Hyundai has been floating the idea of a pickup truck for some time, going back at least to 2015. But, that idea is about to become a reality, with the 2022 Santa Cruz.  

Built in Alabama on the compact front–drive based Tucson platform, means that it’s smaller than any other pickup currently available, with a composite bed that’s a little over 4-feet in length; but with a 4-door cab that has close to midsize utility-like room for 5. 

It shares Hyundai/Kia’s new 2.5-liter I4, both in 190-horsepower naturally-aspirated form; and as a 275-horsepower turbo. HTRAC All-wheel-drive is available with both engines. Max towing is 5,000-lbs., with the turbo.  

Greg Carloss: "Basically every automaker that makes a small SUV says 'it’s for the person who lives in the city and likes to go on weekend adventures.' Well this Santa Cruz pickup should be perfect for those that actually go on adventures because even though it’s not a big bed, it’s still a bed and there’s nothing like throwing your muddy adventure gear in the bed of a pickup."

Things inside fall more in the utilitarian category very similar to the Tucson; but there’s plenty of tech on display and lots of available safety features.  

Breaking into the pickup truck segment is not easy; but it helps if like the Honda Ridgeline, you bring some features not typically found in most pickups. For the Santa Cruz, that means in-bed storage, corner steps molded into the bumper, and an integrated lockable tonneau cover. 

Brian Robinson: “We’ve seen many attempts at a really small pickup truck before, and 1 of 2 things happens, they either get bigger or go away entirely. But, I think the time is finally right; we really do need a smaller more affordable pickup truck option, and I think the Ridgeline has paved the way for a smaller unibody truck like this to be a success.”

No word on pricing just yet, but we expect the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz to arrive later this summer.   

We’ll have much more Santa Cruz info before on MotorWeek.



  • Engine: 2.5L I4 (optional turbo)
  • Horsepower: 190 | 275
  • Towing: 3,500 lbs | 5,000 lbs