Consumer Reports Suggests This 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Small trucks are making a big comeback in the United States, and Hyundai has taken advantage of that with the release of the 2022 Santa Cruz. Although the Santa Cruz is not as capable as a full-size truck, that’s not what it was built for. This compact pickup is designed to have the utility of a truck bed along with the comfort of a smaller crossover. But, if you are shopping for one, which version is the best to get? According to Consumer Reports, one stands out from the crowd, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL Premium. 

What 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz should you buy?

According to Consumer Reports, the best version of Santa Cruz to buy may be the SEL Premium trim. This version comes with a number of benefits including all-wheel drive and the more powerful engine option.


The turbo engine offered to the Santa Cruz SEL Premium makes 281 horsepower, which is fairly potent for a vehicle of this size. The standard engine makes nearly 100 hp less than the turbo, and to some drivers, it may not feel powerful enough. Better yet, a small truck with AWD will have the ability to handle a range of environments. And that is something that is likely to be appreciated. 

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz a real truck?

Although it may not look like a traditional pickup, the Santa Cruz is a legitimate small truck. With the SEL Premium trim, buyers get the benefit of a built-in tonneau cover which will help keep gear and other items in your bed protected. The Santa Cruz rides on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson, and the turbo engine is borrowed from the 2022 Santa Fe.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz shows off its potential as a small truck
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

In terms of towing, the 2022 Santa Cruz SEL Premium can handle up to 5,000 pounds. And that is 1,000 lbs more than the 2022 Ford Maverick, which means this compact pickup has an advantage. Hyundai’s truck may come up short in terms of off-roading, but outside of that, it should be able to handle most uses. 

Should you buy the Santa Cruz?

If you are interested in a small truck, the Santa Cruz may be an ideal option. It has a starting cost of $24,440, which does make it fairly affordable. It is worth noting that the SEL Premium trim does start at $36,130, which is significantly more expensive than the base model. But, you do get a fair amount of features, including a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. 

As a compact pickup truck, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz shows off its capability.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Consumer Reports Only Hates 2 Things About the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The top-trim Santa Cruz is known as the Limited. Its price starts north of $40k. And that is putting the Santa Cruz well into full-size truck territory. But Hyundai does mention that this model does come with plenty of luxury features to make it a convenient pickup. 

At the end of the day, the 2022 Santa Cruz SEL Premium does mark Hyundai’s entrance into the truck segment. Granted it has not been selling as well as the Maverick, it is still a decent pickup. Plus, it offers convenient sizing and unique design.