The Hyundai Santa Cruz Small Pickup Truck We've Been Waiting for Since 2015 Is Coming 'As Soon As Possible'

Illustration for article titled The Hyundai Santa Cruz Small Pickup Truck We've Been Waiting for Since 2015 Is Coming 'As Soon As Possible'

I believe the biggest hole in the American automotive market is the lack of a genuinely small, useful pickup truck. Even the trucks that pass for small on the market today, like the Chevy Colorado or the Toyota Tacoma, really aren’t all that small. Back in 2015, though, Hyundai showed a concept truck at the Detroit Auto Show that looked like it might just fill that hole. Finally, it looks like that little truck is coming to market.


In an interview with Autocar, Hyundai design chief Luc Donckerwolke said Hyundai’s small truck, called the Santa Cruz, will be available for sale

“ soon as possible. From my side [he means the design] it is finished, the process to put it into production is now under way.”

Realistically, it looks like this means it’ll be available for 2020, and a Kia-badged version is likely to follow soon after.

Strangely, the article speculates if the truck may compete with compact trucks or full-size trucks like the Ford F-150, which would suggest the size of the truck wasn’t yet determined, which, if they’re this close to production, it would have to be.

I’m pretty sure the Hyundai truck will be compact, at least by modern standards, and would compete with the Tacoma, Ford’s returning Ranger, and the new Jeep Gladiator.

It’s likely that, in order to avoid the dreaded Chicken Tax, Santa Cruzes destined for the U.S. market would be built in Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama factory.


I’m hoping it’s smaller than all of them. I want a little truck, dammit.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:



You realize this is actually just going to be a Hyundai Ridgeline, right?  Sorry to burst your bubble.  I agree a small, car-based RWD Ute would be amazing.  But this will be a midsize-large 4-door front-drive-based SUV with a tiny bed.