Auto123 reviews the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup.
Hyundai initial came to Canada in 1983 with a specified Pony (1984 product-yr), a rear-wheel-travel subcompact that experienced far more than a little bit in widespread with the archaic Chevrolet Chevette. If somebody experienced informed me again in the day that Hyundai would grow to be a single of the world’s automotive giants, and that it would even reach the stage of likely head-to-head with the Huge 3 by launching a pickup truck, I may possibly have encouraged treatment for them.
Nonetheless right here we are. Hyundai this yr released, not the sixth or seventh generation of the Pony, but the really initial generation of the Hyundai Santa Cruz, a compact pickup for experience fans. Should we be astonished by these kinds of an progressive product from the Korean automaker? No, not actually. For a 10 years now, Hyundai and Kia have been cranking out bold projects (Hyundai Veloster, the overall Genesis division, Kia Soul, Kia Stinger, Hyundai Ioniq five, etc.) like there’s no tomorrow. Anyways, we’ve known for several years this pickup was coming, considering that the organization initial confirmed a prototype again in… 2015.
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Now a rival on the horizon
On the other hand, these kinds of is the dynamic point out of the industry that presently, this brand name-new product has a rival. Ford has also just released a unibody pickup built for drivers who want a pickup truck… with no all the drawbacks of a “real” pickup! Its Maverick is also possible to be very prosperous both of those right here and south of the border.
Just take observe that, as opposed to Ford, Hyundai has adopted a two-tiered strategy for its truck, acquiring made a decision not to give both of those engines as is the case in the United States.
Also really worth noting? The nearby Santa Cruz is an high priced automobile that arrives conventional with the “big” two.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, all-wheel travel and a fairly very long listing of products. This is in contrast to the Ford Maverick with its hybrid engine, entrance two-wheel travel and metal wheels on the entry-level XL product, which, by the way, is virtually $thirteen,000 significantly less than the most-inexpensive Santa Cruz product.
A Tucson with a mattress?
As is the case with the Maverick, which uses the identical architecture as the Escape or the Bronco Activity, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is primarily based on a compact SUV platform. Much more particularly, that would be the Tucson. In addition, the Santa Cruz’s entrance end is virtually similar to that of the just-revised Tucson. I say “almost” since opposite to the Tucson’s shield that incorporates 4 rows in its grille, the Santa Cruz has only three.
No subject, the glance is really similar both of those vehicles, for instance, have optical blocks positioned really very low in this expressive bumper. The other “lights” tucked driving the intricate mesh are just daytime managing lights. Permit me also say that the Korean truck’s headlights illuminate the street really effectively that’s a single of the benefits of these decreased headlights we’ve observed built in the latest several years.
The link between the two utility vehicles finishes there, while, as the relaxation of the Santa Cruz’s bodywork is unique to the pickup. In profile, the creation product is not as opposed to that several years-previous idea, with the somewhat clear big difference that the 2022 Santa Cruz arrives with 4 authentic doors, as opposed to the coupe format of the prototype.
The new Korean pickup is also a unibody automobile, as evidenced by the lack of separation between the cabin and the cargo box. The existence of 20-inch wheels enhances the vehicle’s existence, though homeowners who strategy on using rougher roads should really think about the 18-inch wheels of the Favored product.
Then there’s the mattress. The really limited mattress. The model’s designers did believe of do-it-yourselfers and bundled an choice to raise the tailgate midway with the cables, a option that allows you to load the traditional 4’x8′ sheet… with straps of program… and a very little red flag! In addition to this very little trick – the Ford Maverick features the identical detail by the way – the Santa Cruz stands out with its factory-installed box include, which unrolls and can even be locked, though a water resistant compartment is also offered underneath the box floor, a option presently observed on the Honda Ridgeline. An LED light-weight in the cabin tends to make it effortless to store items at night.
4-man or woman cabin
The Santa Cruz’s modest size doesn’t make it possible for it to give as considerably room as these total-size trucks and their crew cabs, but for a crew of 4 (two adults and two young children), it’s fantastic! Like other midsize pickups, the seatback doesn’t drop again, which tends to make for a fairly upright seating posture. Luckily, the seats are snug in both of those rows.
Up entrance, there’s that familiar dashboard design and style that wraps all-around just about every passenger, but also has the edge of not obstructing the driver’s check out. Exactly where the Santa Cruz loses a number of details is in the central part, in which all the controls are grouped all-around the ten-inch touchscreen all of these controls are contact-sensitive, forcing drivers to acquire their eyes off the street every single time they want to improve a setting. Luckily, the responsiveness of these buttons and even that of the monitor are excellent. In the centre console, there are travel modes to be performed with and even buttons for the heated seats, heated steering wheel… and ventilated seats. Which of program I didn’t try out during my 7 days driving the product late in the autumn.
A sports car travel
There’s surprising opportunity in this powertrain. At its core is a two.5Lr turbocharged 4-cylinder engine presently observed in other Hyundai Team versions, and right here it provides a far more-than-appreciable 281 hp and a surprising 311 lb-ft of torque. But that’s not the only cause for the Santa Cruz’s aplomb, as it’s also equipped with an eight-speed twin-clutch transmission, an choice that’s considerably far more acceptable than a constantly variable transmission, for instance. Shifts are sleek and based on the travel method picked – Activity is the sharpest for winding roads – you actually experience that the usual “jerks” of an automatic are mitigated as considerably as possible when downshifting with this device.
But even beyond all that, what actually stands out in this truck is its impressive handling. In spite of the existence of these 20-inch wheels, the Santa Cruz flew above potholes like a snug mid-size sedan with no sacrificing handling. The steering, though not as surgical as the Veloster N’s, provides just plenty of data to hold the driver related to the street. I caught myself cornering on the highway at unsavory speeds during a wet-day jaunt. The Santa Cruz drives like a car… or a crossover if you prefer. So considerably so that you forget there’s a box driving it. It’s far more visible even when you assess with the new Nissan Frontier, which we experienced set to the examination a number of times later, and which nonetheless features a regular pickup truck-like experience.
The final word
Hyundai will, of program, be viewing closely how buyers respond to its initial, very long-awaited pickup. The strategy of sticking to two closely-equipped versions is not undesirable, but I won’t be able to enable but believe of the inexpensive Ford Maverick trims that should really draw crowds. Even though that truck’s general performance will be inferior, reflecting the asking selling price immediately after all.
For my element, this initial examination travel proved to be a pleasant shock. The Santa Cruz is really pleasant to stay with on a everyday foundation, especially in terms of driving, but also for its general convenience. For numerous motorists, this compact pickup could effectively be the excellent automobile.
The unique design and style
The driving encounter of a sports motor vehicle
The improvements in the box
We like significantly less
Minimal house in the second row
Reduced visibility in the again
No inexpensive edition
The level of competition