Korean automaker Hyundai presented the Santa Cruz Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2015, a compact pickup truck that borrowed the Hyundai Tucson’s platform. Even if the model could rival the Toyota Tacoma and the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, its pretentions are closer to those of the Honda Ridgeline, which left the market in 2014, but is coming back for 2017.
During the Canadian launch of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, The Car Guide learned from Hyundai’s Canadian representatives that the Santa Cruz has been given the green light.
Will it keep its diesel engine?
Obviously, the production model should be inspired by the concept truck and would be produced in 2017-2018, but chances are that the 190-horspower, 2.0-litre diesel engine under the hood of the show vehicle will be replaced by a gasoline engine. The model will boast four doors and accommodate up to five passengers. According to its engine, towing capacity could reach 2,500 lbs.
The automaker says the Santa Cruz could attract a young and active audience that would like the advantages of an SUV, but with an open bed.
As we pointed out in a discussion with Hyundai Canada president and CEO Don Romano, the pickup’s price will be an important factor in its success. The price of midsize pickups is too often close to those of full-size models, which makes them less interesting.
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