Hyundai has unveiled its highly anticipated Santa Cruz Sport-Adventure Vehicle. The 2022 Santa Cruz breaks new ground within the SUV, Truck, and Crossover segments by offering a true Sport-Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else in the U.S. market.
Santa Cruz boasts a bold yet sophisticated design, powerful and efficient powertrain options, a flexible open bed for gear, cutting-edge connectivity, and a highly maneuverable all-wheel-drive platform that is equally at home in urban and adventure-focused environments. The Santa Cruz Sport-Adventure Vehicle begins production in Montgomery, Alabama in June and will be available for sale in summer. The addition of Santa Cruz to HMMA production will add an estimated 1,200 jobs to the U.S. economy. Hyundai is also creating an early reservation system for the U.S.-market Santa Cruz in late April at https://www.hyundaiusa.com/.
“Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.
Why Santa Cruz?
Santa Cruz was developed to be the ultimate Sport-Adventure Vehicle, a moniker confirmed in Hyundai’s early consumer research. The research found consumers, often living in urban environments, whose lifestyles include the need to escape to weekend adventures of all kinds. Many of these customers carry various gear and equipment that is better suited to an open bed rather than a typical SUV Bodystyle. These buyers want versatile transportation that is equally flexible for urban, adventure, occupational, or even home improvement gear. Santa Cruz features a secure, open bed area that includes a lockable tonneau cover, hidden bed storage, and versatile bed extension accessories. At the same time, these customers still value the secure utility of a compact SUV, with its comfort, passenger space, fuel efficiency, and parking ease. Santa Cruz, with its unique, bold design, created an entirely new segment that meets this specific buyer’s needs like no vehicle before it.
Everything about Santa Cruz reflects a duality of purpose in its design execution. This all-new category-bending vehicle holds a variety of imagery in balanced juxtaposition:
- Urban life connectivity with escape to outdoor adventure
- Work and play flexibility
- Tough yet alluring demeanor
- Roominess with maneuverability
- Open cargo area and secured, lockable storage
- Towing capability and fuel efficiency
The forward view of Santa Cruz deploys a hidden lighting signature that becomes visible within the grille only when illuminated. The daytime running lamps (DRLs) present a parametric jewel design with high-tech precision detailing. A bold, cascading grille anchors the front view, supported by a skid plate element in the lower front fascia. Voluminous hood and fenders further communicate an imposing first impression.
In profile, Santa Cruz signals a sporty yet capable spirit. The A- and C-pillars present faster forward and rearward rakes than typical open-bed utility vehicles. Large 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design are surrounded by armor-like wheel arches, conveying both wheel-articulation potential and off-road capability. Powerful body side volumes contrast with precise triangular sheer-edged surfaces and tight radius character lines.
From the rear, a horizontal “T” lighting signature adds visual width and distinguishes Santa Cruz from anything on the road. The functional rear open bed area features secure, lockable in-bed storage, integrated corner bumper steps and a lockable tonneau cover, seamlessly integrated with the overall design. The rear tail lamps are embossed with: “Designed in California” as a testament to the passion of Hyundai’s California-based design team. Small, discrete design details such as this can be found throughout the exterior and interior.
The interior of Santa Cruz expresses a sophisticated and refined appearance. The contrasting rugged yet refined motif matches the boldness of the exterior, boasting a technical ambiance that appeals to those who appreciate cutting-edge technologies in their daily lives. It features an enveloping dual-cockpit design that encapsulates each passenger. Design teams focused on ease of ingress and egress and ergonomic comfort on long drives. The premium center stack display features an edgeless infotainment screen appearance, with an impressive 10 inches of visibility. The optional center digital cluster display also measures 10 inches. Under the rear seats is convenient, in-cabin storage. Completing the premium ambience is an available Bose® audio system.
Powerful and Efficient Powertrains
Santa Cruz offers two powerful, flexible, and efficient powertrains. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine with an estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque. This engine coupled to an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission for quick acceleration and superb efficiency. Santa Cruz also offers a 2.5L direct-injected turbocharged engine with an estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). This DCT includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control by the driver. Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
The eight-speed transmission for the standard 2.5-liter engine provides quick and crisp shifts for an engaging and efficient driving experience. This automatic transmission adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds allowing for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient trip on the interstate. A multi-disc and individually controlled hydraulic channel torque converter improve responsiveness by expanding the direct connection band, while a downsized oil pump and double ball bearings minimize frictional losses.
Advanced HTRAC® AWD and Towing Capability
Both 2.5L four-cylinder and 2.5L four-cylinder turbo models offer HTRAC® all-wheel-drive capability for complete confidence when pursuing adventures of all kinds or for that extra peace of mind when driving in an unexpected snowfall. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles.
The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty, dynamic experience. This system has a wide range of torque distribution variability, tuned for conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill starts. For those customers who like to tow their weekend gear with them, the 2.5L 4-cylinder is rated at 3,500 lbs. for towing and the 2.5L Turbo AWD model boasts a generous 5,000 lbs. of towing capability.
