- The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be based on the Tucson’s platform.
- No powertrains confirmed yet, but will likely use a 187-hp 2.5L four and a 226-hp hybrid 1.6L four.
- Hyundai is calling its new small pickup a “Sport Adventure Vehicle.”
The long-awaited pickup truck from the Korean brand is finally arriving. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will make its global debut on April 15th, and in the meantime, we get to sink out teeth in a few design sketches.
Actually, Hyundai is calling its new model a Sport Adventure Vehicle, not a pickup, and even boasts it will be “breaking new ground” by creating a new category of vehicle—at least in the U.S. and Canadian markets. Apparently, it has never heard of the Chevrolet El Camino, the Ford Ranchero or the Subaru Baja, or even the upcoming Ford Maverick, but the point here is that the company in entering a new vehicle segment.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is expected to ride on the Hyundai Tucson’s platform, and even looks striking similar than the redesigned 2022 model-year compact crossover, with its cascading front-end grille and headlight design as well as its creased side profile. The cargo bed isn’t very big and likely won’t be able to haul an ATV, for example, but people who enjoy an active lifestyle might find it versatile enough for carrying their gear around without getting the cabin dirty. It might also offer some sort of bed extension.
The brand is announcing “powerful and efficient engines,” so we’re expecting more than one powertrain choice. The 2022 Tucson offers a 187-horsepower 2.5L inline-four matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, a hybrid system consisting of a turbo 1.6L four with a combined output of 226 horsepower mixed with a six-speed automatic, as well as a 261-horsepower PHEV variant. The compact pickup will likely get the first two, and perhaps all three. AWD will be available as well.
“Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all-new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole,” stated Hyundai Motor North America president and CEO Jose Munoz in a press release. “Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one.”
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be the company’s first swing at a pickup truck entry in North America. However, a unibody pickup variant of the Hyundai Pony was produced in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and sold in other markets. The Santa Cruz will make its official debut online on April 15th at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT.