The auto industry is constantly evolving and Hyundai took a bold step by introducing the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz. This innovative vehicle blurs the lines between a compact SUV and a pickup truck, offering A unique combination of versatility and style. We will explore and evaluate together to provide you with a comprehensive review of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz, highlighting key features, performance, safety, technology and design elements.
- 1 Overview 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 2 Exterior Design of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 3 Interior Comfort of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 4 Performance and Engine Options of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 5 Advanced Safety Features of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 6 Cutting-Edge Technology of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 7 Fuel Efficiency of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 8 Pricing and Trim Levels of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 9 Specifications of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 10 Feelings about 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
- 11 FAQ: 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Overview 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Hyundai has divided the Santa Cruz lineup in a way that creates two very different versions of the compact pickup. The entry-level SE and the SEL are equipped with an underpowered 191-hp four-cylinder engine and are available with either front- or all-wheel drive. On the other hand, the three better-equipped (and more expensive) trims, namely the Night, the new XRT that replaces the SEL Premium, and the uppermost Limited trims, come with a peppy 281-hp turbo-four engine and all-wheel drive. These trims best showcase the Santa Cruz’s pleasant driving experience and practicality when it comes to getting things done. Moreover, the top trims also offer the best technology features and nicest interiors, although they have fewer physical controls and rely more on touchscreens.
While pickup truck enthusiasts may debate whether the Santa Cruz is a “real” truck, the 2024 model still offers a nice package for those who understand what they’re getting. When properly equipped, it rides and drives like the Hyundai Tucson SUV it’s based on. However, this Hyundai quietly performs a range of everyday truck duties thanks to its cargo box and 5000-pound tow rating. As we previously mentioned, “You can forget it’s a truck until you need it to be one.”
Hyundai has introduced a new XRT variant to replace the SEL Premium trim, following the example set by the Palisade XRT, Santa Fe XRT, and Tucson XRT. The Santa Cruz XRT combines luxurious features from the former SEL Premium with robust elements from the current SEL and optional Activity Package. Buyers can expect features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, black faux-leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, and Hyundai’s Digital Key, along with wider fender flares, side steps, and bed rails. In terms of lighting, LED projector headlights are now standard across the entire lineup.
Additionally, all trims now offer haptic feedback through the steering wheel for lane keep assist and blind spot collision avoidance. Dual-zone climate control and an automatic defogger are included in all trims except for the base SE. The SEL Activity Package adds a 10.3-inch infotainment screen, which is already included in the Night, XRT, and Limited trims. Lastly, the Night trim receives the same black faux-leather upholstery as the new XRT.
Exterior Design of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz boasts a striking exterior design that combines ruggedness with modern aesthetics. Its bold front grille, sleek LED headlights, and muscular body lines make a strong visual statement on the road. The Santa Cruz also features roof rails and an available tonneau cover that adds to its sporty appeal. With its compact dimensions and stylish design, this vehicle is perfect for urban adventurers who crave versatility.
In this upgrade, Hyundai Santa Cruz is added an XRT version to replace the old SEL Premium version. This is the next Hyundai model to have the XRT version, after Palisade, Santa Fe and Tucson.
Santa Cruz XRT 2024 is positioned under Santa Cruz Limited. This new version stands out with new fenders, side steps, trunk rails and decorative accents under the doors, combined with unique orange wheel center caps, black door handles, and mirror caps. Black rearview mirror and XRT badge on tailgate.
In addition, the car’s grille is also plated with dark chrome, the words “Santa Cruz” on the rear trunk are matte black and the front and rear bumpers are dark.
Hyundai Santa Cruz 2024 will have 6 exterior paint color options, including: Phantom Black, Blue Stone, Atlas White, Hampton Gray and California Sand. The car is equipped with standard LED projector headlights and a 2-zone automatic air conditioning system.
Interior Comfort of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Step inside the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz, and you’ll be greeted by a spacious and comfortable cabin. The seats are plush and supportive, providing a relaxing experience during long drives. The Santa Cruz also offers ample legroom and headroom for both front and rear passengers. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend getaway or running errands around town, this vehicle ensures that everyone travels in comfort.
One of the standout features of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is its versatile cargo bed. With a length of 52.1 inches, it offers plenty of space for hauling bikes, camping gear, or any other adventure essentials. The bed also features an available lockable tonneau cover that provides additional security for your belongings. Additionally, the Santa Cruz offers a split-folding rear seat, allowing you to configure the interior to accommodate larger items when needed.
Hyundai has a knack for designing interiors that appear more expensive than they actually are. The Santa Cruz stands out with one of the most luxurious cabins in both the compact and mid-size pickup categories. It is the first truck in its class to feature a fully digital gauge cluster, and we appreciate the inclusion of a traditional shifter on the center console, rather than a rotary knob or pushbuttons.
The Santa Cruz is exclusively available with a four-door crew cab, and the front and rear passenger space is on par with other trucks of similar size. While its cargo bed is relatively short, measuring about four feet long, it offers great versatility with a lockable tonneau cover and a useful in-bed trunk, similar to what Honda provides.
Performance and Engine Options of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is engineered to deliver impressive performance on both city streets and off-road terrains. It comes with two engine options: a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 190 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, and an available turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that generates 275 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth and responsive shifts.
