So now it has been a week or so for all of us to digest the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz reveal. We love it and love that it is at least close to the old Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero. You know, a car-truck with two doors and a bed?
Ah, but the door thing is where it deviates. Not to be complainers, but that’s what we really want; a two-door car-truck. And, isn’t that what Hyundai intended all along?
The silver two-door Santa Cruz car-truck concept was an instant hit
Santa Cruz is an adaptation of the Santa Cruz concept from a few years ago. The silver two-door car-truck was an instant success. But the production Santa Cruz is nothing like the concept, which is usually how these concept-to-production designs go.
Again, not to complain, but the bed is only a tad longer than four feet long. That’s a pretty short bed. And the front of the bed does not fold down so you can’t haul anything too long even with the tailgate down.
But that doesn’t mean Hyundai couldn’t have done the Santa Cruz as a two-door. And we get it; we know that four-door pickups sell a whole lot better than two-doors. Honestly, we think that Hyundai made the right move there, not that we’re the major-domo’s of product planning.
The Santa Cruz concept just looked so right
It’s just that the concept looked so good. The proportions were right on the money with a bed longer than the hood. Almost a cab-forward kind of proportion.
We have a rendering of what we mean. And we kept it as a four-door. It is just that we made those back doors more like access doors than passenger doors.
But look at the proportions. Instead of looking like an odd sedan in profile it definitely screams pickup truck. We left the front door as it is on the actual Santa Cruz and left the back of the cab the same, also.
Now the two-door has a proper bed length to do normal hauling
Now there is a proper bed length to do some normal hauling with. And it is not necessary to hang your mountain bike over the tailgate as is shown in the press photos. Even Hyundai is sort of signaling the bed is too short with that image.
But we focus on how it looks because, really, looking like a sporty car-truck is what the Santa Cruz is really about. If you’re looking to haul stuff you need an F-150 or Ram. The Santa Cruz won’t even be a consideration in that case.
We know it’s easy to render something up
And yeah, we know it’s easy to render something up and a lot harder to actually get it into development. However, that is the business Hyundai is in; developing and manufacturing things. In this case, vehicles that serve a purpose.
Anyway, think about it and enjoy seeing an alternative Santa Cruz with two doors instead of four. Adapting a Tucson crossover into a Santa Cruz makes sense from a parts-sharing perspective. In turn, that makes it worth the still-costly exercise to get it into production.
A two-door Santa Cruz flies in the face of that, becoming more cost-prohibitive. So in the end it is better to have a four-door Santa Cruz than nothing at all. Still, we can’t stop thinking about the two-door version…