Street Check: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Restricted AWD

Street Check: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Restricted AWD


Would You Consider a “Sport Journey Automobile”?

Take the Hyundai Tucson compact crossover, exchange the rear part with a truck mattress, and voilà…the Hyundai Santa Cruz is born! However as with most issues that appear easy on the floor, going from a crossover physique to pickup physique is a little more advanced, not the least of which is who Hyundai thinks will likely be shopping for the Santa Cruz.

Hyundai’s first-ever pickup comes at a time the place the Ford Maverick compact pickup is making waves of its personal. Each promote in the identical area however will attraction to completely different prospects. The Ford Maverick is extra truck-like, whereas the Hyundai Santa Cruz is extra car-like.

A little bit crossover, a little bit truck

Hitting the Street

Clear Fleet Report drove the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Restricted that comes normal with HTRAC, Hyundai-speak for all-wheel drive (AWD). The Restricted comes with a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine; working on unleaded common it places out 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. All 4 wheels are pushed by a moist 8-speed twin clutch computerized transmission (DCT), with a guide shift mode, paddle shifters, and driver-selectable drive modes of Regular, Sport, Sensible and Snow.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
A torquey turbo 4

The “moist” a part of a DCT means it makes use of oil to enhance lubrication and cooling. A “dry” DCT doesn’t use oil, however is the extra gas environment friendly of the 2 varieties. Regardless, a DCT is the environment friendly computerized transmission you may get. Notice: For our functions right here, a constantly variable transmission (CVT) doesn’t have gears, so will not be a part of this comparability. ZF, a German manufacture of computerized transmissions, offered this rationalization of a moist DCT.

The EPA rated the Santa Cruz’ gas economic system at 19 mpg metropolis/27 freeway/22 mixed. In 226 miles of largely freeway driving by means of Southern California we averaged 23.8 mpg. We did a bit higher on a 120-mile freeway run with the adaptive cruise management set at 65 mph, attaining 28.1 mpg.

The two.5T torque comes on at 1,700 rpm and pulls by means of 4,000 rpm to simply negotiate freeway onramps and passing huge rigs. Choosing the Sport mode for that further oomph helped flip 0-60 mph in about 6.3 seconds. We solely took the Santa Cruz to 80 mph (Hyundai charges the highest pace at 155 mph) the place the engine was pleasantly quiet and easy, delivering seamless energy when wanted. The bottom Santa Cruz engine is the non-turbo 2.5L 4-cylinder that will get 21 mpg metropolis/26 freeway/23 mixed with front-wheel drive, and 21/27/23 mpg with AWD.

Driving Expertise: On the Street

The 4,123-pound Santa Cruz Restricted AWD dealt with effectively and was simple to drive, identical to the compact crossover it’s based mostly on. The relaxed really feel on the town and at freeway speeds prolonged to maneuvering, which was stable and predictable because of the Michelin Primacy LTX 245/50 all-season tires mounted on 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The MacPherson struts, coil springs, and gas-pressured shock absorbers up entrance, and the self-leveling multi-link rear suspension resulted in a composed and even trip. Pickups can undergo from a bouncing rear when the mattress is empty, however not so within the Santa Cruz the place empty or loaded, the trip is steady and car-like.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
You’ll be able to load it up

The responsive steering delivered taught handing with little physique roll when pushed on corners. Typically, the Santa Cruz is a snug using and dealing with pickup, er, Sport Journey Automobile. The two.5T AWD has a tow ranking of 5,000 kilos with trailer brakes and 1,650 kilos with out, and the payload (mattress and cabin) is 1,609 kilos.

Drive Mode Choose helps you get probably the most efficiency from the engine. Regular is for on a regular basis driving, Sport stiffens the steering really feel and holds the transmission in a decrease gear for further efficiency and Snow is for when issues get sloppy. Sensible is the place you let the pc select which drive mode is finest for the situations so there isn’t a have to toggle between the opposite drive modes. The Santa Cruz Restricted AWD could be locked in all-wheel mode for when going off-road (8.6-inches of floor clearance and 23.2º departure angle) or driving in slippery or muddy situations.

Stops had been stable and according to an excellent brake pedal really feel from the power-assisted braking system, consisting of vented entrance and stable rear discs, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with digital brake-force distribution. The latter adjusts brake proportioning to compensate for added weight from passengers or cargo, and even adjusts as gas is consumed. That is invisible and prompt to the motive force and passengers, making for a snug and managed trip. The Santa Cruz with all-wheel drive comes with towing options of downhill brake management, trailer pre-wiring, a heavy responsibility transmission cooler and trailer sway help.

