Hyundai's highly-anticipated Santa Cruz ute finally revealed
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It's been a long time coming, but we've finally gotten our first official look at Hyundai's new Santa Cruz ute, which looks to fill the commercial gap in the Korean brand's line-up.
Clearly based around the design language of the brand's small SUVs, the Santa Cruz looks unlike any double-cab ute currently on the New Zealand market, with a tray that's molded into the body.
Because it's based on Hyundai's medium-sized SUV, it measures a little smaller than what we've come to expect from utes in New Zealand. At 4.9-metres in length, it's a fair bit shorter than the Ford Ranger at 5.4, but only loses 20cm to the Ranger when it comes to tray length.
In terms of engine options, a diesel unit is yet to be announced, but buyers will have the choice between two 2.5-litre petrol units. The first is naturally aspirated with 141kW/244Nm, and the other is turbocharged with 205kW/420Nm.
When it comes to transmissions, the non-turbo engine gets paired with an eight-speed automatic, while the turbocharged unit gets a dual-clutch transmission and steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.
Before you write the Santa Cruz off as a front-wheel drive toy, Hyundai has made it clear that both engine options are available with the HTRAC all-wheel-drive system.
In the towing department, the Santa Cruz falls short of the rest of the ute market, being rated for just 2,200kg, but the Korean brand likes to think of it more as a 'Sport Adventure Vehicle' rather than a 'unibody pickup'.
On the inside, the Santa Cruz shares a lot with the Tucson, including its 10-inch infotainment system, and optional 10-inch digital instrument cluster. It also gets leather seating and plush carpeting, meaning that it's more luxurious than a standard workhorse.
As you'd expect, it gets all the bells and whistles in the safety department including lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and much more.
Production of the Santa Cruz is set to commence in June over in America, with U.S. orders opening up within the month.
It's still unclear as to whether New Zealand is getting the Santa Cruz or not, but we've reached out to Hyundai for comment.