Hyundai Teases Its New 2022 Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle
The Mini Truck Has Finally Returned … and It’s a Unibody.
It's hard to believe that we've been talking about the Hyundai Santa Cruz for more than six years. What first debuted as a concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit finally appears poised for production. After much anticipation, Hyundai has just dropped a group of new teaser sketches. It also announced that production of the all-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Sport Activity Vehicle will begin at the company's Montgomery, Alabama, assembly plant this summer.
Along with the announcement of the start of production, Hyundai gave a few more clues as to what is in store for the forthcoming 2022 Santa Cruz. Hyundai is calling the Santa Cruz a Sport Adventure Vehicle and says that it will "shatter both SUV and truck segments, creating a whole new class of vehicle." Hyundai also shared that the Santa Cruz will feature a "multi-utility, secure, open bed" that will provide "diverse gear-carrying flexibility." The truck will also feature cutting-edge connectivity, highly maneuverable all-wheel drive, and a choice of powerful and efficient engine options, according to Hyundai.
So what does this all mean? From what we've seen in spy photos, the production 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will remain true to the size of the concept, which is smaller than anything currently available on the market. Slotting into the space left vacant from the departure of the former mini trucks (Ford's Ranger, Chevrolet's S10, etc. ), the Santa Cruz will fill a void that pickup customers have been longing for. The Santa Cruz will utilize unibody construction, much like the current Honda Ridgeline. The Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle will also be offered in all-wheel drive, likely as the only drivetrain choice, and it will most likely be front-wheel-drive biased.
While we don't know what engine will power the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, we can say with some certainty that it won't be the 2.0L turbodiesel teased in the concept vehicle in 2015. Hyundai does, however, mention "powertrain options," which should mean there will be more than one. We fully expect to see both gasoline and hybrid options available, likely mirroring what is offered in the 2022 Santa Fe SUV. We don't expect to see a plug-in electric hybrid at launch but figure it won't be far behind.
We're also not certain what exactly Hyundai means by "multi-utility, secure, open bed" since "secure" and open" are contradictory. The best we can figure, the Santa Cruz will likely either have lockable in-bed storage like the Honda Ridgeline, or it will come from the factory with some sort locking bed cover.
When Hyundai first introduced the Santa Cruz concept in 2015, representatives said that towing and hauling aren't as big of a focus for compact truck owners. As such, we expect to see towing offered in the 3,500-pound range, enough for a small camper, motorcycle trailer, or pair of personal watercraft. We also expect its payload rating to be modest, likely around 1,000 pounds.
While we don't know exactly when Hyundai will release the full details of the all-new 2022 Santa Cruz Sport Activity Vehicle, we think it's fair to assume that it'll be soon. And we are beyond excited for this new pickup from Hyundai to finally hit the road.