Hi everybody, it's Peter and this is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. A vehicle that I used to wait and wait and wait for, because I drove a pre-production version of this car and then ordered one, bought it, owned it, and it is a great vehicle. Now, it's not going to be for everyone, but if you have questions about this vehicle, I've spent time with this car as an owner. I've spent time with this car talking about it in the pre-production stage. I've spent time talking to the designer of this car, well, who I met at the LA Auto Show and connected up for an interview with him. I know this car and it's very, very good. So if you wanna know more and I don't answer it in this video, make sure you ask me in the comments below the type of things you want to know about it, and I'll make sure I follow up with further, uh, answers in those comments section. 
But here's the big thing. I'm here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals and I have complete access to their vehicle lineup. And if you have more questions, I can also bring this vehicle back in for more videos to make sure that you get all the answers you want. So let's get going with this review. So the first thing I wanna point about the Santa Cruz is I'm filming here in Canada. And in Canada, this is a different vehicle than in the United States. So the first thing you're gonna notice is this is the mid-level package. Technically there's two packages. There's the preferred trim and the ultimate, but the preferred width trend package is that mid-line package. And in Canada, that does not get you the l e d headlights. These ones are halogen headlights and, uh, sort of a different style signal light. Normally these would be l e d on the very top level in Canada and other package in the States, but you still have an array of lights that come on through here, which you've probably seen in other videos.

From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript... enjoy...

So I'll leave that for now. A lot of people think that this the exact same as the Tucson, but it's actually not. This is a wider vehicle than the Tucson. The lights, although modeled to look very similar, are actually a little bit different, and it does not share an engine with the Tucson. This is a 2.5 liter turbo engine, makes 291 horsepower, 311 foot pounds of torque, which if you're following along in the compact pickup to mid-size pickup, that 311 foot pounds of torque is a lot of torque. And this is kind of set up like a sports car. It's got a dual clutch, wet clutch, eight speed transmission, and that wet clutch basically tells you that this is the type of transmission that they use in performance vehicles. So having said that, this thing does handle much closer to a sports car than your average suv and certainly more than your average pickup truck.

It's also capable of towing 5,000 pounds. Now, in my mind, I wouldn't tow 5,000 pounds behind this vehicle, but it's capable of towing more than a lot of people would think. And it's been tested to those, uh, to those standards. So it is something that's very good. I've towed trailers with this car, not this exact one, but with my version that I had in the past, and it tows great. That torque down low is really helpful. So we're gonna talk about some of the features in this car and, uh, go in depth in detail starting with the bed, because this is a pickup truck, so I wanna be clear about the, of pickup truck. This is, this is an SUV with an open bed. It's not something that's likely gonna compete with a lot of people for their trick up pickup truck dollars. That being said, I had a Chevy Colorado before I moved to this, and for my use case, this was all the pickup truck that I needed.

So in Canada here you have this hard cover. Now this could hold over 200 pounds. I can't remember the exact thing, but essentially I could stand on this lay across this. I'm not going to do that here, but this holds some weight. The big thing is there's rails down through the side here, which you can get accessories to Mountain, not necessarily from uh, Hyundai themselves right now, but aftermarket are making, you know, there's a traditional system that fits in here with little slots. So you can have bike racks across the back here. You can also do that across the top. We'll talk about that a little later. You also have the copy of Chevrolet's sort of step into the bed. So this is a soft open tailgate. You can see it drops nice and slow, and you have the steps here where you can step up to there, up to here and get in the bed. (03:57)
There is a little locking mechanism here, a little yellow tab here. So if you wanted to have it, uh, open right now, the handle is disabled. If you want to open this area, you spin this, you push this and you give it a give it a shove. I was a little hard there. And then you have an open bed here. There's a lot to show you in this bed. So I'm gonna bring you closer and show you some of the features that they have here. So let's be clear, this is gonna be a very small bed for a pickup truck, however, it is a very good size bed for an s u v. So this to to, uh, tunnel cover is locked. You could switch this little yellow, uh, switch there. All the lock does is deactivate the handle on top here. So we'll deactivate that it doesn't work, and we activate it and it works.

