Hyundai Santa Cruz 2024: Stylish and Versatile

Hyundai Santa Cruz 2024: Stylish and Versatile

28 November 2023 BY Jean-Sébastien Poudrier
Hyundai Santa Cruz 2024

When we mention the word "truck," the first image that usually comes to mind is that of a heavy-duty vehicle capable of towing the moon, carrying enough wood to build a house, and even going where some ATVs dare not venture. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea. The irony in all of this is that the majority of pickup truck owners use less than a tenth of their capabilities. Moreover, they have to deal with the inconveniences associated with typical trucks. This is where the Hyundai Santa Cruz becomes interesting. It's essentially an SUV with a truck bed and enhanced off-road capabilities, capable of meeting most truck owners' needs.


For 2024, the Hyundai Santa Cruz has seen some improvements, especially in terms of safety. Additionally, a few changes have been made to the various option groups. Although it's not yet available as I write these lines, the new XRT version is expected to be added to the Santa Cruz lineup later this year.


Range and Price


Currently, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz lineup consists of two versions. Firstly, there's the Preferred trim, serving as the base model. However, don't be mistaken, as it offers a very comprehensive standard equipment. Its starting price is $40,799. One can add the Trend package for an additional $2,800 here. This package enhances the style and experience of the Santa Cruz with 20-inch wheels, an electric sunroof, a Bose audio system, and several other premium features. Finally, if that's still not enough, there's the Ultimate version starting from $50,246. The digital dashboard, ventilated front seats, and the 360-degree camera system are just a few of the additional elements present in this version of the Korean manufacturer's truck.


Category and Competition


Let's admit it, the Hyundai Santa Cruz hovers between the realm of compact SUVs and compact trucks. In other words, this means its list of potential competitors is relatively short, although it does exist. Thus, it can be said that Hyundai made the right decision in presenting such a truck, considering it's a market that's far from being saturated at the moment.


Competitors: Ford Maverick, Honda Ridgeline


Design and Technologies


The Hyundai Santa Cruz isn't for everyone, that's a fact. Nevertheless, I commend the Korean manufacturer for its boldness and creativity. Personally, it's a model I appreciate a lot and stands out from the majority of other vehicles seen on the road. We live in a time where all vehicles somewhat resemble each other, so it's refreshing to see something different.


The interior of the Santa Cruz is as unique as its exterior, with a design that perfectly blends retro and modern elements. Once again, Hyundai has done an excellent job. We know that the Santa Cruz shares many elements with the Tucson, notably noticeable in the dashboard design. However, the Korean manufacturer's truck is very comfortable and lacks nothing in terms of equipment. The driving position is pleasant, and the rear seats are quite spacious.


Given that the Santa Cruz lineup is relatively limited compared to other models, there isn't a true base version. This means that the Korean manufacturer's truck benefits from a maximum of standard technologies. Its infotainment system is particularly user-friendly, and the driving assistance technologies are very effective.




The Hyundai Santa Cruz offers only one engine option across the lineup, a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It delivers 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful truck in its category. This power is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels as standard. The Korean manufacturer's truck boasts a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Ultimately, the Santa Cruz achieves an average fuel consumption of 12.1 L/100 km in the city and 8.7 L/100 km on the highway, which is within a good range.



Weak Points


Its design might not appeal to everyone. The cargo space in the truck bed is relatively limited.




It's a truck that turns heads wherever it goes. It offers a comprehensive set of standard equipment. Its engine is very powerful, making driving the Santa Cruz quite enjoyable. It's a fairly competent and versatile vehicle.


Signature Element


The Hyundai Santa Cruz, as a whole, is a signature element because it's a one-of-a-kind model. It's the kind of vehicle that attracts enthusiasts.


Closing Thoughts


Vehicles that genuinely meet the needs of the majority of people are quite rare. Nevertheless, the Hyundai Santa Cruz falls into this niche, making it one of my favorites of the year.


Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

Tags: Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Ford Maverick, Honda Ridgeline, Hyundai Santa Cruz, Hyundai Santa Cruz 2024

Author: Jean-Sébastien Poudrier