2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Motor Trend|February 2022
MotorTrend’s Truck of the Year competition isn’t a comparison test, but when it came to the new Hyundai Santa Cruz, judges found it difficult to avoid comparisons with the Ford Maverick, the other new compact pickup that dropped this year.
Christian Seabaugh

PROS Fun to drive in turbo form • Looks great • Neat tonneau cover

CONS Can’t speak to the base engine’s performance or refinement • Less capable than the Ford Maverick • More expensive and less efficient than the Maverick

“The Santa Cruz drives pretty well, but it doesn’t have the Maverick’s charm,” Mexico editor Miguel Cortina said.

VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door truck ENGINE, TRANSMISSION 2.5L turbo port- and direct-injected DOHC 16-valve 1-4, 8-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,187 lb (56/44%) WHEELBASE 118.3 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 195.7 x 75.0 x 66.7 in EPA City/Hwy/Comb 19/27/22 mpg

Ignoring the Ford, it’s worth considering what the new Santa Cruz is. Hyundai’s first pickup in this market (it has sold a light-duty pickup in South Korea since the late 1970s), the Santa Cruz is a new compact pickup based on the Tucson crossover. The standard drivetrain is a 191-hp 2.5-liter I-4 paired with an eight-speed automatic and either front- or all-wheel drive. A 281-hp turbocharged version of the four-cylinder is available on upper-tier models. It’s paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive, though front-wheel drive will be available later in 2022.

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