2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pros to Consider Before Buying One

Remember the El Camino? Remember how iconic it became with its hybrid flare for economy and utility functions? Hyundai may have intended to play on those feels when it designed the Santa Cruz. But don’t mistake it for any outdated car meets truck mash-up. This functional gem is a lot of truck and utility wrapped in a stylish look.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a uniquely brand-new compact pickup. But Hyundai affectionately calls it a “sport adventure vehicle.” It’s already turning heads and inspiring critic reviews. If you haven’t scoped one out yet, there is a full roster of pros to consider, including feeling all nostalgic.

All the reasons you’ll love the Hyundai Santa Cruz

A white 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in front of a black background with a lite blue pattern.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Getty Images

Aside from the cool and funky look for a compact truck melded together with a sporty-looking crossover, there is plenty to love about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. Business Insider weighed in after spending some time with a tester. And the team’s most considerable admiration was for the versatile bed, chock-full of storage cubbies.

Another unique characteristic of the Hyundai Santa Cruz is its driving dynamics. The Santa Cruz is entertaining to drive, especially in Turbo mode. The top-of-the-line variation Business Insider tested proved to be punchy fun in the city, with its four-cylinder turbocharged engine harnessing 281 horses. 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is handsomely equipped, too

It doesn’t just look good and feel fun; the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz comes with bells and whistles you’d expect. In the safety department, enjoy must-haves like lane-departure warnings, forward-collision warnings, and lane-keeping assist features as standard. Bump up your trim and enjoy the blind-spot camera views and blind-spot monitoring, too.

Every model comes with compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in terms of technology. There’s a larger, 10.25-inch screen for higher trims, as well, for smooth and intuitive interactions.

CNET tested the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, too. And the team says while others can have the “real truck” debate, the Santa Cruz is more than capable of getting work done, with its all-wheel drive option and up to 5,000-lb towing capability with a braked trailer. Trailer sway controls are standard. However, CNET also reminds consumers that without a braked trailer, max towing is roughly 1,650-lbs. 

Which trim level suits you best?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is funky, fun, and functional, no matter how you look at it. But how do you know which Santa Cruz trim level is best suited for you? Edmunds breaks down the trims and price points, selecting the SEL Premium as the best variation to buy. However, the SEL is the most popular.

You’ll have your pick of four trims, the SE, the SEL, the SEL Premium, and the Limited. The standard SE is satisfactory, with a base MSRP of $26,885. But if you want heated mirrors, heated seats, and push-button start, you should upgrade to the SEL for roughly $30,085. At the SEL level you can add an optional Activity package to get the sunroof, household power outlet, and tonneau cover.

If you want the turbocharged engine, you’ll want to bump up to the SEL Premium or Limited trims. The SEL Premium comes with the Activity package, too. Limited brings luxury extras, like leather upholstery, ventilated seats, and the Bose premium sound system. The SEL Premium will set you back $37,075, while the Limited is $41,115.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is worth looking at for a host of reasons. And you might appreciate it as much as the road-testing critics out there. 

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