The once written-off compact pickup market has now made a huge resurgence. The Hyundai Santa Cruz limited all-wheel drive is a top option to consider. Compact pickups had been relegated to overseas markets. In America, a lot of manufacturers had foregone development. Most have anchored themselves to the full-size and mid-sized categories.
Hyundai is delivering a winner with the Santa Cruz. I was impressed by the power. It features a 2.5 liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It is mated to an 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission with shiftronic. It also has paddle shifters. It has an all-wheel-drive system that Hyundai calls HTRAC.
It makes 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. I found that pretty robust in my driving in the Washington DC metropolitan area. I was able to drive on I-95 going all the way north to Columbia, Maryland. I drove on 495 on the Beltway. I drove on I-97 East towards Annapolis Maryland. I also drove on I-270 and I-70 west to Hagerstown and on I-81 in the Northeast and part of West Virginia. The drive was pretty incredible.
I love the instrument cluster. And the digital dash. It has a 10.25-inch digital cluster. There’s also a 10.25-inch navigation with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The model I drove also featured a Bose premium audio system. I was able to listen to the music I created with the music department at Carnegie Mellon. I listened to both Paradise and Stop The Bullying and they came out pretty rich in sound. You also have standard 20-inch alloy wheels. In Santa Cruz, I loved the design styling. It has an incredibly futuristic front grill with LED lighting and LED taillights.
And it is a very forward-thinking approach to the design language. The Santa Cruz is also very comfortable. I was able to drive my family around to make runs to places like Costco. It has a locking bed for the pickup bed, which was great.
It had heated and cooled seats including a heated steering wheel.
It also had Hyundai’s highway driver assist. It’s probably one of the best systems I’ve driven in various vehicles. Hyundai has a superior level two driving system. In Santa Cruz, you get an EPA-rated 27 miles per gallon on the highway. Santa Cruz Limited all-wheel drive has a base price of $39,720. It had very few options. There’s the external paint and floor mats. That brought the delivered price to $41,500. For more information visit www.HyundaiUSA.com
Read about my visit to Hyundai’s Guyang Studio outside Seoul in South Korea here https://toyznation.com/from-dc-to-hong-kong-to-seoul-in-search-of-the-future-of-industrialization/