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Hyundai released pricing info today on the upcoming Santa Cruz compact pickup truck, and we get a few more details about trims and feature availability.

While we still don’t know exact specs, we do know a lot more than we did a few hours ago. So, here’s the recap of today’s release.

Available in July 2021

This first bit of information is a shocker because (checks calendar) we’re in July right now. This means consumers will be able to buy the Santa Cruz before media has a chance to drive it at the media preview the first week of August. We’ve seen Hyundai do this before, and I’m going to try not to read anything into this.

Just know, if you really want a compact pickup truck, Santa Cruz will be available before the Ford Maverick – probably by a few months.

Lots of standard features

As you would expect from Hyundai, what you get for $25k isn’t a bare bones base model. You’ll get a lot of standard content on that SE trim – including standard safety tech such as lane keep assist, rear occupant alert and automatic emergency braking.

Other standard features you might not see on another compact pickup truck (cough, Maverick, cough) include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED taillamps and cargo area lighting
  • Integrated rear bumper side steps
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Molded composite bed (vs. steel bed)
  • Lockable underfloor bed storage
  • Power-locking tailgate
  • Remote open tailgate via fob
  • Rear 60:40 flip-up lower cushions (vs. one-piece)

For comparison’s sake, we do know that the Maverick will start at about $21k (with destination and as a hybrid), and it will top out around $36k. But, it doesn’t look like it has any of the above features as standard.

Top price is $40k

The specific pricing information, detailed below, tells us not only will there be five trims but also the top two trims will only be available as all-wheel-drive models with the up-level engine. This means, the up-level engine is only available with AWD.

Speaking of AWD, that alone is a $1,500 add.

Also of note: That $25k base price is about $1k less than Tucson, which is the SUV version of the Santa Cruz built on the same platform.

TrimEnginePrice including destination
SE, FWD2.5L 4-cyl.$25,175
SE, AWD2.5L 4-cyl.$26,675
SEL, FWD2.5L 4-cyl.$28,375
SEL, AWD2.5L 4-cyl.$29,875
SEL Activity, FWD2.5L 4-cyl.$31,645
SEL Activity, AWD2.5L 4-cyl.$33,145
SEL Premium, AWD2.5L Turbo 4-cyl.$36,865
Limited, AWD2.5L Turbo 4-cyl.$40,905

Editor’s note: All pricing includes the $1,185 destination fee.

The bottom line on the Santa Cruz compact pickup

We’re still not sure if the market wants a compact pickup truck, but with the reveal of the all-new Ford Maverick, we will soon have two – though they’re both clearly targeting a different customer.

In our mind, Hyundai has thrown down the gauntlet in terms of what this new compact pickup truck segment is going to look like: lots of interesting features and an affordable price.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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