Hyundai Santa Cruz Could Get Green Light in November

by Jul 28, 2015All News, Hyundai8 comments


A new information just released about the production version of the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept, a pick up truck revealed at the 2015 Detroit AutoShow.

[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:9px;”]According to Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s CEO, the U.S. Hyundai team expects the Santa Cruz to be approved by the Korean mother ship this November. The positive public reaction to the Santa Cruz helped Hyundai America build the case, and the automaker’s shifting of several manufacturing facilities from building cars to building crossovers will help carve out the necessary production capacity. “The pickup is under consideration and could get the green light in November.” he added.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz will use the 2016 Tucson platform. Will be available with all-wheel drive as well as a five seat configuration. Engine line-up would presumably carryover but one insider said a diesel engine is also under consideration.

Hyundai Motor America director of product planning Scott Margason wouldn’t go into specifics but told the publication “We would not be starting from scratch with this vehicle, that is fair to say.”  He also noted the company would save one to two years worth of development by basing the truck on an existing model.

While the Hyundai Santa Cruz hasn’t officially been green-lighted, a final decision is expected by the end of the summer.

News Source: [Car&Driver]

Written by loubeat

Passionated about Korean cars from Hyundai, Kia & Genesis. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.


  1. Mobis21

    I like the concept but I have some serious reservations about whether Hyundai can do this. My main concerns are as follows:

    1. Usable space? Will it have more or less than the wildly successful Chevy Colorado?
    2. Price? How competitively priced will it be compared against the Chevy?
    3. Fuel economy? Can it deliver best in class MPG rating?
    4. Ride and handling? Will it merely be competitive or will it set the standard for its class?

    Those are questions that must be answered by Hyundai’s decision makers before making the commitment to build a soft road CUV pick-up. As to Santa Cruz name, I wish they would come up with a better sounding truckish name.

    • BahamaTodd

      Its basically a Tucson with the rear roof chopped off so that will give you a good idea about pricing and fuel efficiency. As far as space, its a smaller vehicle, but they can still devote more room to the interior than the bed. Its a FWD car-based CUV with fully independent suspension so it should have pretty good ride and handling compared to a full frame, live axle pickup built for heavy payload.
      Hyundai will not be marketing this as a truck with payload and towing as features. There’s no need for a truck-like name.

  2. kalins1

    They have said several times that is not a pickup truck like the Chevy Colorado. It isn’t intended to tow and haul the same way. It is a soft roader for Millennials to haul around their toys. The Chevy Colorado is a body on frame truck and can’t be used for comparison. It is NOT a soft roader and is nearly the same size as a full-sized pickup truck. The compact pickups such as the Chevy Luv, original Ford Ranger, Nissan Hardbody, etc. have been long gone and what Hyundai is hearing is that there is a place for them still, but they probably don’t need to be as stout as a body on frame vehicle.

    • Mobis21

      And yet, no front drive based truck-like architecture has succeeded in the U.S. market. It remains to be seen if Hyundai’s concept to production will be the one. I am very skeptical that this will unless they can get the packaging, pricing and MPG to upend the Colorado so it becomes a truly worthwhile alternative.

      • BahamaTodd

        SUVs all used to be RWD body on frame and now they are mostly FWD CUVs.

        • Mobis21

          All excellent points in your comments but it will still look like a pick-up and to the average potential buyer that is what it appears to be. So, Hyundai will need to spend some coin educating these buyers. I would love for this to succeed but looking at FWDs like the Subaru Brat and Honda Ridgeline as comparisons, these can hardly be considered examples of market success stories. Hopefully, if approved, Hyundai’s Santa Cruz doesn’t end up like another insignificant niche vehicle.

          • BahamaTodd

            A few good commercials (tv and online) showing its efficiency, utility, compact size, and most importantly price will help. Now that Hyundai is the official sponsor of the NFL, they can get the word out pretty quickly to large audiences.

            The Brat didn’t do well because its not very attractive and car based. That puts it on the same level as a wagon, and we know how well those do in the CUV-loving USA.
            The Ridgeline tried to compete with actual trucks and was less capable, just as expensive, just as inefficient, and was not attractive.
            The Santa Cruz is CUV-based with styling as a top priority. That is why it has received such a positive response, and that is what differentiates it from the two above, and any of the other FWD trucks concepts that have come out in recent years.

          • Mobis21

            BahamaTodd good use of examples that I cited to explain why those FWD competitive models did not succeed. Let’s hope you and Hyundai are correct about what they perceive as a strong, healthy, bottled up demand for this type of vehicle.

            Although, I still remain skeptical, we will soon learn whether Hyundai corporate signs off officially on its production. If they do, I hope they place emphasis on bumping up the torque even slightly on the Santa Fe’s 2.0 liter base engine. I actually would prefer the normally aspirated 2.0 liter to be as close to 162 lbs of torque rather than the conservative 151 1bs.

            Price it to start at an affordable $22k and then add the requisite packages where buyers with bigger budgets can option it up to the gilds if they like. If demand outpaces availability, then Hyundai and you will prove doubters like me not only wrong but feeding on the left overs of crows while they celebrate success with higher profits and even bigger production volumes.


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