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Do you need some of the pickup truck capability without all the space it takes up? Some people don’t want to drive something as big as a Ram 1500 or Ford F-150. If that sounds like you, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the answer for which you’re looking. It’s a mini, compact truck that provides enough pickup traits to battle in the midsize segment but is closer to an SUV. You might even say it’s an SUV that’s shaped like a truck, or as Hyundai calls it, a Sport-Adventure Vehicle. Here are three reasons to buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz for its cargo bed

A blue Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck is in the forest.
A blue Hyundai Santa Cruz is in the forest | Hyundai

While the cargo bed is one of the shortest in its segment at about four feet long, it’s very versatile. The small Santa Cruz cargo bed will likely be perfect if you don’t need to constantly carry payloads of long lumber or other materials. It comes with a lockable tonneau cover and a useful in-bed trunk. According to Car and Driver, it’s similar to what Honda offers with its Ridgeline midsize truck.

Fancy tailgates and cargo beds are commonplace in the pickup truck market now. Features like an in-bed trunk will soon become the standard, but the Santa Cruz provides one earlier than most. Having extra space under the bed to store smaller items is amazingly useful, as it can clear the cargo bed of things that don’t need all that space.

A reason to buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is its turbocharged engine

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck, there are plenty of reasons to buy one.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

While the standard engine of the Santa Cruz is a bit underwhelming, the optional one makes up for it. Get rid of the 191 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder for the turbocharged version to get 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Car and Driver say it adds power and “punchier responses” that feel much better in the Hyundai pickup truck.

Additionally, the more powerful turbocharged engine allows for more towing capacity. With the standard engine, the Santa Cruz maxes out at 3,500 pounds. However, the optional engine brings that number up to 5,000. That’s the same amount of weight as the only other unibody truck in its class, the Honda Ridgeline. It still falls short in towing capacity to the other midsize trucks, but they’re body-on-frame.

High quality and high-tech interior make it worth the cash

If you’re interested in a pickup truck of this size, you’re probably looking for more of a daily driver than a work truck. With that comes the importance of interior comfort, technology, and features. In those categories, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is certainly not lacking. Firstly, it’s the first truck in its class to offer a fully digital gauge cluster and still uses a traditional center console shifter instead of the new rotary knobs or push-button ones (which is a good thing).

Hyundai gave its Sport-Adventure Vehicle plenty of technology to keep you entertained. A standard 8-inch touchscreen is good, but the optional 10.3-inch screen is even better. The choice to not use any physical knobs or controls is frustrating, but the touchscreen is responsive, so it’s better than other models. Other standard features include wireless device charging, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and more. An upgraded sound system is available in the form of a Bose eight-speaker setup if that’s something you value. Lastly, the Hyundai Blue Link services give owners the ability to start the truck, lock and unlock doors, and more with the internet, various apps, and Amazon Alexa.

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz right for you?

There are many reasons to buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck. Primarily, it’s an excellent option for those who do more commuting and road-tripping than towing or hauling. If you need a family vehicle that’s functional, spacious, and high-tech, it’s the perfect truck. Where it lacks in size, it makes up in other ways. Some reasons to buy the Santa Cruz include the versatile cargo bed, turbocharged engine, and high quality, high-tech interior.


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