Should You Buy the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz? 10 Key Factors for Your Decision

Let me confess: I have always had a soft spot for pickup trucks.

When I was a kid, I went on camping trips with my dad in his old Ford F-150 and it felt like we were on an adventure.

I also remember helping my uncle move his furniture in his Chevy Silverado and feeling like we were doing something important.

But as I grew older, I realized that pickup trucks are not for everyone.

They are big, bulky, gas-guzzling and hard to manoeuvre, especially in a city or suburb.

That’s why I was intrigued when I heard about the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz, which has generated lots of interest among car enthusiasts and potential buyers by combining the features of a small pickup truck and an SUV in an innovative way.

ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz1
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz6
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz8
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz5
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz4
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz2
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz3
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz9
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz12
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz13
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz11
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz10
previous arrow
next arrow
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz1
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz6
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz8
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz5
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz4
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz2
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz3
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz9
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz12
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz13
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz11
ShouldYouBuythe2024HyundaiSantaCruz10
previous arrow
next arrow

But is it worth buying? How does it compare to other pickup trucks and SUVs? What are the pros and cons of owning a 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz? How do real owners feel about their purchase?

These are some of the questions that I will try to answer in this article based on my research and analysis, as well as user reviews and data.

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Review: A 10 Point Guide

First, I will look at the high-priority aspects of the Santa Cruz.

These are the aspects that most people care about when buying a new car, such as price, performance and design.

I will also tell you what I think about these aspects and how they affect my decision to buy or not to buy a Santa Cruz.

1. Price and Trims

Hyundai has designed the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz lineup with precision.

It’s nice to see that they’re offering two distinct versions of the compact pickup.

The entry-level SE and SEL trims sound like practical options with their modest 191-hp four-cylinder engine, available with either front- or all-wheel drive.

But if you’re looking for a little more oomph, the Night, XRT, and Limited trims are where it’s at.

These premium trims boast a spirited 281-hp turbo-four engine paired with all-wheel drive, making for an enjoyable driving experience that doesn’t sacrifice practicality.

They offer cutting-edge technology and refined interiors, although with a tradeoff of fewer physical controls in favor of touchscreen interfaces.

While some drivers may prefer physical controls, the sleek touchscreen interface is a great modern touch that adds to the overall appeal of the Santa Cruz.

SE Model

The SE model serves as the entry point, featuring a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque.

Priced at $28,275, standard features include an eight-speed automatic gearbox, front-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a 4.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rearview camera, and a suite of safety features including forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning.

SEL Model

Moving up, the SEL trim starts at $29,650 and enhances the SE model with additional features such as a blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver seat, heated front seats, a wireless charging pad, and a sliding rear window.

New XRT Model

Replacing the SEL Premium, the new XRT variant starts at $35,680 and blends luxury and performance.

It features a potent 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.

This trim boasts all-wheel drive, 20-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a sunroof, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a Bose premium sound system, a 360-degree camera, and additional safety features including adaptive cruise control, lane following assist, and highway driving assist.

Limited Model

The top-of-the-line Limited trim starts at $39,720 and is the epitome of luxury, offering features such as leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power passenger seat, a head-up display, a wireless smartphone link, a blind spot camera, and a digital key.

An infographic of 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz TRIMS OVERVIEW (2)

My Take

After carefully evaluating the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz models, it’s safe to say that they offer a remarkable value proposition at its price point, especially compared to its rivals.

If I were in the market for a new vehicle, I would consider purchasing the Santa Cruz, particularly the SEL or the new XRT model, as they offer the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive I prefer.

2. Performance and Handling of 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz is a highly versatile and functional pickup truck with impressive performance and handling.

Let’s take a closer look at this vehicle’s engine, transmission, and overall performance.

Engine and Transmission

The 2024 Santa Cruz comes with two powertrain options.

The SE and SEL trims feature a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque.

This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that provides smooth shifts and quick gear changes.

On the other hand, the Night, XRT, and Limited trims come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

This engine gets an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which offers quick and crisp shifts.

Acceleration and Towing Capacity

The 2024 Santa Cruz’s standard engine is adequate for commuting and running errands, but it may feel sluggish during high-speed merging or when fully loaded with passengers and gear.

However, the optional turbocharged engine offers dramatically improved acceleration and driver confidence.

In fact, in some testing, the Santa Cruz with the turbo engine accelerated to 60 mph from a stop in just 6.5 seconds, which is quicker than any midsize truck and comparable to Ford’s new small truck, the Maverick.

The 2024 Santa Cruz is rated to tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds when equipped with the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive powertrain.

This is more than the Ford Maverick but less than other compact pickup trucks such as the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.

All other versions of the Santa Cruz can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Ride and Handling

Part of Santa Cruz’s charm is its car-like ride and handling characteristics.

The steering effort is light, and the ride is superior to that of its more utility-focused competitors.

