Such a Tease

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz teased looking a lot like the Santa Cruz we all expected

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

If you were expecting anything other than a truck that looked similar to the Santa Cruz concept Hyundai showed off in 2015, your mind was deceiving you. The Santa Cruz concept was the belle of the ball in 2015, introducing a truck-like figure to the Hyundai concept lineup and giving brand enthusiasts something different to dream about.

After plenty of testing and a new generation of front-end design coming in vogue, Hyundai is nearly ready to bring the Santa Cruz to market.The company has begun teasing the model ahead of its expected debut in a few weeks, with plans to put it into production this summer. Deliveries will follow by the end of the year.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
7 / 13

Hyundai has only provided four images of the forthcoming truck but from what we see there are a number of key differences between the two models that you'll want to be aware of.

Size

The Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept was shown off as a plus-sized midsize truck. The new truck is said to be smaller. Ford is viewing the Santa Cruz as a direct competitor for its forthcoming Maverick small truck and Honda probably sees the lifestyle-focused Santa Cruz as direct competition to the similarly themed Ridgeline.

Design

The face of the Santa Cruz is straight out of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson playbook. Early test models of the truck showed it to have the face of the Palisade. While the dimensions of the truck appear mostly unchanged from that time, the face is now the Tucson's with headlights integrated into the grille and a dynamic hood design.

Differences

There are several differences between the concept and photos of the real thing. Let's start at the wheels. Those on the rendering below are not currently a part of the Hyundai lineup. They're similar to ones offered on the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

1 / 4

Side windows appear larger on the new truck than they are on the concept version. This is helped by the fact that the truck is a true four-door/crew cab whereas the concept was an extended cab model.

At the rear, the taillights and tailgate of the Santa Cruz are completely different than they were on the concept. The taillights, like the headlights, have been changed over to better fit with modern Hyundai design while the stamped model name on the tailgate fits with the current truck aesthetic as shown on Ford, Chevrolet, and Nissan truck models.

There's a shark fin antenna on the top of the production model that's not on the concept. Also, the side mirrors are closer to regulation size on the new truck.

Similarities

The trucks are also very much alike. The shape of the top of the bed is similar to the Honda Ridgeline's though the Hyundai production model has a fair amount of cladding around the bed (perfect for eating up any damage done when surf boards are thrown in the back).

There are bulging fender flares that carry over from the concept to reality, much like the belt line of the model, with the overall design more refined and production-ready.

Trending News

 
 

The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Trending News

 
 

The Santa Fe Hybrid offers plenty to like.

Hyundai

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is all-new for 2021, and features an impressive list of standard features, great safety scores, and family-friendly space. If you're looking for a new SUV, it's hard to imagine a better fit for an urban family, or any other family, for that matter. Beyond a few small complaints, the Santa Fe Hybrid offers plenty to like.

Here are three things to like about the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid The Santa Fe Hybrid brings great passenger space and an upscale interior.Hyundai

It offers plenty of passenger and cargo space

The Santa Fe offers roomy seating for up to five adults with more than reasonable head and legroom in both rows. Second-row passengers have room to move, and don't end up jockeying for position with taller front-seat passengers. When the SUV is packed with people and needs to haul gear, it's more than capable of doing that, too, as it offers 36.4 cubic feet of space behind the second row and up to 72.1 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded down. Making the space more accessible, power-folding second-row seats and a hands-free power liftgate are standard.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid All trims come decked out with safety equipment.Hyundai

It delivers excellent fuel economy

The Santa Fe Hybrid returns impressive fuel economy numbers, especially in town, making it an excellent urban family runabout. The EPA estimates that the SUV can deliver 33 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined. The Santa Fe Hybrid Blue returns 36 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg combined. That's several miles per gallon better than the standard Santa Fe and better than some sedans.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Fuel economy is better than many smaller cars.Hyundai

It earned great safety scores

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). That score is due in part to the Santa Fe's Good marks in crash tests, but the SUV's long list of standard safety kit helps, too. All models come with forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian, cyclist, and junction turning detection, lane keeping assist, driver attention warnings, lane following assist, and a rear occupant alert system. Optional features include blind spot collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, a parking distance warning system, and a highway driving assist system.

Trending News