We've been talking about the Hyundai Santa Cruz since 2015 when it first made its debut as a concept at the North American Auto Show in Detroit. It's been an intruiguing vehicle that's generated a lot of interest by many, including CarProUSA Radio Show listeners, since then. Well, after more than five years, we can finally show you what the production version looks like -- because the concept is now reality.
This week Hyundai at long last officially unveiled the 2022 Santa Cruz -- a on- and off-road vehicle it dubs a "Sport Activity Vehicle", even though the rest of us call it a compact pickup.
Hyundai says it's designed to appeal to people who have an urban lifestyle but want to escape for adventure. While Hyundai says the Santa Cruz creates a new segment, its midsized and unibody status means it will compete with the redesigned Honda Ridgeline.
You can reserve one starting in late April ahead of its arrival this summer.
Hyundai designed the four-door Santa Cruz to look rugged and it does with its large, bold grille, front skid plate and 20-inch tires. Hyundai says a hidden lighting signature becomes visible within the grille only when illuminated.
A dual-cockpit design awaits you in the cabin and Hyundai says designers focused on ergonomnic comfort for long drives. You'll also find in-cabin storage under the rear seats. The truck bed features lockable storage.
Technology-wise, an 8-inch touchcreen is standard with a 10-inch edgeless infotainment screen optional. An 10-inch digital cluster display is also available (like the one in the new Elantra.)
The Santa Cruz will be connected with available wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A wireless charger and 8-speaker Bose sound system are also available.
Hyundai's Digital Key also allows owners to control some systems remotely via their smartphone, but right now it only works with Android Auto.
Some other features worth noting: Remote engine start, remote seating heating and ventilation, and vehicle status notifications we'll let you know if your vehicle is left unlocked or with the windows down.
Two Engine Options w/AWD Capability Plus Tow Ratings
Two powertrains, both with AWD capability, offer either 190- or 275-horsepower. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine with an estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque. It's mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and Hyundai says it delivered quick acceleration and efficiency. It can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
An optional 2.5L turbocharged engine delivers an estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque. It's linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control by the driver.
The 2.5L Turbo AWD model boasts a generous 5,000 lbs. of towing capability.
The Santa Cruz offers Hyundai SmartSense driver assistance features that include: Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) w/ Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW).
Optional driver assistance features include Blind Spot Collision Avoidance, Blind Spot View Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic, Highway Drive Assist, Surround View Monitor, Smart Cruice Control and Safe Assist Exit.
The new Santa Cruz goes on sale this summer.