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One of the newest pickup trucks available is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. Although having plenty of options for everyone is excellent, the perfect model can be challenging to find. One thing that’s important to most truck buyers is classic pickup utility. Moreover, part of that is all-wheel drive, which is vital to owners. Regardless of whether it’s a midsize or full-size truck, most people want AWD. Does the tiny 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz have AWD?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has optional AWD

A 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact truck parked on a beach. DOes it have AWD?
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Buying Hyundai’s newest pickup truck is an exciting choice. Although it won’t beat the Ram 1500 in towing or the Toyota Tacoma in off-roading, it’ll do just fine. Furthermore, anyone searching for a daily driver with some pickup truck capability would do well in a Santa Cruz. Even if you live in a snowy area that requires all-wheel drive, it’s a viable option. Fortunately, every version of the Hyundai pickup can get AWD.

According to Edmunds, even the SE base model has optional AWD. Although it comes standard with front-wheel drive for $25,735, AWD is a small price away. More specifically, adding AWD to the base model only costs $1,500. Paying extra money isn’t fun, but an all-wheel drive pickup for under $30,000 remains an excellent value. In addition, buyers can upgrade the $28,935 SEL with optional AWD.

Additionally, an optional package can upgrade the base model to be a bit more well-equipped. It might be the way to go if you’re interested in a more equipment-heavy truck for cheap. Buying the $3,270 Activity package grants owners access to a cargo bed tonneau cover, a sunroof, roof rails, a sliding rear window, a bed outlet, LED bed lighting, a digital instrument cluster, and wireless smartphone charging.

Which Santa Cruz has standard AWD?

A 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz with AWD parked in the woods. Does this pickup truck have all-wheel drive?
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Those uninterested in the optional all-wheel drive can get it standard in the top two models. The cheapest 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz with standard AWD is the SEL Premium trim level. However, the fully-loaded Limited trim also comes with AWD. Unfortunately, there’s a tremendous price increase from the SEL model to the SEL Premium. Buyers interested in standard AWD will have to pay a minimum of $37,425.

However, there is one other upgrade that makes this Santa Cruz worth the cash. Bottom trims come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Alternatively, buying the SEL Premium trim places a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder under the hood. As a result, the more expensive Santa Cruz makes 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, a massive upgrade. Additionally, the optional Activity package mentioned previously is standard.

Other upgrades to the SEL Premium include LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and digital key capability. However, if you’re willing to pay this much for the SEL Premium, we think the Limited trim is worth the upgrade.

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited worth the money?

Anyone interested in a small pickup with some power should not get the more expensive Santa Cruz trims. While they’re enticing, they’re also significantly more expensive than the bottom trims. However, those who want the turbocharged engine and standard all-wheel drive have two options. We don’t think the additional equipment included with the SEL Premium trim is very impressive. The majority of the extra cash pays for AWD and the turbocharged engine. That’s why at just under $40K, we’d recommend just going all the way to the top.

Buying the range-topping 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers many superior features. For example, leather upholstery, rear USB ports, ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, a Bose premium sound system, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system, and a lane-keeping system. For $41,465, only a few thousand more, the Limited trim is a significant upgrade over the SEL Premium model. Plus, it comes with standard AWD and the Hyundai pickup’s upgraded engine.

Every Santa Cruz can have AWD

In conclusion, every version of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz can have AWD. All-wheel drive is optional for the bottom trims and standard for the top. Along with the turbocharged engine, it’s a significant reason why the top-tier trim levels are so much more expensive. Furthermore, anyone interested in a compact daily driver with some pickup truck power will enjoy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.


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