Whoops, the other way around. And there you go. Give it a little pushback and you can see it's a pretty good size bed when you've got the, uh, the uh, the tailgate down. So what we do have here as well is a trunk. Now this is not a massive trunk, but if you're going grocery shopping and you want to keep the bed open for whatever reason, you still have a fully waterproof trunk like you would in every other vehicle. When you have the trunk shut, there is a seal on there that seals up against the tailgate. It's, they call it water resistant, not fully waterproof. So I found when I own mine, it really didn't have an air, an issue with water intrusion, but high pressure car washes, certain types of rainstorms you are gonna have, uh, the possibility of water getting into the bed, but not in the trunk.

Now the trunk, they always advertise as something that you can use as a cooler. It's not insulated. So it is practical to use as because it has a drain. But the bigger reason for that drain that I like is you can just clean it out. So there's a few things I wanna show you. Uh, there's some, uh, tie downs and other things in the side there. One thing. So taking a look, both sides are basically a match. They're identical on, uh, this side and the far side here, except for one thing. As we look inside here, this one does have an extra plug. So this is a regular household style plug. Now it's not full voltage or anything or full, uh, amperage or anything like that, but it can power, uh, smaller devices. You can run your air mattress, get things, uh, chopped there. You can sort of decide what you want. 
These little side, uh, boxes, they are uh, sort of water resistant. They've got a little seal on there so it can keep the water out. I found that they had no issues letting dust or dirt or water or anything in there. I like to use these for things like tie downs and other kind of stuff. These of course aren't, um, they aren't, uh, lockable, but the whole bed is so you can keep them locked in separately. So not a big deal there really thing. The thing I like is right here you have these tie downs that are very easy to move. They can just be pulled up like that, pulled up like that clicked into place. And those are on both sides as well. You're also gonna notice there is a little light right here. So that bed lighting is helpful because you can turn it on from inside the cab when the tunnel covers over, but it also opens up when you open the trunk and because of the angle of the trunk, once this trunk passes that lever, it kind of shines in here and illuminates your trunk at night. 
So that's really nice. There's also a light up, uh, below the brake light, uh, just like every other truck, a little different style, little cleaner style on this, but that works very well also. Now, one thing that we haven't done right is, let me see if I can reach it from here. I'll have to climb right in. This little strap here comes with the tunnel cover. It's important to have, if you loosen it up enough, you can tie it down to here or here, whatever you want. And the idea is this allows you to pull the tunnel cover closed without having to hop in the bed like I just did. I'm gonna keep it locked for now and we'll shut the trunk up. And there we go. So if you think of this like an SUV with a pickup style bed, you're probably going to get your mind wrapped around what this car is gonna do for you.

And the big benefit is you really don't lose any benefits of an SUV other than maybe potentially something this long. Would have a third row seat, which obviously you're trading that in for the, the cargo bed, but you still have the roof rack up here. And this is a nice, uh, typical uh, Hyundai roof rack. I've used this to hold all kinds of things, the canoe and bikes and other stuff. Very solid, very aerodynamics. So you have the ability to take your things on the roof rack. You have ability to put extra racks across the back. You have ability to tow up to 5,000 pounds. This is a very versatile vehicle. Now this vehicle has the 18 inch rims here. There are 20 inch available as well, uh, in the top line model 18. I feel like they fit the purpose better, although I kind of like the style of the 20 a little better. 
Uh, but this gives you a little extra side wall. So there's still, you know, very large tires, very large sidewall that allows you to go a little further off the beaten trail and uh, still have that sidewall that you need. The other nice thing is these, uh, panels right here, most cars are kind of tilted out and I talked to the designer who's Brad Arnold, he's uh, the lead designer with Hyundai He Design, who was a lead designer on this vehicle. And I talked to him about why these are leaned in and not out. And it was really the styling decision to meet the standards of, uh, what you need to have for wheel coverage. But it kind of gives you that open wheel look and uh, gives it a really different look up close. And I think one thing people are surprised about is even though this is a compact truck, the presence of this truck is a little larger than a lot of people think it is. 
You've got some good height here. Even the front, uh, the front hood is a quite high, quite wide, uh, area. So it has that nice sort of presence and it is something that gets noticed on the road. Not everybody's gonna like it. I happen to like it quite a bit. Let's take a look inside now. We'll start with the rear seat because that's the, the controversy on this truck. And then we'll move to the front seat and uh, go through some of the technology in this vehicle. All right, jumping in the rear seat, a couple things that are just off camera. These doors do wrap around the bottom sills. And when you get out of a taller vehicle, your leg can rub against the bottom here and get dirty. But because the doors wrap around that bottom, your legs aren't gonna get dirty. Now, in a compact truck, you don't expect to have a ton of room.

