Comox Valley Hyundai
Toll-free:
1 833 947-1259
Home > News > Article

Auto 123's First Driver Review Of The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz!

2021-10-04

santacruz

Author: Dan Heyman - www.auto123.com

The new Hyundai Santa Cruz is a rare thing in the car world. It is not only a segment-buster, it's kind of a segment creator. At least, that's what Hyundai is saying.

Now, a good first look at the Santa Cruz tells you you're seeing a four-door cab, high-ish ride height, one of the most unique grilles in the business (unless you include its Santa Fe sibling…or the last-gen Toyota Venza), some sparkly 20-inch wheels and, above all else, a pickup bed. So it's a pickup then, right?

Well, according to the manufacturer, it isn't. Pickups have a fiercely loyal customer base, and Hyundai isn't about to bang its head against that wall if it can avoid it. Thing is, it's not a crossover, either. Call it a Sport Adventure Vehicle, aimed at young couples - you know, adventurous types who like to pack kayaks, tow Sea-Doos and Ski-Doos and load mountain bikes and camping gear. Hyundai made that abundantly clear with all the Santa Cruz-es on hand during our drive event. All were decked out in all manner of outdoor accessories available through the dealers.

Of course, we all know what those adventurous types tend to drive: crossovers and small SUVs. And it is precisely those vehicle segments that Hyundai expects to draw buyers from. So if not a pickup, why not call is a CUV then?

Sport Adventure Vehicle
Well, that's an option but Hyundai is staying steadfast by "Sport Adventure Vehicle". And why not a new designation? It's been a while since we've seen anything like it. It's not a never-before thing – remember the Ford Ranchero? How about the Dodge Rampage? Or Subaru's BRAT and Baja? – but it's been a while.

Of course, it's not like manufacturers haven't tried to get a pickup bed into the hands of a dyed-in-the-wool CUV driver before. Ford gave it a go with the rebirth of the Ranger and earlier than that, we had the Chevrolet Colorado and more recently, the Jeep Gladiator. All great trucks – this is not to disparage them, by any means – but that's the thing; they were trucks. Body-on-frame workhorses that, yes, had smaller engines than their big-selling siblings like the Ford F-150 or Chevrolet Silverado, but still drove like trucks.

Not the Santa Cruz, though. This is a vehicle that shares a great many bits with the Tucson and Santa Fe crossovers (in terms of exterior dimensions, it sits roughly between the two), so it's a unibody platform, with the goal in mind to reduce the vibrations and bouncy ride associated with pickups.

That bed
Of course, a bit it doesn't share is its pickup bed and make no mistake: while at four feet on the floor it isn't long, it's far more than just a bucket dropped on where the rear cargo area usually is. It has cleats, it has bed lights, tie downs and even extra underfloor storage as seen in the Honda Ridgeline that can be filled with ice and drained thereafter. There's a 115V power outlet and extra storage either side of the bed; there are even accessories that allow you to extend the bed and each corner of the rear bumper features cutouts big enough to fit a steel-toed boot. The retractable bed cover is also standard, so you can keep things safe in there.

For sure, it's not as highly stackable as a CUV's cargo area would be and you're always going to have to get out of the Santa Cruz to get at anything back there, but Hyundai has provided everything they can to make the change from CUV to "SAV" as palatable as possible.

The powertrain
Power from the 2.5L turbo engine is rated at 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque and the ability to tow up to 5,000 lb – the Kawasaki Jetski you see here is about 2,000 lb, and the Santa Cruz handled it just fine. Keep it in Normal or Smart drive mode (in which the Santa Cruz senses how you're driving and adapts its shifting and throttle response to suit) and you're good to go.

The interior
We've discussed the exterior; it's time to step inside this Sports Adventure Vehicle to see what's what.

In the spec you see here -- $44,799 Ultimate trim, which tops the lineup above Trend ($41,399) and Preferred ($38,499) – it gets the full load: leather seats that are heated and ventilated up front, surround view parking camera, LED headlights, 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, blind-view monitor that turns your digital gauges into blind-spot cameras and rain-sensing wipers.

