By on April 15, 2021

Santa Cruz

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has finally seen the light of day. It was about time, given all the fuzzy photos and hype prior to dropping today. More like a dull thud than a big bang, but here it is.

Santa Cruz

Hyundai describes the Santa Cruz as groundbreaking, and that may be so. Tabbed a sport adventure vehicle, it’s meant for urban consumers who want to be outdoors. They just can’t bring themselves to live where Uber Eats and Doordash can’t deliver.

Santa Cruz

We’ve just cut through its entire reason for being. Maybe the trick grille with hidden lights that can only be seen when it’s lit is the Santa Cruz’s signature. It could also be the voluminous hood and wheel arches, the latter armor-like. We should be much more enamored than we are, but ‘designed in California’ isn’t that big a deal.

Santa Cruz

There’s a 2.5-liter, in-line four-banger with direct-injection, 190 horsepower, and 180 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s hooked to an eight-speed auto transmission, mostly for efficiency. Then there’s a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, with 275+ HP, and 310+ lb-ft of torque. The turbo’s mated to an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, presumably to help with responsiveness. Both drivetrains are connected to HTRAC, Hyundai’s all-wheel-drive system. Until we have the opportunity to get a Santa Cruz out in nasty weather, it’s there to make you think you’ll be okay in snow or on ice. A Sport setting provides more torque to the rear wheels, though not enough to get the Cruzer in the next “Fast And The Furious” installment.

Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz is, in a pickup truck sort of way, meant to do more than it should. Take towing for example. The normally-aspirated four-cylinder has a 3,500-pound rating, and the Turbo model? It gets a 5,000-pound rating.

Santa Cruz

How much praise can be heaped on the interior? Design teams focus on the number of cupholders, part of the selection process.

Santa Cruz

The center stack’s home to the infotainment screen, and an optional digital cluster. Makes you think you’re better informed.

Santa Cruz

Stubby’s what the Santa Cruz is. There’s early registration in late April for sales that start this summer. The line forms to the left.

[Images: Hyundai]

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99 Comments on “2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Reveals Itself...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    That interior interface looks terrible. Hopefully the more base version gets some knobs and buttons instead of something pulled from a 2015 MKS.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Having owned such a Lincoln MKS (a 2014)—whose capacitative touch controls were a factor in why I totaled the car—I agree. We need to stop equipping cars with non-tactile buttons. I don’t know who decided this was a good idea. Lincoln and Cadillac—the earliest purveyors of such nonsense—have themselves done an about-face and now equip all their cars with honest-to-goodness buttons.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        I agree. Mazda’s latest gen. user interface isn’t touchscreen. The rotary dial for it falls readily to hand. The screen is set farther back and in your line of sight. After a quick learning curve it’s far less distracting than having a gigantic, stupid looking tablet staring you in the face.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          It is a fail in the MX5 because the knobs are next to the gearshift, and I am constantly inadvertently pressing the knob and changing the display while using the shifter. Hate it. It needs an extra button to turn off the the knob’s tactile response when not needed.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    With a truck bed that short it’s basically an open air trunk, and useless.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      It looks like it comes with a locking cover, and there’s a storage bin under the bed (the video shows it filled with ice and drinks?!). So it’s a tailgate party machine? Oh those youthful, adventurous types!

      With a 4-foot bed, it’s not THAT much smaller than the base Colorado (9.6″ shorter), but still. It’s short.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      How much sheetrock do you carry around? Four feet is already two feet longer than the closed air trunk it replaced.

    • 0 avatar

      ” it’s basically an open air trunk, and useless.”

      It is for our urban warriors, our climate change saviors. Small bed means that they care about environment.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Short bed trucks arent as useful for hauling duties as their owners wish they were. Twice, my brother in law has insisted I borrow his sierra, once for moving a bunch of wooden tables, another for hauling many boxes of hardwood flooring. Each time I gave it back after I couldn’t shut the tailgate and just ended up loading it up in my wife’s Buick Enclave ….and shutting the tailgate. Now if it were a tall item that had to stand up, particularly bulky item that needed the open air, well then I guess it would have been better. Just shows that people are buying trucks for reasons that have nothing to do with function.

