The Hyundai Santa Cruz Is Finally Getting the Help It Needs
We aren’t hating on the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Seriously, it’s an excellent adventure vehicle with plenty to offer, such as a comfortable ride and a practical truck bed. But it hasn’t been keeping up with the Ford Maverick, and a massive upgrade to the 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid could change things.
The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid could be preparing for battle
The Hyundai Santa Cruz isn’t getting the attention it deserves despite being a respected option in its segment. On a variety of vehicle ranking lists, it actually outranks the Ford Maverick because it’s the more comfortable option with better tech.
But it’s no secret that the Santa Cruz lags behind in sales. The Santa Cruz has sold 29,083 trucks year-to-date, while the Ford Maverick squashes those numbers at 66,430 models sold so far this year.
The Maverick has a 37,347 unit lead, and we think we know why. Part of its success is attributed to the highly sought-after Maverick Hybrid model, which used to be standard.
With the Maverick Hybrid, you get a 2.5-liter inline-four engine that’s paired with an electric motor and a battery pack to generate 191 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque. It gets an EPA-estimated 40 mpg in the city and up to 37 mpg.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid could borrow a similar powertrain from the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid. This makes sense because the Santa Cruz is already based on the Tuscon.
With the Tuscon Hybrid, you get a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to generate 226 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It gets an EPA-estimated 37 mpg in the city and up to 36 mpg on the highway.
These figures may be different with the Santa Cruz because it’s heavier. However, this is a powerful start.
What engines come with the 2024 Santa Cruz?
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz starts with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 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.
It’s easy to picture the Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid as the standard engine option or as a powertrain in the middle of the lineup to consider.
With the 2024 Ford Maverick, the standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,701 lbs. The Ford Maverick can tow up to 4,000 lbs with the gas engine and 2,000 lbs with the hybrid setup. It can carry a payload of up to 1,544 lbs.
How much will the Santa Cruz Hybrid cost?
There’s no official pricing for the 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid. However, we hope it starts under $30,000 to be competitive. The 2024 Santa Cruz starts at $26,650, and the 2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid starts at $32,325.
When the Maverick came out with a standard hybrid powertrain and a $20,000 MSRP people lost their minds. But now, the Maverick Hybrid is facing trouble with demand, and you can upgrade to the hybrid engine for $1,500.
This brings the starting price of the Maverick Hybrid to $24,900 before the destination fee and gives the Santa Cruz a chance to level the playing field.
Stay tuned for updates about these compact trucks as they continue to compete against each other. The Ram Rampage could join the party soon as well.