Home Hyundai 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz would be just dandy under our Christmas tree

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz would be just dandy under our Christmas tree


We did not take our compact 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz LimitedSport Adventure Vehicle’ (SAV) ‘over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house’ Thanksgiving weekend, but we could have – no problem.

After a week behind the wheel of this SAV in Hampton Gray, we would easily be convinced to do so over Christmas.

Let’s be clear right up front.  The new Santa Cruz IS NOT a truck nor is it a SUV.  With MSRP starting at just $23,990,, it is a very practical and efficient blend of those two most popular vehicle types in America today.

Nicely executed and well featured, Hyundai has added a new choice in the marketplace for the discriminating driver.  Well-done, Hyundai.

The Santa Cruz we had over the holiday weekend was the top-end-trim level Limited – $41,100 in our garage. It was loaded with the complete bag of available goodies that would make a Christmas or anytime journey to grandmas a real pleasure.

Let’s take a look……………….

Rugged Exterior

Brand new – the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited offers a distinctive rugged exterior design that features a Dark Chrome Accent Grille, Premium Front and Rear Fascia and distinctive alloy wheels.

Functional features of note include automatic Bi-LED headlights, Premium hidden Daytime Running Lights, LED taillights, Powered Heated Side Mirrors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Roof Side Rails, Rear Sliding Glass Window w/Defroster, Power Sunroof and Remote Release Tailgate.

Plenty of Power

Our 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited was powered by a 2.5L Turbo 4-cylinder producing 281 horsepower w/311 lb./-ft. of torque. It was mated to an 8-speed Wet Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission to deliver power to its Active-On-Demand HTRAC AWD w/Lock system.

With the Drive Mode feature, Santa Cruz offers NORMAL, SPORT, SMART and SNOW choices for the driver to handle varied road and weather conditions. For more control, it is also equipped with Driver Selectable Downhill Brake Control and Hill Start Assist.

Running on 20-inch Alloy Wheels mounted with 245/50R20 All-Season Michelin tires and boasting 8.6-inches of ground clearance – even if Grandma is in the snowy woods – you can get there.

Fuel economy ratings for the Santa Cruz turbo AWD are 19/27/22 mpg City/Highway/Combined.  With a 17.7-gallon fuel tank you can go over 350 miles before stopping for hot chocolate or whatever.

Packs a Load

Bringing presents and ‘stuff’ for the family?  Whatever it is, Santa Cruz can handle it.

Santa Cruz has a 52-inch molded composite bed with heavy duty cargo D-rings and a dual C-channel adjustable utility track rail and cleat system to secure just about anything.

Working in the dark? Standing on one of the molded bumper bed steps – the Dual LED sidewall lights will show you where ‘it’ is.

Need to assemble a gift on arrival? The integrated 115V sidewall outlet will power-up whatever tool you need that was stashed in one of the sidewall storage cubbies.

Still more?  Maybe something perishable like a couple gallons of your “special recipe” eggnog? No problem, store a dozen of more of those on ice in the watertight underbed locker.

Lastly and importantly, the integrated Locking Tonneau Cover keeps the bad guys out.

You say you have more yet?  The AWD Santa Cruz Limited tows too – up to 5,000 pounds. Load up a trailer full of toys, tree and trimmings and more – you are on your way to see Grandma.

Plethora of Interior Ambiance/Technology

Featuring an elegant yet simple Black on Black interior with chrome accents, our Santa Cruz was a very comfortable ride. It had leather trimmed heated and ventilated powered front seating. The rear seating was a 60/40 bench type with tip-up lower seat cushions (revealing additional storage underneath).

The cabin was kept comfortable by Dual Automatic Temperature Control w/Auto Defogger and Multi-Air Mode, cabin air filter with rear seat heater ducts and console-mounted rear A/C vents.

Of note was the absence of knobs and dials in the cabin for the A/C. The center stack 10.25-inch color touchscreen – with onboard Navigation and Traffic Flow – features Capacitive-Touch controls for the A/C system.


Of Note: The 10.25-inch center digital instrument display in our Limited made for very easy viewing of key vehicle data by the driver.


Equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link Connected Car system, our Santa Cruz Limited featured Bose Premium Audio, SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus HD Radio and front and rear Dual USB outlets and more.

SmartSense Safety and Convenience

The 2022 Santa Cruz Limited was loaded with the most current safety technologies and convenience features through the Hyundai SmartSense feature suite and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).


You can be sure that – if you are following Santa to grandmas – you will not get lost or run over his sleigh and reindeer.  Some of the standard and/or optional features of note included:

  • Smart Cruise Control w/Stop & Go
  • Navigation Based Smart Cruise Curve Control
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Leading Vehicle Departure Alert
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (Pedestrian, Cyclist, Junction detection)
  • Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist w/Braking
  • Surround View Monitor
  • Blind-Spot View Monitor
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Rear Occupant Alert

Best Warranty

We always mention the Hyundai ‘Best Warranty’ on their vehicles.  The new Santa Cruz is covered by their Hyundai Assurance program featuring 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty. Also included is their 3-year/36,000-mile complimentary maintenance program.

Multiple Trim Levels

Noting we tested the top trim Santa Cruz model – Hyundai offers several options starting at MSRP $23,900 to enable drivers to select the right Santa Cruz for them.

The SE and SEL trim level MSRPs are $23,990 and $25,490 respectively for their FWD models. Both are available with AWD for $1,500 more.  They are powered by a 2.5L GDI DOHC Inline 4-cylinder engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission w/Shiftronic.

The SEL Premium MSRP is $35,680 with the Limited at $39,720. Both trims are AWD only and powered by a turbocharged 2.5L GDI DOHC Inline 4-cylinder engine mated to 8-speed Wet Dual Clutch automatic transmission w/paddle shifters.

Get more particulars at: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/vehicles/santa-cruz

Assembled Here

Since someone asked…… the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is built in the U.S.  at Montgomery, Alabama.


KEY DATA:   2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited AWD  

  • Model:                              Santa Cruz
  • Trim                                  Limited
  • Class:                               Compact SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle)
  • Seating:                            5
  • MSRP:                               $39,720
  • As Tested:                         $41,100
  • Engine:                             2.5L GDI Turbo 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower:                     281 @ 5,800 rpm
  • Torque:                             311 lb.-ft. @ 1,700-4,000 rpm
  • Transmission:                   8-Speed Automatic Wet Clutch w/Paddleshifters
  • Drive Modes:                    NORMAL/SMART/SPORT/SNOW
  • Drive System:                   AWD – Active on Demand – HTRAC w/Lock
  • Tow Capacity:                   5,000 pounds
  • Suspension:                      MacPherson Strut (F) Multi-link (R)
  • Ground Clearance:            8.6-inches
  • Wheel size                        20-inch Alloy
  • Tires                                 245/50R20 All-Season Michelin
  • Fuel Economy                   19/27/22 mpg    city/highway/combined
  • Fuel Tank                          17.7 gallons
  • Range                               389 Highway Miles
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