      This little truck is awesome, I hope it sells by the boatload so the pickup truck companies can see the folly of foisting nothing but oversized and underworked barges on the American public. This will probably satisfy the “actual” needs of half of US truck consumers. Hoping it succeeds.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Not sure the huge pickup thing is “foisted”. I suspect that it is buyer driven, possibly unconsciously. I read read about experiments that explore animal’s behavioral response to supernormal stimulus. One example experimenters put a dummy egg in a bird’s that was absurdly larger than the real egg. The bird lavished all its attention on the big egg while the real languished. Overtime big game animals have decreased in size in the presence of humans because humans seek out the biggest animal to kill. Humans get all sucked into supernormal stimuli, louder music, brighter colors, stronger tastes, stronger drugs, and bigger pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Nobody’s making people buy a long-bed diesel truck or a giant V8.

        Every American truck maker will happily sell you a shortbed truck with either a moderate V6 or a small turbo 6, and that’s in the full-sizes.

        You can get a Ranger with a four-cylinder. Yeah, it won’t be underpowered like a 30 year old Toyota [owned one] … but there’s no market that actually wants to buy that either.

        You can get a Colorado, still, for some reason, or a Gladiator if you just need a Chrysler product or want even smaller.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          Disagree, nothing in the American landscape has become more of a psychological phallus extender than the pickup truck. This has been accomplished through decades of marketing by the pickup companies that to be a man you need the most capable truck. There is nothing else in this world where so much money and resources are wasted just to prop up the ego of insecure men. Foisted.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Really? You couldn’t close the tailgate, gave it back, said never mind? Twice?

        Why? I’ve circled the the Damn planet with loads way past the tailgate. Regardless if the tailgate was up or down. Your Bro must think you’re stupid.

        Also those tailgate cables are super handy for tying off or hooking the bungees/net. They’ll hold the weight of the truck itself.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          Mike, I just have no desire to drive around something pointlessly huge when it’s not even the best tool for the job. Multiple short trips being able to shut the tailgate was more convenient, especially since I could hold taller load in an suv without it falling out the side. Truck people are constantly wanting to use them even though it’s not necessary. “Dude, I’ll bring my truck to grab it. Not necessary man, I’ll have my 10 year old daughter bring it by your place next time our kids play”. ….if you wanna talk about stupidity….

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So now there’s “truck people”? Yeah yikes, don’t let them move next door…

            If stuff is falling out the sides, you’re doing it wrong. Thing is, there’s nothing more handy or “convenient” than pickups for most tasks.

            But you also gotta know how to use it, like any tool.

            Vans (which SUVs are a form of), lost the battle in this part of the world. Same tax incentives, CAFE class, etc. A form of pickups dates back to ox carts and basically since the dawn of civilization.

            A van/box, station wagon, etc, can be an extremely limiting factor, especially for loading/unloading multiple items from the sides, practically 360 degrees, never mind the bulky, weird shaped, etc. Basically anything goes.

            Sure, if one has the means to have multiple vehicles at their disposal at any given moment, obviously an SUV or two (and a van) would be in anyone’s lineup or dream garage.

            Everything’s a compromise in some form or another, but a multi-cab 4wd pickup clearly has the most versatility.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I like it.

    I like the color of the preproduction model, I like that it looks lower to the ground than the midsize competition, I like that it’s UTE like, I like the big a$$ turbo option, I like the 5000 lb towing capacity.

    I don’t particularly like trucks, the upcoming Maverick has my interest piqued, but I like the Santa Cruz.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I like the looks. It’s small and compact but who will buy it? The typical “full-sized and mid-sized are too big” crowd will probably find fault in this too.
    I’m not the target audience.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      I’m still interested in this, but only when they have the PHEV powertrain available. A Hyundai exec said that one’s on the way, but there’s no mention of when.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      I’ll be looking seriously at it as a replacement for my old Escape. Count me as part of the “full-and-mid-sized trucks are too big” crowd. They are also miserable to drive daily.
      This vehicle is:
      1. about the same size as my old Escape
      2. can tow more
      3. has the right sized bed for my needs
      4. keeps the stinky mulch and other things outside the cab when I need to carry them
      5. has a bed cover for luggage on trips
      6. the rear seat folds up to give my dog an almost flat floor to ride on

      I dig this thing. It looks good, too. Sign me the heck up!

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Ferrari, you’ve captured my reaction as well. All these things [except towing] matter to me. I like this car very much. We are newish homeowners, so lots of projects.

        I am not exactly a resident in a big city, but I do live in a small city. My weekday driving, from gym to dog park to grocery store, is all on a 15 mile radius. But I do 100+ mile weekend trips, plus 600+ mile seasonal trips. I feel like PHEVs are spot-on for someone with my driving needs. I am not keen on buying a straight ICE for day driving anymore, hopefully ever. [But i’d buy weekend ICE cars for fun etc].

