Hyundai Santa Cruz: head-turner or head-scratcher?

Hyundai Santa Cruz hero

The design team at Hyundai talk through the truck-CUV mashup – and explain why they aren’t apologising for taking risks

More than six years after presenting its initial vision for a small crossover/truck combo, Hyundai has revealed the production version of the Santa Cruz – a four-door, unibody activity vehicle aimed at customers who split their time between urban driving and outdoorsy pursuits.

“The brief came from HMA (Hyundai Motor America), which had identified a customer that wasn’t going to cross-shop a closed SUV,” says Chris Chapman, senior chief designer at the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, California. “The idea was to have an open-bed lifestyle vehicle for someone who needs a place to put dirty or smelly stuff in.”

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