After originally debuting as a concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup is finally premiering in production form. It's worth noting that the company doesn't refer to the model as a "truck," though, and instead prefers the more nebulous Sport Adventure Vehicle.
The Santa Cruz comes standard with a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder. For now, Hyundai is only saying that it makes 190+ bhp (142+ kilowatts) and 180+ pound-feet (244+ Newton-metres) of torque. The engine connects to an eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive, and this setup can tow up to 1,588 kilograms (3,500 pounds).
Gallery: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The optional engine is a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder producing 275+ bhp (205+ kW) and 310+ lb-ft (420+ Nm). It uses an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic that includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manually changing gears. All-wheel drive is standard, and the turbo model can 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds).
The Santa Cruz has a front end that's similar to the 2022 Tucson by adopting daytime running lights that incorporate cleanly into the grille design. You can really only notice them when illuminated. There are additional stacked lights in the lower corners.
In profile, the Santa Cruz has a steeply raked A-pillar that makes the front look sleek. The C-pillar is also angled for a more dynamic appearance than making it vertical. There are neat touches, like tiny silhouettes of the model at the top of the wheel arch cladding.
The party is at the back where the Santa Cruz's bed offers several useful features. Its floor measures 132.3 centimetres (52.1 inches) long. A portion of the bed also lifts up to reveal a hidden storage area. Steps at the corner of the bumper make for an easier step into the rear. Hyundai is also promising to offer bed extension accessories. Another option is an extendable tonneau cover at the base of the cab that owners can extend and lock into place when wanting to secure cargo from the outside.
The Santa Cruz comes standard with an eight-inch infotainment screen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Buyers can upgrade to a 10-inch display. Customers can also opt for a digital instrument cluster. For keeping stuff on the inside, the rear seats fold up to reveal storage cubbies underneath them.
The Santa Cruz's standard safety suite includes forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning. As options, buyers can add adaptive cruise control, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, a blind-spot camera, safe exit assist, surround-view monitor.
Hyundai will start building the Santa Cruz at the factory in Montgomery, Alabama, in June. Sales will start later in the summer. We'll know market availability and pricing closer to launch.