        Our doggie has his own car for the moment…. a flat floor mini-van PT Cruiser. I kept one seat in the back for when we have visitors, the twofer went into the basement. He’s really taken to that vehicle, lots of room for a big dog. And it cost peanuts to buy and insure, while putting me back in a stick shift after a six year hiatus. Giggity.

  • avatar
    karmang46

    They stuck closer to the concept that I thought they would. Not too shabby.

    Plenty of people buy a truck and don’t need one; it’s hardly a point worth grumbling about. This is more reasonable and I hope it sells well.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Plenty of people buy a truck and don’t need one”

      That is true but since trucks are extremely versatile, they are easy to sell to anyone.

      Many who buy trucks use similar rationale as “concealed carry” protagonists, “better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it”.

      You can’t sell something like this to truck guys or to guys who think they are truck guys.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        If I need a pick up truck I’ll rent one. Way cheaper than buying and caring for one. And I could treat it like a pick up, as in not treat it with loving care like I do for vehicles that I own.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Yeah I’ll pass on going through the process of renting a truck every time I need to haul some plywood. pull a boat or camper, or do any number of the things truck owners use their vehicles for.

          I don’t even daily mine anymore. It only gets used in situations that call for a truck and it still gets used at least once a week even during non toy hauling season.

          And your strategy may work if you can get that u-haul pickup (not a sure thing around here)…they seem to care less about wear and tear but if you grab one from one of the normal rental places and put a bunch of scratches in the bed they will let you know.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          In my part of the world the rental companies cater to commercial operators. Some companies will rent pickups due to the seasonal nature of their work. Tree planting contractors are a prime example. If we have a bad fire season then that too causes an uptick in rentals. That means rentals tend to be harder to find and aren’t discounted for a few hour rental in the afternoon. Even trailers aren’t cheap. I recently rented a U-haul car trailer to move a couple of Jeeps. It was $75 for a day with insurance.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’d suck bad. I would’ve rented a truck 4 times this week just for 6 or 7 minute loaded runs and lost a day at the rental counter, going to and from, etc.

  • avatar
    sentience

    The bed is way too short. Without a method to meaningfully extend it into the the cab (Chevy Avalanche) or temporarily extend it out (Subaru Baja with the folding rear guards), I have difficulty seeing what “sport activity” this form factor could serve.

    There’s a few press photos available of a single mountain bike with the front wheel sticking out of the bed. It looks laughably inadequate for that role.

    I can see a market segment argument for a compact truck – something small and nimble that you can park easily in a city setting. This… thing isn’t it. The original concept, with the single cab would have fitted that bill. The compromise to add an extra row, without ability to extend the bed, kills any practicality.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      So I guess that drawer-like extending bed didn’t carry over from the concept. That’s a pity. But I still kind of like the Santa Cruz – even with base powertrain. Why do I think it’ll be better than a base Maverick with that three-cylinder snowmobile engine? Of course, if the base Maverick comes in under $20K, maybe I’d stop complaining about it.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      Yes, an availability of a rear passthrough will really change the usability of this bed.
      It would be a huge oversight on Hyundai’s part if it didn’t. Even the Daihatsu Hijet Jumbo kei truck has a mini passthrough to keep the 6 1/2 feet bed length.

      It looks like a neat little modern day Ranchero/Baja, so I really hope so.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Love everything about it except the shiny flat center stack with the obviously hard to operate touch “buttons.”

  • avatar
    EX35

    Useless and overpriced plastic garbage. Hard pass.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    *I* think this is cool. It’s not something I would ever buy, but I love that it exists. We need more niche options like this on the market. I imagine Hyundai will find enough buyers to justify it, and it may end up cultivating a long line of Santa-Fe-based pickups for the brand.

    On the other end of smaller unibody trucks sits the upcoming Ford Maverick, which looks like it’ll be more serious about its business, but also sounds like a good option.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Good job Hyundai. You managed a longer rollout than Ford did with the Bronco. This thing was teased longer than the 5th gen Camaro. It is revolutionary if you discount not only the upcoming Maverick, but the Subaru Brat from like 30 years ago which incidentally feels like about the time they revealed the concept for this.

    Yawn

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The verdict is still out on the competitiveness of the Bronco and IF it will cut into the Wrangler market.

