Hyundai revealed the Santa Cruz concept pickup back in 2015, fully intending to make it available within a few years. The bottom dropped out of Hyundai sales in 2017 and the Santa Cruz got tabled. Hyundai is slowly but surely turning things around. Sales are up since 2016 and the Kona is steadily gaining ground. Now, the Santa Cruz is back on again. We won't see it this year, though. We probably won't even see a mock-up concept truck this year. Here are the best answers we currently have for questions you may have about the new pickup.
Won't the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup just be another truck?
No, it won't be just another truck. That's why so many people are so excited about it. The Santa Cruz pickup will be a car-based truck with unibody construction. Another way to look at it is like a crossover SUV, or CUV, that has a truck bed. Regular trucks have a body on frame construction. CUV's have unibody construction like a car, which is how the Santa Cruz will be built. Like a CUV with a truck bed. It will drive and ride like a car and get better gas mileage than a truck. The new Santa Cruz will be built on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson.
When will the Santa Cruz be available?
At this point, it looks like the Santa Cruz will be available in 2020. When the truck was first announced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, Hyundai planned to have the 2019 Santa Cruz pickup ready for showrooms in 2018. Plans took a turn for the worse and the crossover pickup's biggest supporter, CEO Dave Zuchowski, left Hyundai. He was replaced, oddly enough, because the excessive number of Hyundai car models in a CUV-hungry market caused sales numbers to tank. The board finally green-lighted, or re-green-lighted, the project in 2017.
Will the new Hyundai pickup have a diesel engine?
That is highly unlikely. Back in 2015, a diesel engine option was in the works. Hyundai was creating a four-cylinder diesel that would have been available in the Santa Cruz. Since the original announcement, the Volkswagen diesel engine scandal has completely shaken the American car buyer's confidence in diesel engines. It is extremely likely that the 2020 Santa Cruz pickup will only be available with a gas-powered engine.
Has Hyundai announced what type of engine will be standard in the Santa Cruz?
Hyundai hasn't given any indication whatsoever what they plan to put under the hood of the new Santa Cruz pickup. They may be working on a completely new powerplant for the CUV pickup, or maybe they'll use the same type of engine they're currently putting in something else. Just for the sake of pure speculation, they might use a version of the engine they're currently putting in the Tucson. It would make perfect sense since the Santa Cruz is being built on the Tucson platform. Only time will tell.
Is the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup going to be a two-door truck?
The Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai, Brian Smith, has announced that the new Santa Cruz pickup will have four doors.
Will there be room for three people in the Santa Cruz pickup?
The new four-door CUV pickup will actually be a five-passenger vehicle. The larger four-door, five-passenger size calls the original 2015 concept truck into question. The final Santa Cruz pickup may end up being nearly as big as a full-size pickup. Considering it will be built on the same platform as the Tucson, the Santa Cruz pickup may very well end up being a Tucson with a pickup bed on the back.
Is there anything currently available that is similar to the Santa Cruz pickup?
That's difficult to answer, since we don't even really know for sure what the Santa Cruz pickup will be like. There really isn't anything like the Santa Cruz currently available. Several pickups have room for five, but they are trucks. They may have a smooth, comfortable ride but they won't ride like a CUV. There are plenty of CUV's on the market, but they don't have truck beds. If you're in the market for a new vehicle that has a truck bed and don't want to wait until 2020 for the Santa Cruz pickup, take a look at the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline. The Toyota Tacoma is a rear-wheel drive truck that costs around $25,504 and has room for four. It gets 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The Honda Ridgeline is a front-wheel-drive truck that costs about $30,000 and has room for five. It gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.