elaborate why it’s better to have an open back than a closed back. Why would anyone who is doing work chose this over a Transit, etc.? Perhaps they’re transporting giraffes?

    Or is this a lifestyle vehicle?

    For the sake of intelligent discussion, let’s decide if this is a utility vehicle or a lifestyle vehicle.

    If this is a lifestyle vehicle there’s no need to have the discussion about its bed length and so on. Let’s just talk about it in relation to the El Camino, etc.

    Otherwise in terms of utility let’s compare it to the Ford Transit, etc.

    Interesting for the marketeers and bloggers, maybe. I’d rather walk than ride in this embarrassment.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Please read the comments above and you will understand why some want a small open bed truck over a Transit. Also it is much easier to clean the bed of a pickup than a van. I usually use my leaf blower to blow out the bed of my truck and with a bed liner it is easy to hose it out. I doubt I would want to use a gas leaf blower to blow out the back of a van nor would I hose out the back. Also I have hauled some very tall things that would not even fit in a Transit van. This vehicle is not for everyone but there might be enough that would buy it especially if the production cost were lowered by sharing an assembly line and sharing a platform and parts with an existing product like the Tucson. As for what this truck will look like that would be anyone’s guess since the picture above is a concept.

    As for walking versus riding in this truck there were those who who made a similar statement about the Model T but said they would rather ride a horse. I would have to see the final product before I would pass judgement on it. I myself would prefer a longer bed.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Checking out Tuscon pricing, if the Santa Cruz comes in a few hundred under the Tuscon trim for trim, feature for feature, it will sell in numbers just high enough to keep Hyundai happy. (Tuscon SE AWD, 2.0 6 speed auto is = $24,XXX MSRP. Santa Cruz SE AWD, 2.0 6 speed auto = $23,XXX MSRP I believe it will sell.)

    Is it a super practical vehicle? No. But I’m sure that any of us could name lots of vehicles that we don’t think make any practical sense for anybody. It is a lifestyle vehicle, a statement vehicle, and that’s OK.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      More practical than you might think, PD, but will definitely make a statement that today’s pickup trucks are too big.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Just wait till Tesla announces a small pickup.

        Ur gonna be bizzy!!

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’m hoping, Kenmore, I’m hoping.

          And I’ll wager they’ll be far more popular than you expect, too. The Model S is already proving itself as an economical delivery car and taxi, two different ones exceeding 100,000 in less than two years in inner-city use and saving tens of thousands of dollars on fuel and repairs.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I FIND 4 U!!

            http://excar.gmc.globalmarket.com/products/details/electric-golf-buggy-cargo-cart-pickup-ball-cabin-cart-utility-vehicle-1697574.html

            WAIT! THIS MORE BETTER!!

            http://www.auctionsamerica.com/images/lots/FL13/FL13_r1002_02.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And that, Kenmore, is exactly why I pay so little attention to your postings. Tesla has already proven that a BEV is far more than a glorified golf cart, yet there are those who still insist that’s all they can be. I suggest you not be TOO surprised when a Tesla pickup truck out-classes the existing half-ton and smaller ICE pickups in nearly every category.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “I pay so little attention to your postings”

            I’ll never have your love; I’m resigned to that. There will always be Elon.

            Damned chipmunk-face Elon.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Now don’t you wish you’d said that AFTER I took a sip of my coffee?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            My tiny fists are beating on your imaginary chest. IhateyouIhateyouIhateyou!

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Pricing will be 2-3K more on the Santa Cruz at least from the start. 2.4L will be standard, 2.0T will most likely be optional. I expect an 8 speed auto that will be in the Sorento next to be likely standard on the 2.0T.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If the Ridgeline is cheaper than the Pilot, why would the Santa Cruz be more expensive than the Tuscon it is based on?

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Well, the Tuscon only offers the naturally-aspirated 2.0L and the 1.6T. So if SC5door’s engine predictions of the 2.4L and 2.0T are correct then the Santa Cruz probably would be priced a bit higher (closer to the Santa Fe Sport).

