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Are you wondering why the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz isn’t as popular as the 2023 Ford Maverick? Well, the cheaper starting price and the hybrid engine could be helping the Maverick. Also, the Hyundai Santa Cruz may have one controversial issue. 

This 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz problem may limit sales 

Front angle view of blue 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

We’re wondering if the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an ugly duckling. It has a unique futuristic style that strays pretty far from the traditional look of a boxy pickup truck. The grille has a V shape that narrows at the bumper with built-in LED headlights. 

As Driving.Ca points out, there are plenty of diverse reactions to the new Santa Cruz. Some people really like the way it looks, and you can’t say it looks like every other truck on the road. However, others call it ugly.

Some critics say that the 2023 Santa Cruz looks better in person, but we’ve also heard that it looks better in photos. So, where does it look the best? Is it funky in a good way or weird in a bad way? 

You can describe it as looking different to be polite. It is a new Sport Adventure Vehicle that handles like an SUV with the utility of a truck bed. It stands out from the crowd with an attention-grabbing look. But a truck shouldn’t only be judged by its cover. 

Is the 2023 Santa Cruz worth buying? 

Yes, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a comfortable, capable, and practical compact vehicle to consider. Plus, the 2023 Ford Maverick is sold out, so you might be able to get behind the wheel of a Santa Cruz much faster. 

The Santa Cruise is praised because it’s fun to drive. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. 

With the turbo, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds with direct steering and responsive handling. The paddle shifters and dual-clutch automatic transmission increase the fun with enhanced control. 

Plus, the 2023 Santa Cruz is comfortable. It has a smooth ride and absorbs impacts well. The front seats are large and well-padded for long trips too. But there is noticeable wind and road noise at highway speeds. 

The Santa Cruz can fit 4×8 sheets of plywood in the back and features a built-in trunk. It can tow up to 5,000 lbs, and each model can be equipped with all-wheel drive to tackle slippery conditions. 

How much does the 2023 Santa Cruz cost? 

Front angle view of blue 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz price starts at $25,700, and the range-topping 2.5T Limited model increases the cost to about $40,570. There are five trim levels available to suit various needs. 

Also, the value is there. The base model kicks off with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, a composite bed, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot mitigation, rear-cross traffic alert, and a six-speaker audio system. 

Moving up in trim levels provides access to leather upholstery, built-in navigation, a wireless phone charging pad, a 10.25-inch infotainment unit, ventilated seats, a 360-degree surround view camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, enhanced tech, and even more luxury features. 

So the Hyundai Santa Cruz is fun, comfortable, advanced, and value-packed. Is it being held back by its looks, or is something else holding it back?