Everything About Hyundai Santa Cruz: A Compact Pickup That Packs a Punch

Hyundai Santa Cruz

As a car enthusiast, I’ve always been intrigued by vehicles that break the mold. The Hyundai Santa Cruz does just that. It’s not your typical pickup truck; it’s a compact, lifestyle-oriented vehicle that bridges the gap between SUVs and traditional pickups. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about this unique offering from Hyundai.

Overview of Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Hyundai Santa Cruz, first introduced in 2022, has quickly made a name for itself in the compact pickup segment. In view of the Tucson hybrid, it offers the flexibility of a truck with the comfort of an SUV. The 2025 model year brings a revive, making it much more interesting to individuals who need utility without sacrificing style or comfort.

Model Year2025
Body Style4-door compact pickup
Seating Capacity5 passengers
Bed Length4 feet
Drivetrain OptionsFWD or AWD
Base Engine2.5L 4-cylinder
Optional Engine2.5L Turbo 4-cylinder
Max Towing Capacity5,000 lbs


The Santa Cruz is a compact package with impressive specs. At 195.7 inches long and 75.0 inches wide, it’s easy to maneuver in urban environments. The 118.3-inch wheelbase provides a stable ride, while the 66.7-inch height gives it a commanding presence on the road. It has a curb weight of 4,132 lbs for the Limited AWD model, and while it is not a lightweight vehicle, it is also not overly bulky.

Price of Every Model

The Hyundai Santa Cruz has been well placed in the market by Hyundai. Here are the details of the estimated 2025 pricing:

  • SE: $29,000
  • SEL: $32,000
  • Night: $40,000
  • XRT: $42,000
  • Limited: $43,000

While it’s slightly pricier than its main rival, the Ford Maverick, the Santa Cruz offers a unique blend of features that justify the cost.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance of Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz offers two engine options:

Base 2.5L 4-cylinder:

  • 191 hp @ 6,100 rpm
  • 181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 8-speed automatic transmission

Turbocharged 2.5L 4-cylinder:

  • 281 hp @ 5,800 rpm
  • 311 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
  • 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission

I was able to get behind the wheel of the turbocharged model, and it is quite enthusiastic. It goes from 0-60 mph in only 6.0 seconds, which is very good for a pickup. The automatic dual-clutch transmission is well-calibrated and the car is fun to drive.

Interior and Exterior Comfort

Interior and Exterior Comfort Hyundai Santa Cruz

However, when you get to Hyundai Santa Cruz you will be amazed. The cabin looks and feels more premium than what you would find in most pickup trucks available today. The 2025 model likewise gets another component of a double 12.3-inch show arrangement in higher trims that give a dash of complexity to the inside of the vehicle.

Concerning the exterior, the 2025 update introduces a more muscular stylish, especially in the XRT model. The four-foot bed could look little, however, it is exceptionally viable. I additionally love the lockable tonneau cover and the in-bed trunk since I can utilize them to store and safeguard things of significant worth.

Fuel Economy

Speaking about fuel consumption, in my opinion, it is quite reasonable for vehicles of this class. Here are the EPA estimates:

  • Base engine (FWD): 22 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
  • Base engine (AWD): 21 mpg city / 25 mpg highway
  • Turbo engine (AWD): 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway

Upon my highway test, I was able to get 75 mph, with the turbocharged engine achieving a real-world 30 mpg, which was higher than the EPA rating.


Sadly, Hyundai does not hold back when it comes to safety in Hyundai Santa Cruz. Standard equipment includes

  • Forward collision avoidance system with pedestrian detection
  • LDW or lane departure warning and LKA or lane-keeping assist.
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Higher trims give different highlights, for example, adaptive cruise control. Current authority crash test appraisals have not been delivered, yet in light of Hyundai’s past exhibitions, it tends to be accepted that Santa Cruz will do well on safety tests.


