In the midsize truck category, there are two models in a league of their own. Some consider the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick “compact trucks” because they’re smaller than midsize models. One of the reasons the Ford truck is so popular is its standard hybrid engine and excellent fuel economy. Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz a hybrid, or does it fall behind its rival?
Does the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz hybrid engine?
For the 2022 model year, owners will find one of two engine options under the hood of every Hyundai Santa Cruz. First is the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. According to Car and Driver, this version is best avoided, as the upgrade is much improved. The other option is a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.
Unfortunately, that means there isn’t a hybrid engine option. For fuel economy, your options are limited to the base engine that gets 21 city and 26 highway mpg with front-wheel drive or adding all-wheel drive to strangely gain 1 mpg on the highway. Alternatively, the turbocharged engine averages 19 city and 27 highway. For a pickup truck, the Santa Cruz gets excellent fuel economy. However, it is much smaller than your average midsize truck.
Santa Cruz vs. Maverick hybrid
As the closest competitor of the Hyundai compact truck, the Maverick is the best comparison. Moreover, the 2022 Ford Maverick comes with a standard hybrid powertrain unless the buyer pays extra. As a result, even the cheapest version of the Maverick comes with excellent fuel economy. According to fueleconomy.gov, the Maverick is rated for 42 city and 33 highway, or 37 combined mpg. Opting for the optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder non-hybrid drops it to 23/30 with FWD and 22/29 with AWD.
Furthermore, the Maverick hybrid gets much better fuel economy than the Hyundai Santa Cruz. However, it also averages better fuel economy with the non-hybrid powertrain. Regardless of which version you choose, the Maverick is better for saving money on gas. Since the Maverick is so popular, it’s hard to find one to buy; we think the Santa Cruz would benefit significantly from a hybrid powertrain in 2023.
How much is a 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz?
According to Car and Driver, the Hyundai Santa Cruz compact truck starts at $25,735 for the SE base model. There are three other trim levels available. They are SEL, SEL Premium, and Limited. Each one adds more features and amenities to the truck. Many reviewers can’t say enough about the interior comfort and quality of the Santa Cruz despite it costing less than $30,000.
However, its two upper trims are far more expensive, exceeding $40,000 in its range-topping form. While that’s unfortunate compared to the Maverick, which has three models under $30,000, it dramatically increases the truck’s quality. C/D even recommends the second most expensive trim, SEL Premium over all other options. Moreover, the publication says it is worth it for the more powerful engine, fancier equipment, and all-wheel drive.
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Is the Hyundai pickup truck a hybrid?
In conclusion, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is not a hybrid. We think a hybrid powertrain option for this new compact truck would bolster the lineup nicely. Compared to its closest competitor, the Ford Maverick, it loses many points because of its inferior fuel economy. Ford’s offering comes standard with a hybrid powertrain, which makes it far better in this area. Fortunately, the Santa Cruz makes up for it elsewhere, offering more luxurious equipment and amenities in its most expensive trim levels.