Production Hyundai Santa Cruz To Feature An Updated Design With “A Lot More Character”

It’s hard to believe it has been four years since Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz concept, but the company is still putting the finishing touches on the production model.

Speaking with Motor Trend, the head of Hyundai’s Global Design Center in Namyang, South Korea confirmed the production model will feature an updated design. As SangYup Lee explained, the upcoming pickup will be “a lot more distinctive” and have “a lot more character” than the well-received concept. Lee went on to say the design has already been finalized and it will have “more progressive” styling.

That’s pretty vague, but it’s not surprising Hyundai decided to update the truck’s design as the automaker’s styling philosophy has evolved over the past few years. We just hope the company will kept the concept’s bold front fascia and streamlined bodywork.

Lee declined to go into specifics, but the Santa Cruz could be based on the Hyundai Tucson. A facelifted version of the crossover was introduced last year and the model is available with two different engines. The entry-level unit a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 164 hp (122 kW / 166 PS) and 151 lb-ft (204 Nm) of torque. Higher-end variants have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder developing 181 hp (135 kW / 183 PS) and 175 lb-ft (237 Nm) of torque.

Lee declined to say when the truck would be launched, but executives have previously suggested the Santa Cruz will arrive in 2020 or shortly thereafter. Rumors have also suggested Hyundai will aim the pickup at consumers who are under 30 years old. Part of this effort is said to involve keeping the model affordable and there has been speculation the truck could undercut the Nissan Frontier which starts at $18,990 before destination charges.

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  • Ronald Roman

    Good luck with that…I think the name will be the same, but beside that, not much.

  • WalthamDan

    That concept truck is better looking than anything available on the Hyundai lot today. Now its about to get hit with the ugly stick.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    ..Good luck if it looks better than the concept….

    …(just keep the concept’s body, make it production-ready, and add some premium touches here and there as you want to do, Hyundai, and you got the design job done)


    Most hyundai cars will keep it that way. The next sonata will look almost exactly as the the concept that debut in geneva last year.

  • Blade t

    I think it will look similar, but with a longer bed than the concept. That concept has a really short bed .

  • Six_Tymes

    another way of saying they messed it up, or they cant produce this concept because it would cost them too much to make it look this good. shame, such amazing design.

    • Bash

      I couldn’t said it better.

    • MarketAndChurch

      To me, it means they either want to make it look like the Nexo and the upcoming Sonata, or, they want it to look more like the Palisade / Santa Fe / Tucson. It just depends on which face Hyundai wants to push with it’s new truck, my money is on it looking more like their SUV’s. I still think it will look as cool as the concept.

  • Ed Ward

    Nice truck

  • Wayne Alan Carr Heyes

    If it starts at £16K I would certainly have one! Different to what’s out there

  • Craig

    Not good news. I like it the way it is. And now they’re promising to give it a LOT of character? sigh

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