2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Reveal Set For April 15

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - April 2, 2021

It’s been six long years since Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz concept. Over the years, we’ve heard reports that the Santa Cruz is going into production, but Hyundai hasn’t said anything about the pickup truck recently. It looks like the Santa Cruz’s time has officially come, because Hyundai released a few teaser photos of the truck earlier this week and confirmed that it will make its official debut on April 15.

While the teaser photos of the upcoming Santa Cruz look like the vehicle will certainly be a pickup truck, Hyundai’s calling it a “Sport Adventure Vehicle.” The automaker is using the odd nomenclature because the Santa Cruz “will break new ground within the SUV, Truck, and Crossover segments,” which makes it sound like it’s not going to be a traditional pickup. Unlike the majority of pickup trucks on the market, Hyundai claims the vehicle will excel in urban and “adventure-focused environments” thanks to its maneuverable all-wheel-drive platform.

Beyond that much, Hyundai isn’t ready to provide a lot more information on the Santa Cruz. Unlike the concept we saw at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the recent pictures that Hyundai released reveal a different design. The front-end design of the Santa Cruz resembles the 2022 Tucson’s with a triangular grille and lights that are located within the grille itself. Put the 2022 Tucson alongside the Santa Cruz, and the vehicles look like they could be twins at the front.

Hyundai Santa Cruz

The silhouette of the Santa Cruz reveals a bold design that we haven’t seen from a pickup truck before. The majority of options on the market are bricks with few sharp creases and lines, but the Santa Cruz will go in a different direction. The sharply-raked C-pillar, body line that starts at the exterior mirrors and ends at the taillights, and funky wheel design are new things for a pickup truck.

There’s not much we know about the vehicle. The compact pickup truck will share the same platform as the 2022 Tucson SUV and compete against the Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, and Jeep Gladiator. Like the Ridgeline, the Santa Cruz will come with all-wheel drive and not four-wheel drive, which leads us to believe that the pickup truck won’t be a rugged off-roader like the majority of other trucks. Instead, the Santa Cruz will be more comfortable and better at handling daily tasks like the Honda. We’re not expecting to see best-in-class payload or towing capacity, either.

Hyundai has been taking a long time to introduce the Santa Cruz pickup truck. After seeing the concept in 2015, reports indicated that the truck would go on sale in 2018. After that, we heard that Hyundai would begin production of the pickup truck in 2021 at the automaker’s plant in Montgomery, Alabama. We’re not quite sure why Hyundai has taken this long to officially introduce the Santa Cruz. The automaker had a fantastic concept in 2015 and sparked a lot of interest, but just failed to bring it to market. Based on previous reports, Hyundai was looking to start production in 2021, so it’s still on track.

The goal of the Santa Cruz is to give consumers that think pickup trucks have become too large, too expensive, and too much capability a smaller option. If Hyundai follows through on these points, we could see the Santa Cruz doing incredibly well.

Explore the current Hyundai lineup »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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