Hyundai’s warranty coverage is among the best in the industry:

  • Limited warranty: 5 years or 60000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 10 years or 100000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance: 3 years or 36000 miles

This generous coverage offers a lot of value to the Santa Cruz package.

Colors Available

As for the interior design, the ship has a variety of colors to meet any preferences. Some of the likely 2025 colors which haven’t been unveiled include:

  • Ice White
  • Phantom Black
  • Hampton Gray
  • Blue Stone
  • Sage Gray


Critics and consumers alike have praised Hyundai Santa Cruz for its unique positioning. It’s often described as a “Sport Adventure Vehicle” rather than a traditional pickup. Consumers appreciate its handling, like a car, new technologies, and design. The refresh for 2025 should be expected to respond to minor complaints and make it even more appealing.

Pros and Cons of Hyundai Santa Cruz

Here we give some information that you must know when you want to buy this pickup car:


  • Distinctive style that sets the product apart
  • Carlike handling and comfort
  • Powerful turbocharged engine option
  • Universal bed with new solutions
  • High-quality interior
  • Excellent warranty coverage


  • Higher starting price compared to some of the other car manufacturers.
  • Less cab width than other midsize pickups
  • Still, fuel efficiency could be improved, more so with the base motor.

Towing and Payload Capacity

The Santa Cruz is not just an eye candy; it can do real work as well and that is the magic of the car. With the base engine, it can tow as much as 3,500 pounds. Go with the turbocharged engine and that capacity jumps to a competitive 5,000 lbs, on par with midsize trucks.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz leaps forward in tech. Every trim level now comes with a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. The higher trimmed versions come with twin 12.3-inch screens in a curved panel. Standard features also include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, plus Hyundai Blue Link services, which are complimentary for the first three years.

Off-Road Capabilities

It is not an off-road vehicle, but the Santa Cruz can handle unpaved roads and trails without any issues. The new XRT trim improves this with special 18-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, and a more muscular look. A four-wheel drive system is offered across the range aside from the SE, which comes in handy when there is a need for more grip.

Cargo Solutions

It is not large but the bed of the Santa Cruz is designed well. The lockable tonneau cover comes in handy for storage in a way that you can secure items, and there is the in-bed trunk, which provides concealed storage. It has tie-down points and has the capability of being connected to a 115-volt power source which makes it usable for any job.

Driving Experience

Since having the chance to sit behind the wheel, I can confirm that the Hyundai Santa Cruz offers a premium driving experience. It is easier to manage like a crossover than a truck; it has a good turning radius and is quite comfortable on the inside. The turbocharged drive is rather potent for merging and passing maneuvers, while the all-wheel-drive system ensures stable handling in various situations.

Customization Options

Hyundai has provided accessories that give the Santa Cruz a tailored look. From bed extenders to roof racks, you can change them according to one’s lifestyle requirements. Another area gradually opening up options is the aftermarket, and this expands the potential for customization as well.


The Hyundai Santa Cruz carves out a unique niche in the automotive landscape. It isn’t for everyone – it is too small for traditional pickup buyers and the open rear will never cut it with SUV aficionados. However, for those who desire standard pickup features with a comfortable and fuel-efficient crossover design, the Santa Cruz is perfect. But with the Tucson’s 2025 refresh, it has become an even more appealing contender in the compact pickup sector.

FAQs About Hyundai Santa Cruz

Q1. Is Santa Cruz dependable?

Ans. The Santa Cruz has a predicted reliability score of 83-84 out of 100.

Q2. Is it worth visiting Santa Cruz?

Ans. The Santa Cruz gives consumers a fashionable and practical option to traditional mid-size pickups.

Q3. Is the Santa Cruz a 4-wheel drive?

Ans. Yes, the Santa Cruz is offered with all-wheel drive (AWD).

Q4. What is the gas mileage on a Santa Cruz?

Ans. The Santa Cruz gets approximately 21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway with AWD7.

Q5. Why is Hyundai Santa Cruz so expensive?

Ans. Santa Cruz’s higher price is due to its quality, features, and unique design.

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