Trucks are the new big thing, and every automaker is trying to get a slice of the action. When Honda introduced the Ridgeline, some people were shocked or weirded out by it. But Honda isn’t the last automaker to try and make a truck for American customers. Hyundai will be producing its pickup truck, the Santa Cruz, very soon.
What is the Santa Cruz?
As Car and Driver mentioned, the Santa Cruz will be the first Hyundai truck. It’s based on the concept truck that Hyundai unveiled in 2015. Despite the fact that it was just recently confirmed to be going into production, the Santa Cruz won’t be available for a while. As Car and Driver said, Hyundai plans to put the Santa Cruz into production sometime in 2021.
The Santa Cruz will be a mid-size truck that has a unibody chassis. The Ridgeline is also a mid-size truck that has a unibody chassis. Most trucks don’t have a unibody chassis, while most other cars on the market do. Car Reviewers mentioned that the Ridgeline’s unibody chassis helped give it a very smooth and comfortable ride. This could mean that the Santa Cruz will have a similar “car-like” feel to it.
In terms of details, as Car and Driver said, no one but Hyundai currently knows the details of the Santa Cruz. Car and Driver speculates that the Santa Cruz could have the 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter engines that the Hyundai Santa Fe has, but obviously, as the Santa Cruz will be a truck, its engines will have to be more powerful than what the Santa Fe offers.
Will the Santa Cruz compete with the Ridgeline?
The Santa Cruz will almost definitely be competing with the Ridgeline, but it’ll also be competing with other mid-size trucks, such as the Chevy Colorado or the Ford Ranger. It’s inevitable for any truck on the market to have to compete with the other trucks on the market, and the Santa Cruz will be no different. That said, the Santa Cruz and the Ridgeline could be competing for a different market than what the Colorado competes for.
Both trucks look a bit different than a regular, stereotypical truck. There might be a part of the market that likes weird-looking trucks like the Ridgeline or the Tesla Cybertruck. If that is the case, then the Santa Cruz will have to fight the Ridgeline for that market of customers.
On top of that, the growing Asian American population in America may also prefer to buy cars made by Asian companies such as Toyota or Hyundai. Both the Ridgeline and the Santa Cruz will have to fight for that market as well. But, for those Americans who refuse to buy an Asian-made car, Hyundai, like many other foreign automakers, has them covered too.
Due to costly laws and regulations, it’s cheaper for foreign automakers to build cars in North America than it is to build a car elsewhere and import it to the states. That’s why Hyundai, like many other foreign automakers, have manufacturing plants in the states that’ll produce its cars for the American market. That’s one of the reasons why the Santa Cruz can be an affordable truck.
Car and Driver speculates that the Santa Cruz will start in the $25,000 range. That’s in part only possible because Hyundai will be producing the Santa Cruz from its plant in Alabama. So, while the Santa Cruz was designed by a Korean company, almost every Santa Cruz on American roads will be built by Americans.
But of course, many truck lovers just want a capable truck. So, until more details about the Santa Cruz comes to light, that’s everything that’s known about it so far.