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When the Hyundai Santa Cruz was debuted as a concept in 2015, there was skepticism on whether or not it would actually enter production. But, for 2022, the Santa Cruz is here and is proving that Americans will buy small trucks. Despite its popularity, it seems like the Santa Cruz is lacking in one key area. Unlike other small trucks, such as the Ford Maverick, the 2022 Santa Cruz is not yet available with a hybrid powertrain. But according to Hyundai’s Chief Creative Officer, Luc Donckerwolke, that could soon change.

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz equipped to handle a hybrid or electric powertrain?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz shows off its capability as a small truck.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Before the unveiling of Hyundai’s new truck, Donckerwoke told Autocar UK that the brand would be offering a hybrid or EV version of the Santa Cruz. It is expected that these options will become available in 2023. Especially with the Ford Maverick demonstrating that truck buyers will buy a compact truck that has the benefits of a hybrid.

Currently, this Hyundai truck has two powertrain options. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that offers 191 horsepower and 181 pound-foot of torque. For an additional cost, buyers can get a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that makes 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

How capable is the Hyundai Santa Cruz?

Despite its compact sizing, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a fairly capable truck. It offers available all-wheel drive and can tow up to 5,000 lbs. When equipped with the standard engine, the Santa Cruz can tow up to 3,500 lbs. Better yet, this truck offers a usable bed. Which is something that truck owners are likely to appreciate. 

Unlike the Ford Maverick, the Santa Cruz does not offer a dedicated off-road package. But that could be a viable option with coming models. As vehicles that can handle some rugged terrain are increasingly good sellers for brands.

Is the Santa Cruz the same as the Hyundai Tucson?

The new Hyundai Santa Cruz may soon be a small truck with a hybrid engine.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The 2022 Santa Cruz is based on the same platform as the Tucson. Currently, this Hyundai crossover does offer both a hybrid and plug-in hybrid option. These could potentially be the powertrains that are featured on future Hyundai truck models. But for now, that is just speculation.

What is the Hyundai Santa Cruz?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a unibody, compact truck that is new for the 2022 model year. The truck has been in development for some time, but it has finally arrived. The Santa Cruz features modern tech, unique styling, and has been proving you don’t have to be big to be a good truck.

While this truck does not have the same capabilities as a traditional full-size truck, not every buyer needs that much utility. The Santa Cruz is more suited towards urban life or light adventuring. It is available in four unique trim levels, allowing shoppers to get the right amount of truck for their specific needs. And soon, it may be able to be optioned with a hybrid powertrain.


Is the Hyundai Santa Cruz a Truck?