It isn’t that often that I find myself driving a vehicle and completely forgetting what it looks like behind the c-pillar, especially one that looks like a truck. This week, the all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz has graced my garage and taken me for a ride that was not at all what I expected it to be. That’s not to say the ride was bad. In fact, it was one of the best riding vehicles in its price range this year that I’ve’ experienced, which is surprising because the Santa Cruz is somewhat of a misnomer, a vehicle that sports a truck-like bed in the back and the nearly identical proportions and looks of the Hyundai Tucson compact crossover, which it is based on.

The all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz is something different, quite unique in being a surprising offering from the Hyundai brand, but one to technically compete with the likings of the Honda Ridgeline.

2022 hyundai santa cruz limited side

Honda proved that there is a viable market for a unibody “truck”, if you will, with the Ridgeline. Hyundai has set out to not only captivate that market but to redefine it in some way by building off an excellent platform from the new Tucson – but do it with style and a bit of capable flare. There’s something to be said about a small truck even if you pull up next to a “normal” truck and witness its towering stature beside the little Santa Cruz. Not everything has to be huge and inefficient if your trucking duties are relatively small and you don’t need to tow anything over 5,000 pounds, which is the max rating for the Santa Cruz Limited if you equip it with the optional $450 towing hitch and incorporate tailer brakes on those heavy loads. Otherwise, the Santa Cruz is limited to 3,500 pounds for the front-wheel-drive SE and SEL non-turbo trims.

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By: Malcolm Hogan
Title: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited Review & Test Drive
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Published Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 12:08:40 +0000

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