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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Half SUV, Half Truck, All Fun

The brand-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has hit the dirt and hit streets with about as much bang and buzz as any manufacturer could imagine or hope for (sorry for ending that with a preposition) and almost all of it has been better than Tony the Tiger could muster in one take!

First off, it’s considered a truck and is being marketed as a truck. But, its frame is really that of a car.  And yet it’s really a smallish SUV. Or a truck.  Or a car. Call it what you will.

I had fun driving it around town and getting stopped by everyone (not the police). People really seem to like how it looks, and I really like how it drives. While pep and gusto may not be the best way to describe it, the drive is smooth and composed. If you want a feeling of composure and confidence, this is it IMHO.

So the Santa Cruz, like its namesake, kinda has everything you’d want (sans the California beach). That’s if you wanted something that has the best of many things. It’s a car, an SUV and a truck while being something you could easily fit into an average-sized garage. It’s compact, to be sure, and this does present some challenges.

And starting at $24,140 US with mileage of 21 city / 27 highway it fits the bill. It could easily be something that could fit the bill when you clearly can’t – and don’t – want to make up your mind.

The ride is indeed nice and comfortable.  There is nothing assuming or presumptive about this car/truck/SUV, or however you want to define it.  (Again, if you are into getting people to stop and notice you, this is your vehicle!)

Some downsides: it does get a little cozy in back for us big boys.  Visibility through the rear windows is bit precious. And while there is a truck bed, it is not generous. 

But, if you need a smallish practical car that can do a little bit of everything, this is it. It’s sorta like your own personal handyman of a vehicle.

I would recommend that if you can afford to get a higher-end trim, do it. You will get more options, like All-Wheel Drive, turbo, navigation, more safety features….  Of course, that extra money you spend does make the attractiveness, well, less attractive.

But if it’s just you and a buddy, you and your partner – or just you and a special friend who like to ‘go places, check out the brand new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. It is often compared to the Honda Ridgeline, which, well, I’m not seeing the comparison, but you may want to test drive that as well and see for yourself. 

I still am not completely sold on buying cars online, ordering them like a pizza and having them delivered like a stork delivers babies and then being surprised.

Surprises often go awry.  We’ve all watched TV shows where the true-crime narrator wears a badge telling the story of a ‘surprise’.

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