The first sign of the Hyundai Santa Cruz was back in 2015
The new small pickup will rival the Honda Ridgeline
Could be unveiled this year as a 2021 model
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz is more likely to happen this year than not although Hyundai hasn’t said much about their upcoming truck. The Korean automaker did confirm the Santa Cruz was coming last year, so we know it’s on the way. We just don’t know when we will get a look at it. Here’s what we do know so far and what we can guess about the latest mid-size truck.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz will be built in Alabama
When Hyundai confirmed it was building the Santa Cruz, it announced that the new truck would be built at the company’s Montgomery, Alabama plant. The Santa Cruze will be for the US only, although Canada is likely a second destination. Just don’t expect to see the Santa Cruz outside North America.
It will have a unibody construction
The Hyundai Santa Cruz will dip into the Hyundai Santa Fe parts bin and share its unibody design and platform. In other words, the Santa Cruz will likely be more comfortable than the likes of the Jeep Gladiator or Chevrolet Colorado, but it may not have the same capability off road nor the same towing capacity. The Honda Ridgeline will be the most direct competitor.
Engines expected to come from the Santa Fe and Palisade
There are a lot of engines Hyundai could cram under the hood of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz. The most likely combination is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder entry-level engine with the Hyundai Palisade’s 3.8-litre V6 being optional. Or, Hyundai could offer only a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, again taken from the Santa Fe.
Four-cylinders aren’t exactly popular in the truck world, but would fit the Santa Cruz’ intended purpose.
How much will it tow?
That’s the big question and will depend entirely on the engine and transmission Hyundai chooses to put into the Santa Cruz. We’re guessing Hyundai will benchmark the Ridgeline’s 5,000 lbs towing capacity for the Santa Cruz.
How much will it cost?
Early estimates put it at $30,000 US (roughly $40,000 in Canada). That would put it right in the sweet spot for mid-size trucks.
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz could do very well as a comfortable, versatile small truck that can tow a decent amount and feels more comfortable in cities and highways than in the woods.