Hyundai launched itself into the pickup truck segment with the all-new Santa Cruz in 2022. Unlike the Ford Ranger or Chevy Colorado, the Santa Cruz sits atop a unibody chassis, making it more like the Honda Ridgeline. With this pickup entering just its second model year, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be arriving mostly as a carryover model.
However, a new Night edition trim is also arriving for 2023. This trim gets all the features of the mid-range AWD SEL Activity trim, plus a 2.5-liter turbocharged direct-injected engine, an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a dark chrome grille, and Night-exclusive features like dark 20-inch alloy wheels, a dark front and rear lower fascia design, and gloss black mirror caps and door handles. The Santa Cruz Night also gets dual side steps.
On the outside, the current Santa Cruz’s Hyundai Tucson roots are evident with its segmented headlights, sharp shoulder line, and A-pillar rake. However, the Santa Cruz gets its own personality with a unique grille, hood, and front bumper. Around back, the Santa Cruz sets itself further apart with its truck bed and distinctive taillights. For 2023, Santa Cruz gets two new colors, Atlas White and California Sand, and the lineup adds a new Night trim. Otherwise, this exterior design remains the same as before.
Inside, the current Santa Cruz is nearly the spitting image of the Hyundai Tucson. It boasts the same four-spoke steering wheel, digital gauge cluster, center stack layout, dash design, and more. The 10.25-inch screen will now be available on the SEL Premium and Limited trims. With this being a cost-saving measure on what’s sure to be a low-volume vehicle, the cabin will remain mostly the same in the 2023 model.
Under its hood, the current Santa Cruz features a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Buyers can opt for a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. This more powerful engine uses an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and standard all-wheel drive. We expect these powertrain options to remain the same in the 2023 Santa Cruz.
The IIHS hasn’t completed crash tests on the Santa Cruz yet. We know it comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active lane control, blind-spot collision, and rear cross-traffic avoidance. Buyers can also get adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, voice recognition, blind-spot cameras, navigation, and a surround-view camera system.