We noticed a camouflaged 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover-based pickup on a trailer in the course of the SoCal desert, presumably en path to Demise Valley for some actual life testing in hotter-than-hot circumstances. In spite of everything, we noticed a temperature of 110 levels on the location we noticed the truck, appropriate to provide any automobile a wholesome exercise.
Hyundai, recognizing the necessity to improve its presence within the truck and SUV market, hopes the compact unibody pickup will do the trick. Is it even a truck? To the frustration of diehard body-on-frame truck lovers, the 2022 Santa Cruz goes to be a unibody, crossover-type truck reportedly constructed on the compact SUV Hyundai Tucson’s platform. It’s going to most have a resemblance to the Honda Ridgeline, however smaller, maybe making it higher fitted to metropolis responsibility. Its conventional pickup-truck competitors—in case you might even handle to place the Santa Cruz within the smallest of present truck classes, the midsize—could be the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Chevy Colorado, Nissan Frontier, Jeep Gladiator, and aforementioned Ridgeline. A extra direct competitor is on the best way in the form of Ford’s Maverick, and Ram plans to enter one of many two segments with its reborn Dakota.
Nonetheless, the Hyundai Santa Cruz just isn’t concentrating on truck folks. It is hoping to attraction to the younger, energetic life-style crowd and concrete adventurers who want a automobile with a mattress to haul gear and stuff that is too soiled, pungent, and/or huge for contained in the cab. These consumers will not need or want the expense, capability, max towing, payload, ground clearance, physical presence, and truck-like ride quality of a regular pickup. In that sense, will probably be a comparatively economical, compact runabout that mixes the utility of a small mattress with carlike trip high quality.
And in contrast to a conventional truck, it’s going to be front-wheel drive, with all-wheel-drive in all probability elective. It might be cool to see a diesel possibility, however extra seemingly energy will come from some kind of turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline powerplant.
The clandestine four-door Hyundai Santa Cruz that we noticed appears spot-on with the naked body revealed in a leaked image a few months ago. Though a lot of the physique was clad in order that the physique traces could not be seen, all the glass was uncovered—and the form of the side-window glass and trim all line up with the leaked picture. The windshield has an aggressive carlike rake, making a sleeker, narrower, extra rectangular cab in keeping with these of at this time’s pickup vans versus the extra upright windshield and squarer, taller cabs of yesterday’s vans. Though we will not inform a lot due to all of the coverings, the silhouette of the entrance finish seemingly reveals an SUV-like entrance finish with a flat hood. The hood appears to have a small cant on the entrance that results in a blunt fascia; it presumably cannot be extra polarizing than the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado, nonetheless.
As a substitute of getting extra conventional, clearly delineated “cab” and “mattress” sections (assume new Honda Ridgeline), the Santa Cruz has an angled, chunky C-pillar with paneling that connects the roof to the mattress, extra resembling an SUV with the again a part of the roof eliminated (consider the first-generation Ridgeline). The camo fully hid the mattress and tailgate space, maintaining us from actually inspecting the one space—the mattress—that provides the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz any excuse to remotely be thought-about a truck. We do not but know for positive if the short bed will be equipped with a standard or optional extender, though such an adjunct, in addition to gadgets like tonneau covers, will certainly be out there to permit life-style sorts to customise the small pickup.
At one time, phrase was Hyundai deliberate to promote 50,000 to 70,000 Santa Cruzes a 12 months. It stays to be seen if these targets maintain, or in the event that they’re even attainable, however with an inexpensive worth level, probably engaging gasoline financial system, trendy comfort and security tech, an excellent guarantee, and truckish utility in a car-based package deal, it simply might have a shot. As for now, we anticipate the Santa Cruz to shed the camouflage and present us what it is manufactured from.