      I’ve heard too many internet warriors complain about the size and cost of full sized pickups and the crop of mid-sizers. Too big and too expensive; too complex; it needs a manual;it needs a 5-6 ft. box; it needs a regular cab; it needs to be cheap….

      I’m sure one can find a 70’s or 80’s era Luv, Yota, Ranger, or S10 somewhere…….. oh but they aren’t new and need repairs….

      • 0 avatar
        Oberkanone

        Bronco is a major success. Verdict is in.
        Santa Cruz is a niche vehicle. Offers something a little bit different. It’s a SUV alternative. Ridgeline is a pickup truck alternative.
        Maverick is only competition for Santa Cruz and it will outsell the Santa Cruz. Hyundai Manufacturing Montgomery is at capacity, Hermosillo Assembly has excess capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        A modern-day Toyota SR-5 Longbed pickup with just two seats at a reasonable price would be a huge hit. Most vehicles are carrying only the driver, anyway. This Hyundai has too many seats and not enough cargo space. It’s way too compromised.
        A used truck that “needs repairs”, once repaired, is a hell of a good deal. Are you afraid of ordering from Rock Auto and using a wrench? Heck, every vehicle on the road is “used”.

    • 0 avatar

      “This thing was teased longer than the 5th gen Camaro”

      First time I heard about it was couple of weeks ago here at TTAC. May be I just keep skipping any sentence containing words Hyundai or Kia?

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/hyundai-santa-cruz-subcompact-crossover-close-to-production/

        That is nearly 6 years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Supposedly the engineers at Hyundai figured out the previous gen Tuscon platform wouldn’t work. Hyundai decided to wait for the next gen and design the 2 concurrently to share a platform.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Why the snark?

    I think this looks better than the concept, and the interior appears to be well-packaged, except for the missing buttons.

    Nothing wrong with the drivetrain specs, and towing up to 5000 lbs is pretty good.

    This isn’t intended to be an F-150 beater, but the Ridgeline should worry.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @SCE to AUX – I doubt the Ridgeline would be a cross-shopped product. The Ridgeline is as wide as a F150. The only crown this might wrestle away from Honda is the title of “it ain’t a real truck”. That’s about the only thing Ford, Chevy, and Ram owners agree upon when it comes to pickups… LOL

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Lou_BC – I agree with one of the YouTube channels (Canadian one, they review lots of trucks) on the “Is a Ridgeline a truck?” The older fella on the channel said: “That’s like walking into my shop and telling me you need a hammer. I’m gonna look at you and say: “framing hammer? Roofing hammer? 10 lb sledge? Ball Peen? The hammer you need is based on the job your doing. Why can’t a truck be the same?”

        Haters should watch the TFL preview that shows them actually next to the Santa Cruz. Remember that Roman is a bit over 6ft and he’s not exactly a slender guy. https://youtu.be/4D-fKzm_T_w I like a truck that I can actually see over as I stand outside of it.

        I agree with SEC to AUX. It ticks lots of boxes. If you don’t use a truck as a truck everyday but still need those weekend home improvement runs, occasionally tow but not max capacity through the Eisenhower Tunnel, & want a commuter that will be maneuverable.

        Heck that towing capacity means that I can get an inexpensive lightweight trailer with say a 4×8 ft deck between the wheel wells and use it like a “real truck” those 2 or 3 times a year that I need one. Lots cheaper than a Denali or even an F150 XLT now-a-days.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @PrincipalDan – I have no issue with this vehicle. In many respects I’m just deliberately parodying those with fixed ideas on trucks. If it works for the buyer that’s all that matters.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          “The hammer you need is based on the job your doing. Why can’t a truck be the same?”

          Well, Hammers are inexpensive. You can’t pull a different truck out of your toolbox for every job so you buy the one for the “worst case” scenario.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Art – lol I ain’t got that kind of money (payments+insurance+gas). This little Hyundai is probably gonna get 30 mpg on the highway unloaded – which it will be 90% of the time just like every other pickup that doesn’t belong to a fleet or a hotshot logistics company.

            You could be like my neighbor. Has a 20 year old Chrysler minivan, a Sierra 1/2 ton crew cab 4×4, and a heavy duty RAM long bed with 37 in tires and a lift kit. Guess which one gets used as a truck?

            The minivan. Lived across the street from him since June 2019 and have never seen anything dirty in the bed of either truck. He doesn’t own anything to tow either.

