Consumer Reports is Wrong About the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and the 2022 Jeep Gladiator

The Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Jeep Gladiator may seem miles apart, but they are more similar than most of us think. He places these two trucks hold in the pickup truck market are significant. Although they appear so different on the surface, both trucks represent a step outside the norm for the pickup truck market. As a result, they are both massively influential and worth your time. However, Consumer Reports didn’t love either, but the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz completely smashed the 2022 Jeep Gladiator. But should it have? 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz from behind looking into the pickup truck bed
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed | MotorBiscuit: Joe Santos

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz a good pickup truck? 

a black 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz parked in front of a field.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | MotorBiscuit: Joe Santos
  • Model: 2022 Hyunda Santa Cruz
  • Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder (191 hp), Turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder (281 hp)
  • Bed length: 4ft
  • Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs
  • Payload: 1,906 lbs
  • Gas mileage: 24 mpg combined 

The Santa Cruz has proven to be pretty popular within the new, shifting landscape of the pickup truck market. There is no replacement for the big gas guzzlers and diesel boys, but consumers seem hungry for more fuel-efficient and elegant pickup trucks. 

Consumer Reports gave the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz a 59/100. On the one hand, this isn’t surprising because Consumer Reports kind of hates pickup trucks. On the other hand, many thought a small, unibody Korean pickup truck would soften CR’s views on pickups; not so much. 

The new Hyundai pickup is a small truck with a four-foot-long bed and a low-slung ride height. It comes with only two engines options; a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged version of the same engine. CR describes the turbocharged version as “downright zippy.” This is not the normal language we are used to when talking about pickup trucks. However, Hyundai doesn’t exactly consider the Santa Cruz a pickup; instead, it’s called a “Sport Adventure Vehicle.” 

Is the 2022 Jeep Gladiator a good pickup truck? Model: 2022 Jeep Gladiator

  • Model: 2022 Jeep Gladiator
  • Engine: 3-liter V6 turbodiesel (260 hp), 3.6-liter V6 (285 hp)
  • Bed length: 5 ft
  • Max Towing Capacity: 7,650 lbs
  • Payload: 1200 lbs
  • Gas mileage: 18 mpg Combined

The 2022 Jeep Gladiator has also proven that the pickup truck market has been ready for a change. Folks like the Gladiator, as well they should. It’s a Jeep Wrangler with a truck bed. But it is for this reason, the testers at Consumer Reports didn’t have nary a kind thing to say on its behalf. 

The 2022 Jeep Gladiator landed a rough 38/100. Rough as it may be, the Jeep Wrangler did even worse; a lowly 28/100. So it would seem the Gladiator offered something the Wrangler did not. 

But is the Gladiator really a worse pickup truck than the Hyundai Santa Cruz? Hell no. That’s absurd. The Jeep Gladiator is a Jeep. It was made to crawl over anything and be tough; nothing else. And that’s the main function of most pickup trucks. The 2022 Jeep Gladiator also has a shorter bed, but its extra foot in length makes a major difference. It also pulls 7,650 lbs and can carry 1,200 lbs in the bed. 

Sure the Jeep Gladiator gets only 18 mpg and drives like it has four flat tires, but this is why pickup trucks exist in a separate segment from other vehicles. The Jeep Gladiator is crude and bullish, but those aren’t always bad things when talking about pickup trucks. Consumer Reports values comfort and quiet above all else. At the same time, many pickup truck owners would disagree when it comes to a truck, at least. 

The 2022 Jeep Gladiator and 2022 Hyundai Sant Cruz are different sides of the same coin

There is no question that the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a better car. Consumer Reports has that part spot on, but I’m not so sure it’s fair to call it a better pickup truck.

Both the 2022 Jeep Gladiator and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz are paving new paths for pickup trucks. And both of these paths are worthwhile and valid. The question isn’t really which one of these is better. It’s unfair; they both have different goals. The better question to ask yourself is, “which truck has what I need?” If you can answer that question, none of the rest of it matters. 

RELATED: The 2022 Honda Ridgeline Utterly Demolished the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz on Consumer Reports