What are the cargo room specs of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz?

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz?

The Santa Cruz is an all-new model, unlike anything we’ve seen from Hyundai before. It’s essentially a downsized pickup truck without a ladder-frame chassis. Some of you will stop reading at this point because a truck absolutely has to have a ladder frame, right? No, sorry. According to the dictionary, a pickup only needs an open part on the back in which goods can be carried. The Hyundai can do that, so it’s a pickup.

This is a new take on the pickup truck, but Hyundai is not the first. Honda can rightfully claim to be the first manufacturer to build a pickup truck without adding unnecessary mechanical bits that you don’t need on the school run. Hyundai just takes it a step further and in the right direction. The pickup truck segment needs some disruption, in our opinion, and since Elon seems to be struggling with the CyberTruck, the Santa Cruz is the next big thing.


Santa Cruz Performance

The Santa Cruz is available with two engines. One is a 2.5-liter four-pot that breathes normally, while the other uses a turbocharger. The naturally-aspirated motor produces 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, while the turbocharged derivative takes the figures up to 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque.

The base model is currently only available in front-wheel-drive format, while the turbocharged engine can only be coupled to the HTRAC all-wheel-drive system. Hyundai does state that front- and all-wheel-drive derivatives of both are coming soon. Sans turbocharger, the power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Upgrade to the turbocharged model and Hyundai includes an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters on the inside. Hyundai doesn’t make any claims as to how quick the Santa Cruz is to 60, but we expect a 0 to 60 mph figure of under seven seconds for the turbocharged variant.

All models come as standard with Trailer Prep Package included. FWD models can tow 3,500 lbs, while AWD models can manage 5,000 lbs. This is where we start to see the difference between the Santa Cruz and the traditional ladder-frame pickup truck. A turbocharged four-pot Ranger with rugged leaf springs at the rear can tow a full 7,500 lbs, but compared to similarly-sized crossovers, the Santa Cruz is strong. The maximum payload of 1,906 lbs (entry-level FWD) is impressive, too.

Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz: Cup Holders

The Ford Maverick has a scarcely believable 16 cup holders in the cabin — check this to see all of them — while the Hyundai Santa Cruz seems to have a rather pedestrian 6 cup holders.

The Santa Cruz can explore off road… as long as you don’t try to go too far off the road.Hyundai

Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz: Driver Assist Features

Neither vehicle is self-driving, of course, but the Hyundai Santa Cruz does have an extensive list of available safety features. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection is standard, as are lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams.

Blind-spot monitoring with avoidance assist is standard in SEL and up, as is rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist. Rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control (with navigation-aware curve speed adjustments), and an excellent highway drive assist lane-centering feature are included in the top-tier Limited trim.

The Ford Maverick includes standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and automatic high beams.

Cruise control is not standard with the base XL trim but is available on higher trims. Also available, depending on trim, are adaptive cruise with stop & go, evasive steering assist, lane centering and lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning.

The Maverick is one of the most popular vehicles around, if only Ford could build more of them.Ford

Car Care Express

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Pricing for the Hyundai Santa Cruz

So, with less towing capacity and cargo space, how does the price tag stack up to its competitors? The Santa Cruz is priced at between $25,175 and $40,905 for all the various trims offered. 

The biggest competitor that the Santa Cruz is facing is Ford’s new Maverick, a compact truck with similar features. This compact Ford truck has a significantly lower starting price for its base trim of just under $20,000. It can tow up to 4,000 lbs, while the Santa Cruz can tow 3,500 lbs or 5,000 lbs, depending on your trim of choice. 

When comparing the two cheapest options, the Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick, the standard trim Ford Maverick can only tow 2,000 pounds. The all-wheel drive model increases its towing capacity to 4,000 pounds with an optional 4K tow package. So the Santa Cruz is more expensive but offers a better towing capacity than the Maverick when comparing the two trim levels. 

As for other small to midsize pickup trucks currently available, the Nissan Frontier has a starting MSRP of $27,190, the Honda Ridgeline has a starting MSRP of $36,490, and the Toyota Tacoma has a starting MSRP of $26,400. So depending on what the customer’s needs, the best value for consumers is the Santa Cruz because it delivers impressive towing and payload capacity for such a small truck and can be purchased for around $25,000, depending on the trim level. If towing is not a concern, then the least expensive of the lot will be the Ford Maverick.

RELATED: The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a Pickup for Drivers Who Wanted a Car


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