The unibody midsize truck class has a newcomer that will challenge the single occupant of this class. That newcomer can be found at your local Hyundai dealer. We’re talking about the brand-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, a small and active truck built on the same platform as the Tucson to bring you a unibody build to offer a quality drive when behind the wheel.
Taking Car Qualities to the Truck World
Both of these vehicles bring you qualities you already admire in the cars that we drive every day. You’ll find the unibody construction offers you a smoother ride, improved fuel mileage, and the flexibility you need in a truck. Forget the harshness of a truck ride on the road and let one of these impressive models be the truck you trust every day.
Looking at the Differences
The foundational build of these two trucks is about all that’s the same. The Santa Cruz is based on the Tucson, a compact crossover SUV, while the Ridgeline is based on the Pilot, a three-row midsize crossover. The Santa Cruz is brand-new in the market, and the Ridgeline has been around for a while and now enters its third generation in the market. Before you head to your nearby Hyundai dealer, let’s look at some of the other differences.
Power for Your Drive
Honda gives us a powertrain we’ve known and trusted for SUV and truck functions for quite a while. This powertrain brings you a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain returns 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. Of torque for the drive. With this truck, you can tow up to 5,000 pounds behind it to have the equipment you need wherever you go.
We will see two powertrains for the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Both give us 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The naturally aspirated version gives you 190 horsepower, 180 lb.-ft. Of torque and 3,500 pounds of towing. Add turbocharging to the mix, and the power is increased to 275 horsepower,310 lb.-ft. Of torque and towing is increased to 5,000 pounds to match the Ridgeline when you need to pull a trailer.
The Santa Cruz is Just Smaller
When you see these two trucks, you’ll quickly see that the Santa Cruz is a lot smaller than the Ridgeline. In the entire midsize truck class, the Santa Cruz is the shortest at 195.7 inches long. That’s not the only way this truck is small; the Santa Cruz is nearly 3.5 inches narrower than the Ridgeline and has a 118.3-inch wheelbase seven inches shorter than the Ridgeline.
Styling May be a Factor for You
There’s no denying the futuristic style of the Hyundai Santa Cruz when you see it parked at your local Hyundai dealer. This truck brings you attractive SUV style from the front to the rear pillars with an open bed in the rear to offer the space you need to carry some stuff along during your drive. Of course, if you want a more traditional truck look, the Ridgeline is the unibody truck you’ll want to drive.
Tons of Hyundai Goodness in the Cabin
One area of the Santa Cruz that will undoubtedly make you smile is the cabin. You’ll find the expected array of impressive Hyundai features that make this little truck an easy one to drive and use every day.
There’s an available ten-inch touchscreen, a digital gauge cluster, and plenty of safety and comfort features to give you the right feeling during your drive. The Honda Ridgeline has a more businesslike approach to the cabin area.
The Starting Price Will Amaze You
When you’re looking for a little truck that gives you just enough capability to have fun, you’ll be glad to see the low starting price of the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Go shopping at your local Honda and Hyundai dealer locations, and you’ll see that the Santa Cruz is nearly half the price of the Honda Ridgeline. This is a significant difference, especially if you do not need a lot of truck capability for your drive.
Which Truck Should You Drive?
While we’ve only hit some of the highlights, the decision of which of these two trucks to drive will come down to how much you want to spend and how much room you want to have in the truck. The Ridgeline is larger, more expensive, and has a larger bed than the Santa Cruz, but the Santa Cruz could be ideal for the times you want a truck and great for those times when you don’t.