Cruz Control: Hyundai Adds XRT Trim to Its Pickup
Set to jump on board the bandwagon made popular by quasi-rugged trims at other brands like X-Line and TrailSport, Hyundai is adding an XRT trim to the Santa Cruz.
Effectively replacing the SEL Premium trim sitting one rung below the top dog Limited, this XRT seeks to add a dose of aggro to Hyundai’s boxified Tucson. As part of the theme, side steps now protrude from its rocker panels, bed rails sprout from the cargo area, and a splash of orange-colored detail now appears on the exterior. The likes of special badges and blacked-out garnish, popular on this type of trim (and easy to add by designers) are all present and accounted for.
This trim gets the 2.5L engine and all-wheel drive, lashed to an 8-speed automatic with flappy paddles. This turbocharged mill makes a healthy 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque; it should be considered required reading for anyone buying a Santa Cruz, since the non-turbo 2.5L wheezes out horsepower and torque numbers which don’t even start with the number ‘2’. The turbo runs fine on regular unleaded, a bonus these days.
Across trims not named XRT, there are a few other changes to the Santa Cruz for 2024. Bi-LED projector headlamps are now standard across the board, dual-zone automatic temperature control & auto defogger are now included from SEL trim level and up, as is the 10.25-inch navigation system so long as SEL customers select the so-called Activity Package. Sadly, that option does not include crayons and a coloring mat. Steering wheel haptic feedback was added to all trims for lane keeping and blind spot collision avoidance, a boon to drivers who fail to pay even the slightest bit of attention whilst behind the wheel.
How important is the Santa Cruz to Hyundai? After being on the market for a couple of pandemic-riddled years, it has settled in as a contributing member of the lineup with about 20,000 of the things finding new homes so far this year. For perspective, the Tucson and Elantra – the brand’s two most popular models – sold 100,591 and 74,738 copies respectively over the same amount of time.
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