            Drive what you want but if humans were truly rational many Ridgelines, Mavericks, and Santa Cruz would be sold.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @PrincipalDan – ” if humans were truly rational” truck sales would be half what they currently are. Adding a row of seats and 2 more doors was a stroke of genius for car companies. “Desire” tends to triumph over “logic”. Case in point, logic ever work on one’s wife? LOL……… or politics?

    • 0 avatar
      Mackey

      I agree. Article was pure snark and got worse as it went on. Felt like I was missing one side of a jilted lover’s story.

      Not really informative at all, just very dismissive. Still waiting for the real article to drop versus the seemingly apathetic and non-linear thoughts captured in this ‘article’.

      I also agree that the Ridgeline should be worried and the redesign came not a moment too early.

      This will not be cross shopped with full size trucks, and impact to new midsize trucks will be limited, but in addition to crossovers, this WILL get cross shopped against USED Ridgelines, Tacomas, Colorado’s, etc. If the tool fits your need and you can get it newer for thousands less in an easier to park package, why not?

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        “if humans were truly rational many Ridgelines, Mavericks, and Santa Cruz would be sold.”

        For sure. I’d say 75% of the full size trucks I see on the road are being used for commuter duty with one person and zero load. I find no joy in driving my own mid-size truck due to its handling characteristics. But ‘Merica for the win!

        For most people a truck-let like this is perfect. Car like interior, ride and mileage but with AWD and the ability to carry messy or odd shaped things in the back. Need security? I has a locking bed cover. I owned an SUV once and found the practicality was actually very limited due. For example my mountain bike had to go on a hitch rack, it wouldn’t fit inside without remove a tire not to mention the mess that would have created.

        Now I daily commute in a Corvette so maybe I shouldn’t comment on what is rational :)

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The Baja was awesome, ground breaking too. What happened to it? It seems most Bajas got a camper shell at some point, and were just used as wagons once the novelty wore off. .

    In the Baja years, Subaru overall market share increased slightly while net profits dipped slightly. Maybe Hyundai knows better.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I’m really surprised with the listed tow ratings, I figured the top rating would have been in that 3500lb range. The 5000lb rating makes me wonder what the payload rating is, or should I say how much of it will be left when the tongue weight is taking up 5-600lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      TFL Now on YouTube talked about payload rating and was pleasantly surprised. I can’t for the life of me remember what that number was however.

      Honestly Ford’s tow ratings for the Bronco Sport (and by extension likely the Maverick) were disappointing to me.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I think another publication listed a 1300 pound payload rating. Not too shabby.

      Relative to my earlier post here, I recall having to explain to my brother in law the difference between tow rating and payload when he claimed I could haul five thousand pounds of hardwood flooring in his Sierra. Great example of truck buyers who probably shouldn’t be buying trucks. Just buy a Camry, slap a harley sticker and some patriotic american flag stuff on it, duck tape truck nuts to the bumper ….you won’t know the difference.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    Nice looking vehicle ! Rear view looks great ! With bed being relatively small will lack utility but I think it will sell well irregardless.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Stuff I like:
    0. 14 inches shorter than a Ridgeline.
    1. looks much lower to the ground compared to every truck.
    2. The turbo engine has a good output.
    3. The styling is well done. It doesn’t look like a traditional truck (which the Maverick likely will) but it also doesn’t look ridiculous like the Ridgeline or Cybertruck.
    4. 5000lbs towing capacity. This is probably the biggest selling point, it would be good if TTAC could confirm if there are any frontal area restrictions with that number.
    5. Standard composite bed with a decent amount of configuration.

    Stuff I don’t like:
    0. That interior interface. No buttons and digital gauges.
    1. The turbo engine is behind a decent trim paywall. So you won’t be able to get a “big” engine with the base trim. For now anyway.
    2. The bed is short. But, it is still a bed so it will be better than a trunk/hatch at hauling dirt and dead squirrels and chainsaws. With the tailgate down it is just under 6 feet in length so hopefully there will be some factory or aftermarket extension options.
    3. No factory brake controller.
    4. Currently looks like a boring color palette.

    Stuff I’m not sure on:
    0. How will a Hyundai with a turbo-4 and a DCT actually hold up when towing 3000lbs-5000 lbs?
    1. Are they going to price this in WTF territory?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Oddly, the base engine is connected to a regular 8-speed auto, but the turbo gets the 8-speed DCT. Fortunately, that DCT is a wet clutch type.

      No factory brake controller – I imagine 5000 lbs could push this truck around a little.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      “4. Currently looks like a boring color palette. ”

      I do like that green though.

