The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Truck’s Greatest Strength Is Also It’s Weakness According to Consumer Reports

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz hit the market with a bang. Alongside the 2022 Ford Ranger, the Hyundai Santa Cruz has blasted open the doors for the small truck game once again. We haven’t seen a proper small pickup truck in a while, and it seems people were hungry for them. Well, now that they are here, it seems the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz’s greatest strength might also be its biggest weakness, according to Consumer Reports. 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz parked next to some water with surfboards on top.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

How big is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz? 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz with two srufers pulling boards out of the small pickup truck
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

For the first time in a long time, a small pickup truck is actually a small pickup truck. The Hyundai Santa Cruz basically is the result of slamming a small SUV cab on a pickup truck rear end. 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck bed is only four feet long. In fact, it is quite similar to the poor, defunct Subaru Baja. It sits a little taller and seems to have a touch more space in the cabin, but the two are indelibly linked. 

The Santa Cruz’s bed is actually smaller than any other on the market, including the Honda Ridgeline or Ford Maverick. This is both the small truck’s greatest strength and weakness. 

How did the Hyundai Santa Cruz do on Consumer Reports?

a black 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz parked in front of a field.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | MotorBiscuit: Joe Santos

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CR seemed like it wanted to like it, but it never could quite get there. Consumer Reports gave the Hyundai Santa Cruz a 59/100. This was a little surprising because Consumer Reports seems to like smaller unibody pickup trucks like the Honda Ridgeline, but that didn’t happen here. 

So many of the good parts of the Santa Cruz come from the fact that it’s small. However, Consumer Reports pointed out three specific things that it liked about it, and two of those three are direct results of the small size. However, the two specific strikes against it are also due to its size. 

The testers found that they really like the Hyundai Santa Cruz’s nimble driving feel, calling it “car-like.” They also liked the acceleration, which doesn’t have to be size-related except for the fact that its most powerful engine is a 2.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder making 281 hp. The other aspect that CR liked was the ease of use and layout of the controls. 

The negative parts are the size of the bed and rear visibility. The short bed is what makes the Santa Cruz special in the current market. This four-foot bed isn’t the right fit for folks who need a hard-working pickup truck. However, like the Honda Ridgeline, this truck will likely suit most people who think they need an F-150. Most people only use pickup trucks to haul a piece of furniture across town or take the trash to the dump. These small pickup trucks are enough for most people. 

Is the Hyundai Santa Cruz worth it? 

For many people, I think it is. With a starting price of $24,140, the price is a good fit for many. The small footprint also adds to its versatility and friendliness to those who may want a pickup truck but are “pickup truck people.” 

These small pickup trucks and the incoming electric pickup trucks are helping us rethink the truck landscape and reimagine more versatility and flexibility with how we define the segment. This is a good thing that is long overdue.