The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Looks Confused, but Don’t Let It Confuse You

Last month, Hyundai revealed new images of its upcoming 2022 Santa Cruz. And the unique body design looks a little confused. But the brand’s first-ever crossover truck (uh, not a truck?) is an exciting entry into whatever segment it’s supposed to fit. Just don’t let it confuse you.

What features of the Hyundai Santa Cruz give it a confused look?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz’s unique has many people confused. Even the grille has a perplexed look. Is this a truck? No, it’s not, Hyundai claims. The unibody design shares some truck-like features, including a cab and a small bed. However, the automaker makes clear the Santa Cruz is a “sport adventure vehicle.”

If we were to put it into an equation, it would look like this: Unibody construction like a crossover SUV + Open bed like a pickup truck = The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SAV. Does that clear things up? If not, that’s OK, because the design and features are new. 

Don’t let the design throw you off. This SAV comes with power. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder should make about 190 hp with 180 lb-ft of torque. And the upgraded turbocharged engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder harnessing about 275 hp and 310 lb-ft. 

Critics’ opinions about the Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Hyundai Santa Cruz might be getting a little pushback over the truck/not-a-truck controversy, but critics appear impressed overall. We may not be accustomed to all that SAVs offer, but that’s thanks to the newness of this vehicle class. Hyundai is looking to the future, and it’s putting consumers’ needs front and center.

There’s been a growing demand for vehicles that fit into our lives. Today’s consumers consider daily activities, weekend adventures, and price points when shopping for new cars, trucks, or SUVs. The Hyundai Santa Cruz SAV provides the best aspects of a truck in a smaller package like a crossover SUV. It’s easier to get around the city and to fit in parking spots. Plus, it can hold up well off-road for a quick adventure away from the city. And with an estimated starting price of $25,000, you won’t be afraid to test some limits. 

According to Car and Driver, “The Santa Cruz certainly looks more distinct than the Honda — or any other mid-size truck, for that matter­ — with its interesting face and creased sheet metal.” 

Who would buy this SAV?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz‘s versatility appeals to a whole new group of consumers. Some of the obvious would be adventure seekers like rock climbers, off-roaders, and campers. Some not-so-obvious future Santa Cruz drivers might be parents, millennials, and professionals stuck in the city all week.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz looks confused, thanks to its unique crossover design. But its design makes it work for most situations. According to Hyundai, the “open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers.”

The SAV’s bed is perfect for hauling bulky, not heavy items. It has a max payload of 1,300 pounds and a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. Hyundai also designed it with a trunk under the flatbed to keep items hidden or secure. And there’s a slide-out cover to protect items in the bed. Another cool feature is the remote-operated tailgate release for easier loading. 

Sure, this vehicle might not earn much respect from truck purists, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in style. The Hyundai Santa Cruz’s confused look will wear off as more manufacturers develop their own SAVs.