The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Is 1 of the Most Fuel-Efficient Pickups to Buy

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is just on the horizon, and it’s trying to make a splash in the segment. The Santa Cruz isn’t like other trucks, but it certainly does a few things better. Here’s a look at how the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks to buy.

The engine options for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in a gray color driving along the road in the desert
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Cruz may be in the compact truck segment, but it does have some decent engine options, according to MotorTrend. The standard engine on the Santa Cruz is a 2.5-liter I-4, and it gets about 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. That’s a decent amount of power for a truck of its size, but there’s also the optional 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4, which gets 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque.

That turbo engine allows the Santa Cruz to be as capable as many other trucks. When outfitted properly, it can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and it also has a max payload capacity of about 1,700 pounds.

For reference, the regular Santa Cruz can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which may be enough for many families. Furthermore, as MotorTrend wrote, while front-wheel drive is standard on the Santa Cruz, Hyundai does offer an all-wheel-drive option.

How fuel-efficient is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz’s fuel economy is interesting and remarkable in a few ways, according to MotorTrend. The standard configuration of the Santa Cruz, which is expected to start at about $25,000, gets about 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on highways, for a combined 23 MPG. What’s a bit surprising, according to MotorTrend, is the fact that when the Santa Cruz’s standard engine gets paired with all-wheel drive, its fuel economy actually improves.

That’s unusual since all-wheel drive typically hurts a car’s fuel economy slightly. Regardless, the 2022 Santa Cruz, with its standard 2.5-liter engine and all-wheel drive, gets 27 MPG on highways instead. However, its MPG numbers are the same as the standard Santa Cruz elsewhere. 

The turbocharged Santa Cruz will predictably get a worse fuel economy, but not by much. MotorTrend wrote that when the Santa Cruz is equipped with its turbo engine and all-wheel drive, it gets 19 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on highways, for a combined 22 MPG. Those fuel economy numbers are quite good for a truck, and they make the 2022 Santa Cruz one of the most fuel-efficient trucks.

How other trucks compare

Simply put, when it comes to the fuel economy numbers, the Hyundai Santa Cruz beats out many other trucks. For example, MotorTrend said that the Toyota Tacoma, in its standard configuration, gets 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on highways, for a combined 21 MPG. Overall, those numbers are close to the Santa Cruz’s, but most Tacoma owners aren’t driving around with the standard engine.

As such, the average Tacoma owner will lose even harder when it comes to fuel economy. This is the same story for the Honda Ridgeline, which has a lot in common with the Santa Cruz. The Ridgeline only has a V6 engine option, and it’ll get 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on highways, for a combined 21 MPG. The Ford Ranger, which gets 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on highways, for a combined 23 MPG, is pretty good, but still falls short of the Santa Cruz.

Make no mistake, however. Like MotorTrend wrote, trucks with diesel engines will probably be more fuel-efficient than the Hyundai Santa Cruz. And of course, compared to all-electric pickup trucks, the Santa Cruz, like other conventional trucks, doesn’t stand a chance.

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