2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a versatile vehicle

BY H. THROTTLE
AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited all-wheel drive arrived just in time to catch a brief Colorado snowstorm.  With four driving modes, including snow and all-wheel drive, it was a perfect vehicle for the snow-covered roads, no slipping or sliding experienced.  And special pleasures were the heated side-mirrors, seats, and wrapped leather steering wheel.

The four driving modes in addition to snow were sport, normal, and smart.  I spent most of the drive in the  sport mode with firmer steering, excellent multi-link suspension with maximum power. The Santa Cruz can achieve 60 mpg in 6.2 seconds, that is very fast.

The Santa Cruz is a powerful crossover truck with rear cabin seats and secured covered rear truck bed.  The utility vehicles has a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 281 horsepower. The engine is linked to an 8-speed dual clutch Shiftronic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters.  The gear shift is in the center with a handle type shift from reverse into drive with a choice to use the lock gear system for mountain driving.

Hyundai has final assembly of this Santa Cruz in Montgomery, Alabama with both engine and transmission made in the USA.  The manufacturer’s suggested list price is $41,540 that includes all options except $400 for the “Sage Gray” paint and $195 for carpeted floormats.

The Santa Cruz rides on 20” alloy wheels, has a small sunroof, and a sliding rear window.  The controls are all operated from a home page computer network with finger controls rather than any visible dials.  The vehicle is loaded with safety features and controls

There is a vast assortment of safety features, camera views from all directions including a vertical view.  The truck has a stage 2 system of self-driving when engaged that keeps the vehicle in the center lane and is almost self-driving, especially useful in long tiring trips.  The cell phone charging pad and UBS ports are convenient with two located  for rear seat passengers along with adequate rear seating leg room.

The trunk space is covered and a perfect location for recreation equipment of skis and snow boards. The all-wheel drive option, the snow mode, the heated cold weather features, make this an ideal vehicle for outdoor winter weather sports and also storing summer camping equipment.  Versatility for the Santa Cruz is a key factor along with keen grill design, and efficient turbo engine and a powertrain warranty of 10 year/100,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

This is a versatile crossover that drives like a sedan and has a secure rear truck bed for multi-use hauling.  

Fun to drive and all-around smart selection.