      This write up doesn’t say the turbo is paired with a DCT, I had to go to another source to find that out.

    • 0 avatar

      According to one of the articles I read there will be a number of factory accessories including a bed extender and hard tonneau cover. The towing is a very nice addition. This would be great for 90% of what I use it for. The other 10% is a future camper purchase and fitting 3 kids in the back which are both things much better suited to a halfton.
      But day to day this would be a better fit.
      Also reading a bit more it looks like Hyundai tried to account for things like hauling plywood. the top of the wheel wells are flat and can line up with the tailgate in a half dropped position to give you a little under 6′ of supported length on sheet goods.
      For around town the 50″ dimension would mean you could probably get away with the old short bed trick of leaving the tailgate up and sliding the bottom of the wood to the front corner and running a strap across the back end to hold it against the cab.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Four feet is fine for 8 ft material. With the tailgate up it’s around 4′ 6″ to the lip, tie it down if it makes you feel better. I’ll do 12 ft material with my 6.5 ft bed no problem. With the tailgate up it’s 7 ft to the lip.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    After seeing these pictures I like this Hyundai much better than I thought I would. This and the Maverick might sell well.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    In spite of the unnecessarily sarcastic tone of the write up, I like it. Although I wish they’d extended the wheelbase a bit and given the bed another 6+ inches. And bring back the volume knob and buttons. I really like that color too.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree extend the bed another 6 inches and bring back the volume knob and buttons. I even like the color.

  • avatar
    IH_Fever

    This is perfect for the hip urban condo dweller whose idea of being outdoors is a trip to the full amenity campground. And as a bonus, you can still make snarky comments about people with real pickups!

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    I’m mildy interested in this. We often have items that won’t fit in the CX-5 and its because of the height of the items. I realize everything is complaining about the short bed, but I’ve never needed anything all that long. More often than not, I need to but a tall bulky item and it just won’t fit in the CX5.

  • avatar
    JMII

    This has my interest because of its height, decent power and tow rating. Agree with the general vibe – too much touch screen, too little bed, not enough wheel base. Also wonder just how much room is available for back seat passengers because this thing looks really small. Plus can it really TOW, like at 70 MPH for hours on end in the FL heat? I had a ’96 Ranger V6 and it couldn’t manage that.

    The current lead candidate to replace my V8 Dakota Quad Cab is still the new Ranger. I don’t want or need a full size truck regardless of price. I do a serious amount of towing, normally 200 miles each weekend, about 4 hours worth of highway driving. My boat is 16 foot and an around 2,000lbs +/-. I don’t need a full size bed, about the largest thing I’ve hauled was an elliptical machine. I have a kayak too, but even my Dakota’s bed is too short for that without some kind of hitch extension.

    My biggest complaint with the new Ranger is it’s stupid bed height and worry about the ride quality. I know all the truck-bros love lifted rides but I am one of those rare people who wants a lower, sport/street truck (remember the Ford Lighting?). I’ve never needed 4 wheel drive or extra height at any boat ramp.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The engine should have the power to tow 5000lbs and I assume it has acceptable brakes for the job but did Hyundai get the cooling right for the engine and trans?

      Knowing if there are any frontal area asterisks on the 5000lbs rating would be good information.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Alex on Autos just put up his walk around on the Tube. I was hoping for more “Santa Fe” size interior but it looks more like its Tuscon sized, which won’t probably work for me as it looks like the seats are a bit small. Overall, looks interesting.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like that this will fit in an integral garage.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    It seems silly and useless to me, that said I’m not the target audience and things like fuel economy and ease of parking have never really bothered me with bigger trucks.

    Honestly, the best thing about this is that all the small truck guys finally have no excuses and can stop whining on every truck article about “OMG trucks are so big these days no one makes anything for me anymore!!!”

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Nope. They’ll whine that it costs more than the Ranger or Hardbody they had back in ’85. And rest assured, there will be some little obscure insignifficant detail that somehow manages to be a dealbreaker. Then it’ll get canceled and they’ll whine that it is gone.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Of all the types of whining, whining about whining is surely the highest and best form. (Bonus points for doing it preemptively.)

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          How many points for whining about people whining about whining?

          Trying to please the small truck crowd is a fools errand

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            That’s hilarious! But true. Or if it does meet expectations for some weird reason, they meant they’ll buy it used, not their primary ride. Some other fool has to take the hit, driving it off the showroom.

