The most anticipated update to the 2022 Hyundai lineup is perhaps the introduction of the Santa Cruz. The latest Hyundai model has been touted as the world’s first “sports adventure vehicle,” but it’s actually a compact pickup truck. Although it’s one of the smallest open-bed vehicles in the United States, this crossover-based truck delivers a surprisingly impressive tow rating. Let’s take a closer look at the towing capacity and performance of the all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Image via Flickr by TrafficEnjoyer
Despite its small dimensions, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz can perform many of the tasks an actual pickup truck does, such as hauling bulky materials for your home improvement project or carrying an ATV on its cargo bed. Would you be surprised if this small truck could tow a decent-sized boat or trailer? Well, it certainly can.
When equipped with the base engine, the Santa Cruz has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. This is enough for transporting a small tent camper, a rowboat, or a couple of motorcycles, jet-skis, or canoes.
On the other hand, a turbocharged model can tow up to 5,000 pounds, making it one of the most capable entries in the compact truck segment. This tow rating is comparable to those of some midsize trucks. With this kind of capacity at your disposal, you can pull a lighter medium-sized sailboat, a 25-foot pontoon, or a single-axle camping trailer with amenities, such as plumbing and kitchen appliances.
So, you’ll probably be wondering how the Hyundai Santa Cruz can do so much. Although it shares the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson, this compact truck rides on a 118.3-inch wheelbase, nearly 13 inches longer than the compact SUV. As a result, it delivers better handling stability when towing heavy loads.
In addition, the underpinnings of the Santa Cruz are more beefed up and look more like those found under the larger Santa Fe. Plus, the truck has the advantage of a turbocharged engine that produces a good amount of torque and a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission. These factors further enhance its towing ability.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz not only offers exceptional work capabilities, but it’s also a pleasure to drive. Regardless of which engine you choose, it won’t feel underwhelming in most situations. The truck feels adequately vigorous with the standard engine when launching off the line and moving around the town. It also has ample power to merge with traffic and overtake the highway.
If you enjoy the occasional spirited drive or plan to tow or haul heavy loads, you’ll be better off with the available turbocharged engine. This powertrain delivers noticeably quicker acceleration and more effortless passing power than the standard engine. It can propel the truck to 60 mph from a standstill in about seven seconds. Both transmissions demonstrate smooth and precise gear changes, contributing to better ride quality.
Although it’s a pickup truck, the Hyundai Santa Cruz doesn’t drive like one. Partly due to its unibody platform, it strikes the perfect balance between brawn and agility. With its compact size and light-weighted and sharp steering, it’s easy to squeeze down narrow streets and into tight parking spots. If you routinely commute in an urban area, this is the ideal truck for you.
Additionally, the Santa Cruz has a well-tuned suspension that does a fine job of absorbing bumps, dips, and other uneven surfaces. It also feels well-planted and confident at high speeds, around turns, and on twisty roads, making it enjoyable to drive. All in all, few compact trucks can hold a candle to this Hyundai truck in terms of ride comfort and sporty handling.
Even if you sometimes need to drive on unpaved roads, you won’t be disappointed with the Santa Cruz. With a maximum ground clearance of 8.6 inches, this truck is more than capable of handling dirt roads, gravel tracks, and light off-road trails.
Other Notable Features
Aside from its powerful performance and athletic handling, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has many other great features that help it stand out in the compact truck segment. One of the most appealing attributes of this new Hyundai is its stylish and comfortable interior. The cabin features a modern and sophisticated design, a generous amount of premium-quality materials, and well-cushioned and roomy seats. Overall, it’s more upscale than what you’ll find in most pickup trucks.
Additionally, the Santa Cruz is fitted with a nice array of standard infotainment features to provide excellent connectivity and entertainment on the go. These features include an 8-inch touch-screen display, two USB ports, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, HD radio, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you want a better experience, you can opt for available features such as a 10.2-inch touch screen, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, an eight-speaker audio system, two extra USB ports, a wireless device charger, satellite radio, and navigation.
Safety is another department where Santa Cruz shines. The compact truck comes with a longer list of standard driver-assistance technologies than most rivals. It offers forward-collision alert, pedestrian and cyclist monitoring, automatic high-beam headlamps, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, a rearview camera, a rear-seat reminder, and driver-drowsiness monitoring. Optional features include blind-spot detection, a blind-spot camera system, a surround-view parking camera system, highway-driving assistance, and rear cross-traffic warning.
If you’re thinking of getting the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in McKinney, Texas, feel free to drop by Huffines Hyundai McKinney for a test drive. Contact us today to make an appointment.