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Tiny trucks are battling it out. The Hyundai Santa Cruz has advantages against the Ford Maverick but hasn’t reached the same level of success. The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz isn’t giving up and is receiving rugged upgrades to better compete.

What to expect with the 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz

While the Hyundai Santa Cruz just came out in 2021, it’s already receiving a midcycle refresh to become more attractive and to increase its capabilities against the Ford Maverick. 

The Santa Cruz has plenty of power and capability for the segment, it doesn’t have a true off-roading trim like the Ford Maverick Tremor or an off-roading package like the FX4. 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT does add some rugged flair thanks to plastic fender flairs, black door trim, side steps, and interior accents. However, it doesn’t have any mechanic upgrades. 

Based on the new Santa Cruz easers, it’s safe to assume that the new XRT model will have some true upgrades. It might have a suspension lift, more off-road modes, AWD lock, smarter hill descent control, all-terrain tires, improved cooling, skid plates, and a suspension lift. 

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz off-roading in the woods
2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The Santa Cruz has competed in the Rebelle Rally twice to prove its grit. The new model could be based on the model that has completed the competition twice with a suspension lift, beefier suspension components, and better tires for conquering the wild. 

Also, the Santa Cruz doesn’t get a lot of love because of its style. While it’s unique, it’s not the burly boxy style that Americans love trucks to have. 

The 2025 Santa Cruz will probably have a wider, bold style and an aggressive stance. It’s safe to picture a wider grille, a new LED headlight design, and a beefier rear end. It will probably match the updated Hyundai Tucson. 

It doesn’t need a refreshed interior style or better tech yet, but those items are on the list for the mid-cycle refresh. 

I have no evidence to back up this idea, but I bet that a hybrid engine option could emerge soon. This would really help it against the Maverick, especially if it can be paired with AWD. The Maverick Hybrid isn’t available with AWD.