The Hyundai Santa Cruz was one of the most anticipated new trucks of 2022. It is known to be based on a unibody car chassis. So, is it as good as a car as a truck? Well, what makes a good car? Good cars are safe, affordable, economical, reliable and comfortable. When you factor all that in, the Santa Cruz is a good, if long, car. It’s just a car with the world’s largest trunk if you want to see it that way. Or could it be a great daily driver?
Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz safe?
The IIHS says the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a Top Safety Pick. The only places the Santa Cruz fall short are the headlamps and the LATCH mechanism of the child seat. The headlights don’t illuminate corners as well as they could, according to IIHS. The Santa Cruz gets an acceptable rating for its LATCH mechanism, but was caught sitting too low in the seat. Furthermore, it has good ratings for all the crash tests that IIHS does.
When it comes to safety, the Santa Cruz also has Hyundai Driver Assist, which offers lane-keeping assistance, four-wheel drive in higher trim levels, navigation-based cruise control, driver warning and much more.
Is Santa Cruz Affordable?
The Santa Cruz can be affordable depending on your budget and the trim level you choose. The Santa Fe starts at $27,640 on SEL, or base, trim with the 191-horsepower four-cylinder. If you step up to the SEL, for $36,130, you get the upgraded turbocharged four-cylinder and four-wheel drive. In Limited version you get all the goodies, including the larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, the surround view monitor and the blind spot monitor. The Limited trim has everything Hyundai can add for $40,170.
Is the Santa Cruz economical?
The Hyundai comes with two engine choices, a 191-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 2.5-liter turbo version. The turbo makes 281 horsepower, but because of the forced induction, it gets better gas mileage on the highway and doesn’t get a big hit in the city. With the base engine, you get 21 in the city and 26 on the highway, according to the EPA. With the turbo you would get a comparable 19 city and 27 highway. But nowhere is it as efficient as the 2022 Ford Maverick, a comparable truck, er, car.
One of the great ways truck owners improve their gas mileage is by adding a tonneau cover to the bed, and the aftermarket offers that for the Santa Cruz.
Is it reliable?
Consumer Reports gives Santa Cruz a lower predicted reliability score than other cars. But that could be due to teething problems in the first year. The Hyundai Tucson, on which the Santa Cruz is based, has a super high reliability score.
All in all, Hyundai has won the Quality and Dependability awards from JD Power. From JD Power, the Tucson gets a great rating, which is way above average.
Is the Santa Cruz 2022 comfortable?
The Santa Cruz seats five in much the same space as the Tucson. All models come standard with an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar support. Higher quality models can have leather upholstery, heated/ventilated seats and steering wheels. Inside, the Santa Cruz has Hyundai’s latest Dynamic Voice Control system and a ton of technology.
But again, like the popular Tucson, the Santa Cruz has generous head and shoulder room and more room in the back than many SUVs and sedans. When it comes to the overall riding experience, JD Power says it’s average, but ranks it above average for its overall score.
RELATED: 6 Awesome Trucks for Summer Road Trips