November 28, 2023

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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz First Drive | Car Reviews

Auto123 gets in a to start with travel of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

The new Hyundai Santa Cruz is a exceptional point in the vehicle earth. It is not only a segment-buster, it is variety of a segment creator. At least, that’s what Hyundai is saying.

Now, a excellent to start with search at the Santa Cruz tells you you are seeing a four-doorway taxi, high-ish experience height, one particular of the most one of a kind grilles in the business enterprise (unless of course you involve its Santa Fe sibling…or the final-gen Toyota Venza), some sparkly twenty-inch wheels and, earlier mentioned all else, a pickup mattress. So it is a pickup then, appropriate?

Perfectly, according to the company, it isn’t. Pickups have a fiercely faithful client foundation, and Hyundai isn’t about to bang its head towards that wall if it can stay clear of it. Matter is, it is not a crossover, possibly. Call it a Activity Experience Automobile, aimed at young couples – you know, adventurous varieties who like to pack kayaks, tow Sea-Doos and Ski-Doos and load mountain bikes and tenting gear. Hyundai produced that abundantly obvious with all the Santa Cruz-es on hand during our travel event. All were decked out in all fashion of out of doors equipment accessible as a result of the sellers.

Of course, we all know what individuals adventurous varieties are inclined to travel: crossovers and modest SUVs. And it is exactly individuals car or truck segments that Hyundai expects to draw purchasers from. So if not a pickup, why not phone is a CUV then?, 100% on-line, shop for your up coming vehicle, obtain on-line and get it shipped to you anyplace in Quebec!

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, profile

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, profile

Activity Experience Automobile
Perfectly, that’s an choice but Hyundai is being steadfast by “Sport Experience Vehicle”. And why not a new designation? It is been a although given that we’ve seen anything at all like it. It is not a under no circumstances-right before point – keep in mind the Ford Ranchero? How about the Dodge Rampage? Or Subaru’s BRAT and Baja? – but it is been a although.

Of course, it is not like companies haven’t attempted to get a pickup mattress into the fingers of a dyed-in-the-wool CUV driver right before. Ford gave it a go with the rebirth of the Ranger and before than that, we had the Chevrolet Colorado and a lot more not too long ago, the Jeep Gladiator. All great vehicles – this is not to disparage them, by any indicates – but that’s the point they were vehicles. System-on-body workhorses that, indeed, had lesser engines than their massive-promoting siblings like the Ford F-a hundred and fifty or Chevrolet Silverado, but nevertheless drove like vehicles.

Not the Santa Cruz, while. This is a car or truck that shares a great numerous bits with the Tucson and Santa Fe crossovers (in conditions of exterior proportions, it sits about between the two), so it is a unibody platform, with the target in thoughts to cut down the vibrations and bouncy experience associated with pickups.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, bed

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, mattress

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, closed bed

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, closed mattress

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, hatch

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, hatch

That mattress
Of course, a bit it doesn’t share is its pickup mattress and make no miscalculation: although at four ft on the ground it isn’t very long, it is significantly a lot more than just a bucket dropped on the place the rear cargo spot usually is. It has cleats, it has mattress lights, tie downs and even extra underfloor storage as seen in the Honda Ridgeline that can be loaded with ice and drained thereafter. There is a 115V ability outlet and extra storage possibly side of the mattress there are even equipment that allow for you to prolong the mattress and every corner of the rear bumper characteristics cutouts massive adequate to fit a metal-toed boot. The retractable mattress go over is also conventional, so you can hold matters risk-free in there.

For absolutely sure, it is not as extremely stackable as a CUV’s cargo spot would be and you are usually likely to have to get out of the Santa Cruz to get at anything at all back again there, but Hyundai has supplied every little thing they can to make the improve from CUV to “SAV” as palatable as possible.

Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022, trois quarts arrière

Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022, trois quarts arrière

The powertrain
Energy from the two.5L turbo engine is rated at 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque and the potential to tow up to five,000 lb – the Sea-Doo you see below is about two,000 lb, and the Santa Cruz managed it just fantastic. Preserve it in Ordinary or Intelligent travel manner (in which the Santa Cruz senses how you are driving and adapts its shifting and throttle reaction to match) and you are excellent to go.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, with trailer

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, with trailer

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, interior

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, inside

The inside
We’ve talked about the exterior it is time to phase inside this Sports activities Experience Automobile to see what’s what.

