Trucks & SUVs

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is Like a Cheaper Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline better watch out, because the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz is coming to compete against it. But as the first pickup truck offered by Hyundai, is the Hyundai Santa Cruz worth waiting for? Will it be a good truck or a bust? Here is everything we know so far. 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is Coming 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz will have a unibody design to rival the Honda Ridgeline, which is currently the only midsize truck with a unibody frame. We also know that the Hyundai Santa Fe is designed for hauling bulky items, not for towing a lot of weight. This makes sense because the Honda Ridgeline can only tow between 3,500 to 5,000 lb. 

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept
Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept | Hyundai

Also, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be on the same platform as the Hyundai Santa Fe and will share a few parts. This allows the Hyundai Santa Fe to provide clues about the size of the Santa Cruz. Spy shots and the shared frame suggest that the Hyundai Santa Cruz will have a short truck bed. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz Power 

Hyundai is doing an excellent job of keeping the powertrains for the new Santa Cruz a secret. We could see a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or even a 3.8-liter V6 diesel engine. A V8 engine would be a lot for a small truck to handle. 

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If the Santa Cruz gets the 3.8-liter V6 from the Hyundai Palisade, it will produce 291 horsepower. Also, the Santa Cruz could get the 3,0-liter diesel engine from the Hyundai Genesis GV80, and then it will offer 278 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. 

Plus, if the Hyundai Santa Cruz continues following in the Honda Ridgeline’s footsteps, it will be offered in all-wheel-drive or front-wheel drive. We are hoping to see some true 4X4 capability for this truck, but it could be more of a daily driver. 

2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz Features 

To compete well against the Honda Ridgeline, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and more, the Hyundai Santa Cruz will most likely be loaded with tech. We will probably see a large infotainment center along with a heads up display. Of course, the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be able to connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but maybe it will connect to Alexa and your smartphone too. 

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept Rear
Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept Rear | Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Cruz will also have a leg up on the competition with a spacious interior that can be customized. Hopefully, the seats will have a 40/60 split with the ability to fold out of the way or with storage bins beneath them.

Plus, we know that Hyundai takes safety very seriously. The Santa Cruz will most likely be a safe truck with all modern safety features, including distracted driver warning, lane-keeping assistance, forward collision prevention, and more. 

While the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may have delayed production, we do know that the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be built in Montgomery, Alabama. We should have more updates by the fall as 2021 models start entering auto lots. As more of a car-like option, the little Hyundai Santa Cruz is predicted to start around $25k, making it competitively priced against the Ford Ranger. This price would also be much lower than the $33k base model price of the Honda Ridgeline.