A Metropolis Truck

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Restricted AWD stands-out with a daring, sharp-looking darkish chrome grille that includes six horizontal rows of geometric shapes. When on the vendor, make certain to activate the lights to see the distinctive and nice trying LED lighting scheme. The sculpted hood results in a crossover SUV cabin that morphs right into a truck mattress. The Santa Cruz has a singular facet profile with an angled transition from the rear window to the mattress rails. It could seem to be a small factor, however for some not having that connecting level at a 90º angle will have an effect on entry. To enhance mattress entry the Santa Cruz has foot steps within the outer edges of the rear bumpers.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The sunshine present

The perimeters, with out chrome or cladding, are easy with a deep crease alongside the door bottoms. The door handles and energy heated rearview mirrors which have flip indicators are physique shade, with pronounced black brush guard trim alongside the wheel wells. The geometric theme of the entrance grille continues to the distinctive 20-inch machined alloy wheels, which function a star sample and gloss black inserts.

The almost flat roof has rack rails with a 220-pound carrying restrict; our Restricted mannequin got here with an influence panoramic sunroof. Geometric shapes once more seem on the comb guard wheel trim, the highest of the sheet-molded composite mattress rails and the rear bumper, the place all surfaces are adorned with a Santa Cruz Easter Egg. Clear Fleet Report’s Santa Cruz was painted in a gentle blue, which Hyundai calls Blue Stone. That’s joined by exterior colours of Hampton Grey, Phantom Black, Sage Grey, Ice White and Mojave Sand.

The tail finish is the place issues get attention-grabbing. The LED taillights have a sexy design. Think about an arrow mendacity on its facet, linked by a pink reflector strip. The liftgate, with a darkish chrome launch deal with and a daring stamped S-A-N-T-A C-R-U-Z, completes the 4-foot field. The mattress has an underside lockable storage compartment with a drain plug so it may be used as an ice chest, a typical built-in tonneau cowl, inside LED lights, 115V energy outlet, storage pockets, C-channel cleat rail system and D-ring tie downs.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Every thing however the knobs

Driving Expertise: Inside

Hyundai says the 2022 Santa Cruz is “Gutsy outdoors. Glam inside.” Now we have already regarded on the outdoors, and its easy 0.37 Coefficient of Drag (Cd) definitely does have an consideration getting design. The inside although is all SUV, seating 5 with black-on-black entrance heated and ventilated leather-based seats. The driving force seat will get 8-way energy changes, together with lumbar, whereas the passenger will get guide changes. The entrance seats had been comfy and supportive, with their a number of energy changes and the lean and telescoping steering column permitting the motive force to discover a comfy place. The door pockets had been a bit small for big bottles, however there are cup holders on the middle console subsequent to the gear selector, and there’s a giant and deep heart console. The 60/40 rear seat flips-up revealing useful storage bins. Entry by means of the rear doorways is a bit tight, however as soon as settled within the rear leg and head room was lots for six-footers.

Sliding behind the wheel reveals a curved sprint design that has no bodily buttons, switches or toggles. Floor supplies embrace material and gentle contact on the sprint, door panels and heart console armrest. The ten.5-inch multi-information digital instrument show options tachometer and speedometer gauges that change colours relying which drive mode is chosen; the Sport show of pink and black is fairly sharp. The Santa Cruz Restricted inside is a clear design coming with ambient lighting, brushed aluminum trim accents and high stitching. The heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, which has a singular design, has audio and phone controls with the paddle shifters peeking out from behind. The one factor lacking, that for $41,000 sticker needs to be included, is a head-up show.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Sport mode!

The Santa Cruz Restricted comes with a ten.25-inch high-definition shade touchscreen with navigation, and a multi-view entrance and rear digicam system. The Bose premium audio system, with eight audio system, consists of SiriusXM, AM/FM, a number of USB ports in addition to wireeless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Aux-in jacks and Bluetooth streaming audio with voice recognition full the system. The system will not be as user-friendly as Clear Fleet Report prefers, missing quantity and channel choice knobs, however in time it’s simple to determine and navigating the completely different screens turns into second nature.