      • 0 avatar

        They are all complaining about no reg cab long bed which would sell approximately 3 units a year, but have super high resale because the people that want it don;t buy new.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Finally! Something to replace my aging Subaru Baja on its 4th engine! Now, is the red Lexus free or do I have to pay for that too?

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      I see Subaru Baja’s go for decent money- $6-9k on EBay and Auto trader. Maybe engine #5 could be a worthy investment.
      I like the Santa Cruz since it seems to be a nice size, compact just below a midsized truck but wouldn’t mind seeing if we get the Fiat Fullback rebadged as a Ram or if Subaru decides to design a new Baja.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Hammers are probably my favorite tool. For my blacksmithing hammers, I reshape the heads as Mark Aspery recommends in his superb books on the subject.

    So let’s see what we can do with this Hyundai.
    • Add 100-200mm to the wheelbase
    • Take half of the second row and shift it into the bed (keep half for secure weathertight tool storage)
    • Add enough length to the bed so that the interior measurement from the front of the bed to the back edge of the tailgate when open/lowered is precisely 98 inches
    • Put a Kia front end on it (less Palisade, more Telluride)
    • Put a Toyota badge on it (and offer online ordering and home delivery)
    • Gut the engine compartment and find some good electric motors and a nice battery pack (or a Toyota hybrid powertrain) – then add a frunk [every work truck needs a frunk]
    • Find some actual wheels (not grandma’s lace doilies)
    • Keep the tow rating
    • Add a strong (aluminum if you must) roof rack over the cab, and a flip-up [brace locks into place] same-height same-capacity rear bar at the back of the bed (kayak goes up top)
    • Fix the switchgear (touchscreens are for idle teenagers) [trucks go over bumps]
    • Extra credit if you extend the bed forward (a section 6-8″ high) into the rear [‘cabin’] storage area [this is entirely possible, since no separate bed like a traditional ‘pickup’] (use this section for the 98 inch overall dimension)

    If any of this is unclear I can provide drawings.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      • On the extra credit point, this results in a perfectly flat raised ‘floor’ for the interior tool storage area, and we won’t have to extend the overall length of the vehicle as much to achieve the 98″ requirement.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Well at least that is a better list of reasons than the normal “The radio didn’t have enough presets” or one of the more typical excuses the small truck crowd offers up for not buying whatever is offered.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Beds this short, really, really do cry out for a mid gate. Even a compact car can carry longer items than this, since its rear seats fold down.

    For professionals who buy it knowing exactly what they need to carry, it could make sense. Say, gardening equipment, a walk behind snow blower, or some such. But for general, who knows what, “pickup” duty, 4 feet is getting awfully short.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Keep in mind that the usual crew cab half-ton truck has a bed around 5.5ft and A crew cab mid-size truck is about 5ft. With the tailgate down the Santa Cruz will give a little under 6ft so as long as a well-designed bed extender exists I think it will work fine.

      Now if you are a tradesman or a jawa, then yes you probably want to stick with an 8ft bed.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        5.5, and much wider than the Santa Cruz’, bed, ca fit a 600 sportbike diagonally with the gate closed. Barely, but still. As well as pretty much all skis, bicycles, smaller riding mowers etc. Still wouldn’t get a full size without at least a 6 1/2, but there is a big difference between those 5.5s and this 4.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          If I Google “motorcycle with a short bed truck” then there are plenty of images of them being transported with an open tailgate.
          This Hyundai’s bed is definitely smaller than what you’d get with a half-ton but I don’t think the dimensions are as dire as some of the comments are making it out to be.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Bikes’ whelbases rage from around 53″ for thr smallest sportbikes, to 68″ for big cruisers and tourers (choppers etc can be much longer).

            On top of that, you have outer tire radius of around 12″, even on 17″ wheeled sportbikes.

            SO, no problem putting sport bikes into 5.5ft beds with the gate down. Can even fit them diagonally wit the gate up.

            A 4ft one, gets really tight. You just about may be able to place the rear tire of a small sportbike onto the dropped gate, but you’re definitely pushing it. Anything onger than that, lie a dirtbike, and you’re stuck laying down platforms overhanging the gate and other extreme Jerry Rigging.

            Like all else, there are diminishing returns to bed length. If you already have 8ft, a few more feet ain’t all that. But when you are already at a cramped 5.5 (or 5 in a Taco/Ridgeline), cutting another 1(.5) off, is really starting to eat into usefulness.

