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The long-awaited Hyundai Santa Cruz is becoming a reality with the upcoming 2022 model year. The South Korean automaker is calling the newest addition to its product lineup a “Sport Adventure Vehicle,” quick to note that it is not a standard pickup truck.

Fully designed in California, with plans to manufacture in Alabama, the all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz is “Made in America.” The unique design creates a versatile option that meets the demand of both off-road and city driving.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz sits in a class by itself with a fresh and bold new look unlike anything else currently on the market. Several underrated features are pretty impressive and worth checking out when the new models arrive.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will have bumper corner steps

The first noteworthy feature worth mentioning is the integrated bumper corner steps. Located in the rear of the vehicle, both the driver and passengers will benefit from easy access to the truck bed. 

The bumper steps are wide enough for a large boot and can handle up to 440 pounds. GM has used this type of step for the past several years. The embedded design is convenient and more functional than the traditional swing-out-style bed steps found on other pickups.

According to Pickup Truck Talk, the Hyundai Santa Cruz has treaded cut-outs on both sides of the rear bumper. There are three easily accessible step-height levels, all of which have anti-slip properties. The first is the embedded cut-outs, the second is below the license plate at the center of the bumper, and the third is the top of the bumper itself. 

A truck bed that offers unique storage capabilities

The unique four-foot bed offers plenty of room for hauling, with innovative molded-in ledges and mid-level rests for extra storage capabilities. Self-leveling shock absorbers help even out the load when carrying heavy cargo.

An optional roll-up tonneau cover provides added protection for storing items and comes with a lock to prevent theft. The metal cover utilizes a latch release system that allows it to slide to the back of the bed. A tether strap makes operation quick and convenient. The factory-installed option will most likely be a popular option for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

A rooftop cargo basket will be available as a dealer-installed accessory. GoPro fender mounts will also be an available option.

Storage compartments are conveniently located throughout the vehicle, including underneath the rear seats. There is a large storage container integrated under the bed that is lockable and easy to access. LED lighting illuminates the compartment that can double as an ice chest, complete with a built-in drain.

MotorTrend noted, “its small bed is full of clever tricks that should make it seriously useful for many common small-truck tasks.”

The debut of the highly-anticipated 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The two-row, crew-cab style Hyundai Santa Cruz is the first consumer pickup truck designed by Hyundai for the U.S. market. The words “SANTA CRUZ” are proudly stamped across the back tailgate with “HYUNDAI” prominently displayed on the release handle. “Designed in California” is embossed on the tail lights to pay homage to the California-based design team.

The unibody construction offers plenty of room for cargo in the bed. The cabin is equally spacious, able to accommodate four adult passengers. The Santa Cruz measures 195.7 inches long, 75.0 inches wide, and 66.7 inches tall, making it slightly shorter than its closest competitor, the Honda Ridgeline.

Pricing has not yet been revealed, but Forbes speculates the price will most likely begin in the mid-twenties. Production is expected to begin June 2021, with the first models available for sale this summer. 


Hey Hyundai: This 2-Door Santa Cruz is What We Really Want