Hyundai is aiming to be the next big player in the burgeoning small pickup truck market with its upcoming Santa Cruz.
The automaker this week released sketches of the new pickup, which appears to split the difference between conventional haulers and more family-oriented SUVs. In principle, it seems like the new Santa Cruz will have more in common with the automaker’s 5-passenger Santa Fe than with potential competitors such as the Toyota Tundra and Ford Ranger.
The biggest difference appears to be in how the Santa Cruz will be constructed. Like the Honda Ridgeline, it is expected to be a unibody, meaning the body and chassis are a single unit. Other trucks ride on a separate ladder frame that gives them more durability and towing capacity at the expense of ride comfort and fuel economy.
If it follows that path, the Santa Cruz is likely to rival the upcoming Ford Maverick, a small pickup expected to share its underpinnings with the Ford Bronco Sport SUV. Ford initially said it was targeting a base price of around $20,000 for the Maverick, though it’s not clear if the automaker will actually achieve that goal.
Then again, if the Santa Cruz is closely aligned to the Santa Fe, it will probably be larger than the Maverick and smaller than the Ridgeline. No matter what, it sounds like there will soon be a light-duty smaller pickup for just about every need.
We’ll know more when the Santa Cruz is unveiled online on April 15. Find a Hyundai for sale