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The pickup truck market is heating up in the U.S., and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one of the newest competitors in the compact pickup truck segment. Although the Santa Cruz has received some great reviews, it’s lacking in some areas, and unfortunately, some of those areas matter a lot for truck fans. Here’s a look at the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited and how it costs $40,000 but can only tow 5,000 pounds. 

A look at what the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has to offer

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited in Blue Stone parked in front of a shop on Irving Street
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited | Hyundai Motor America

As Car and Driver says, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a brand-new compact pickup, and it’s pretty unique compared to its peers. In fact, it’s so unique that Hyundai refers to the truck as a “sport adventure vehicle,” but it’s still essentially a truck. It’s similar to the Honda Ridgeline in many ways, as they both have a unibody construction and a relatively short truck bed.

The Santa Cruz starts at about $25,000, and it comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. This is a pretty weak engine as it’ll only allow the truck to tow about 3,500 pounds, but it’s quite fuel-efficient. It gets about 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on highways, for a combined rating of 24 mpg.

In terms of the cabin, the Santa Cruz actually has a pretty spacious and nice interior. It comes with an 8.0-inch touch screen display and many standard and optional tech features. Additionally, thanks to its unibody design, the ride quality is relatively comfortable, too.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited has a limited amount of towing capability

While the standard Hyundai Santa Cruz comes with a pretty weak engine, the top-tier trims get a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as standard. This turbocharged engine gets 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque instead. Not only does this engine give the Hyundai a more rewarding driving experience, but it improves its towing capacity, too. Unfortunately, the top-tier Limited trim costs $41,000, and it can only tow 5,000 pounds even with that engine.

That’s not a good towing capacity, and many pickup trucks can tow far more than that while being much cheaper. For example, the standard Ford F-150 starts at about $30,000, and it can still tow about 7,600 pounds of stuff even with its standard 3.3-liter V6 engine. The Chevy Silverado is similar, as it can tow about 7,900 pounds with its standard 4.3-liter V6 engine while costing about $32,000.

Hyundai’s new ‘sport adventure vehicle’ may still be worth it anyway 

It’s clear that towing is not the Hyundai Santa Cruz’s strong suit, but Hyundai knows this and isn’t building the Santa Cruz for folks who need huge towing numbers. After all, most people don’t need to tow a boat every day, so the Santa Cruz probably offers enough towing capacity for most drivers. Additionally, the Santa Cruz is still a truck, and thus, it still has a truck bed. 

This Hyundai truck’s bed is one of its highlights, according to Car and Driver. It’s only about four feet long, but it’s versatile and very practical. For instance, it has a lockable tonneau cover, and there’s an in-bed cargo space that can be fun for tailgate parties.

However, what’s really great about the Santa Cruz is its cabin. Car and Driver wrote that the Santa Cruz is the first truck in the segment to offer “a fully digital gauge cluster.” Furthermore, despite being a compact truck, its passenger space is similar to what other larger-sized trucks have to offer.


The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Is More Practical Than a Toyota Tacoma In Real Life