2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz vs 2023 Toyota Tacoma

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
$24,440MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2023 Toyota Tacoma
2023 Toyota Tacoma
$28,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
$24,440MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2023 Toyota Tacoma
$28,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is 8.0 out of 10, while the 2023 Toyota Tacoma scores 7.3 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is the recommended vehicle. It offers a superior combination of modern design, technology, and safety features, making it a more appealing choice for consumers seeking a versatile and well-rounded compact pickup.

Overview

MSRP

$24,440

MSRP

$28,600

Average price

$26,905

Average price

$39,299

Listings

411

Listings

3881
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Standard advanced safety features
  • Great warranty
Cons
  • Cramped back seat
  • Lacking physical buttons for audio and climate control
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great off-road capability
  • Excellent reputation for reliability
Cons
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cramped back seat
  • Outdated technology

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Reviews Summary

Being a newbie in a given field means having to catch up to established leaders, but it can also bring a different perspective. Hyundai has never sold a pickup truck in the United States, and its first effort is unlike anything else on the market.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the first truly compact pickup to be sold in the U.S. in over a decade, and unlike conventional body-on-frame pickups, it features car-like unibody construction. This packaging sacrifices some capability, but that’s beside the point. Hyundai didn’t design the Santa Cruz to compete directly with conventional trucks. It doesn’t even call the Santa Cruz a pickup; it prefers the term “sport adventure vehicle.”

While it may win over some truck buyers who want a pickup that’s easier to park, the Santa Cruz will appeal mainly to new-car buyers who want to replace a sedan or crossover SUV with something a bit more rugged.

To figure out where the Santa Cruz fits into the current automotive landscape, we spent a day driving it around on roads in and around its namesake California city. Hyundai also offers base SE, SEL Activity Package, and SEL Premium trim levels, but we sampled a range-topping Santa Cruz Limited model for this test drive.

2023 Toyota Tacoma Reviews Summary

The Toyota Tacoma has reached “Legend” status: it’s the default choice for many shoppers, and for good reason. The Tacoma enjoys a hard-earned reputation for bullet-proof reliability. It’s the ideal size for many situations. It looks cool and, in TRD Pro trim, it can back up those looks with genuine off-road brilliance.

But heavy is the head that wears the crown, and the current Tacoma may be starting to buckle under the weight. With more powerful and more efficient options emerging in the compact and midsize truck space, Toyota is no longer the one-stop shop for shoppers. Luckily, a new Tacoma may be just over the horizon.

No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.5L 191 hp I4

Engine

2.7L 159 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

4X2

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

4

Horsepower

191 hp @ 6100 rpm

Horsepower

159 hp @ 5200 rpm

MPG City

21

MPG City

20

MPG Highway

26

MPG Highway

23
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
$24,440MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2023 Toyota Tacoma
2023 Toyota Tacoma
$28,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
$24,440MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2023 Toyota Tacoma
$28,600MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is 8.0 out of 10, while the 2023 Toyota Tacoma scores 7.3 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is the recommended vehicle. It offers a superior combination of modern design, technology, and safety features, making it a more appealing choice for consumers seeking a versatile and well-rounded compact pickup.

Overview
MSRP
$24,440
$28,600
Average price
$26,905
$39,299
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.5
4.3
Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10

Read full review

7.3 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Standard advanced safety features
  • Great warranty
Cons
  • Cramped back seat
  • Lacking physical buttons for audio and climate control
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great off-road capability
  • Excellent reputation for reliability
Cons
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cramped back seat
  • Outdated technology
Summary

Being a newbie in a given field means having to catch up to established leaders, but it can also bring a different perspective. Hyundai has never sold a pickup truck in the United States, and its first effort is unlike anything else on the market.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the first truly compact pickup to be sold in the U.S. in over a decade, and unlike conventional body-on-frame pickups, it features car-like unibody construction. This packaging sacrifices some capability, but that’s beside the point. Hyundai didn’t design the Santa Cruz to compete directly with conventional trucks. It doesn’t even call the Santa Cruz a pickup; it prefers the term “sport adventure vehicle.”

While it may win over some truck buyers who want a pickup that’s easier to park, the Santa Cruz will appeal mainly to new-car buyers who want to replace a sedan or crossover SUV with something a bit more rugged.

To figure out where the Santa Cruz fits into the current automotive landscape, we spent a day driving it around on roads in and around its namesake California city. Hyundai also offers base SE, SEL Activity Package, and SEL Premium trim levels, but we sampled a range-topping Santa Cruz Limited model for this test drive.

The Toyota Tacoma has reached “Legend” status: it’s the default choice for many shoppers, and for good reason. The Tacoma enjoys a hard-earned reputation for bullet-proof reliability. It’s the ideal size for many situations. It looks cool and, in TRD Pro trim, it can back up those looks with genuine off-road brilliance.

