The Hyundai Santa Cruz Is Shorter and Smaller Than the Frontier, Ridgeline, and Tacoma in Every Way

The upcoming 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a compact truck, despite some referring to it as a sport adventure vehicle. The unibody construction it uses relates most to the Honda Ridgeline, another unibody truck. Now released, the Santa Cruz will have some pretty stiff competition from the Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, and Honda Ridgeline, all of which have the advantage of producing models for some time. Additionally, the Santa Cruz is significantly smaller, with less towing and payload capacity than these competitors. However, the new Hyundai has a sleeker look and more maneuverability, which may give it an advantage among consumers.

An overview of the Hyundai Santa Cruz

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz sport adventure vehicle parked by the sea
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz sport adventure vehicle | Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Santa Cruz comes with two different power train options. First is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder standard engine with 191 horsepower and 181 lb-feet of torque. The other option is a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 281 horsepower and 311 lb-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is offered with both powertrain options.

The towing chops of the Santa Cruz are the same as the Honda Ridgeline, with a 5,000-pound towing capacity. However, this capacity is only doable with the turbocharged option. The standard powertrain without turbo is only rated for a 3,500-pound towing capacity. 

A small truck size comparison

According to Hyundai, the Santa Cruz measures 195.7 inches long, 75 inches wide, and 66.7 inches high. It also has a wheelbase of 118.3 inches and a bed length of 52.1 inches.

The Nissan Frontier measures 205.5 inches long, 72.8 inches wide, and 70.1 inches high. It has a wheelbase of 126 inches and a bed length of 59.4 inches.

The Honda Ridgeline measures 210 inches long, 78.5 inches wide, and 70.3 inches high. It has a wheelbase of 125.2 inches and a bed length of 63.6 inches.

The Toyota Tacoma measures 212.2 inches long, 75.2 inches wide, and 70.7 inches high. It has a wheelbase of 127.4 inches and a bed length of 60.4 inches.

As we can see, the Hyundai Cruz is shorter and smaller than its immediate competitors in terms of length, height, wheelbase, and bed length. However, it is wider than the Frontier, giving it a more leveled footing for its smaller size. These measurements lessen the amount of cabin and cargo space of the Santa Cruz compared to its rivals and offer a more manageable size for those unsure about considering a pickup truck as their next vehicle purchase.

Pricing for the Hyundai Santa Cruz

So, with less towing capacity and cargo space, how does the price tag stack up to its competitors? The Santa Cruz is priced at between $25,175 and $40,905 for all the various trims offered. 

The biggest competitor that the Santa Cruz is facing is Ford’s new Maverick, a compact truck with similar features. This compact Ford truck has a significantly lower starting price for its base trim of just under $20,000. It can tow up to 4,000 lbs, while the Santa Cruz can tow 3,500 lbs or 5,000 lbs, depending on your trim of choice. 

When comparing the two cheapest options, the Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick, the standard trim Ford Maverick can only tow 2,000 pounds. The all-wheel drive model increases its towing capacity to 4,000 pounds with an optional 4K tow package. So the Santa Cruz is more expensive but offers a better towing capacity than the Maverick when comparing the two trim levels. 

As for other small to midsize pickup trucks currently available, the Nissan Frontier has a starting MSRP of $27,190, the Honda Ridgeline has a starting MSRP of $36,490, and the Toyota Tacoma has a starting MSRP of $26,400. So depending on what the customer’s needs, the best value for consumers is the Santa Cruz because it delivers impressive towing and payload capacity for such a small truck and can be purchased for around $25,000, depending on the trim level. If towing is not a concern, then the least expensive of the lot will be the Ford Maverick.

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