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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