By Randi Payton
The new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck has finally arrived in time for those who want a smaller pickup for work around the city without the high cost of fuel. Since Hyundai announced the first Korean-made concept pickup truck at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it finally fulfilled the promise.
The Santa Cruz is bold looking with a unibody design and modern interior features. Although slightly smaller, the Santa Cruz competes with the Ford Maverick, Chevy’s new mid-size Colorado, and the Honda Ridgeline. The Santa Cruz seats five and only comes as a crew cab with rear-hinged suicide doors.
The Santa Cruz is practical for hauling smaller loads, fits easily into parking spaces, has a lower price point, and is good on fuel. Although the pickup bed is short, it can be extended from four- to five feet. In addition, the entire bed can slide out along with the tailgate, taillights, and rear bumper. The pickup bed also offers a built-in cover.
The Santa Cruz is available in four trims. For a week, I test drove the Limited all-wheel drive (AWD) model, fully loaded with advanced safety technology and premium materials. The Limited has a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with Shiftronic, and a self-leveling rear suspension for off-roading.
Hyundai has a reputation for putting premium quality materials in affordable vehicles, and Santa Cruz is no exception. The top-of-line Limited models come with leather seats, smart cruise control, dual automatic temperature control, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster with navigation, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, rearview monitor with parking guidance, surround-view monitor, wireless charging, a premium Bose audio system, and Blue Link services.
Hyundai’s Best Warranty covers all vehicles. It includes a five-year/60,000-mile basic, ten-year/100,0000-mile powertrain, seven-year unlimited-mile anti-perforation, three-year/36,000 complimentary maintenance, and five-year unlimited-mile roadside assistance.
In addition, the Santa Cruz is loaded with standard driver assistance technology that includes a driver-attention warning. Adaptive cruise control is an option on the lower-class models.
Models/Price: The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup comes in four trim levels: The SE ($25,685), SEL ($28,885), SEL Premium ($37,375), and Limited ($41,415).
Power: The new Santa Cruz offers two types of engines, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that gets 191 horsepower with 181 lb-ft of torque and a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that generates 281 horses and 311 lb-ft of torque.
Fuel Economy: The base engine with FWD Santa Cruse is rated at 21 city/26 highway mpg, while AWD adds another one mpg. The turbocharged engine averages 19 city/27 highway mpg.
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