In the spec you see below — $44,799 Top trim, which tops the lineup earlier mentioned Development ($41,399) and Chosen ($38,499) – it gets the comprehensive load: leather-based seats that are heated and ventilated up front, surround watch parking digital camera, LED headlights, 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, blind-watch keep an eye on that turns your digital gauges into blind-location cameras and rain-sensing wipers.

Which is in addition to conventional all-wheel-travel, heated steering wheel, mattress go over, and two.5L turbo ability.

Area-smart, it is similar to the Tucson up front which indicates excellent front legroom, a astonishing quantity of headroom and a high seating situation. The latter aspect was one particular of the primary aims when designers were placing alongside one another the Santa Cruz, as it indicates a excellent watch out, and that’s significant for any CUV driver Hyundai hopes to change.

The digital gauge cluster is a crisp affair, appropriately bereft of glare even while there is no genuine gauge hood. That also provides to the watch out, but to my eye the screen overall looks a bit as if it is variety of plugged in to its location just earlier mentioned the steering wheel.

In Top spec, the gauge cluster is matched by a 10.25-inch widescreen that’s contact-activated, as are all the controls on the panel that surrounds it. No dials or tricky buttons below. It is all contact, all the time. Individually, I like a lot more standard buttons as they are a small easier to function, but both the monitor and contact panel in the Santa Cruz are responsive adequate that I’m not too bothered by it. I just want the haptic reaction when your inputs are gained was a small a lot more robust. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are of course conventional, and there is wi-fi charging as very well.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, second row

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, next row

It arrives as small surprise that the back again seat is snugger than what you’ll uncover in a Tucson, but headroom is fantastic and the bottom cushions flip up in a 60/40 split to reveal storage bins below. There is no central armrest back again there, while, since guiding the seat is the cabin’s rear wall and that’s all you’d see once you dropped the armrest. They could have gussied it up with a layer of carpet back again there, but Hyundai appears to be to consider it wasn’t a requirement.

That bareness contrasts with what’s likely on in the relaxation of the cabin, as a lot focus has been compensated to audio-deadening in the wheel wells and in advance of the front bulkhead. The result, it turns out, is a nicely quiet affair that stood out as a highlight on the highway.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, front

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, front

The travel
The experience, meanwhile, stood out on the open road and most just about everywhere else. Damaged concrete, degree crossings, speed bumps – absorption, absorption, absorption. The only area that seriously bought it out of types was a operate of grooved concrete as a result of a section of roadworks. I would jam it more than the roughest, damaged concrete I could uncover just to set it off but to no avail. The Santa Cruz’s off-road bent indicates a somewhat greater experience height and the body roll that arrives with that, but this is no deal-breaker, by any indicates.

And off-road bent, this car or truck certainly has. In addition to that experience height, the H-Trac AWD program is a robust one particular, shuffling ability to the wheels that need it dependent on circumstance (and telling you it is executing so with a useful screen within the gauge cluster) to get you out of a slippery circumstance. For the duration of our driver, we were presented the opportunity to literally travel up a ski hill slicked by right away rain, and the Santa Cruz responded very well. Even when starting from prevent on the grade, there was small hesitation.

Just decide on Mud manner (both the AWD modes and the powertrain modes are accessed via the identical button and toggle swap), which quickly activates hill-descent regulate and we were up and gone, no issue at all. What that indicates in exercise, of course, is that although this may perhaps not be a boulder basher, it will give you small difficulty on the forestry roads on the way to your favourite backcountry hiking location.

Then, on the way back again house you have all that ability to hold you company. Mated to a brief-shifting 8-speed automatic, the engine provides you grunt in just about every gear, from prevent, at speed and so on. There is a a lot less potent by natural means-aspirated engine accessible in other marketplaces that we do not get, but I’ll convey to you what: I just can’t say I pass up that with a powertrain this excellent.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, rear

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, rear

Heck, forget about the powertrain: quite a lot every little thing about the Santa Cruz is “this good”. It looks great, it drives seriously, seriously very well, it is able and that pickup mattress is the true deal. Hyundai has come with a product or service that’s original virtually to the position of becoming somewhat out there in left area, and which has obtained the target of seriously giving a pickup alternate to CUV purchasers. It is a bullseye.

We like

Ultra great-on the lookout
Functional pickup mattress
Good motor
We like a lot less

Sung back again seats with no central armrest
Some inside complete troubles
The competition

Ford Maverick
Honda Ridgeline

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, with tent

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, with tent

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, front grille

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, front grille



2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz photographs