2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz $24,000 Base: You Won’t Believe the Cost Loaded

Hyundai has finally released the prices for what is expected to be the hot 2022 Santa Cruz. Now we know why it waited so long. The Santa Cruz base price of $24,000 is a few grand above rival Ford Maverick. But that’s not the eye-popper. 

Is over $40,000 for a loaded Hyundai Santa Cruz too high?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck driving down a country highway as the sun rises
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai Motor Company

For a loaded Santa Cruz, that price can jump to over $40,000. Yikes! For comparison, that’s $4,500 over a base Silverado, $7,000 more than a base Ram 1500, and over $10,000 above a base F-150. 

Yes, adding options like the Santa Cruz turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine pushes the price way up. But the Santa Cruz also comes better-equipped in its base form than a Maverick. So, if you’re considering a unibody pickup you may need to compare features more than prices.  

From 18-inch wheels, remote opening tailgate, and eight-speed automatic, the Santa Cruz gives you more. There are also more safety features on the base model. And all-wheel drive comes for an additional $1,500, which isn’t bad.

Honda Ridgeline is the closest production pickup to the Santa Cruz right now

A front exterior shot of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz with its headlights and grille lit up
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | © 2020 Hyundai Motor America

The closest pickup to the Santa Cruz in production right now is the Honda Ridgeline. And its base price is way above the Santa Cruz base. But it is a larger truck than the Santa Cruz, also. The base for a Ridgeline is around $36,500. 

If the folks at Hyundai used the Ridgeline for establishing the Santa Cruz price then it is a bargain compared to the Honda. But they are vastly different trucks. First, the Ridgeline is considered a mid-size pickup. 

This Maverick/Santa Cruz/Ram 700 category is considered a small pickup. So capacities, comfort, and prices are going to be higher. But once you get into the higher range of Ridgeline, it falls comfortably back into loaded Santa Cruz territory. A Black Edition Ridgeline, the highest trim for the Honda, comes to around $45,000. 

Look at features before comparing prices

A silver 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz parked on asphalt in a desert with mountains in the distance
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai Motor America

So the differences in price between a base Santa Cruz and base Ridgeline closes up when you look at comparable high-end prices. Once again, look at options and features before looking at the price. It might steer you into one over the other. 

One other thing to consider is that right now Santa Cruz is a rare beast. A hot commodity. Production has begun, but deliveries won’t start for another week or two. For the rest of the summer prices will reflect that, and then some. 

As you’ve no doubt heard on the news or read about, car prices, whether new or used, are through the roof. And that has to do with availability. New-car dealers are clamoring for anything they can get. And something real new like Santa Cruz will probably see markups as dealers try to capitalize on the current state of car availability. 

The good news is that Santa Cruz looks to be a winner for Hyundai. And it, along with the Ridgeline, has sparked a flood of copies. Ford will have its small Maverick soon, and both Chevy and Ram already have similar pickups selling outside of the US. But they might have to be configured to meet federal crash standards. And they need to have enough fat in them. If they meet those prerequisites, then we will see similar models from these manufacturers in the not too distant future.

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