What Type of Driver Should Get the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz?

Looking for adventures? The 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz might just have your name on it. The upcoming pickup truck from Hyundai looks to be the ideal vehicle to blend fun and function, and the Santa Cruz will be Hyundai’s first venture into the pickup truck world.

What can we expect from this stylish new pickup? Will it be equipped enough to compete with the more capable pickups already out there?

Highlights of the Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Hyundai Santa Cruz will be a unique pickup, similar in its concept to the Honda Ridgeline. It’s a pickup that will have the same foundation as the Hyundai Santa Fe, built in the same Alabama plant with unibody construction. It’s a crossover platform, essentially meant for an active lifestyle. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz will have just one bed length, a four-door, crew cab design, and a choice of a few four-cylinder engines. 

Car and Driver anticipates that the Hyundai Santa Cruz will share the Santa Fe’s 2.4-liter engine as well as its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. The new truck should have an eight-speed automatic transmission as well as all-wheel drive to get you wherever you need to go.

Inside, the Hyundai Santa Cruz will have seating for five passengers, with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat for more cargo options. Expect a multi-function center console, hands-free connectivity, and amenities like dual-zone climate control, optional leather upholstery, and touchscreen navigation. When it arrives at Hyundai dealerships in 2021, the new pickup should have a price tag of around $25,000. 

What are this truck’s capabilities?

This is a pickup meant for adventures and good times. If you’ve got toys, this is the truck to haul them. Mountain bikes, pop-up campers, kayaks, canoes – when it’s time for fun, the Santa Cruz is there. The very first Hyundai with an open bed will also have that space to throw all your extra gear or an antique dresser you just found at the thrift store.

There are no hard numbers out from Hyundai about the actual towing capacity and payload we can expect. Due to its similarities with the Ridgeline, however, it will most likely have a towing capacity between 3,550 and 5,000 pounds. The all-wheel-drive model from Honda has a payload of 1,580, so we can expect something close to that from the Hyundai Santa Cruz in 2021.

Who will love the Santa Cruz 

Hyundai has aimed the Santa Cruz at people and families who have a zest for life and adventure. It’s not meant to be a work truck with heavy-duty towing capability. It’s perfect for weekend warriors and those who want to have fun in a safe, dependable vehicle. It’s got just enough capability to tackle adventures, while also boasting a refined interior that makes you feel more like you’re in a high-end car than a truck. 

People considering the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz have a few other trucks to consider as well, including the Honda Ridgeline. There’s the Chevrolet Colorado, the Ford Ranger, the Nissan Frontier, the GMC Canyon, and the Toyota Tacoma. However, it’s probably going to have lower towing capacity and payload than all of these models except the Ridgeline, so we’ll have to wait and see what it’s true competitors will be. 

2021 is not that far away, and we’ll have a new, unibody pickup from Hyundai that will cross the line between utility and fun. The idea for the Santa Cruz has been in the works since 2015, so we’re looking forward to actually seeing it in action.