I'm six feet tall, I'm sitting behind the seat that I would need to sit in, which is a six footer as well. There is as much room here as there was in my Colorado. There might even be more the way this seat is carved out, but it's actually rooming enough for a six footer and a six footer. Now if you are over six feet in the front, that's gonna start encroaching on having a six footer behind you. So it's still a compact truck. There's not a ton of space in here, but the angle in the backseat is comfortable. The only weird thing that I find is there's no armrest in the middle. The rumor is that's where the subwoofer is on this Bowes audio system. Uh, it's just a little different for this class of vehicle to not have an armrest back there. Headroom is excellent here.

I have an entire fist above my head there of space. So you've got good headroom there. No big issues there. Uh, but yeah, compact truck should have, um, you know, compact dimensions and it's still pretty good. There's two USB ports down here as well, and a pocket on both front and rear or both, uh, right and left seat. And the back of the seat here, even though this is a leather seating here, this is a plastic back seat which you can wipe down if you get dirty, if your kids have their feet on their car seats or anything like that. Uh, nice and easy to wipe down cup holders in the door simply because there's no cup holder in the center armrest that doesn't exist. It's the only thing I would've liked them to tweak a little bit back here. Would've liked the armrest, would've liked another inch or two of space just to fit a taller driver than me. (10:57)
But like I said, for me this was no issue at all and, uh, perfectly acceptable. Just wanna show that, uh, wraparound door here. You can sort of see both front and rear doors wrap around here. They have this extra lip here and that lip does meet a rubber seal right there, which helps keep this area clean. It's just one of those super practical things that Hyundai does on a lot of the SUVs. The other thing worth noting here in the rear seat, this is a black leather vehicle. It doesn't look black right now. We will, uh, eh, we'll deal with that. That's, uh, it just looks different on camera. There is a little bit of storage under this seat. It doesn't look like a lot, but that is actually something that, um, very much is space you can use. So, uh, I appreciated it when I owned this vehicle and uh, it is there.
It's easy to access as well. So now let's take a look inside the vehicle and honestly inside is my favorite piece of this vehicle. Before we head there, lemme just show you what the key fob looks like. This is a unique key fob to the Santa Cruz obviously because of right there you have that one button that allows you to pop the tailgate. If I hold this button down the tailgate, pauses for a second and then drops because it's a low, it's because it's a um, uh, soft open tailgate. It doesn't just crash down. It's nice and easy. Uh, of course the key itself structure wise is the same as every other Hyundai Key, but that button there does function a little different. Obviously remote start is on that key fob as well. You also have blue link capabilities in these vehicles. Blue link is Hyundai's, sort of telematic system.

It can give you a whole bunch of control from starting it from your cell phone, unlocking it from your cell phone to controlling a whole bunch of other features, even just seeing if it's locked and those kind of things. So coming in here, let's jump inside the door. Again, it's a little taller than people think. It's not low down. It is a nice sort of, you know, good ride hike, good raise from the ground, uh, vehicle here, tilt and telescopic steering wheel. We're gonna head wide angle a second. One of the things I really like here though is just the overall quality here. You've got soft touch up here. You've got nice sort of, uh, it's hard to show. Here was a piano black trim with some silver around there. Uh, nice soft cloth here. More soft, everything's soft to the touch. Uh, very quality feeling car. It really does feel like a luxury car even in this mid-level trim.

