2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Review & Common Problems

Discover the Innovative 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz – A Versatile and Stylish Compact Pickup

The Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck has created a buzz in the automotive market since its debut in 2021.

This groundbreaking vehicle combines the utility of a truck with the comfort and features of an SUV, making it an ideal choice for those who need both functionality and elegance.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is built on the same platform as the Tucson SUV, providing a comfortable and refined ride. The compact pickup is available in several trim levels, including the base SE, the SEL, Night, the SEL Premium, and the top-of-the-line Limited. With its stylish design, spacious cabin, and advanced technology, Santa Cruz is a strong contender in the compact pickup segment.

Exterior – Fresh!

The Hyundai Santa Cruz boasts a unique and striking exterior design that distinguishes it from traditional pickup trucks. The front fascia features Hyundai’s signature cascading grille, flanked by bold LED headlights and daytime running lights.

The profile of the Santa Cruz is characterized by a sloping roofline and dynamic body lines, giving the truck an athletic and modern appearance.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Truck

The rear showcases a versatile and easily accessible composite bed for both utility and style.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is available in various exterior color options, allowing buyers to customize the truck to suit their personal style.

Color options include Phantom Black, Hampton Grey, Blue Stone, Atlas White, Sage Grey, and Desert Sand. These colors are complemented by stylish wheel designs and available two-tone paint schemes for a distinctive look.

Inside – Premium

The interior of the Hyundai Santa Cruz offers a premium experience, with comfortable seating for up to five passengers. The cabin is well-appointed, with high-quality materials and a modern design.

The rear seats can be folded up to create additional storage space, while the lockable in-bed trunk offers secure storage for valuable items.

The infotainment system comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen (upgradable to a 10.25-inch screen), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and available wireless charging.

Higher trim levels offer additional luxury features, such as ambient lighting, power-adjustable front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Engine Specs, Gas Mileage, and Towing Capacity

The 2023 Santa Cruz has two engine options: a 2.5-liter inline-four engine producing 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four with 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.

The base engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the turbocharged engine is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Fuel economy for the base engine is rated at 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, while the turbocharged engine achieves 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

The towing capacity of Santa Cruz varies depending on the engine and configuration. The base engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while the turbocharged engine can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Safety Features

Hyundai prioritizes safety, and Santa Cruz is no exception. Standard safety features include forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, driver attention warning, and rear occupant alert.

Additional safety features include blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist and smart cruise control with stop-and-go.

The Santa Cruz also has a standard rearview camera and a 360-degree surround-view monitor for improved visibility and parking ease.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Interior

Other Interesting Features

The Hyundai Santa Cruz offers various features to make driving more enjoyable and convenient. Some standard features include LED headlights, heated side mirrors, and remote keyless entry.

Higher trim levels offer heated and ventilated front seats, leather seating surfaces, a panoramic sunroof, and a premium Bose audio system.

For added convenience, the Santa Cruz also features a hands-free power tailgate, allowing easy access to the bed even when your hands are full.

Price and Warranty

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz has a starting price of $25,700 for the base SE trim, with the top-of-the-line Limited trim starting at $40,570.

Hyundai offers a competitive warranty, including a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty.

Common Problems

As the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a relatively new model, many widespread issues have not been reported.

However, some owners have noted minor complaints regarding the Blue Link system’s responsiveness and occasional difficulties with smartphone connectivity.

As with any vehicle, staying updated with maintenance and recalls is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity.


The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz has several competitors, the closest being the Honda Ridgeline and Ford Maverick.

Hyundai Santa Cruz VS Honda Ridgeline

The Hyundai Santa Cruz and Honda Ridgeline are two innovative pickups catering to drivers seeking a truck’s utility without sacrificing comfort and technology. Both vehicles offer unibody construction and car-like driving dynamics, making them stand out in a market dominated by traditional body-on-frame trucks.

The Santa Cruz, a compact pickup, is built on the same platform as the Tucson SUV, providing a comfortable ride and impressive fuel economy (up to 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway). Its stylish design and competitive pricing make it an attractive option for those seeking a smaller, more maneuverable truck.

On the other hand, the Ridgeline is a midsize pickup based on the Honda Pilot platform. Its larger size results in more interior space and a higher towing capacity (up to 5,000 pounds) than Santa Cruz’s 3,500-5,000 pounds. The Ridgeline’s fuel economy is slightly lower (up to 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway).

In terms of features, both trucks offer advanced safety technology, infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and comfortable interiors. Choosing the Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Honda Ridgeline ultimately depends on your size, towing capacity, and fuel economy preferences. Both trucks deliver a comfortable, versatile experience with a car-like ride.

Hyundai Santa Cruz VS Ford Maverick

The Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick are two compelling options in the emerging compact pickup truck segment, offering a blend of utility, comfort, and technology. Both vehicles feature unibody construction, providing car-like handling and ride quality.

The Santa Cruz showcases a striking design and impressive fuel economy (up to 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway). Depending on the engine choice, its towing capacity ranges from 3,500 to 5,000 pounds. Hyundai’s compact pickup also offers advanced safety features and a well-appointed interior.

Based on the Escape and Bronco Sports platform, the Ford Maverick stands out for its fuel efficiency with its standard hybrid powertrain (up to 42 mpg city and 33 mpg highway). The Maverick’s towing capacity ranges from 2,000 pounds for the hybrid model to 4,000 pounds for the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. The Maverick features a customizable bed called the “Flexbed” and comes with a lower starting price than the Santa Cruz.

Both trucks offer modern infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Choosing between the Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick ultimately depends on your priorities regarding design, towing capacity, fuel economy, and budget, as both vehicles deliver versatile and comfortable driving experiences.

Hyundai Santa FE Pros and Cons


  • Unique and stylish design
  • Comfortable and well-appointed interior
  • Advanced safety and technology features
  • Competitive warranty and pricing


  • Limited payload capacity compared to larger trucks
  • The turbocharged engine’s fuel economy could be better
  • No manual transmission option


The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an attractive option for those seeking a versatile and stylish compact pickup truck.

With its premium interior, advanced safety features, and competitive pricing, Santa Cruz stands out in the growing compact pickup segment.

While it may not offer the same payload and towing capacity as larger trucks, it is an excellent choice for those who require a practical daily driver with the added utility of a pickup bed.

This innovative vehicle will continue turning heads and capturing the attention of truck enthusiasts and casual drivers alike.

Source: hyundaiusa.com

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Review & Common Problems Pictures

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