The Hyundai Santa Cruz is getting a lot of attention as the South Korean manufacturer’s first pickup truck. But it already doesn’t want to be stereotyped.
Hyundai has identified its new crossover vehicle as an SAV. It’s not a sport utility vehicle or a pickup truck. It’s a sport adventure vehicle.
The manufacturer is marketing the new vehicle as combining an SUV engineered like a car with pickup truck characteristics.
The Santa Cruz will have a small, open cargo bed and also seating for five occupants.
Hyundai Santa Cruz: US made
Despite is South Korean headquarters, the Santa Cruz will be built in the carmaker’s factory in Montgomery, Alabama.
According to one reviewer, “Comparing Ford F-150s, Rams and Silverados to the Santa Cruz is like comparing a Bengal tiger to the housecat on your sofa.”
Standard with a lockable bed cover, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is only slightly more than 16 feet long and has a four-foot long bed.
It will be available in models with 190 and 275 horsepower. Hyundai has promoted it with a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The Santa Cruz will also be reminiscent of the Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero as well as the Subaru Baja and Brat.
Article Last Updated: April 27, 2021.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.