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2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations – The Best Part Of Driving A Santa Cruz

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations – The Best Part Of Driving A Santa Cruz – When my mom had seen 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz for the first time, she asked, “What’s that fake truck?” I had to laugh. Hyundai’s small Santa Cruz is not really a truck in the conventional sense, since it’s basically an extended Tucson SUV with such a bed of the truck. But if you spend time with one, you’ll see that there’s a lot to like about them. I’m a truck girl through and through, but I absolutely adore the Santa Cruz.

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations

Exterior Design

Hyundai provides the Santa Cruz with the front drive as well as a naturally aspirated powertrain, and yet my loaded Limited version has an all-wheel drive as well as a powerful 2.5-liter turbo I4 engine. Because the Santa Cruz is similar to the Tucson in a lot of ways, it makes sense that the front end has same cool lighting, and also the 4.5-footbed in the back is pretty cute. The Santa Cruz seems like one of that vehicles that when I move away from that in a parking lot, I look back and smile.

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations

We can argue about whether the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a “real truck” till the cows come back home, but it has a lot of useful features. I’d say it’s plenty for 95% of people who buy trucks. With a braked trailer, my all-wheel-drive test car can pull up to 5,000 pounds. Front-wheel-drive cars can only pull 3,000 pounds. Standard trailer-sway regulation is included, but if your trailer doesn’t have brakes, Hyundai suggests you don’t tow more than 1,650 pounds.

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Exterior

The bed of the Santa Cruz is 52.1 inches in length as well as 53.9 inches wide, and there are 42.7 inches between the wheel arches. You won’t be able to flatten any wooden planks back there, but you can tie down a lot of gear with the many tie-down points as well as sliding rail anchors. There is storage under the floor that can be locked, is waterproof, and drains. The tonneau cover on the bed slides easily back and forward, adding some other levels of protection.

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Price

The bed seems to be smaller than what you’ll discover on larger midsize trucks such as the Chevrolet Colorado as well as Toyota Tacoma, however, the Hyundai’s back is easier to get to. The floor of the bed is really only 30.6 inches above the ground. This makes it a lot easier to fill up heavy objects. Also, the sides of the bed aren’t very high, so I can easily reach into it. The base Santa Cruz SE could indeed carry 1,753 pounds, but my tester Limited AWD can only handle 1,609. The Colorado, Frontier, as well as Toyota Tacoma, can’t handle that last spec. Who’s a fake truck, anyway?

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Towing Capacity

Hyundai keeps calling the Santa Cruz a Sport-Adventure Car, but you can’t go anywhere and do anything with it. The truck has the same 8.6-inch ground clearance as the other compact crossovers, its off geometry is nothing special, with an approach angle of 17.5 degrees, a departure angle of 23.2 degrees, and a breakover angle of 18.6 degrees. The basic all-season tires on the Santa Cruz don’t help either, particularly the 245/50 series Michelin rubbers on the 20-inch wheels that come standard on the Limited.

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Specs

Interior Design

A Hyundai BlueLink news and entertainment system comes standard on Santa Cruz’s 8-inch touchscreen, but my top-of-the-line Limited tester has a 10.3-inch screen. Apple CarPlay, as well as Android Auto both, works with wires, but strangely, the 8-inch screen can connect to smartphones wirelessly. The only thing I don’t like about the infotainment system with all this is that it doesn’t have a physical knob. I also don’t like the row of knobs under the screen that can be touched. They may respond quickly, however, the icons are small, and you have to put your finger in the center point to get a response. Lots of smudges, too.

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Interior

If you have seen the inside of a Tucson, you have pretty much been inside a Santa Cruz. My tester does have some orange comparison stitching as well as a splash of color on the dashboard, but just don’t expect anything revolutionary. Starting with the SEL trim as well as going up, heated front chairs are standard, as well as my Limited model keeps adding seat ventilation as well. The seats are comfortable enough for long trips, but there are only 36.5 inches of legroom in the back. Only children or small adults should go back there. Or your enemies.

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Images

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Engine

If I were to buy a Santa Cruz, I would first get a lift kit and bigger tires. Still, some little guy in the dirt isn’t too bad. And front-rear suspensions are independent, so they can handle grimy whoops at 15-20 mph, as well as a middle locking differential can split the torque evenly between the front and back wheels. The Santa Cruz does indeed have hill-descent control, even if in testing I found this to be a little too fast—you’ll certainly use the brakes.

Most people will just hold their Santa Cruzes on pavement, so it’s clear that I’m a bit of an outlier because I want to ride on dirt. They won’t be disappointed at all, especially if they choose the extra 2.5T engine, which has 282 horsepower as well as 311 lb-ft of torque. The Santa Cruz has a lot of speed because it has a dual-clutch transmission with eight speeds. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Engine

The base models have a naturally aspirated 2.5L 4 engine with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. With a curb weight of 3,700 pounds, non-turbo models of the Santa Cruz are likely to feel a bit slow. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations

The greatest part about driving a Santa Cruz is it is compact and easy to turn. Even midsize trucks could indeed feel like beasts from the driver’s seat, but the Santa Cruz throws all that out the window. It’s quick enough to zip through traffic, but it’s easy to park. It also has most of the features of bigger cars. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations

The EPA says that the 2023 Santa Cruz gets 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg altogether. I’m getting 21.6 mpg after a day of testing. Not too bad, given that I usually drive quicker than most people. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Price and Release Date

The Santa Cruz was not the only show in town, of course. The bed on the Ford Maverick seems to be a few inches taller and the truck is a little bit bigger. It also starts at a very reasonable $21,490, which includes a $1,495 destination fee, and comes with such a hybrid powertrain as standard. Also, it looks a bit more like a truck. The Santa Cruz, on the other hand, starts at $25,365, which includes a destination charge of $1,225. My loaded Limited tester costs a whopping $41,540.

If you do not even need an all-wheel drive, you can save a lot of money by sticking with a Santa Cruz SEL. You won’t get things like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a large digital gauge cluster, or even some driver-assistance attributes, and you’ll save $13,000. All-wheel drive is only an extra $1,500 if you need or want it. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Configurations

A 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is indeed a strange little car that I love to pieces. It’s unique and useful, and with the right aftermarket support, it could go far and wide. I’d buy it for sure instead of the less interesting Maverick or the bigger Honda Ridgeline. Some people may need a midsize truck’s larger size, but most people don’t. The Santa Cruz is indeed a good truck for them.

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