Hyundai has released some teaser images of its first pickup truck to be sold in our market. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, like Honda's Ridgeline, looks to offer more truck-like utility than a crossover without the size, bulk, and other compromises of a traditional pickup.
The “Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all-new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole," said Hyundai Motor North America CEO Jose Munoz.
The Santa Cruz, as shown in the teaser photos, looks like a Tucson with an open pickup bed. That allows for more useful storage space in the back, including the ability to haul both items too tall for the back of a crossover and too dirty to put in the carpeted interior of a Tucson.
A concept version of the truck was first shown in 2015 at the Detroit auto show. That version offered two clamshell-style half-doors for the rear and appeared to offer a much more compact cabin. The sketches from today show four proper doors, suggesting first and second-row seating equal to the Tucson crossover. Based on a crossover, it should offer a smaller footprint as well as better fuel economy and driving dynamics than a traditional body-on-frame pickup, though likely also less payload and towing capacity.
The sketches show a bold rear including a beefy truck-like bumper with integrated steps, taillights that cross into the tailgate, and the Santa Cruz name stamped into the tailgate. The box sides, which are integrated into the rest of the bodywork, wear a similar crease to the one found on the 2022 Tucson.
Set for a full reveal on April 15, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be built in Montgomery, Ala., starting this summer.