Compact Dimensions Yield Superb Maneuverability
Santa Cruz makes efficient use of its compact dimensions by offering high utility with excellent maneuverability. Its shorter wheelbase and smaller overall footprint make it a joy to maneuver and park in challenging urban parking, with an exceptional curb-to-curb turning radius of only 20.0 feet.
|Specification (in.)||Santa Cruz||Tacoma||Ridgeline||Frontier|
|Bed Length||Upper 48.4|
Responsive and Refined Chassis Tuning
Santa Cruz was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for a wide variety of urban and off-road, multi-surface driving conditions. The shorter wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track create a planted stance that results in exceptional agility in urban environments. These specifications also provide confident agility when traversing off-road terrain. Available 20-inch alloy wheels with wide, all-season, all-terrain tires give surefooted, agile handling character on a variety of road surfaces. Available 18-inch wheels with more voluminous tire sidewalls for off-road adventures are also available.
Hyundai SmartSense Safety and Convenience
Santa Cruz offers excellent safety and convenience features, with an array of advanced safety technologies as part of the Hyundai SmartSense feature suite.
|Standard SmartSense Safety and Convenience||Standard|
|Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) w/ Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection||x|
|Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)||x|
|Driver Attention Warning (DAW)||x|
|Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)||OPT|
|Safe Exit Assist (SEA)||OPT|
|Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM)||OPT|
|Highway Drive Assist (HDA)||OPT|
|Surround View Monitor (SVM)||OPT|
|Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)||OPT|
Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)
Drivers do not want to compromise when it comes to protecting their passengers, so Hyundai has expanded its available SmartSense technologies on the Santa Cruz. This generous suite of advanced features includes many available driver assistance systems, including:
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (with Pedestrian, Cyclist and Junction-Turning Detection)
If the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down, or if a forward collision risk is detected, such as a stopped vehicle or a pedestrian, FCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, FCA can automatically assist with emergency braking.
While driving, if there is a risk of collision with a cyclist ahead or an oncoming vehicle while turning left at an intersection, FCA can automatically assist with emergency braking.
Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
When operating the turn signal to change lanes, if there is a risk of collision with a rear side vehicle, BCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, BCA automatically controls the vehicle to help avoid a collision. If exiting a parallel parking spot and there is a risk of collision with a rear side vehicle, BCA can automatically assist with emergency braking.
Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
If there is a risk of collision with an oncoming vehicle on the left or right side while reversing, RCCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, RCCA can automatically assist with emergency braking.
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
If the driver leaves a lane without the turn signal on, LKA provides a warning. When a lane departure is detected, LKA can automatically assist with steering to help prevent leaving the lane.
Highway Driving Assist (HDA)
Highway Driving Assist helps to maintain a prescribed distance from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and helps center the vehicle in the lane while driving, including curves. HDA also can help maintain vehicle speeds according to posted speed limits on federal interstate highways.
Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM)
When operating the turn signal, BVM displays video of the blind-spot view for the respective side of the vehicle in the cluster display.
Surround View Monitor (SVM)
Surround View Monitor displays a view of the space around the vehicle from above to assist with parking.
Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
When an occupant tries to open a door to exit the vehicle at a stop, if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected, SEA can provide a warning. SEA can also help to keep the rear doors closed through operation of the electronic child lock when a vehicle is approaching from the rear.
Smart Cruise Control (SCC)
Smart Cruise Control helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and maintain the speed selected by the driver. The vehicle can stop and start automatically when the vehicle ahead is stopped for a short period.
Santa Cruz offers a standard eight-inch color touchscreen. Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® are also available to make staying connected easier than ever. Wireless pairing automatically connects an Android or Apple smartphone, so the driver can keep their phone in a pocket, backpack, or purse.
Owners can keep their devices charged on an available Qi wireless charger. Santa Cruz offers Digital Key supported by a dedicated smartphone app. The Hyundai Digital Key app also allows smartphones to control selected vehicle systems remotely. Users can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the panic alert, and start the engine. Digital Key allows owners to leave traditional keys at home and allows secure sharing of keys with family and friends. Digital Key is currently compatible only with phones using the Android operating system.
The Santa Cruz navigation system offers split-screen functionality that enables multitasking capabilities. Santa Cruz also offers an eight-speaker Bose® Premium sound system.
Blue Link® Connected Car System
Santa Cruz receives many Blue Link® Connected Car service enhancements. As with most Hyundai models, Blue Link is complimentary for three years and includes features such as Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Destination Search by Voice and others. Blue Link features can be accessed via interior controls or through the MyHyundai.com web portal, the Hyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps.
2022 Santa Cruz key features include:
- Remote Engine Start allows the owner to remotely warm-up or cool down the vehicle using the Santa Cruz key fob on models equipped with Proximity Key and Push Button Start.
- Remote profile management—stores select vehicle settings to the Blue Link cloud, with the ability to remotely update and push back to the vehicle, personalized to driver preferences
- Remote start enhancements:
- Remote seat heating and ventilation(on/off/level for each individual heated/cooled seat)Profile selection (preloads individual driver settings for seating position/side mirrors)
- Vehicle Status Notifications—if the vehicle is left with doors unlocked or windows open, customers will receive a notification
- POI Send to Car now with Waypoints (ability to add up to three-way points, to be delivered to the vehicle together and automatically set order of destinations)
- Maintenance Alert Enhancement—maintenance interval tracking is now visible in the multimedia system, with the ability to reset