Travis Langness of Edmunds brings you a first look at the new pickup truck from Hyundai, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. In this video, Travis gives his first impressions of the Santa Cruz pickup and details what he likes and dislikes. Hyundai first teased the Santa Cruz pickup as a concept vehicle back at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and after a long wait, we are finally getting a chance to see the final product.
[MUSIC PLAYING] TRAVIS LANGNESS: This is the all new, never been seen before, completely brand new, 100% new Hyundai Santa Cruz. It's a 2022 model, and with it, Hyundai says they're breaking the mold. They're not even calling it what we think it is. Is this a truck? It's not a truck. It's a sport adventure vehicle. Got it. It's a SAV.
But this kind of looks like a truck to us. I have a lot of questions. I want to know what's under the hood. I want to know how much it's going to cost. I want to know can it go off road. But before we answer those questions, let's take a look and see exactly what it's got to offer nose to tail.
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Before we get to the utility stuff, let's talk about the looks on this truck because I think it looks great. It's not the boxy brutish truck you're used to, or SAV, as they're calling it. The front end is really sleek. It hearkens back to the concept that they released a few years ago. And sure it's missing the bright green tow hooks and there's no skid plates up front, but I love the way that these lights are integrated into the grill.
There's this dark chrome look going on. And it all moves back. It sweeps really well. There's a lot of strong character lines, these big creases in the hood, and this is a vehicle you'll definitely see coming on the road. It's not shy about what it is. This looks sleek, modern, and aggressive, even if it isn't what we're used to from a pickup truck.
Do you hear that? It's the sound of adventure calling. Let's check out the back. And we're going to take a look at the bed. But before we do that, I want to talk about this truck's size. This is considerably smaller than a Honda Ridgeline, a Toyota Tacoma, a Nissan Frontier. It's almost a foot shorter than most of those. And while it's a little bit wider than the Hyundai Tucson that it's based on by about 40 millimeters, it is a considerably compact-er, more compact, pickup than what we have now on the market.
But what it might be a better competitor to is the upcoming Ford Maverick. Now we don't know a lot about the Ford Maverick. We've seen some spy shots of it here and there, but really this is one of the only compact pickups or utes or SAVs on the road.
So what does it have to offer? This is the party piece. The bed is what every truck relies on and this one can do this. Remote tailgate. So let's talk about the capabilities, what this Santa Cruz can do. For starters, it's got this tonneau cover, which is going to be an option for it, that can hold 220 pounds of weight. So if you filled up the bed and you want to strap more stuff down to the top, or if you just want somewhere to sit, this is a good place to do it.
Now it rolls back. That's pretty cool. Loud, but cool. And you've got this strap if you need to pull it forward, as well as a number of bed tie downs and, believe it or not, the bed-- I don't know if it'll open-- oh there it is-- has a trunk. Now this may look familiar to people who have seen our Ridgeline video. The Honda Ridgeline has one of these too.
This is a little bit smaller. It's not as deep. But this one also has a drain so you could fill it up with ice and various beverages at your local tailgate party. Or if you go out for a day at the beach, you're surfing, you've got a wet wetsuit, you can throw it back here, muddy gear, whatever it is, this is a great place that you can throw stuff and then drain it later.
Aside from that, there is also this area here, which pops open to reveal a plug. So you can plug stuff in the bed. 115 volt outlet. Then there's a whole sliding rail system good for tying things down. And an extra cool bit is that this tailgate adjusts height. So-- and I've only done this once so bear with me here. Maybe I can do it this way. This is a knee tailgate Carlos. I don't need my finger. Hey, look what I did.
Now why would you want a tailgate up like this? Well it matches this shelf inside the bed so that you can have a piece of plywood that's not hanging completely off. This is only a 4 foot bed, which is pretty small. And it gets a little bit crowded up near the cab. So if you want something long, lumber, big long surfboard hanging out of the back, this is going to give you an extra shelf to lay it on.
Now we haven't confirmed yet exactly what the weight capacity of this is.
But the bed's weight capacity is 660 pounds. That's enough for plenty of camping totes, a couple of surfboards, and even your biggest cooler weighed down with food for the weekend. So let's wrap up back here by closing the bed and take a look at-- look at that-- lights on the tailgate. And Carlos, it's pretty light. I could do one finger I think.
There's also some cool bedside steps, so you want to load some gear, you can. And come take a closer look down here. Easter eggs. I love a good Easter egg moment. Let's go find some more. There's one right here, there's one right here, and there's one right here.
Now let's talk about power. Look, I'm in slow motion. From launch, Hyundai is going to have two engines available. The first is a naturally aspirated 2.5 liter, four cylinder engine. Puts out 190 horsepower and 180 pound feet of torque.
