Earlier this month, we showed off a few teaser images of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, a new compact pickup that will compete directly with the forthcoming 2022 Ford Maverick. At that time, Hyundai didn’t share too much information about what it calls a “segment-shattering Sports Adventure Vehicle,” but now, the new Santa Cruz has been officially revealed.
Hyundai refuses to call the Santa Cruz a pickup truck, even though it has a bed and truck-like proportions. Regardless, it is a boldly-styled vehicle designed to cater to urban-dwellers who need a vehicle versatile enough to take out on weekend adventures. This means something capable of carrying all sorts of gear that’s better suited to ride in a bed than in the cargo area of a crossover or SUV.
Hence, the bed on the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz features a lockable tonneau cover, integrated corner bumper steps, hidden bed storage, and a variety of bed extension accessories. However, the bed is certainly on the small side, measuring in at just four and a half feet long and four feet wide, while the vehicle itself is smaller than all mid-size trucks currently on the market, including the Ford Ranger.
The Santa Cruz rides on the same unibody platform as the new Tuscon crossover and is powered by the same pair of 2.5L, direct-injected, inline-four-cylinder engines – one that’s naturally-aspirated, and one that isn’t. Both are mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The N/A engine is targeted to produce 190+ horsepower and 180+ pound-feet of torque, while the turbocharged motor is expected to make 275+ horsepower and 310+ pound-feet of torque.
Both models offer Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system with multiple driving modes. In terms of capability, the N/A model offers a max towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, while the turbo model will tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has not yet been announced, but it’ll be interesting to see how closely it comes to matching the Maverick’s sub-$20k starting price. The pickup/Sport Adventure Vehicle will be available to reserve in late April and goes on sale this summer.