How does the new Hyundai Santa Cruz actually perform off the beaten track?
Right from the outset, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz isn’t billed so much as a “truck”, but as a “Sport Adventure Vehicle”. On its face, it’s a solid execution of a Tucson-like front-end and cabin with a more practical bed on the back. Not only that, but it’s also available with Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system, which will come in handy in this video. Tommy wanted to find out exactly how good this $41,000 trucklet (in top-end “Limited” spec) actually hacked it when you head over something more challenging than your local outdoor gear shop.
Quick note: regardless of how well it actually performs, you all already seem to love the Santa Cruz. Granted the new car market is crazy right now, but in August Hyundai’s new SUV-truck hybrid was the fastest-selling model in the U.S., even betting out the Chevy Corvette.
This particular Santa Cruz comes with a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine making 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. The turbo four-pot comes mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which we’ve had some issues with in the past on the trails. If that transmission doesn’t suit your fancy, you can get a naturally-aspirated, 191 horsepower version of the same engine. If you do that, you get a conventional 8-speed automatic instead.
Not only does Tommy take the new Santa Cruz off-road to test its mettle, but he also subjects it to the TFL Slip Test. If not on the trail, how well should the all-wheel drive system perform in slippery conditions like snow? Check out the video below to find out the full results: