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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Enjoys a Freezing Wonderland as Winter Testing Goes On

With the fourth-generation 2021 Hyundai Tucson already out and about, it’s time for the Korean automaker to finally focus on bringing the Santa Cruz compact unibody truck to market. Unfortunately, judging by the heavy coat of camouflage (maybe the test engineers wanted to keep warm), we’re still some way from the eagerly-awaited moment of introduction.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow 11 photos
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz spied in the snow
Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz is out enjoying a day in the snow on what looks like a makeshift test track built on a frozen lake. The heavy camouflage might be a good indication of the freezing temperatures experienced by the testing crew, but it also tries to deter our efforts to peek at the upcoming design details.

Fortunately or not, the compact truck has been so long in the making that we’ve had ample time to ponder upon its positive and negative sides. We already know it’s going to be a global effort from the automaker, and the new model will eschew workhorse duties in favor of a more glamorous lifestyle.

The Santa Cruz will share many traits with the quirky Tucson compact crossover, so a fancy utility vehicle will probably trigger a lot of love/hate reactions upon its official release. We can already tell it’s going to be closely related to the Tucson including from a design standpoint, thanks to the little details that still manage to peek through the heavy camouflage.

This pre-production prototype must be taking care of the final extreme cold-weather adjustments as Hyundai diligently prepares the introduction of the Santa Cruz later on this year, probably as a 2022 model, as far as the U.S. market is concerned.

When it finally arrives, the Hyundai Santa Cruz won't attempt to compete with high-ranking, body-on-frame midsize trucks (Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon). Instead, judging by the unibody construction and rather small space allotted to the bed duties, it’s going for a skirmish with other similar models such as the recently upgraded 2021 Honda Ridgeline.

 
 
 
 
 

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