Hyundai Santa Cruz debuts as a compact pickup truck for America


Hyundai has revealed the first-ever Santa Cruz pickup truck, confirmed to go on sale in the U.S.-market later in summer. Pre-orders will begin later this month for a refundable deposit of $100. The “Sport Adventure Vehicle” as Hyundai likes to call it, will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Montgomery, Alabama.

As with Hyundai’s SUV naming tradition, the truck is named after a city, a coastal city in California. The design on the other side comes from the latest Hyundai models such as the Tucson, adopting the ‘Parametric Jewel’ design language. In fact, the Santa Cruz is essentially a pickup version of the Tucson. The main headlights are positioned lower in the bumper and what you see on the grille are actually the running lights. The taillights have a “T” light signature, which should do a good job of distinguishing Santa Cruz from other trucks.


The truck boasts compact dimensions compared to its competition, measuring 4,971 mm long, 1,905 mm wide and 1,694 mm tall. The wheelbase is also slightly smaller, measuring 3,005 mm. The bed offers a length of 52.1-inches or 1,323 mm. There’s also a nifty secret storage underneath the bed, which is pretty cool. The truck rides on 20-inch alloy wheels with a triangular design, while there’s an option for 18-inch wheels for off-road adventures.

The cabin doesn’t try to hide its donor car, the Tucson, with the same dashboard, displays and the steering wheel. The centre console, however, has a different layout for housing the diff lock, drive mode and other switches. Options include a Bose audio system.


The front seats appear to be fairly comfy, but not sure if the same can be said about the rear seats until you try them. However, there are hidden storage cubbies underneath the rear seats, which is always a welcome feature.

ADAS include the usual stuff, such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Safe Exit Assist, Smart Cruise Control and a few more.

Moving on to the business end of the story, the Santa Cruz is powered by a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine with an estimated output of over 142 kW (193 metric hp) and 244 Nm (180 lb-ft) of torque, paired with an 8-speed torque converter automatic and AWD system. Those who want more can go for a turbocharged 2.5L unit, with estimated figures of over 205 kW (279 metric hp) and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque, paired with an 8-speed DCT and AWD system.

Towing capacity for both engines is claimed to be 1,588 kg (3,500 lbs) and 2,268 kg (5,000 lbs), respectively.

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