So jumping in here, you have a 10 and a quarter inch screen. Now on the vehicle I own, which is the ultimate package, it had a 10 and a quarter inch screen here and a 10 and a quarter inch screen here. That vehicle had a 360 camera. This one just has a backup camera. That vehicle lost this volume knob in the tuning knob. Some auto reviewers are gonna give you a hard time to say, Hey, it doesn't have any tactile buttons. Well, the reality is if you're an auto reviewer and you only have a car for a week and you have to get used to it, yeah, that's a huge problem. I get it right. This one still has tactile buttons for the, uh, temperature up and down. We're gonna turn this all on in a second here. But the reality is, is once you own this car, you realize that all of these controls, um, basically they set the temperature to let's say 22 degrees Celsius and it just stays there whether it needs hot or cold, those kind of things. 
So these non tactile buttons just aren't an issue for the amount times you're touching it. It's no different than touching a touchscreen. It's super simple. And then it's nice and easy to keep clean as well by just taking a microfiber cloth in the car, wiping it down real quick. So I'm gonna turn the car to the on position, but I'm not gonna start it up. And you can see the dash here. Now, if we switch through drive modes, depending on how this is set up, let's just, uh, I haven't played with the settings, but um, switch to the drive modes here. It should. Whoops, that's the train modes. Let's go drive modes. There we go. So you do have a different looking dash here per drive mode. Um, there's actually another dash that's not showing right now. I can show that up. So there's normal sport and smart, uh, another dash. (14:14)
So you can choose the type of dash you want in here. Uh, and then of course you can set all these things in the middle here. The overall dash here is phenomenal. So some of the features that I really like is, for instance, when you have a smart cruise control setting, um, this car can keep its distance from the vehicle in front of you on smart cruise control and it shows you that other vehicle approaching. It's very Tesla like. So very, very good that way. I drove this vehicle or vehicle just like this from Ontario to New Brunswick when I moved towing a trailer. And I, you shouldn't say this, but I didn't have to steer or hit the gas or the brake almost the entire trip because if as long as you keep your hand on the wheel and you use that button right there, that is a vehicle that will or that is a button that will allow you, uh, the car essentially finds lane markers and self steers to keep it in.

Now it's not a self-steering car, but it certainly feels like that combine that with a smart cruise control. As long as I keep sort of a hand on the wheel like this, uh, and keep a tiny bit of pressure on the wheel like you would normally do with your arm up on the side, this car keeps itself centered in the lane. It can keep the distance between traffic up front. It is a super easy car to road trip and I missed that about it. You do have paddle shifters here, left and right. So it's an eight speed dual clutch wet clutch transmission, which means it's a fast shifting transmission. It is fun to drive coming over here. There's a lot of features I can show you. So I'm just gonna show you through just some basics right now. Uh, you've got that blue link, we talked about that. (15:34)
You've got some device connections here. Um, general settings here. We'll jump into there. Oops, that's not where I was thinking I was going. Uh, so there was one thing button here. So button is something that you can set out various buttons to do various things. You'll notice over here we have a star that's hollowed out and over here we have a star that is filled in. You can customize these buttons up. This used to be the pickup and hangup button, but you can do pickup and hangup right here and therefore make this button something else. So there's a lot of customization in this car that makes it really, really fun. Couple things I really like down here. You've got this dual zone climate control. You can see as I'm moving things up and down duals own typical stuff, you can switch it to driver's side and passenger side can be different. (16:15)
If you want, you can sync them together very easily. My favorite feature are two things here. If we set it to the auto setting, you can see it's auto high. Oops, lemme just zoom in a little bit more auto in the high. And again, the glare you're seeing on the camera, if you have two eyes, you don't see the reflections with your eyes. The way the camera has one eye, it sees far more reflections. So it's, it's much less glare than you're seeing on camera. It's not really an issue at all. But this auto setting here, if you have it set to the three, it will allow the fan speed to go maximum. If you want it to be a little quieter in here or a little less aggressive fan, you can set the temperature to stay at whatever you want. But the fan speed won't go up in the low case, sort of a medium level at best.

