At the start of last year, Hyundai showcased an intriguing Santa Cruz pickup concept during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. After lots of speculation regarding the possibility of the vehicle materializing as a production model, some execs in Hyundai eventually confirmed that it is set to happen.
The only impediment, they said, was the decision from the top brass to green light an official reveal. Everything had been set and it was just a matter of scheduling its public appearance.
At this point, the Honda Ridgeline which it’s supposed to compete with has already rolled out to dealerships, and there’s still no word on the Santa Cruz. It has virtually vanished from everyone’s minds, lips, and fingertips.
The last we heard from Hyundai about the ute, it’s actually not aimed at the Ridgeline. The Santa Cruz won’t have up to 5,000lbs of towing capacity and is not going to offer as much utility as its Honda counterpart.
Instead, it would be contending against the likes of the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3, sort of as a diminutive crossover with a tiny bed. The same could be said about the Ridgeline and Pilot three-row SUV, but in the case of the Santa Cruz, its place is in the subcompact segment.