            And it’s not just motorbikes. But also skis, bicycles, riding movers, recliners/sofas, tables, keyboards, mic stands, desks, TVs…. I mean, at 4ft, you are getting to the point of the bed being too short to hold a darned rifle lengthwise, if it has a decent length barrel. And definitely if a suppressor is fitted. Not to mention getting that elk back home. And you’re definitely struggling to fit a freezer to hold all that elk meat… Which I suppose matter not at all to the urbanites this thing is aimed at, but still…..

          • 0 avatar
            JMII

            My experience with my short bed Ranger Splash and my short bed Dakota Quad Cab is putting down the tail gate allowed me to carry pretty much whatever I needed. Truly long items, like my kayak, wouldn’t fit even in an 8 foot bed.

            If they were smart the Santa Cruz would have come with a sliding floor or tailgate expansion option that added 2 feet. I think this would be even more helpful then the locking cover.

            For my use case the 4 foot bed is fine. I can count on one hand how many times the bed was “full” in my previous trucks. Mostly helping people move which is something I wish not to repeat anyway… sorry buddy I bought this silly wanna-be baby truck so I can’t help you this weekend.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    I like this truck. It is much more fuel efficient than full size monster trucks and it does look like a truck to satisfy the man who needs to be seen driving a truck. The fact that the bed is useless is irrelevant as 99 percent of full size pick up trucks are driving around with empty beds.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      My F-150 looks positively girly. Or at least I try. But when it is loaded, you’re probably not around. And I’m just talking minutes at a time usually, a couple/three times a week. But that’s all it takes for it to earn its keep, many times over.

      Many times you have sit high enough to look in the bed to see the load.

      Yeah in a perfect world all the pickup action would line up, haul straight non stop and then take the damn truck back to where it came from.

      I’d love to have my own version of Leno’s Garage for the perfect vehicle for every occasion throughout the day.

      Hell yes I’d be rockin’ the CUV or MK 1 MR2 most of the darn time and have a crew following me, ready to hand off my F-150, dually F-450, Peterbilt with step deck, pusher Motorhome with jet skis, and Lambo, etc, for the just right scenario, tool for the job, if they can keep up!

      Otherwise my F-150 will do fine thank you very much.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      If I had to keep just one of out vehicles, it would be my F150. It just does it all. As to fullsized trucks being empty most of the time, maybe. Then again, with respect to my prior rides most of my Fiesta ST’s miles weren’t accumulated at autocross events, most of my Challenger’s miles didn’t come at the drag strip and most of my Corvettes miles won’t come at the track. I’d venture to say that your average truck gets used far more for it’s intended purpose than your average sports car.

      Yet for some reason people expect a truck to be loaded 100 percent of the time. Wonder how often this Hyundai will be spotted with an empty bed..

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s so stupid. Even commercial trucks, school buses, etc, drive around empty more than half their miles.

        Guaranteed they don’t notice pickups loaded, towing, etc. But those aren’t usually the shiny modded/lifted pickups that get all their attention. And their goat.

        I don’t enjoy 15 MPG, but otherwise its a perk, I’ll admit. Maybe they don’t enjoy their “rational” car/choice/situation or the one they share with their spouse/partner, but that’s on them. I’m sure they lash out at others.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        If I had to go with a single vehicle it would be a F-150 crew cab. Instead I have a F-250 for the 8′ bed and in general it doesn’t get used unless it gets used as a truck or because it has 4wd.

  • avatar
    07NodnarB

    Is it just me or did the exterior loose some umph in its transition from kinda-production-ready concept to production spec vehicle. It looks really…pedestrian, but not in a good way.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “I’m sure one can find a 70’s or 80’s era Luv, Yota, Ranger, or S10 somewhere…….. oh but they aren’t new and need repairs….”

    Lou_BC–True and I found a 2008 I4 regular cab Ranger on Craigslist last year after I gave my 2008 Isuzu I-370 to my nephew. Since I bought my Ranger there is less availability of smaller trucks and the prices have dramatically increased. A base 2011 Ranger with close to 100k miles in good condition can fetch 20k. My Ranger needed a paint job, rear bumper, and new tires and it has some frame rust on it although none of the rust has gone completely through. I have a total investment of just under 6k in my Ranger which now has about 105k miles. If I find a good body man who is not too expensive I might have the frame sandblasted and undercoated but that is if I decide to keep it for a long time and even then I would have to spend thousands of dollars but then I would have a truck that I would keep at least 10 years. It might be worth it since the engine and transmission have been well maintained and the interior is close to perfect.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Four doors – no thanks.

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