The cool concept is heading into production after seven years. Well, back in 2015, the mid-size truck class was still fighting for survival. Now, it is one of the hottest segments in the market. Another new model at the dealership should be the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. The company is finally starting production this spring and the truck will be available for orders in mid-2021. Deliveries will start closer to the end of the year.
The platform we saw in 2015 could still be attractive. But, do not expect the same pickup as it was back then. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is introducing a fresh design language. Also, the Korean company will definitely go with a 3.8-liter V6 engine as the best choice. Of course, there will be plenty of surprises, but we will find out everything whenever Hyundai bosses get the right occasion.
Market Value, Expectations
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is coming at the right time. The mid-size truck market is expanding and we saw more debuts in the past few years than discontinuations. Even Ford decided to bring back Ranger. Also, we can hear that more diesel units are going to be available.
Hyundai presented Santa Cruz in 2015 and it drew a lot of attention. However, nothing turned into production. Still, the concept and wish are there. The growth of the mid-size pickup market is not the only reason why the carmaker decides to bring Santa Cruz. Hyundai also achieved great sales numbers in other classes, which then led to the expansion of the lineup. Now, we have a new largest SUV in the family, Palisade, and the manufacturer also started its own luxury line – Genesis. We won’t exclude the premium truck for the future.
Sales and popularity of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will heavily depend on the architecture. Only one mid-size truck doesn’t ride on the ladder frame. That is a Honda Ridgeline. It is also a pickup with the lowest market share in the past few years. So, Santa Cruz needs body-on-frame architecture. What’s more, we can read rumors that Kia is also after a truck and it could be based on the Mohave, the BoF SUV. Since two companies are sharing projects, they can join forces in this segment as well.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Specifications
There are no doubts that the truck is going to take advantage of the new engine introduced with the Palisade SUV. A 3.8-liter V6 will make a pickup very competitive with 290 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Also, the BoF will increase the towing capacity and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has to offer at least 7,000 pounds. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to wheels. Engineers will install 2WD and 4WD. The system is not going to be the same as the one we find in the Palisade.
Some experts claim the company could also deploy one of the engines used on the Genesis GV80. The base unit might be a 2.5-liter turbo with 300 hp. It is not a bad option, especially having in mind that a four-cylinder mill can save some fuel. But, the towing capacity of a small block is not going to make the 2022 Santa Cruz competitive. A 3.5-liter turbo V6 will. On the other hand, it is not likely to see a 375-hp rated powerplant as the entry-level feature. This might be out as the performance-oriented Santa Cruz N truck.
Styling, Improvements, Impressions
When the pickup debuted in 2015, truckers were impressed with its bold design. The Santa Cruz was aggressive and sporty thanks to the front and side lines. Also, the grille drew a lot of heeds. Narrow headlights and large air intakes will be revisited for the production model, that is for sure. We will see what did the company do with bed features and accessories. Bedliner will be optional. The truck is going to be available with a single and double cab configuration, seating two or five persons. Hyundai is also working on driver-aid systems. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto services, Bluetooth, and a few USB ports will be standard. Premium sound, navigation and wireless charging are options for the high-end models.
Where Will 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz be Built?
Hyundai plans to expand the market and the company will need more facilities. Currently, there is only a single plant in the US, in Alabama. Still, three factories in the homeland can meet capacities. However, the plan is to avoid taxes and build a facility that will help Hyundai expand its business in North America. Well, these plants won’t be ready for the upcoming truck, especially if it is about to arrive as the 2022 year model. Well, if the company fails again to deliver Santa Cruz, then we can say that Hyundai gave up on this market.