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Subaru Could Bring You A Compact Utility Pickup Like The New Hyundai Santa Cruz

Hyundai is bringing the new Santa Cruz and Subaru could take a lesson from it. Is Subaru also developing a new compact utility pickup?

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Hyundai just announced they will build a new Santa Cruz compact utility vehicle (CUV) pickup built at Hyundai’s U.S. plant in Montgomery, Alabama starting in 2021. The Santa Cruz was first introduced as a concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and offers a compact utility vehicle with an open bed. Hyundai is doing something similar to what Subaru did with the Baja in 2003.

Hyundai knows there is a need in the U.S. market for a new CUV that will appeal to the “unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers”, especially Millennials. Hyundai will tap the CUV market, one of the fastest-growing segments in America. Is Subaru also developing a new Crosstrek-based Baja pickup?

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

Subaru could be taking notice as their niche market is compact all-wheel-drive utility vehicles like the Crosstrek. Their Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system would be ideal for a new compact CUV/pickup and would likely be a big hit with a new generation of buyers.

Subaru could use the Crosstrek as the basis for the new CUV and it would be the ideal size and could offer the same removable partition that expanded the Baja’s truck bed to nearly 7 feet. This time, engineers could make the opening as wide as the bed to accommodate a sheet of plywood or other large items.

Subaru Crosstrek CUV

For power and towing, a new Subaru CUV could be offered with the Japanese automaker’s all-new 1.8-liter direct-injection four-cylinder turbocharged Boxer engine developed for the next-generation Levorg. It would be the ideal size and could also offer hybrid power in future models.

Could this actually be a possibility? Subaru has been focused on updating its new-generation vehicles with the new global platform, and they will be developing all-electric technology with Toyota next. Subaru has said they will be developing a new C-segment-class (small compact vehicle) with Toyota and “Will be sold under each company’s own brand.”

Santa Cruz (Hyundai)

Subaru has confirmed a new “to-be-developed BEV-dedicated platform” jointly developed with Toyota is coming. The automaker’s recent statement says, “The platform will be developed in a way that will make it broadly applicable to multiple vehicle types, (including a small C-segment-class CUV), as well as to efficient development of derivative vehicle models.”

A new CUV like the new Hyundai Santa Cruz would likely be a big hit with a new generation of buyers and especially Millennials. Subaru has not confirmed a new Crosstrek CUV small pickup, but it does fit in their plans with the new Toyota partnership. Stay tuned.

You May Also Like: Back To The Future With A New Subaru Crosstrek Brat Pickup

Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on FacebookTwitterInstagramSubaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates!

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Photo credit: Hyundai, Crosstrek-Brat used with permission from Instagram user good_grief_graffix

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Digitaldoc (not verified)    November 17, 2019 - 7:43PM

Still not sure why Subaru ever stopped making their BRAT. Saw one just the other day, and still looked quite reasonable, and more modern then the age would suggest. I would love to see that 1.8T in just about anything Subaru stateside as their engines have been pretty iterative for the last few years, and they could seriously use some updating, and a smaller turbo would liven up the brand quite a bit.