It’s easy to pilot the truck through traffic, tight spots, and turns, and there’s even a modicum of agility.

The Santa Cruz uses a stiffer car-like body structure, rather than a body-on-frame structure like a more traditional pickup truck, which makes it much better to drive than many competitors.

Off-Roading

With 8.6 inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive, the Santa Cruz can handle most graded dirt roads and slippery surfaces.

However, it’s important to note that it’s not a dedicated off-roader.

Overall, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers impressive performance and handling, making it a great option for those looking for a versatile and functional pickup truck.

Performance and Handling of 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz

My Take

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an excellent vehicle for those who need a versatile and functional pickup truck that can handle a wide range of tasks.

It’s also well-suited for everyday driving, thanks to its car-like ride and handling characteristics.

However, if you are looking for a truck that can handle serious off-roading or heavy-duty towing, you may want to consider other options.

3. What about the fuel economy?

If you are in the market for a pickup truck but don’t want to compromise fuel efficiency, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz might be the answer to your prayers.

This compact pickup truck comes with a variety of engine options, but even with the turbocharged engine and AWD, it still manages to deliver decent fuel economy.

According to NRCan estimates, the Santa Cruz should deliver around 10.6 L/100km efficiency for combined city and highway driving, with 12.2 and 8.7 L/100km for city and highway driving respectively.

The Santa Cruz Night, XRT, and Limited trims have turbocharged engines producing 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.

When it comes to fuel economy, the base engine with front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined, while the turbocharged version gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.

This option is great for those looking for a compact crossover with impressive fuel efficiency and towing capacity.

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Fuel Economy

4. How big is the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz interior?

The interior of the 2024 Santa Cruz is designed to offer a modern and comfortable experience, with plenty of room for passengers and their gear.

Inside the Santa Cruz, you’ll find a spacious five-passenger cabin about the same size as the Tucson.

The driver and passengers can enjoy a host of comfort-enhancing features such as dual-zone temperature control and front seats with available heating and ventilation.

Select trims offer an optional power sunroof that allows natural light and warmth to fill the cabin, or you can enjoy a refreshing breeze from the sliding rear window.

The Limited trim even includes a 64-color ambient LED lighting system to set the ambiance for your drives.

An inforgraphic of 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Interior

5. What about the cargo space?

One of the standout features of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is its cargo space.

It offers a bed tonneau cover as standard equipment, which means the open cargo area isn’t really open at all – not if you don’t want it to be, anyway.

The bed is about 52 inches long with 27 cubic feet of volume, and there is also a commodious and handy underfloor storage area.

Load up the groceries, the soccer gear, the band equipment, or whatever you have to haul around.

Thanks to the generous amount of Hyundai Santa Cruz cargo space, you have room for it.

An infographic of 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Cargo Space

6. How good is the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Infotainment System?

The Santa Cruz comes with a host of technology features that are designed to keep you connected and entertained on the road.

The Santa Cruz features an 8-inch color touchscreen display audio system as standard.

It also comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, allowing you to connect your smartphone wirelessly to the infotainment system.

This means you can access your favorite apps and music without taking your hands off the wheel.

The Santa Cruz also has an available Bose Premium Audio system, which includes eight high-performance speakers and a digital amplifier.

This system delivers crisp and clear sound, making your music listening experience more enjoyable.

An infographic of 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Infotainment System

With the Santa Cruz’s advanced infotainment system, you can easily stay connected and entertained on the go.

Whether taking a road trip or just commuting to work, the Santa Cruz has everything you need to make your ride more enjoyable.

7. 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Ratings

As an automotive blogger, I eagerly awaited the release of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz and was pleased to see the truck receive high marks from experts across the industry.

Car and Driver awarded the Santa Cruz an impressive 9/10 rating, and U.S.

News & World Report gave it an 8.3/10, which is a great indication that this truck is a winner.

Autolist, SureCritic, and Kelley Blue Book also gave the Santa Cruz high praise, with ratings ranging from 4 to 5 stars.

MotorTrend and CarBuzz were equally impressed, awarding the Santa Cruz an 8.2/10 and 8.3/10, respectively.

An infographic of 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Ratings

My Take

As for my take on the Santa Cruz, I have to say that I’m impressed with what Hyundai has brought to the table.

The truck offers a comfortable, carlike ride that’s perfect for everyday driving and the standard features are impressive for a vehicle in this class.

Plus, the optional turbocharged engine is a game changer, providing plenty of power and speed.

However, I have to agree with some of the drawbacks that experts have noted.

The base engine is a bit underwhelming, and the small bed and low tow rating may not be enough for some shoppers.

But overall, I think Hyundai did an excellent job with the 2024 Santa Cruz, and it’s definitely a contender in the compact pickup truck market.

8. What real owners say: Customer reviews from Reddit and Santa Cruz Forums

Before making a decision on purchasing a new car, it’s essential to know what actual owners have to say about the vehicle.

