October 23, 2021


Automotive maniacs

Driving the Wheel of the All-New 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

7 min read

Hyundai, for its element, is contacting the Santa Cruz a “activity adventure car,” or SAV, and asserts that it is developing an fully new course of auto. But when I see a bed, I cannot enable but phone one thing a truck. Having said that, the Santa Cruz is smaller than the midsize pickup vans now on sale, so it might really effectively have the possible to dominate an entirely new sector.

How does the Santa Cruz drive?

The Santa Cruz is at the moment accessible with two engines. The 1st is a non-turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed computerized transmission. It places out 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. The 2nd motor is a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that is paired with an 8-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission and places out 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Which is the 1 I have examined out so significantly.

The twin-clutch automated transmission is strange in a pickup truck — this style of transmission is normally applied in sports cars, specifically when the automaker is searching to have speedy, responsive shifts. The blend of the high-horsepower motor and the quick-shifting DCT make for a incredibly sporty driving practical experience. Shifts are crisp and brief, but the turbo 2.5-liter engine just isn’t particularly fulfilling to pay attention to on the freeway. It drones on a bit, particularly on prolonged uphill climbs.

Steering is responsive and provides you a excellent feeling of what the entrance wheels are performing at all periods. The steering wheel gains some excess resistance in Sport manner, but in Usual manner, it truly is light enough to maneuver into the tightest of parking places with relieve. Dealing with is remarkable too, with usually flat cornering. Compared with a selection of human body-on-body midsize vans, the Santa Cruz is entertaining to drive on a winding canyon highway. 

How comfy is the Santa Cruz?

Ride high quality and seat ease and comfort in the Santa Cruz are both of those fantastic. Even with the optional 20-inch wheels, the journey is clean about broken highways and the suspension soaks up most of the greater bumps. For the driver and the entrance passenger, major-notch seat convenience makes this expertise even better. For sporty driving, the entrance seats could use a bit more side bolstering, but they are or else supportive and properly padded.

The rear seat is a little bit flatter, as you would most likely anticipate, but even now uses padding that will maintain your passengers comfy on all types of prolonged highway outings. Legroom is constrained, but that’s expected when you take into account the Santa Cruz’s compact size. Adults who test in beneath 5-foot-10 should in shape just fine, but if your legs are specifically extended, you will be cramped in the again seat. Also, the rear seatbacks are really upright, and you will find no way to recline them. You will find no fold-down center rear armrest possibly. 

How’s the Santa Cruz’s interior?

Even though I would not just call the Santa Cruz a luxury pickup truck, its cabin is a actually pleasant position to be. The optional 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen and the matching 10.25-inch driver show screen are both of those superior-resolution and usually easy to read. The just one exception is that the driver exhibit can be a little bit really hard to browse in extreme immediate sunlight. The structure of the interior is intuitive, with significant-top quality materials and tons of delicate touchpoints for your elbows and knees to rest on.

Santa Cruz styles fitted with the optional 10.25-inch display will not have common shortcut buttons. Rather, it is one particular massive contact-delicate place. The considered of making an attempt to change the quantity or select a radio station this way can look a little bit odd at to start with, in particular considering that there is no actual physical suggestions from the buttons when you press them. But throughout our exam, we discovered making use of them turn into 2nd character following a quick time. There are also many redundant buttons on the steering wheel if you prefer the old physical-design controls. Base trim amounts will get a smaller sized 8-inch display screen with a lot more classic bodily shortcut buttons, which some drivers may perhaps desire.

How’s the Santa Cruz’s tech?

Even the foundation Santa Cruz trim has an extraordinary volume of tools. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Car connectivity is regular, so you can mirror your smartphone’s applications on the touchscreen without the need of at any time plugging it in. Ahead collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane trying to keep guide and a driver-focus warning process are all conventional. Midlevel trims get extras this kind of as a risk-free-exit warning that watches for oncoming targeted visitors prior to you open up the automobile doors, blind-place checking and rear cross-targeted traffic alert.

The upper-most Constrained trim amount will get all of the bells and whistles. Along with the upgraded 10.25-inch middle touchscreen, the leading trim will get a navigation-based cruise control method that adjusts for curves in the street and posted velocity limitations. There’s also a large-resolution 360-degree parking digicam that is a huge aid when you’re striving to fit into limited spaces. Unfortunately, some of the driver aids are accompanied by a number of loud beeps and chimes, and they have a tendency to err on the aspect of caution, which can be a bit aggravating. Oh, and that wi-fi smartphone connectivity? It is really only offered on the foundation 8-inch display. With the upgraded screen, you have to swap back again to the plug-in design of looking at your applications.