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Honda’s pricing decisions for the Ridgeline versus other Hondas will plan no role whatsoever in Hyundai’s pricing for this, nor is there any reason that it should. Why you believe that this matters, I don’t know, but there is no reason that you should.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree, pricing will be a large consideration. If the pricing is too high then this truck will be more of a boutique item. The pricing needs to be low enough otherwise why not buy a Frontier or a Tuscon. It would be nice to have a base model with a manual transmission even if the base model comes with air, power steering, power brakes, and power windows like the Colorado/Canyon. I would rather not have the power everything but most of the vehicles today come standard with those features because it is just as cheap to offer them as standard than to make them options.

  • avatar
    DCwiexplorer

    As a former owner of a Subaru Baja which met an untimely end after hitting a deer, I do look forward to a pickup that I can haul some trash in, while also getting over 25 MPG. However, it needs to be AWD like the Baja was. Subaru gave up on the Baja after three years, despite the fact they appear to hold up their resale value fairly well.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The Baja was at least a crew cab, with the same or bigger bed. It looked very promising but could barely find 6,000 takers a year. It’s tough to tell if Hyundai did their homework on this one. I doubt there’ll be enough Vulpii putting their money where their mouths are. Dollars to donuts Vulpine will wait and buy his *used*.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Had Subaru not killed the Baja when they did or even waited one more year, I’d now be driving a Baja and not the Wrangler I ended up buying. I have absolute need for a good AWD during the winter months as well as the ability to get out of muddy fields pretty regularly. The Baja pretty much met my needs but I refuse to buy used when something new is available that’s as good or better.

        And I’ll put a box of Krispy Kreme donuts up on that wager.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Subaru missed a sale ten years ago. And we think Japanese are so damned smart.

          • 0 avatar
            DCwiexplorer

            The incredible thing about the Baja is the resale value of a 2006 Baja is ~2-3 TIMES~ what the value of a comperable Forester is. We’re talking $12,500 vs. $3,200. And that’s for a car with well over 100,000 on the odometer.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            But that’s still cheap seats. How many people will fork 25-30K+ into a Truck for Tots is the issue, I think.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            More than you want to imagine, Kenmore. Remember, it’s the compact to ‘full-sized’ CUVs that are hogging the automotive market. A trucklet that’s no larger than the typical CUV in length could be the rig that takes over that market.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “A trucklet that’s no larger than the typical CUV in length could be the rig that takes over that market.”

            You’re not confident enough to be a real zealot. Linus *knew* the Great Pumpkin would come.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Why, Hello, Linus? Think he’ll be here this Halloween? Sorry, I can’t join you. I’ll be enjoying a very special day with my girl.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The rare Baja could be next hipster thing, like the BRAT, Aztek, Volvo 240, and that’s great, but how would that translate into showroom sales success for Santa Cruz pickup?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    AWD should be offered as an option. There are those who don’t want AWD. I do believe there is a need for a true compact truck.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    DM–Not everyone needs a large truck for many of us it is like using a sledge hammer to drive a nail when a hammer is just right. We have had this discussion before. The Big 3 auto makers once thought that a standard sized Ford and Chevy was good enough for everyone until a little company called American Motors came out with the Rambler American and proved them wrong. I really don’t care one way or the other what Ford does or doesn’t do, the Koreans and the Japanese make some very reliable vehicles and at least they know how to match the exterior trim pieces and how to put on a door seal that doesn’t come off. In the previous article on TTAC about the 2016 Edge there were pictures of misaligned trim and a loose door seal all on a vehicle with a 50k price point. As a Ford spokesperson you will defend this but as a buyer I will pass. This brings back memories of the quality of Detroit vehicles of the mid 70’s. Hyundai at least can match the trim and insure that the door seals don’t fall off. After that article I was glad my wife bought a Honda CRV instead of a new Ford even though our previous Fords were very good. It seems Ford is taking its customers for granted and letting its quality slide.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      When midsize pickups are way overkill, the Santa Cruz may be the perfect pickup. Except the smaller pickup, the more that sales depend on “Lifestyle” buyers, than could switch at the last minute, and go for a Wrangler instead, for example. It depends heavily on which way the wind in blowing.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    We will see what happens. I don’t know if this is the right compact truck for the market in that it could use about a foot more on the bed length but then this is a concept and it remains to be seen what the final truck will look like. Hyundai has come a long way in quality and with their warranties they make a competitive vehicle. I have two neighbors that have owned Hyundai products for years and overall they are very satisfied. I don’t have a problem with this truck except the Colorado/Canyon better meet my needs as do the Frontier, Tacoma, and Ridgeline. I don’t expect the manufacturers to tailor their vehicles to my exact needs but if the size and the overall vehicle checks most of the boxes it will get my money. I do expect the exterior parts to align and the overall quality to be good. This truck being Hyundai or even a Kia would get my attention because both offer a good product for the money.