Here are some customer reviews from Reddit and Santa Cruz Forums to help you make an informed decision about the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Reddit

When it comes to buying a new car, customer reviews are an essential part of the decision-making process.

I found a mix of positive and negative reviews on Reddit about the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Considering my first Hyundai, a 2024 Santa Cruz.
byu/lostandalong inHyundai

Here are some of the things real owners had to say.

One user, Elegant_Support2019, says, “No major problems for as long as I have had my Hyundai.”

Comment
byu/lostandalong from discussion
inHyundai

Another user, krenogin, shares a different experience: “If you get lucky and have zero problems out of the vehicle you will love it.”

Comment
byu/lostandalong from discussion
inHyundai

On the positive side, pushtoopen11 says, “I’ve had Toyotas for years and never had any major problems with any, but two days after switching to a Hyundai I had a catastrophic engine failure, needed a new engine. The one positive with Hyundai has been excellent customer service at my dealership throughout these problems.”

Comment
byu/lostandalong from discussion
inHyundai

One user, CertainCertainties, suggests getting local views and says, “Where I am, for instance, Hyundai are highly regarded for reliability and Toyota is the most stolen brand.”

Comment
byu/lostandalong from discussion
inHyundai

Comment
byu/lostandalong from discussion
inHyundai

Santa Cruz Forums

Moving on to the Santa Cruz Forums, I found a similar mix of reviews.

One user named “jerika” started a discussion on the Santa Cruz forums regarding the differences between the 2022 and 2024 Santa Cruz Limited trims.

They were interested in purchasing a 2024 model but found a 2022 Limited at a nice price nearby.

Here are some of the comments from real owners.

One user, PK 62, says, “I have owned my 2022 Santa Cruz for six months now and have not had any issues. The ride is comfortable, and the fuel economy is fantastic. I am very happy with my purchase.” 

Another user, “GTAcruz“, chimed in to mention that aside from a dimple added on the fuel door, there aren’t many changes between the 2022 and 2024 models, at least for American buyers.

Canadian models may have some differences.

Then, another user named “oojomo82” shared their experience with a 2023 Limited and mentioned that it had the same dimple even though it was purchased in September 2022.

User “jfetter”, an owner of a 2022 SC Limited, added that they see little difference between the two models and recommended checking the VIN for recalls.

A screenshot of Hyundai Santa Cruz Forums reviews of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz (Source: Santa Cruz Forums)
A screenshot of Hyundai Santa Cruz Forums reviews of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz (Source: Santa Cruz Forums)

Finally, “jerika” shared their decision to go forward with purchasing the 2022 Limited due to the techy safety features, great speakers, vented/heated seats, and more.

However, they had concerns about the tonneau cover not closing properly.

Only drawback they found was the absence of parking assist beeps and boops when parallel parking.

Although the Hyundai Santa Cruz has received mixed customer reviews, it’s always a good idea to do your research and read reviews before making a final decision on any car purchase.

10. Warranty and Safety Guide for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Now, let’s take a closer look at the warranty, safety, and recall information for the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz to help you understand how this truck can meet your needs in terms of reliability and safety.

Warranty

The Santa Cruz comes with a range of warranty options that offer peace of mind to buyers.

The manufacturer offers a full warranty for up to 60 months or 60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty that lasts up to 120 months or 100,000 miles.

It also comes with a roadside warranty that lasts up to 60 months and unlimited miles, while the corrosion warranty lasts up to 84 months with unlimited miles.

Safety

The Santa Cruz prioritizes safety and offers a host of features that make it a safe vehicle to drive.

The truck has earned strong crash test ratings from the IIHS and won the 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick award for models with Good-rated LED headlights.

For 2024, the truck comes with standard safety features that include blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver attention monitoring, and rear occupant alert. Adaptive cruise control is included with the Santa Cruz XRT and Limited.

Recalls

As of now, there have been no recalls for the 2024 Santa Cruz model.

However, it is important to stay updated on any future recalls that may arise for this model.

Incentives & Rebates

The information related to incentives and rebates for the 2024 Santa Cruz model is not available at this time. However, buyers can reach out to local dealerships or the manufacturer to inquire about any available offers.

Final Verdict: 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pros and Cons

I hope my review of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz has been helpful in your search for the perfect pickup truck.

As someone who has always had a soft spot for pickup trucks, I can understand the appeal of the Santa Cruz.

It’s a unique vehicle that combines the features of a small pickup truck and an SUV in an innovative way.

An infographic of the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pros and Cons

After carefully evaluating its price, performance, and handling, I believe that the Santa Cruz offers a remarkable value proposition at its price point, especially compared to its rivals.

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, I would recommend considering the Santa Cruz, particularly the SEL or new XRT model.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a vehicle is a personal one and should be based on your specific needs and preferences.

I hope that my analysis and user reviews have provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x