The Hyundai Santa Cruz Is the Only Small Pickup That’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is one of the smallest pickup trucks on the market. It is part of a new wave of subcompact pickup trucks along with the Ford Maverick. Pickup trucks should be powerful, reliable, and safe. The Hyundai Santa Cruz is the only small pickup truck that is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top safety pick.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the safest small pickup truck

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According to the IIHS, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the only 2021 top safety pick in the small truck segment. The Santa Cruz performed exceptionally well in the IIHS’ front crash prevention: vehicle to vehicle and front crash prevention: vehicle to pedestrian tests.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz performed well on the organization’s side crash test as well. Since side crashes account for a large percentage of annual vehicular accident deaths, the side crash test is one of the most important tests that the IIHS conducts. Despite its small body, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is incredibly safe.

Safety is key when purchasing a small truck like the Hyundai Santa Cruz or Ford Maverick. Thankfully, the Santa Cruz is one small truck that’s prepared for the worst. It also comes standard with advanced safety features like forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.

What’s so great about the Hyundai Santa Cruz?

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Like the 2022 Ford Maverick, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a tiny truck that doesn’t quite fit in with other vehicles in its segment. Hyundai took a page out of Honda’s book by creating a pickup truck that is much more SUV-like than truck-like. The small truck has great handling and a ride quality that’s reminiscent of driving an SUV.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz starts at $23,990. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 191 horsepower. The tiny truck achieves 21 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is special because it’s so different from other vehicles in its class. It has a tiny truck bed that’s almost four feet long yet offers plenty of utility. The truck bed includes an in-bed trunk and lockable tonneau cover. The Santa Cruz is for truck buyers who want the best of both worlds: a vehicle with SUV-like handling that includes the utility of a pickup truck.

Should you buy a 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz?

A white 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is on display.
A white 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is on display | Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

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The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has had an amazing sales year in 2021. At one point during the summer, it even outsold the Chevrolet Corvette. Some dealerships were selling the Santa Cruz in just eight days on average in the summer of 2021. The reason consumers are flocking to the small pickup is that it’s affordable, safe, and, most importantly, unique.

If you’re looking to buy your first pickup truck, the Santa Cruz is an easy way to transition into truck ownership. If you want the typical compact pickup truck experience, you’ll probably be better off with something a little larger like the Ford Ranger.

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