Hyundai finally put the rumor to build about a new pickup coming to the market by confirming it is indeed working on one. It is expected to follow the cues of a 2015 concept model and will hit the market in 2019.
This new pickup will be a crossover like model and offer a unique take on the truck market (see: Honda Ridgeline). It is expected to be based on the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz concept model unveiled to much surprise at the North American International Auto Show.
Truck Trend says, “the decision to market a crossover-style pickup in the U.S. comes as Hyundai’s sales are slipping. According to Reuters, sales of the company’s once-stalwart Sonata midsize sedan are down 30 percent through the first seven months of 2017, contributing to an overall 11 percent decline for the company’s lineup. Its aging crossover offerings could be to blame; the seven-seat Santa Fe and five-seat Santa Fe Sport were last redesigned for 2013, and the 2016-vintage Tucson is facing stiff competition from segment stalwarts like the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue.
Taking cues from the Santa Cruz concept, the Hyundai pickup’s likely unibody design invites comparisons to the Honda Ridgeline, but expect the South Korean offering to slot in one size smaller than the Ridgeline and other midsize pickups. In its 2015 press release, Hyundai stated the Santa Cruz was designed for “urban adventurers,” people who frequently face clogged parking lots and narrow city streets but who would still appreciate a separate cargo box for muddy, dirty weekend adventures. As such, the Santa Cruz’s footprint is similar to that of the Santa Fe Sport, swapping in rear half-doors and a 4-foot bed in place of the SUV’s rear seat and cargo area.
One feature of the concept that Hyundai is reportedly considering for production is a bed extension that expands the cargo box to 5-plus feet (below). A drawer-style slider moves the bed’s entire rear profile—tailgate, taillights, and rear bumper—back about one foot, creating space on demand for longer cargo. If such a bed configuration makes it to production, count us among the impressed and interested.”
Expect the new truck to be unveiled in either November at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show or the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Our guess is it will be in L.A.