The Santa Cruz offers two powertrain options, with the engine selection determined by the trim level. The SE and SEL trims are equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. In our tests of the same engine in the Hyundai Tucson SUV, which serves as the basis for the Santa Cruz, we found the acceleration to be sluggish at best.
On the other hand, the Night, XRT, and Limited trims come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, making it much more suitable for urban driving. This engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. All trims, except for the SE, offer the option of all-wheel drive.
The Santa Cruz distinguishes itself from its competitors in terms of size, being shorter and lower, which makes it easier to maneuver in urban settings. We had the opportunity to drive the top-of-the-line Limited model, and it showcased the truck’s refined ride quality and agile handling.
When equipped with a base four-cylinder engine, the Santa Cruz has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. However, when equipped with the premium turbocharged engine, the tow rating of this small truck matches that of the only other unibody trucks in its class, namely the Honda Ridgeline and Ford Maverick, all of which have a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is not only designed for city driving but also for off-road adventures. Its available all-wheel drive system ensures optimal traction on uneven terrains, while its robust suspension system enhances stability and control. Whether you’re traversing muddy trails or sandy dunes, the Santa Cruz’s off-road capability will impress even the most adventurous drivers.
Advanced Safety Features of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
Hyundai prioritizes safety, and the 2024 Santa Cruz is equipped with advanced safety features to keep you and your passengers protected on the road. It comes standard with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Additionally, adaptive cruise control is available as an option, providing an extra layer of convenience during long drives.
The Santa Cruz offers a variety of driver-assistance technologies, including a driver-attention warning as standard and optional adaptive cruise control. For more information on the Santa Cruz’s crash-test results, please visit the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Cutting-Edge Technology of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is equipped with an array of cutting-edge technology features that enhance the driving experience. It comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, allowing you to seamlessly connect your smartphone for hands-free calling, music streaming, and navigation. Higher trim levels offer a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen display and a premium sound system for an immersive audio experience.
The base SE and SEL models come standard with an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen. The SEL can be upgraded to a larger 10.3-inch display, which is included in the three trims above it. The touchscreen offers crisp graphics and smooth operation, but we believe that the company made a mistake by excluding any physical controls.
Notable digital features include wireless device charging, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Hyundai’s Blue Link services, which are provided free for three years. With Blue Link, owners can remotely lock and unlock the doors and start the Santa Cruz using an app, the Internet, or Amazon Alexa. Inside the vehicle, the best audio experience is offered by the Bose premium audio setup, but it is only available on the Limited trim.
Fuel Efficiency of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
In today’s environmentally conscious world, fuel efficiency has become a significant factor in vehicle selection. The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers competitive fuel efficiency ratings, making it an economical choice for daily commuting or long road trips. The standard four-cylinder engine delivers an estimated 23 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while the turbocharged engine achieves approximately 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
Equipped with the base engine and front-wheel drive, the 2023 Santa Cruz has a rating of 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive decreases both the city and highway figures by 1 mpg. The turbocharged version is estimated to get 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. We tested a turbocharged Santa Cruz on our 75-mph fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing process, and it achieved a highway fuel economy of 30 mpg.
Pricing and Trim Levels of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is available in multiple trim levels to suit various preferences and budgets. The base SE trim offers an impressive lineup of standard features at an affordable price point, while higher trims like SEL, Limited, and Ultimate offer additional luxury amenities and advanced technologies. The pricing for the Santa Cruz starts around $25,000 for the base trim and can go up to around $40,000 for fully loaded models with all available options.
We previously recommended the SEL Premium, which has now been rebranded as the XRT. We still believe that this trim is the one to go for. While it does come with a higher MSRP compared to the SE and SEL trims, the more powerful turbocharged engine is a must for those who prioritize acceleration. Additionally, the upgraded engine increases the tow rating to 5000 pounds, and the XRT includes all-wheel drive as standard, which is an expensive option on the SEL. The XRT also features rugged-looking equipment to enhance its aesthetic appeal, along with dark chrome trim.
Specifications of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
|2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited AWD||Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup|
|PRICE||Base/As Tested: $40,945/$41,140
Options: carpeted floor mats, $195
|ENGINE||turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port and direct fuel injection
Displacement: 152 in3, 2497 cm3
Power: 281 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 311 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
|TRANSMISSION||8-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|CHASSIS||Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.8-in vented disc/12.8-in disc
Tires: Michelin Primacy LTX
245/50R-20 102V M+S
|DIMENSIONS||Wheelbase: 118.3 in
Length: 195.7 in
Width: 75.0 in
Height: 66.7 in
Passenger Volume: 104 ft3
Curb Weight: 4132 lb
|C/D TEST RESULTS||60 mph: 6.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.5 sec @ 98 mph
100 mph: 15.2 sec
130 mph: 32.3 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.4 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.3 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 133 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.82 g
|C/D FUEL ECONOMY||Observed: 18 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 30 mpg
Highway Range: 530 mi
|EPA FUEL ECONOMY||Combined/City/Highway: 22/19/27 mpg|
Feelings about 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a game-changer in the automotive industry, combining the practicality of a compact SUV with the versatility of a pickup truck. With its rugged yet stylish design, spacious interior, advanced safety features, cutting-edge technology, and off-road capability, it proves to be the ultimate adventure companion for those who seek both functionality and style in their vehicles. Whether you’re heading to the mountains or navigating city streets, the Santa Cruz is ready to conquer any terrain with confidence.