That's in addition to standard all-wheel-drive, heated steering wheel, bed cover, and 2.5L turbo power.

Space-wise, it's similar to the Tucson up front which means good front legroom, a surprising amount of headroom and a high seating position. The latter element was one of the main goals when designers were putting together the Santa Cruz, as it means a good view out, and that's important for any CUV driver Hyundai hopes to convert.

The digital gauge cluster is a crisp affair, properly bereft of glare even though there's no actual gauge hood. That also adds to the view out, but to my eye the display overall looks a bit as if it's kind of plugged in to its spot just above the steering wheel.

In Ultimate spec, the gauge cluster is matched by a 10.25-inch widescreen that's touch-activated, as are all the controls on the panel that surrounds it. No dials or hard buttons here. It's all touch, all the time. Personally, I like more traditional buttons as they're a little easier to operate, but both the screen and touch panel in the Santa Cruz are responsive enough that I'm not too bothered by it. I just wish the haptic response when your inputs are received was a little more robust. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are of course standard, and there's wireless charging as well.

Continue reading HERE!

Source: https://www.auto123.com/en/news/2022-hyundai-santa-cruz-first-drive/68377/?page=2

Visit our website for many more details and pictures at www.ComoxValleyHyundai.com
We are a family-run, locally owned and operated dealership in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island specializing in new and used vehicle sales, and servicing all areas of the Comox Valley including Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, Parksville, Nanaimo, Victoria and all of Vancouver Island.  Call us toll-free at 1-833-947-1259 or locally at 250-334-2441.
Come visit Vancouver Island's Premier pre-owned vehicle location centrally located across from Costco at 555 Silverdale Crescent in Courtenay, BC. We have an exceptionally large and fully reconditioned inventory with a complete 155-point inspection on every vehicle! Plus, you'll find hundreds more online to choose from. We also service all makes and models with 6 service bays. Tour our welcoming facility, meet our staff and join us for a coffee!
Along with our fine line of New Hyundai cars and Used Hyundai vehicles, we market pre-owned import and domestic brands of quality Cars, Trucks, Vans, CUV's and SUV's. You name it and we will find it! Plus, we can help you get into the car or truck you need, no matter your current credit situation, without hassle or delay. Let us help you!
For more than 35 years, Comox Valley Hyundai has been a trusted and respected car dealer in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. We are dedicated to ensuring that you go far in a used car or truck, and it starts with an exclusive inventory of quality, reliable used cars and trucks, and a financing service that can provide you with guaranteed approval, help you restore your credit, and get you the best rate possible for your needs and situation.
Comox Valley Hyundai - MVSA Certified #40577
 

WE'VE MOVED - VISIT OUR NEW LOCATION!
TEXT US!

Get our promotions by SMS or answers to any of your questions!

Submit
Lead: SMS request
Hello,

A potential customer show has visited your website would like to be contacted by SMS:

Visitor information:
Mobile: {$EMAILPHONE}
Name: {$FNAME} {$LNAME}
Email: {$EMAIL}

Vehicle information:
Brand: {$EMAILMAKE} {$EMAILMODEL} {$EMAILYEAR}
Last vehicle viewed: {$LASTVEHICLEVIEWED}
Last vehicle configured: {$EMAILBUILDANDPRICE}

Visitor message:
{$MESSAGES}

D2CSMSID:{$D2CSMSID}

Media source: {$UTMDETAILS}
Navigateur: {$USERAGENT}
{$DEALER_SENDTO}

Consent: {$CONSENT_DETAILS}{$PURCHASE_INTENT}

Please confirm
In order to comply with the Canadian Anti-Spam Law, we are asking you to confirm that you wish to receive communications from us such as rebates, promotions, offers and future private sales.
Yes
No

It looks like you are using a deprecated browser, which might encounter problems properly displaying this site. For the best browsing experience, we recommend switching to Google Chrome.

×