Including to the inside consolation and comfort had been wi-fi cellphone charging, rain-sensing wipers, auto maintain, push button and distant begin, dual-zone computerized local weather management with rear seat vents, energy home windows with one-touch up/down, energy door locks, a rear sliding glass window, carpeted flooring mats, auto dimming rearview mirror with a compass and Homelink, a number of beverage holders, and entrance and rear twin USB ports. Blue Hyperlink and Digital Key provide linked companies together with with the ability to begin the Santa Cruz remotely.


The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz comes with an extended record of security options consisting of entrance, facet and side-curtain air luggage with roll-over sensors, and superior driver help programs (ADAS), together with ahead collision avoidance, lane maintain help and warning, blind spot detection, back-up warning, digital parking brake, hill begin help, encompass view monitor, tire strain monitoring system, computerized cease/begin and digital stability management. One very cool function is, when utilizing the proper or left flip sign, a digicam comes on routinely exhibiting the facet of the Santa Cruz, relying on which route is being turned.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Versatility comes normal

The 2022 Santa Cruz has not been security rated by the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA), however the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) awarded it with their highest ranking, the High Security Choose.

Pricing and Warranties

There are six completely different 2022 Santa Cruz fashions ranging in base worth from $25,385 to $41,115. These costs, earlier than any elective gadgets, rely on the engine, drive system and trim stage. Clear Fleet Report’s Santa Cruz Restricted AWD 2.5T AWD, with $195 in choices for the carpeted flooring mats, had a MSRP of $41,310. All costs embrace the necessary $1,245 freight and dealing with charge.

The 2022 Santa Cruz comes with these warranties:

  • Powertrain                        10 years/100,000 miles
  • New Automobile                      5 years/60,000 miles 
  • Upkeep                    Three years/36,000 miles
  • Roadside Help       5 years/Limitless miles       
  • Anti-perforation              Seven years/Limitless miles

Observations: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Restricted AWD

Hyundai doesn’t need the Santa Cruz to be referred to as a truck, however relatively a Sport Journey Automobile. For our functions right here, we are going to check their wrath and go along with truck.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Good timing

Vans and crossover utility automobiles (CUVs) are the 2 hottest automotive gross sales classes, and Hyundai creating a mix of the 2 was a sensible transfer. Was the driving public sitting again ready for a compact pickup or did Hyundai simply hit the proper nerve on the proper time? A few of each clearly.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is nice to drive, very like its Hyundai Tucson sibling. The styling is exclusive and a class-up inside affords comfy seating and storage flexibility. The options record is lengthy and deep with a full security suite, decisions of front-wheel and all-wheel drive and two engine choices. Providing the Santa Cruz as a hybrid would enable it to equal the Ford Maverick compact pickup for gas effectivity. As with all Hyundai automobiles, the Santa Cruz comes with an impressive guarantee.

The Santa Cruz will likely be interesting when you’ve got the occasional want for a pickup, even one with a four-foot mattress. The payload and towing numbers are greater than enough. With the ability to match 4 full-size adults within the cabin makes it splendid for making it your tenting or different outside journey car, or these fast runs to the DIY retailer. Heck, you may even go off-road if choosing AWD.

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Story by John Faulkner. Pictures by John Faulkner and Hyundai.

Different “Journey Truck” choices

Street Check: 2019 Ford Ranger

Street Check: 2022 Ford Maverick

Street Check: 2021 Jeep Gladiator

Street Check: 2017 Honda Ridgeline

Street Check: 2020 Toyota Tacoma

Flash Drive: 2015 GMC Canyon

Street Check: 2018 Chevrolet Colorado


Clear Fleet Report is loaned free check automobiles from automakers to judge, usually for every week at a time. Our street exams are based mostly on this one-week drive of a brand new car. Due to this we don’t tackle points corresponding to long-term reliability or complete value of possession. As well as, we are sometimes invited to producer occasions highlighting new automobiles or know-how. As a part of these occasions we could also be provided free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our unvarnished evaluations of automobiles and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our focus is on automobiles that provide the perfect gas economic system of their class, which leads us to emphasise electrical vehicles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered automobiles which might be among the many high mpg automobiles of their class. As well as, we purpose to supply evaluations and information on superior know-how and the choice gas car market. We welcome any suggestions from car homeowners and are devoted to offering a discussion board for different viewpoints. Please tell us your views at writer@cleanfleetreport.com.


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September 2022