As part of a “formidable blitz” of new vehicles, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is finally slated to make its long awaited debut in 2021. This new truck needs to get a move on before its too little, too late.
Introduced way back in 2015 and rumored to be built in 2019, the unibody pickup grabbed a lot of attention thanks to its sharp styling, smaller size and promises of a cheaper price point than the competition at the time.
The concept also featured a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, which helped generate more buzz about it. However, this will likely be shelved in favor for a traditional gasoline engine due to emissions and price point.
This new Santa Cruz truck will ride on the same platform the recently unveiled Hyundai Tucson uses and will likely share a lot of similar design cues with the SUV. It, like the Honda Ridgeline and Pilot connection, will be seen as a Tucson with a bed.
As Hyundai has dragged its feet with bringing this crossover truck to market, other competitors have stepped in like the much anticipated Ford Maverick and recently refreshed Honda Ridgeline.
While the Santa Cruz has been way overdue to come to market, it won’t be the only new vehicle. The recently unveiled Hyundai Tucson along with the Santa Cruz will be part of a literal blitz of new vehicles to include “new and refined internal combustion, hybrid, plug-in, BEV and N performance models,” according to a Hyundai press release. It further states, “these models include the Tucson, Santa Fe, Kona, Santa Cruz and a new dedicated-platform, electrified Ioniq SUV — all of which feature new designs, eco powertrain availability and major platform options.”
These new vehicles will likely mean more investments in the manufacturing like for the Santa Cruz. Hyundai will spend $410 million to upgrade the Montgomery, Alabama, plant as well as add an additional 200 jobs plus additional jobs for suppliers.
Pricing, MPG and the actual design are still to be revealed, I’d expect this truck to start in the mid-$20k range for the base model with high-end models pushing into the mid-$30k price point.
We have seen the Santa Cruz testing in full camouflage, and we expect to see the truck at an off-site reveal sometime next year as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc with the traditional auto shows and their new vehicle reveals.
With skyrocketing new full-size truck prices soaring higher than the $50k mark for any crew cab models as well as the literal growth in size for midsize pickups, there is a growing desire for a throwback small, cheap compact truck. With the Ford Maverick coming to fill this need along with this Santa Cruz, the real question is going to be how big this market will be and if there is really a need or if automakers are going to be disappointed with the actual response.
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