Hyundai Santa Cruz debuts: Compact pickup for those who hate big trucks

Updated May 31, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The Santa Cruz is ready to go on an adventure.

After getting revealed around five years ago, Hyundai has finally launched the production version of its pickup truck concept. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz debuts with a well-rounded and familiar design that’s ready for some adventure. 

“Santa Cruz, with its bolding styling, breaks open all-new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility couple with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure its pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments,” said Hyundai Motor North America President and CEO Jose Munoz.

Watch the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe World Premiere


The Hyundai Santa Cruz shares the same front fascia design as the all-new Tucson with slight differences. The front end of the pickup truck is sleeker as compared to its compact crossover sibling which creates that more rugged and off-road-ready look.

Hyundai Santa Cruz front view

The all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz

Large 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design are used by the model to help it conquer the toughest of roads. 18-inch wheels are also available as an option. Going to the rear end, the pickup truck’s rear tail lights rolled with a horizontal “T” lighting signature design so it can be mistaken on the road as said by the Korean carmaker.

>>> Want a more budget-friendly compact pickup? Check out these Isuzu D-Max 2012!


Inside, Hyundai design teams purposefully engineered the Santa Cruz to provide the utmost comfort especially for long drives. As standard, the center console is embedded with an 8-inch infotainment screen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity) and can be complemented with a Bose audio system as an option. It is also installed with a 10-inch digital cluster display that should provide a more innovative driving experience.

Hyundai Santa Cruz interior view

Interior view of the Hyundai Santa Cruz

Engine and Performance

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is offered with two engine options. The first option is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine capable of producing 190 hp and 244 Nm of torque, while the other is the same engine but is turbocharged, making 275 hp and 420 Nm of torque.

Hyundai Santa Cruz engine

Two engine options are available for Hyundai's new pickup truck

The gasoline engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. On the other hand, the turbocharged engine is connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). Both engine options can come with an all-wheel-drive system for better control on any type of road. This system provides an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles.

Safety features

As for safety, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is installed with a wide array of technologies under the Hyundai SmartSense feature suite. Standard features include forward collision-avoidance assist (FCA) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, and driver attention warning.

Hyundai Santa Cruz infotainment screen

8-inch infotainment screen

Meanwhile, optional safety features for the Hyundai SmartSense feature suite include blind-spot collision-avoidance assist (BCA), safe exit assist (SEA), blind-spot view monitor, highway drive assist, surround-view monitor, and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist (RCCA).


Hyundai hasn’t revealed the price for the all-new Santa Cruz just yet. But it will be creating an early reservation system for the U.S. market in late April. The production for Hyundai’s latest pickup truck addition will begin in Montgomery, Alabama in June. There's no word yet if the Santa Cruz will be offered in the Philippine market. But since it's a global pickup truck model, there might be a chance that the Santa Cruz will be introduced here in the local market. 

Hyundai Santa Fe rear view

The newest addition to the Korean car brand's model lineup

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Younger fans might not be aware of it, but the Korean wave or hallyu predates the slick choreography of K-pop groups and the hearty servings of samgyupsal. It’s actually rooted in the writings of Kim Gu, who led the movement to set Korea free from Japanese occupation during the 1920s.

Kim wanted Korea to be a power in its own right, but not in terms of political or military might. He was aware of the suffering his people endured when Japan annexed the country, and so he harbored the idea that Korean culture can be used as a soft power to shape global perception through attraction, not coercion.

HARI has proudly carried the Hyundai brand in the Philippines for 20 years

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez


Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.


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