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If you need some pickup truck utility without any outstanding features, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an obvious choice. However, if you need more size and capability, you should avoid it. Here are some significant reasons not to buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: The base engine is underpowered

A blue Hyundai Santa Cruz is in the forest, there are some reasons not to buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
A blue Hyundai Santa Cruz is in the forest | Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a mini pickup truck with four different trim levels. Starting with the base SE trim, it comes with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine makes 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, which is underpowered. Of course, if you’re looking for a car in a pickup truck shape, this might be right for you. However, those needing true truck capability will not get much from the base engine.

On the other hand, the upgraded engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. That’s a significant step up from the base option. We’d recommend opting for the more expensive option 100 percent of the time. Unfortunately, that gives the Santa Cruz just one viable engine, which provides rivals with the advantage.

It’s shorter than midsize pickup truck rivals

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz midsize pickup truck.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The automaker doesn’t categorize the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz as a pickup truck but instead a Sport-Adventure Vehicle. While this means nothing, it is the company’s way of excusing its small size. However, we must still compare it to midsize rivals, as they’re the closest competition it has.

Though the Santa Cruz doesn’t intend to have tons of room, it falls far short of opponents. According to Edmunds, it’s about 10-15 inches shorter than most midsize options in the market. It uses unibody construction as opposed to body-on-frame underpinnings that most pickups use. Basically, it’s a 2022 Hyundai Tucson SUV shaped like a truck. That’s why it is smaller, though it does help it be more nimble around turns.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Price is too high compared to rivals

According to Car and Driver, a base model Santa Cruz pickup truck will run you about $25,385 with destination fees. That’s as affordable as other base models in its class, so no problem there. However, it becomes an issue as you get into the higher trim levels. Exceeding the second trim, SEL, to the SEL Premium makes the price jump roughly $10,000.

For the Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL Premium, you’ll pay at least $37,075. If you want the Limited fully loaded model, you’re looking at an astronomical $41,115. For the size and capability, or lack thereof, this truck provides, that’s very expensive. Even with everything included, plus the turbocharged engine, the Santa Cruz can only tow 5,000 pounds, gets 19/27 mpg, and isn’t very spacious. Although it comes with plenty of features, for over $40,000, it’s nothing to write home about.

Reasons not to buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

This Sport-Adventure Vehicle is exactly what that title suggests, not a pickup truck. It’s too small and incapable of most truck-like things. If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup, we’d recommend looking elsewhere. Although the base model Hyundai Santa Cruz is affordable, the engine is underwhelming, and specs like towing capacity are even worse. While the fully loaded version is much better, it isn’t enough to justify its expensive price point. In conclusion, there are many reasons not to buy the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, mainly because it’s too costly compared to more capable, well-equipped rivals.


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