    I am not a big fan of Fiat/Chrysler so a Wrangler would not have that much of an appeal to me. Wranglers are more off road, poor riding quality, less stable, and a poor reliability record. Those that are more into Jeeps have a better appreciation for a Wrangler.

  • avatar
    zipper69

    Is the long mooted Jeep pickup actually gonna happen?

    If so, would this Hyundai chase the same buyers?

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    I would be all over this. We have a CX-5 which will haul some stuff, but on occasion we need more vertical cargo space. Small loads of dirt and mulch would be great too. We purchased a tree at a nursery and couldn’t get it into the CX-5 and had to borrow a friends truck. Not if we had this.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Hitch + platform would take care of your tree carrying needs. I’ve always been a fan of utility trailers for material carrying. They have superior loading and unloading ergonomics, a bigger footprint that is not impeded by wheel wells. Finally, you can unload the entire load from your vehicle in the matter of minutes should you need to run out to get something else. The only negative is maneuverability and having to store the trailer somewhere. Even then, it is so cheap to just rent a trailer as needed, that I’ve just rented.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        … and looks so sick when you see one of those tiny trailers behind a Great Big Pickup Truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I’ve never owned (and am unlikely to ever own) a full size truck. I’m also obviously making the suggestion for his CX5. You seem to have me confused with someone else.

          • 0 avatar
            Daniel J

            I have no interest in maintaining or owning a trailer. I don’t have anywhere to store it, either. Renting one is an option, but typical impulse buys at the home improvement store prevents that. We’ve had the CX5 for almost two years, and there hasn’t been a situation where I’ve needed the cargo area to be “covered”. But I have ran into more situations where having an open cargo space would have been beneficial.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Nope. I’m pointing out how ridiculous those baby trailers look being towed behind something obviously big enough to carry whatever the trailer is carrying.

            I would also point out that HOAs have a habit of making it impossible to own anything that makes maintaining your home easier… like a full-sized pickup truck, trailers and other things, especially when their rules say they can not be parked/stored anywhere where they can be visible by even your neighbors, meaning you can’t place a utility trailer in your back yard or under your deck and IF you have a garage, any vehicle and trailer has to be able to fit with the doors closed. In other words, your suggestion for the trailer, while valid for most CUV owners, isn’t always feasible even for them while I have personally seen pickup trucks and CUVs towing trailers they could have as easily carried along with the load on that trailer.

            And, as you pointed out, there’s maneuverability issues. trying to back up with such a trailer comes only a hair short of impossible for anyone inexperienced with towing. I’ve seen too many people damage and even destroy trailers because they don’t know how to maneuver them backwards.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            I’m not even certain what you are going on about now. The guy had a problem, I offered up a suggestion. It didn’t need your litany of “what if” nonsense that you always bring to the table when trying to convince everyone (and yourself) that some modern VW sportruck would be a huge commercial success because, at the core, that’s what you meant when you responded.

            For Daniel, I’d argue that any time you’ve had something in the back of the CX5 that needed to be locked inside, you’ve benefited from a covered cargo area. If you want a secure cargo area in a truck, you are looking at a rigid bed cover that, just like a trailer, presents its own problems. No vehicle is perfect for every situation.

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