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5 Good Things About the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the new sport activity vehicle that some call a compact pickup. Regardless of what its defined as, there are 5 good things to know about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Hyundai has unveiled the much-anticipated 2022 Santa Cruz. Whether you call it a sport activity vehicle or a compact pickup, there are 5 good things to know about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

By the way, it’s important to note we are not rabid fan boys for the Santa Cruz. There are also 5 bad things to know about the Santa Cruz for some balance.

2022 Santa Cruz pickup bed

The first thing to like about the Santa Cruz is its underpinnings. It’s based on the Tucson platform. It uses the 2.5-liter engine found in the Tucson. It’s not the right engine choice in our humble opinion but it is a good engine. Hyundai isn’t starting from scratch, which bodes well for the 2022 models.

Second, the interior looks stunning. Too many automakers skimp on base model designs. Hyundai continues to do well in this regard. Its interiors continuously outshine the competition. The center stack display features an edgeless infotainment screen appearance, with 10 inches of visibility. Under the rear seats is convenient, in-cabin storage, which makes up slightly for less covered cargo space.

2022 Santa Cruz infotainment

Third: available all-wheel drive expands the Santa Cruz’s appeal to both the Northwest and Northeast (and lets throw in the Midwest while we’re at it). It makes no sense to introduce a niche vehicle that instantly gets scratched off most consideration lists.

The fourth thing to like is the towing capacity. The 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine is rated at 3,500 lbs. for towing and the 2.5L Turbo AWD model boasts 5,000 lbs. of towing capability. That right there is some serious towing capacity.

Fifth, the Santa Cruz is going to teach Hyundai how to eventually build midsize pickup trucks. That’s important for the automaker’s future growth in the United States.

What do you think? Are there other issues that come to mind? Are these issues we raised incorrect? Comment below.

Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.


Rick Ohnsman (not verified)    May 6, 2021 - 10:04AM

Looks like you're playing both sides of the net Ken with both 5 Good/Bad things articles. I'm currently driving an '03 Ford Sport Track and both the Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick catch my eye. I wasn't in the mainstream with the ST, but that's ok. The F-150 and other full size trucks are way too big & expensive for me. I don't tow anything or do serious offloading. Even the midsize trucks are too expensive. I have only bought used vehicles for the past 25+ years. If the Santa Cruz can be had for under $27k (or the Maverick for less than that), I'd get serious. If an EV option were available, even better.