Hyundai Exec Sheds Light on Production Santa Cruz Pickup

Similar to the way that the Honda Ridgeline is a Pilot with a bed, it looks like the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be a Tucson with a bed.

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We weren’t sure what to expect from the upcoming Hyundai pickup truck that was confirmed for production last year. The only basis for speculation was the Hyundai Santa Cruz “crossover truck concept” that debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The Santa Cruz was a bold, edgy concept that didn’t quite look like any Hyundai production model which one could argue is a good thing. Now it seems that the truck will finally go into production soon and will arrive in showrooms in 2020, according to a recent report.

Hyundai Motor America chief operating officer Brian Smith shed a little light on the upcoming light truck from Hyundai in an interview with Motor Trend. He said the truck will go into production either this year or next year. It also sounds like the Santa Cruz name will carry over to the production model, which makes sense since it’s in line with Hyundai’s knack for naming utility vehicles after cities in the American West.

It sounds like the production Santa Cruz will be based on the Hyundai Tucson compact crossover. If that’s the case, this is going to be a pretty small truck. It will likely be smaller than its lone competitor in the unibody pickup truck game; the Pilot-based Honda Ridgeline.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz promises many of the same virtues as the Ridgeline. Thanks to its unibody construction, it will drive like a car and save fuel compared to more traditional body-on-frame competitors like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. The Santa Cruz is for anyone who wants the convenience of a crossover with the utility of a pickup bed or just wants something a little more interesting than a Tucson.

There’s no word yet on pricing or powertrain for the Santa Cruz. We reached out to Hyundai for more information, but a spokesperson said in an email that there's no further information to disclose at this time.