What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz? What does it compare to?
Somewhere between pickup-truck utility and family SUV comfort, the Hyundai Santa Cruz does its best to fill lots of needs. It squares off against the Ford Maverick and Honda Ridgeline, and some shoppers might compare it to smaller pickups such as the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.
Is the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz a good SUV?
Review continues below
While neither particularly practical nor particularly comfortable, the Santa Cruz occupies an appealing middle ground. It scores a 6.3 out of 10 on the TCC scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz?
After debuting last year, the Santa Cruz carries over into 2023 unchanged.
The Santa Cruz wears front-end and interior styling similar to the Hyundai Tucson, but it’s much longer and it features a four-foot-long open bed behind a five-seat passenger compartment.
Base models use a 2.5-liter inline-4 rated at 191 hp, while a 2.5-liter turbo-4 that puts out a heftier 281 hp is optional. Depending on the trim and drive wheels, the Santa Cruz can lug as much as 5,000 lb. All models use automatic transmissions, and unlike the cheaper Ford Maverick, there’s no ultra-frugal hybrid version. As a result, fuel economy is so-so at 22 to 23 mpg combined depending on what’s underhood.
Inside, the Santa Cruz has a reasonably spacious cabin with good room for four or even five adults. Its modern design includes a big touchscreen with standard wireless smartphone mirroring.
Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and active lane control, while blind-spot monitors and cameras, as well as a surround-view camera system are optional.
How much does the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz cost?
The Santa Cruz lineup starts a little over $25,000 but can top out at around $41,000 with every option box ticked.
That’s a broad range, so we suggest sticking with one of the mid-level SEL versions. With all-wheel drive and the turbo engine, the SEL Premium is fairly lavish for around $37,500.
Where is the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz made?
In Montgomery, Alabama.