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8 Things You Need To Know About The Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup

Published On Apr 17, 2021 01:00 PM By Rohit

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Hyundai’s first shot at a pickup promises the right blend of adventure and practicality

Hyundai is one of the most popular mass-market brands in the world thanks to its varied products ranging from affordable hatchbacks to premium SUVs. But it decided to surprise everyone with a pickup truck concept -- christened Santa Cruz -- at the North American International Auto Show in 2015. Hyundai has now taken the wraps off the near-production version of the pickup which will debut in the American market, where pickups are extremely popular. While the concept looked quite sober, the near-production model is more in line with Hyundai’s latest design philosophies. Here are eight things you should know about the 2022 Santa Cruz:

Built For Versatility

Dubbed a Sports Adventure Vehicle by the carmaker, it’s a mix of a pickup truck and an SUV. The pickup truck has been created in accordance with the different mobility requirements of customers. The Santa Cruz can be used in varied driving scenarios, from city commutes to adventure getaways with much cargo thanks to its open bed area and passenger space.

Open Bed Area And Payload Capacity

The bed area gets a lockable tonneau cover which can slide in completely to create storage space. Not only that, there’s also an under-bed storage area to stow your small-sized sacks along with side compartments. The Santa Cruz’s bed area also features a 115V power inverter to cater to the electronic devices’ needs. Hyundai has mentioned the bed has a payload capacity of up to around 640kg. The carmaker says the bed’s length is 1,229mm when the gate is closed but the rear wheel wells do eat up some of the floor space.

Design À La Fourth-gen Tucson

One look at the Santa Cruz’s front is all it takes to draw similarities with the upcoming fourth-gen Tucson that premiered in 2020. The pickup borrows the same parametric cascading front grille from the fourth-gen Tucson. It also gets special jewel-shaped details including LED DRLs which integrate seamlessly into the grille. They are unnoticeable when they are unoperational. 

The side profile of the Santa Cruz is quite clean compared to the front. It sports 20-inch alloy wheels along with a sharply dropping C-pillar. It also gets body cladding all around to increase the rugged appeal. At the rear, the Hyundai pickup is equipped with hammer-shaped LED tail lights on the tailgate of the open bed. Hyundai has given the chrome moniker a miss, instead opting for the Santa Cruz lettering inscribed on the lower half of the tailgate.

A standout detail of the rear bumper design is the presence of integrated steps for people to stand on while accessing or arranging stuff in the rear bed.

Premium and Well-equipped Cabin

The similarities between the Santa Cruz and the fourth-gen Tucson are carried through to the cabin as well. This five-seater has four doors, although the rear bench does not look too spacious in terms of legroom, unlike the mid-size SUV. Hyundai’s pickup gets a clean dashboard layout with a cascading centre console that houses the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also comes with an optional tablet-like 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, wireless charging, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, paddle shifters, and under-seat storage space for the rear passengers. Hyundai has also equipped it with heated and ventilated front seats as well as a sunroof. 

Like most recent Hyundai models, the Santa Cruz also packs the latest BlueLink connected car tech. It can be used to run various functions such as remote start with climate control, remote door lock/unlock, stolen vehicle recovery, and voice-based navigation. What’s more, Hyundai says some of these features can be controlled via Android Wear and Apple Watch apps.

Safety Features In Plenty

Hyundai has equipped the Santa Cruz with SmartSense Safety suite as standard along with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. This encompasses front collision detection, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. It also gets driver attention alert and rear cross-traffic collision detection.

What’s Under The Bonnet?

The Santa Cruz is equipped with 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol (190PS+/244Nm) and 2.5-litre turbo-petrol units (275PS+/420Nm). While the former comes paired with an 8-speed automatic, the latter is mated to an 8-speed DCT (dual-clutch automatic). There’s no hybrid powertrain option available as of now.

All-wheel Drive and Towing Credentials

Both the naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engines come with an all-wheel drivetrain. It gets a shorter wheelbase, wide track, and short overhangs that should help reduce body roll. Hyundai has stated the pickup’s 20-inch alloy wheels can be swapped for 18-inch ones (with thicker sidewalls) to take it down the beaten paths. 

Made For The US, In The US

The Santa Cruz will go into production in June 2021 at Montgomery, Alabama, and hit showrooms in the US in the summer. Since pickups haven’t gathered much steam in our market, Hyundai is unlikely to bring the Santa Cruz to India, but it would be really cool if it did. For now, pickup enthusiasts will just have to wait for Isuzu to launch the BS6 iteration of the D-Max V-Cross.

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