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If there’s one thing we know about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, it’s that it’s a great compact pickup truck or Sport-Adventure Vehicle. Its surprisingly high capability comes at an affordable price, but that’s far more true with the SE base model. The base model is often cheaper but doesn’t come with any of the great features and isn’t worth buying. Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE base model worth buying?

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE base model: standard features

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz by the beach, is the SE base model worth buying?
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz by the beach | Hyundai

Selecting the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE base model gets you more features than you’d expect. Firstly, each model comes with stain and odor-resistant cloth seats and a six-way adjustable driver’s seat. Next, an 8-inch color touchscreen that can integrate with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is mounted on the center dash. Additionally, dual USB outlets, a rearview monitor with parking guidelines, Bluetooth, and more cover the interior.

On the exterior, you’ll get automatic halogen headlights, LED taillights, high beam assist, rear privacy glass, a remote release tailgate, and more. The multi-functional tailgate and integrated rear bumper steps make using the truck bed of the Santa Cruz a breeze.

Hyundai’s pickup truck comes with loads of safety features too. Electronic stability control with a traction control system, forward collision assist, lane keep and following assist, and rear occupant alert are highlighted. Even more safety features are available with higher trims.

Santa Cruz SE: specs and capability worth buying?

The bed of a 2022 Hyundai santa cruz, is the SE base model worth buying? price, features, and specs make it worth it.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck bed | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

For starters, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE base model can carry plenty of weight, with its 1,753 pounds payload capacity. This model comes with a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, which substantially grows after gaining all-wheel drive. Subsequently, AWD models can tow up to 5,000 pounds, which is impressive even compared with rivals.

Next, this front-wheel-drive model gets 21 city and 26 highway miles per gallon. Although it doesn’t match the impressive gas mileage of the hybrid Ford Maverick, it provides decent fuel economy for a non-hybrid or electric vehicle. Plus, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Wheelbase118.3 inches
Length 195.7 inches
Width without mirrors75 inches
Height with roof rack side rails66.7 inches
Measurements are from

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE base model: price

After building out a complete 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE base model pickup truck on the Hyundai website, we see the actual price. Although the starting price is $23,990, that does not include the additional freight charges. At the end of your transaction, $1,225 is added to the final price, making it $25,215. According to the site’s payment calculator, you can lease a Santa Cruz SE for $302 per month, with a $2,000 down payment.

These example numbers are provided to someone with a 700 credit score and a 36-month lease term. The same plan with 48 months lowers the payment to just $286, which is quite affordable for many.

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE base model right for you?

Hyundai’s Sport-Adventure Vehicle might be the right choice depending on your personal needs. The SE base model provides tons of safety and tech features, ample capability, and plenty of value for the cost. Although it doesn’t hold a candle to a similarly sized rival like the Honda Ridgeline or Toyota Tacoma, it’s far more affordable. In conclusion, the only real competition to the Santa Cruz SE at this price is the Ford Maverick, but that’s a whole different conversation.


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