The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the first Sport-Adventure Vehicle (SAV), at least according to Hyundai’s official website. What sets this apart from a typical Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is by combining what makes SUVs so popular with the versatility of a pickup truck. This move opens up a range of new possibilities as the luxuries one expects from a sport utility vehicle such as a heated steering wheel and heated leather seats, along with top-notch infotainment and safety features. Mix the luxury with the strength of a high-quality pickup and the ideal formula for a sports adventure vehicle is at hand. The exterior of the Santa Cruz looks tough, yet alluring with its modern design as it takes advantage of the compact dimensions to enable better on-road and off-road maneuverability. Today’s age demands better versatility, which is something the 2022 Santa Cruz promises to provide. The open bed that comes with a pickup truck serves as an ideal opportunity to load up the gear as one goes on the next driving adventure.
What’s On the Outside
Top and side-mounted LED bed lighting to provide ideal illumination for night-time loading and unloading, which can be lock-protected with the slideable tonneau cover that’s integrated into the Santa Cruz. The durable tonneau is capable of holding up to 220 pounds on it, thanks to the strong aluminum material used in its construction. Another feature with the pickup bed of this SAV is the lockable under-bed storage compartment that provides waterproof protection of your valuables. Also, located at the back of the bed, are integrated rear bumper steps, which makes it easier to step into and off the bed and is capable of withstanding the pressure of up to 440 pounds. The bed also features a 115-volt plugin, as well as an adjustable rail and six tie-down points. The rails and points help secure smaller and awkward size loads when they’re strapped down securely enough for transport. There is also a height-adjustable tailgate where if the load the driver is carrying needs the extra space.
What’s On the Inside
Sport utility vehicles of today are meant to be designed to be just as comfortable as they are durable. With the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, ergonomics has become a top priority for the South Korean-based car manufacturing company. The leather seats are heated and ventilated, which means the temperature can be adjusted however one sees fit based on whatever environmental conditions are at hand. This ability to heat the seats also extends to the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The rest of the temperature preferences can be adjusted from the dual-zone control, which is located at the hub of the SAV’s infotainment system. The 10.25-inch touchscreen features an edgeless navigation system with all the standard infotainment features. Behind the wheel, there is a 10.25-inch full digital instrument cluster that offers a color-rich graphics display that can be changed its mode based on personal preferences as a driver. Such preferences are made available through its Drive Mode Select system, which offers a number of options such as NORMAL mode, SPORT mode, and SMART mode. Under normal mode, this is the feature to use for simple, relaxed driving. The sports mode adjusts the throttle and steering response to allow superior agility and a more responsive drive.
The smart mode adjusts between all available modes, based on driver input as a means to optimize the drive. In addition to these three modes, there is also a SNOW mode, Mud mode, and SAND mode, which works with SMART mode to adjust to the road conditions as needed. The available feature of the Blind View Monitor provides additional perspective on the road by streaming live video footage of your blindspot within the cluster. There are also the features of ambient lighting, a Bose speaker system, proximity keyless entry push-button ignition, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a Bluetooth connection system that connects the cellphone to the vehicle. The 2022 Santa Cruz is powered by a standard 2.5-liter turbocharged engine and HRTAC All-Wheel Drive system. The wet 8-speed automatic transmission with a paddle shifter enhances fuel efficiency and torque capacity so a driver can better enjoy the ride experience. The steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control are included with the dual-clutch transmission. As a sports adventure vehicle, the towing capacity of the Santa Cruz is five thousand pounds. In addition to these features is Hyundai’s trademarked SmartSense safety feature, which includes a camera range, motion, and radar sensors to assist with driving issues such as parking, backing up, and lane changing.
The trademarked Superstructure is what makes the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz earn the classification of the world’s first Sport-Adventure Vehicle. The platform is built on advanced high-strength steel for exceptional delivery of stiffness and strength. In the event of a collision, the Superstructure provides better protection for all passengers inside the vehicle when it absorbs the harmful impact away from the occupants.
- Vehicle Type
- Front engine
- FWD or AWD option
- 4-door pickup
- DOHC 16-valve
- 2.5-liter engine inline 4
- 191 horsepower
- 181 lb-ft torque
- Turbocharged and inter-cooled
- 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
- Wheelbase – 118.3 inches
- Length – 195.7 inches
- Width – 75 inches
- Height – 66.7 inches
- Passenger Volume – 104 cubic feet
- Curb Weight – 3750-4100 pounds
- 0-60 miles per hour – 7.5 seconds
- 1/4 mile – 15.5 seconds
- Top Speed – 120 miles per hour
- Combined – 22 miles per gallon
- City – 19 miles per gallon
- Highway – 26 miles per gallon
- City Range – 371 miles
- Highway Range – 477 miles
To see the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in action, YouTube has a lengthy review provided by Doug DeMuro. The thorough review shows off all the features the SAV has to offer, as well as the odd quirk the reviewer felt justified to bring up. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this SAV earned the second-best overall rating. While Hyundai calls the Santa Cruz a sport-adventure vehicle, IIHS actually refers categorizes it as a small pickup. The base price tag of a 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz starts at $25,215 USD, which can climb as high as the $40,295 USD Limited Edition.