How’s the Santa Cruz’s towing and hauling?

The Santa Cruz has some pretty outstanding quantities when you think about its dimension. Max towing is amongst 3,500 and 5,000 lbs, which is quite solid and suitable for tiny boats or two-wheel trailers. Unfortunately, you cannot get a trailer brake controller with the Santa Cruz (a function that permits you to change the trailer’s brakes from the cabin), so everything more substantial will require its very own surge brakes or some aftermarket modification of the Santa Cruz itself.

When Hyundai initially disclosed the Santa Cruz, it listed the mattress ability at 660 lbs ., a reasonably minimal range looking at the significant payload ranking. Considering the fact that then nonetheless, the automaker has taken out that selection from its press resources and would not convey to us what the mattress capability is. Instead, it only quotes its newest payload numbers, which have been revised substantially considering the fact that the motor vehicle was 1st exposed. Payload potential is actually rather large when you look at the Santa Cruz’s smaller sizing, ranging from 1,568 lbs . on all-wheel-push Minimal models all the way up to 1,906 kilos on front-wheel-drive SE designs. That’s more than enough to rival the functionality of any midsize pickup.

The Santa Cruz’s total dimensions do, however, restrict the dimension of the mattress. It truly is only 48 inches extended, while most midsize crew-cab pickups have beds that are about 12 inches for a longer period. Luckily, there are a several added cargo enhancements. First, you will find a locking and drainable trunk in the mattress. It is really relatively shallow, but it is really tall sufficient for some ice and a deluge of 12-ounce aluminum cans. Or if you are not tailgating, you can keep your wet or muddy equipment from your hottest journey and effortlessly rinse factors out when you happen to be concluded. Then you can find the top-adjustable tailgate. Simply just shift the two cables that keep the tailgate in place to a better posture on the bedside. At that position, you’ve got a tailgate which is held up a couple inches greater, matching the wheelwells inside the bed, so you can haul extended things like sheets of plywood or added-long surfboards.

A normal composite bed include, a rear bumper with quite a few crafted-in techniques, and a range of in-bed cargo tie-down locations make the Santa Cruz incredibly competitive when it comes to utilitarian requires. Other things such as a roll-up tonneau cover, a roof basket and a 115-volt in-bed electricity outlet are also presented, giving the Santa Cruz a incredibly adventure-friendly seem and truly feel.

How economical is the Santa Cruz?

For its size, the Santa Cruz’s gas financial state is underwhelming. With the foundation 2.5-liter motor, paired with both front- or all-wheel push, it’s rated at 23 mpg blended by the EPA. Update to the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine (all-wheel push only) and gasoline financial system scores drop a bit to 22 mpg put together. Individuals aren’t awful quantities, but based on your choice of powertrain, many midsize vans can match or beat those people gasoline financial system ratings.

Then you will find the issue of the Ford Maverick. It is just not officially rated by the EPA however, but in accordance to Ford, the base hybrid powertrain in the Maverick will be capable of attaining 37 mpg put together. For any one who’s next costs and the pump, that’s a large gain.

Thankfully, there might be hope on the horizon for Hyundai in the variety of a several hybrid powertrains. The Santa Cruz shares a platform with the Tucson SUV and the Tucson provides two unique hybrid powertrains. The first is a 1.6-liter motor paired with a hybrid program for an EPA estimate as significant as 38 mpg put together. The second is an upcoming plug-in powertrain that delivers up to 28 miles of EV array. Although Hyundai has not formally confirmed the manufacturing of long run Santa Cruz hybrids, we expect to see these two powertrains below the hood of the Santa Cruz really before long.

Edmunds suggests

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz fills in a gap beneath greater, additional pricey midsize vans. It has the consolation of an SUV with most of the utility of a pickup. Furthermore, it has great attributes like an in-bed trunk, which only Hyundai and Honda give. It may attractiveness to you if you really don’t have higher towing and hauling needs but still want a little something that is additional utility-oriented than a normal SUV. Positive, Hyundai is calling it an SAV in its place of a truck, and that’s interesting, but we’re gonna connect with a spade a spade. Check out back again in the coming months for supplemental details and our total Edmunds Skilled Score evaluation.

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