And the optional engine is a 2.5 liter, four cylinder as well. But it's turbocharged to 275 horsepower. Considerably more. And it'll be paired with an eight speed, dual clutch transmission, a DCT which, to my mind, is a little bit weird. When I think DCT, I normally think sports cars, or at least something sporty with an AMG badge on it. Now I'm going to hold out all of my judgments obviously until I get behind the wheel, but it's definitely the one that I'm eager to test out.
There's also going to be front and all-wheel drive available. And when it comes to towing, you can tow anywhere between 3,500 and 5,000 pounds max. Now there is an option to tow 5,000 pounds max if you have the right equipment on the truck, but there isn't a trailer brake controller available. So honestly, if you're starting to tow a trailer that really gets that big, you're probably going to want to get something larger than this anyways. So maybe the lack of a trailer brake controller isn't too bad, but you just can't get one. You're going to have to find one on the aftermarket.
So here we are, the inside of the Santa Cruz. And from first glance, this is a really nice place to be. Hyundai has been stepping up their game when it comes to luxury interior appointments, and this, while it looks a little bit minimalist, also looks really fancy. I mean this is a great 10.25 inch center touchscreen. You got another 10.25 screen here instead of gauges. It's just a screen. The standard screen's 8 inch, but this one, the larger screen, comes with wireless car play, wireless Android auto.
One thing, while this looks really nice, there's this row of buttons here, the climate control system and the audio system is all controlled through this kind of flat sheet of buttons. These aren't haptic feedback, but they're not really buttons either. It's all just one flat screen. I'm not sure how that's going to work in practice, but I like the way it looks, except for piano black.
You also get stuff like a wireless charging pad. There's two USB ports up front, two in the back. Then you get stuff like heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, and there is a button here that says lock, which I can only assume is for locking the front and rear wheels together. There's not a traditional locker like you would find in something with four wheel drive. This has all-wheel drive, but that simulates it. There's also hill descent control and an auto hold button for if you're stopped in traffic or with a hill ahead of you.
Then there's the safety features. There is a lot of stuff that comes standard on the Santa Cruz, but there are a lot of great options as well. So we're talking about features like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and then also just other great stuff like a drowsiness mode that will let you know that you're getting kind of tired on the road. There's also a mode that will warn you if you're going to open your door and there's someone coming like in traffic or a bicycle.
So there are a lot of features that make this feel like a premium offering. Either way, this interior feels really nice, and there's plenty of room up here. I'm 5' 8", 5' 9" on a good day. I've got plenty of headroom here. Sunroof obviously. I could stick my head out of that if I wanted to. And now, let's move to the back seat and see what it's like when I'm sitting behind the seat set up for me.
So before I get in, let's take a look at the under seat storage options. You've got your tire change kit back here. And then if you open up this side, there's just a big storage area down here for you to put your muddy shoes or whatever. Seat folds down, and then we can climb in. And there's plenty of space.
Now the seat is a little bit upright. Doesn't recline obviously. Your right against the bed wall here. But sitting behind the seat position for myself, again 5' 8", 5' 9", I've got an inch or so of knee room here. And these seats have good concave backs so you're not banging up against the back there.
There isn't however a center armrest here, so there's nothing for me to lean on. You do get the nice armrest over here. But again, piano black which we on the Edmunds YouTube channel have been harping against for quite some time now. It's going to get real greasy and ugly with those fast food fingers.
SPEAKER 2: About piano black, you said greasy, didn't you?
TRAVIS LANGNESS: Yeah.
SPEAKER 2: What did you have for breakfast today?
TRAVIS LANGNESS: I had a pizza for breakfast today and I don't appreciate you judging me for it.
But there's not a lot more going on back here. A couple of vents, a couple of USB ports. It's a pretty nice rear seat for a truck that is almost a foot shorter than most mid-sizes, and plenty of headroom, easy to get in and out, and your kids will enjoy things back here, or even your adult friends.
So it's got a somewhat spacious interior, lots of cool tech stuff, a big screen, good standard and optional safety features, and a pretty cool bed setup. Now sure, it doesn't have class-leading numbers, but is there even a class for this vehicle yet? Well I'm not quite sure about that yet. I think we're going to have to drive it really to find out, but I am really anxious to get behind the wheel. I want to know what this feels like on the road, and I want to see if it lives up to all the promises that Hyundai is making.
For more information on the Santa Cruz and all of its upcoming competitors, click the link in the comments below, and let us know if you've got a favorite ute, favorite ute story, if you want me to stop saying ute, and go to edmunds.com/sellmycar to get a cash offer on your car, truck, or SUV today so you can get into something new.