Um, just to keep you from having that blast of air that in the summer can really freeze you or cool you down. So I really like this, but my favorite feature is this diffuse button right here because it actually works. So right now or before I hit the diffuse, it's blowing through the vents here, right? Once you hit the diffuse button, it actually diffuses through the entire dash. It moves a ton of air without the breeze. It makes it feel like just a gentle cool breeze on a summer day. It comes through the vents here still it comes through a little bit of a venting system right there and here it's hard to describe the difference, but instead of being blasted from one area, it just has a general breeze feeling throughout this car. It's something that I think people don't use enough and I love using that with the sunroof open. 
We'll show you the sunroof in a second here. Uh, and they just gave you a really nice fresh air kind of feeling. So just little details that make a big difference coming down here. You've got a nice, uh, gear shift here. Some people, um, you know, don't like gear shifts and some people like, well Hyundais have push buttons. There's some hazard gear shift. The only catch with this gear shift in this car, the Tucson shares a similar interior here and the Tucson has push button gears in many other cars and that allows you to get a little easier access to your wireless phone charging, which is right here. This is an upgraded wireless phone charging. It has a ventilation in there, so it's a little faster charging than some of the other um, previous Hyundai, uh, wireless phone charging things. You got a 12 volt port in the center there. 
That's nicely hidden. That'll tell you when your phone's charging. It'll just, the lighting will tell you the color of the lighting will tell you if your phone's charging or if it's active and that kind of thing. Uh, the two USB ports there. So four USB ports in the car actually maybe no, yeah, just four. That's right. Uh, moving along back to the gear shift, of course you had the paddle shifters there. You can also put the car into drive and paddle shift right here. And then you've got drive and terrain modes. This is very hard to film. Oh there we go. Drive and terrain modes there. Uh, so the drive modes and terrain modes, let's just talk very briefly about them. I don't wanna bore too many people, but they are excellent in this car. So first of all, overall drive modes. Let's, oh boy, here we go.
Smart sport and normal. So normal is going to be exactly that. Just a normal uh, way this car would be set up. Sport is very aggressive. Now sport is also an option when you are towing a trailer up a steep hill or making a pass kind of thing on the highway. Well, towing you can throw in sport mode. It's gonna hold your revs longer, keep things a little more aggressive so you can drop it in and outta that sport mode if you want. What I like is smart mode. Smart mode's gonna fight to give you economy when you're driving normally. But if you get into the throttle, let's just come out again. If you get into the throttle a little bit, it's going to switch it from an economical mode to the normal mode or even to the smart mode based on how you're driving. 
It makes this car come lively and fun but also kind of um, settles it down when you've, you know, done having that fun without having to switch any buttons. Terrain mode here you've got a battery warning cuz we've got the cart on but not running. Let's just turn the climate control off. Alright, so, uh, terrain mode here. Let's go back there. We've got snow, mud, and sand. Now sand is fun to do. Big sweeping donuts in the uh, snow. Uh, it changes the traction control, changes the throttle, changes the um, gear stuff. It changes all kinds of things. Mud, same idea if you, if you get stuck in a mud situation, downhill brake downhill brake control turns on automatically in that mode and snow is really just a dulled down mode. So it really tries to keep things really smooth, um, to do that. So it's gonna tell me vehicle will be turned off to save the battery. 
That's what's going on right there. There's a setting in here where I could have turned that off. There's a setting in here where I could have set it for a longer length of time if the car turns off. That's what it is. It's a setting I can change. It's not a big deal. Just saves battery cuz I'm, again, I'm indoors, I'm not running the vehicle. Now down here a little further, just a couple little things. Heated steering wheel standard in this car, heated seat standard here, it's heated. Front seats are standard. If you had the highest tribute you'd have uh, ventilated seats as well here. Overall feeling is very nice. Let's show you just what it looks like from looking at me. So one thing I wanna point out is the seats in here are quite comfortable. They, uh, for a compact truck you don't have a real compact seat, but it isn't a more sporty SUV feeling certainly than a pickup truck. 
Sunroof is well placed, it's right above me, gives my balding head to the right amount of sun and light. So even though this interior here, a lot of the um, Hyundai SUVs, they kind of make a lighter color, uh, headliner here. This is a dark headliner, so it has a very sporty feel on the sporty feeling, driving position, sporty feeling. I mean this thing corners very, very well. The other thing that I should note is from the driver's seat. This is an incredibly smooth to drive vehicle. They spent time obviously with the independent suspension. This is going to be a different style of um, pickup truck, but even not just for a pickup truck for a vehicle, it's very smooth driving. They've upgraded the suspension over the typical suv. So the rear shocks, for instance, are load leveling. So when you load this thing down with a trailer or a lot of weight in the back and the bed go around the block and uh, go over a few bumps and those oil will switch in those shocks, uh, to level out the vehicle. (21:32)
It also contributes to having a really, really good ride and great handling. So this is like, I wouldn't call it a sports car to drive, but you know, you know, sports sedans from not that long ago had the grip that this car has and it has good grip, good level in the corners, really fun to drive that way. Excellent power, excellent torque coming outta corners. Uh, so it's a fun to drive sports car kind of feel. But you also have the utility of the bed and the feeling of an suv. So it is just a really cool vehicle. If you like the styling of this vehicle, you're gonna love the vehicle. If the styling's not for you, you're probably not gonna love it. But it is something that I think more people should consider because it makes a lot of sense for a lot of people.

