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The Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick are two of the most disruptive vehicles on the market. These tiny trucks hit the scene with a bang and since then, these two have been massively popular. However, the Maverick has certainly out-shined the Santa Cruz in popularity. This is why the 2024 Santa Cruz being a carry-over model is a bit disappointing. That said, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz will ditch the SEL Premium trim and replace it with the sportier XRT. 

What comes on the new 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT trim?

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT wheels closeup.
2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT | Hyundai

One of the more noticeable changes is a new set of wheels. These new wheels follow the current trend of strangely complicated wheels with patterns. The new wheels are adorned with anodized reddish-orange center caps that offer a sporty punch. They are mostly black with some silver accents to match the rest of the dark theme seen on the door handles, mirror caps, and front and back fascia. 

Taking a cue from the Subaru Outback Wilderness’ bolstered fender cladding, the Hyundai pickup truck also grew its fender guards. The XRT trim will be aimed at the more active driver. To that end, the little truck will also get side steps and bed rails. 

What engine comes with the new Santa Cruz

Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT engine turbocharged 2.5-liter
2.5 liter turbocharged GDI I-4 | Hyundai

The 2024 Santa Cruz XRT trim will get the 2.5-liter turbocharged GDI I-4 and eight-speed dual-clutch Shiftronic. This powerplant makes a surprisingly hefty 281 hp and 311 lb-ft. The standard powertrain is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-pot making 191 hp and 181 lb-ft. 

What’s the interior of the new Hyundai pickup truck like?

The new Santa Cruz trim gets a Faux leather leather interior. As noted by MotorTrend, the steering wheel and shifter wear real leather, while the seats get H-Tex faux leather, a seating material that is only available on the XRT and the Night trims. 

The new faux leather isn’t the only interior upgrade. There is also now dual automatic climate control that also includes auto defog for any trim over the SEL. The SEL Activity package, along with the Night, XRT, and Limited trims, includes a 10.25-inch infotainment screen that can be controlled with their voice. 

The Santa Cruz has a decent pile of safety systems that come standard across all models. Some of those systems include lane keep assist and collision avoidance systems. What is particularly cool is that now the steering wheel provides haptic feedback alerting drivers of crossing into other lanes or other approaching vehicles. Lastly, night driving is a bit friendlier with standard-issue LED projector headlights. 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz still has plenty of growing up to do

Santa Cruz XRT badge
XRT Badge | Hyundai

The Santa Cruz is an exciting vehicle. The blend of crossover and pickup trucks is unique and unquestionably practical. However, given its status as a pickup truck, it’s a shame that there still aren’t any off-road settings or modes for the AWD model. We understand that this isn’t Hyundai’s specialty, but if the automaker wants to play in the truck world, it is going to need to get smart on the off-road side of things. 

Chances are, the model will get there eventually. We hope it is sooner rather than later