It isn’t that always that I discover myself driving a automobile and fully forgetting what it appears like behind the c-pillar, particularly one that appears like a truck. This week, the all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz has graced my storage and brought me for a trip that was under no circumstances what I anticipated it to be. That’s to not say the trip was dangerous. In actual fact, it was among the finest using autos in its worth vary this 12 months that I’ve’ skilled, which is shocking as a result of the Santa Cruz is considerably of a misnomer, a automobile that sports activities a truck-like mattress within the again and the practically similar proportions and appears of the Hyundai Tucson compact crossover, which it’s based mostly on.
The all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz is one thing completely different, fairly distinctive in being a shocking providing from the Hyundai model, however one to technically compete with the likings of the Honda Ridgeline.
Honda proved that there’s a viable marketplace for a unibody “truck”, if you’ll, with the Ridgeline. Hyundai has got down to not solely captivate that market however to redefine it indirectly by constructing off a superb platform from the brand new Tucson – however do it with type and a little bit of succesful flare. There’s one thing to be mentioned a few small truck even if you happen to pull up subsequent to a “regular” truck and witness its towering stature beside the little Santa Cruz. Not the whole lot must be enormous and inefficient in case your trucking duties are comparatively small and also you don’t must tow something over 5,000 kilos, which is the max score for the Santa Cruz Restricted if you happen to equip it with the elective $450 towing hitch and incorporate tailer brakes on these heavy masses. In any other case, the Santa Cruz is proscribed to three,500 kilos for the front-wheel-drive SE and SEL non-turbo trims.
Beginning with what powers the brand new Santa Cruz, Hyundai provides a selection of two engines that may be configured with the usual front-wheel-drive setup in decrease trim ranges or all-wheel-drive. The Santa Cruz is obtainable in 4 particular trim ranges, SE, SEL, SEL Premium, and Restricted, the place the SE and SEL trims get the bottom engine, a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Shifting to the SEL Premium or my check automobile’s Restricted trim you’ll get the extra fascinating powertrain, a 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which will get mated to an 8-speed moist dual-clutch automated transmission instead of the decrease trim’s conventional 8-speed computerized transmission.
The twin-clutch transmission paired with the keen turbocharged engine are a pleasant pair to get the Santa Cruz and its 4,100 kilos in control hitting 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. Energy comes on sturdy from the turbocharged engine and out on the street while you’re cruising above 25 mph the transmission does effectively to type out the right gearing. Nonetheless, because of the nature of the dual-clutch transmission and its slipping of its clutch for preliminary gear engagement, sluggish speeds under 20 mph while you’re in site visitors could be a bit lumpy in energy supply and considerably upsetting via sturdy deceleration. Nonetheless, general, the Santa Cruz Restricted has loads of grunt energy and feels as if it could not have any subject towing a pair thousand kilos however could possibly be taxed a bit creeping as much as its 5,000-pound restrict.
Gasoline economic system for the Santa Cruz Restricted, which solely comes with the H-TRAC all-wheel-drive system, is nineteen mpg metropolis, 27 mpg freeway, and 22 mpg mixed. These numbers are attainable within the rear world however are likely to rapidly decline while you hit about 75 mph on the freeway or interstate for the freeway determine. You’ll simply hit 27 mpg with out something within the mattress or towing while you drive at or under 65 mph.
The trip high quality is surprisingly wonderful because the suspension does effectively to comfortably dampen bumps and type out undulations. Once more, siting up entrance you are likely to neglect the shape issue of the Santa Cruz even when it has 20-inch wheels which will agency up the trip a bit over the usual 18-inch wheels and better profile tires. The rear suspension even has self-leveling to assist in conserving issues composed with heavier masses and towing, which is claimed to be a max payload of 1,411 kilos. Some sources could make claims of various payload numbers however to go by the good-ole door jamb quantity, I wouldn’t push it far over 1,400 kilos to be protected. Additionally, 661 kilos is claimed to be the max cargo load for the brief 4-foot mattress of the Santa Cruz, which within the Restricted trim comes with a singular lockable sliding tonneau cowl and in-bed trunk. Regardless of being the shortest mattress in truck historical past, the Santa Cruz’ mattress is kind of cute and provides a brand new stage of versatility for individuals who desire a bit extra ruggedness for his or her Crossover Utility Car (CUV).
Talking of CUV, the Santa Cruz is being dubbed a Sports activities Journey Car (SAV), which we will agree on given you may have respectable method, breakover, and departure angles. Nonetheless, the constraints of off-roading begin and finish with the tires, which aren’t going to do a lot on unfastened surfaces as they’re Michelin Primacy all-season rubber designed for the street.
The inside of the brand new Santa Cruz is an inviting area that just about mimics that of the brand new Tucson with a superb quantity of room up entrance. In case you’re ever sitting up entrance and looking for the variations within the Santa Cruz and Tucson, you’re going to be restricted to trying on the local weather management’s recirculating air button, which has a Santa Cruz-truck define icon as a substitute of the CUV define of the Tucson. In any other case, the primary distinction begins within the rear seating space that’s fairly brief on leg room, lower than the Honda Ridgeline from my remark. The again seats, despite the fact that they’re lots large, are compromised in leg room over the Tucson CUV because of the Santa Cruz having the truck mattress within the again.
Within the Santa Cruz is a premium theme to the dashboard with a number of soft-touch surfaces and the 2 10.3-inch screens, one being the digital gauge cluster and the opposite being the infotainment touchscreen housing a user-friendly interface coupled with USB-wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Right here, the key subject, as I mentioned in my latest Tucson assessment, are the touch-capacitive radio and HVAC buttons which could be a distraction, particularly when it’s essential to repeatedly press the amount button or take your eyes off the street to make sure you’re urgent the suitable space on a shiny flat floor. A quantity knob would do wonders to enhance upon the interface even when the opposite touch-capacitive buttons had been left in place.
Different highlights discovered within the Santa Cruz Restricted, which is loaded up with a number of fascinating facilities and options, are the heated and ventilated entrance seats, heated steering wheel, wi-fi cellphone charger, 360-degree digital camera system, blind-spot view displays (shows stay picture of your blind spot within the gauge cluster when signaling), and the suite of superior security options (lane conserving help, lane following help, freeway driving help, blind-spot collision avoidance help, ahead collision-avoidance help, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance help, and navigation based mostly sensible cruise management).
Hyundai’s embark on a brand new phase, one which’s been helmed by the Honda Ridgeline for over 15 years, appears to have easy crusing on the horizon as onlookers and inquiring minds took numerous footage of my Santa Cruz and even begged to ask me repeatedly what precisely I used to be driving. With the brand new Ford Maverick on its technique to set sail focusing on the identical viewers, there appears to be an unlimited market that the Santa Cruz is sure to seize. With a protracted listing of options and the compliant car-like perspective that performs decently, the Santa Cruz is a uniquely wrapped reasonably priced bundle that could be a winner in my e-book for Hyundai.
My top-trimmed Santa Cruz Restricted AWD check automobile involves a worth of $41,100 together with an inland freight and dealing with cost of $1,185. Additionally, patrons ought to take into account that a base Santa Cruz SE FWD begins at simply $23,990 earlier than any choices or charges however is void of the extra highly effective engine and a protracted listing of fascinating options discovered on the extremely fascinating Santa Cruz Restricted that you simply see right here.