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The Hyundai Santa Cruz is an oddball. This strangeness affords the tiny pickup truck plenty of likeability and buzz, but can its small bed do any pickup truck stuff? Seeing as most full-size trucks are barely used as pickup trucks; the Santa Cruz probably isn’t on the radar of people who need to do serious hauling. However, maybe we should find out if anything can actually fit in the Hyundai Santa Cruz, just in case. 

A 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz small truck sits parked.
Hyundai Santa Cruz | Eric Boman, MotorBiscuit

How long is the Hyundai Santa Cruz bed?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz’s bed is 42.5 inches across at its narrowest point (between the wheel wells) and 49.75 inches at its widest point. From end to end, the Santa Cruz bed is 4 feet long. Making matters even worse, a common extra is the sliding tonneau cover for the bed. This feature, while plenty handy, limits the bed space even more. For comparison, the Santa Cruz’s main competitor, the Ford Maverick, has a 4.5-foot bed. 

What can you fit in a Hyundai Santa Cruz?

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

MotorTrend ordered a Santa Cruz for some serious long-term testing. The crew has spent a lot of time figuring out what will fit in the Santa Cruz bed and what won’t. 

The Hyundai successfully carried a fresh Christmas tree. Now, Christmas trees aren’t exactly a standardized item, which would be better for knowing what the truck is capable of, but hey, the team says the little truck carried their 10-ft tree. Tree: check. 

The testers loaded up a “normal” three-person couch into the teeny truck. Like the Christmas tree, the tailgate had to be left open. 

The bed also successfully carried a Honda generator and an extension ladder. Like with everything else, the bed had to remain down, and the bed wasn’t deep enough to hold the genny with the tonneau cover closed. There was also a small cabinet that seemed to have fit beautifully, but upon closer inspection, the locking mechanism on the bed cover hung too far down to let it close. 

Where this little truck really excels with luggage and road trip goods. The bed, while only four feet long, is longer than many trunks, so no problem there. And unlike many other trucks, the tonneau cover allows for storage without worry of the elements getting to your gear. In this regard, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a tough competitor. 

Does the Santa Cruz bed too short?

Honestly, it seems that as long as you know the best way to use Hyundai’s little truck, then it can be a great family SUV. It isn’t overly pickup trucky, but the bed becomes really cool if you look at it like an open truck on an otherwise compact crossover. I know that is kind of what a truck bed is in general, but there is something different about the Hyundai. It’s all so compact that it gives the illusion, for lack of a better term, that the Santa Cruz feels like an open-air SUV. In that regard, the storage is killer. If you are expecting the Hyundai Santa Cruz to act like a traditional pickup, you’ll probably be unsatisfied with what it can hold. However, it all changes with the right perspective.