So who is this vehicle for? Well first of all, you've gotta be comfortable driving something that's a little different. People are gonna come up to you and talk to you and tell you they love it. And other people, mostly your friends are gonna say, Ooh, what is that? This is a odd looking vehicle. I happen to love it. I think the looks work really well. It's also great for someone who's really outdoorsy. If you're towing a small trailer, utility trailer, that kind of thing, you can do that. That sort of extends your bed if you had a utility trailer. But having the bed in place is super helpful for going to the beach with the kids doing all kinds of camping and types of stuff. You can throw all their dirty smelly gear in the bed of the truck. It's still locked up. You can rinse it out when you get home.

It's super simple. There are a lot of reasons that people drive pickup trucks and that the convenience of a bed is a big part of that reason. Now I like the convenience of a bed, even if it is a small bed along with the conveniences and modern feeling of a sports sedan type feeling. And suv. This car handles very well for what it is. It's very comfortable in inside. It's got great technology. It's also got a lot of safety features. Things like the forward collision warning is the full up to date top of the line Hyundai system that has junction turning assist. Basically if you're in an intersection and uh, someone runs the red light and you're about to turn, if you're looking to where you're going, you may not see that car running. The red light. The car can see things like that. It's capable of stopping to avoid it. 
So safety handling, driving, feeling very comfortable, very easy car to drive. And it's fun because it's got the right amount of power. So really fun vehicle if you think this is a vehicle that sort of suits you. And again, like I said, it really comes down to, hey, you're good with the style. If you're good with the style, this is probably one of the nicest vehicles you're gonna look at. And it's a pretty good value when you consider all the things you get in these, uh, vehicles. I'm a massive fan of this. Parts of me wish it we'll talk in another video, but why I switched to a different vehicle. But, uh, this was by far the nicest car I've ever owned and by far my favorite car I've ever owned. Uh, I do have a different vehicle now. I work in the auto industry.
I switched through vehicles a lot, uh, for good reasons. But I do miss this. I do think it's a car that a lot of people are gonna enjoy. If you like the styling and understand what it is, it is not meant to be a full, uh, long bed pickup truck, but it is a very, very good vehicle. So if you wanna know more, make sure you let me know when the comments below. Like I said, I've spoken to the designer of this vehicle. I've interviewed him. I hung out with him at the LA Auto Show. I connected with him. I'm still kind of half in touch with him. And, uh, there's lots of things I can find out. And, uh, of course I've owned this vehicle, I've studied this vehicle, I've drove this thing in pre-production and ordered one in pre-production. And of course, if you wanna see this vehicle, we're here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals. I can just pull it back on video for you. We can go through more. So thanks everybody for watching. We'll talk to you in the next one.

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