But heavy is the head that wears the crown, and the current Tacoma may be starting to buckle under the weight. With more powerful and more efficient options emerging in the compact and midsize truck space, Toyota is no longer the one-stop shop for shoppers. Luckily, a new Tacoma may be just over the horizon.

Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.5L 191 hp I4
2.7L 159 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
4X2
Seating Capacity
5
4
Horsepower
191 hp @ 6100 rpm
159 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG City
21
20
MPG Highway
26
23
Look and feel
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
9/10
2023 Toyota Tacoma
9/10
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, with its smaller footprint, recalled the mini trucks of the past but carried a modern twist with its unibody construction and unique styling. Measuring 195.7 inches in length, 75.0 inches in width, and 66.7 inches in height, the Santa Cruz appeared more like an SUV with a bed rather than a traditional small pickup. Its design featured a toothy grille, blended headlights, and the absence of typical truck aesthetics, except for the “Santa Cruz” stamped tailgate, some body cladding, and a touch of chrome. The vehicle accommodated 20-inch wheels that filled its arches well, while 18-inch wheels with thicker sidewall tires were also available. Inside, the Santa Cruz exhibited a straightforward design that didn’t echo typical rugged truck interiors, with integrated air vents and suitable materials for its price range and intended rugged use. In contrast, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma carried a more assertive stance and substantial look despite being shorter than full-size pickups. Toyota offered the Tacoma in various trims and combinations, catering to a wide range of buyer preferences. Notable new packages for the year included the SX and Chrome Packages, each adding distinct stylistic features. The TRD Pro trim, tested during snowy conditions, not only stood out with its bright paint but also with its off-road equipment such as skid pads, TRD-tuned suspension, and a unique grille. The interior ranged from basic in the SR trim to more luxurious in the Limited trim, with our TRD Pro featuring Softex leather-trimmed upholstery and other high-end touches.
Performance
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
9/10
2023 Toyota Tacoma
8/10
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz came equipped with two engine options: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, and an optional turbocharged 2.5-liter engine delivering 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. Both engines were paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The base engine offered front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, while the turbo engine came with all-wheel drive only. Our test vehicle with its turbo engine showcased impressive performance, great ride quality, and low cabin noise. However, lacking serious off-road capability, the Santa Cruz was better suited for recreational use than rugged terrains, with a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds for the base engine and 5,000 pounds for the turbo engine, along with a payload capacity of 1,906 pounds. For the 2023 Toyota Tacoma, the standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine produced 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Most buyers preferred the more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine, which generated 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, available with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Our TRD Pro model, with its V6 and 4WD, delivered decent city driving performance and off-road capability, though it wasn’t particularly quick and exhibited substantial noise at higher speeds. Fuel efficiency was moderate, with a combined EPA rating of 20-21 mpg for the V6, varying slightly by drivetrain and transmission. The Tacoma excelled in off-road conditions with its specialized TRD Pro equipment and features like Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl control.
Form and function
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
6/10
2023 Toyota Tacoma
7/10
Despite its impressive payload capacity, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz’s functionality was limited by its small 52.1-inch truck bed, unable to fit larger items like bicycles or plywood without compromises. Hyundai provided various features to maximize usability, such as a lockable tonneau cover, height-adjustable tailgate, tie-down points, in-bed LED lighting, and a power outlet. The Santa Cruz’s interior accommodated five passengers, although rear legroom was tight. The front seats offered better space and visibility, with ample storage in the center console and under the rear seats. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma offered more configuration options, including access-cab and double-cab styles with varying bed lengths. The access cab, although cramped, provided a compact interior, while the double cab offered better rear seating but still tight legroom. Front seats were more spacious but had ergonomic issues like limited steering wheel extension. Despite its height posing an entry challenge for some, the double cab’s storage capacity was sufficient for significant cargo, including sports gear and groceries. Both trucks provided practical features, but the Tacoma’s multiple configurations offered more adaptability to different needs.
Technology
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
9/10
2023 Toyota Tacoma
6/10
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz came with an 8-inch touchscreen featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a 10.25-inch screen available on higher trims. Our test model had a digital instrument cluster, wireless phone charging, and Blue Link telematics, enhancing functionality and connectivity. The system’s performance was impressive, with quick responses and clear graphics, while the digital cluster was effective even without a hood. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma, although functional, lagged in tech sophistication compared to competitors. Base models had a 7-inch touchscreen, while higher trims featured an 8-inch screen. All versions included Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM. Our test vehicle’s JBL audio system delivered quality sound, but the interface felt outdated compared to newer systems in rival trucks. The Tacoma provided essential tech but lacked the advanced features present in other models.
Safety
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
7/10
2023 Toyota Tacoma
7/10
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz’s safety ratings were not yet available, but it offered standard features like forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-follow assist, and driver-attention monitor. Higher trims included blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and Highway Driving Assist for adaptive cruise control and lane centering. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma came with Toyota Safety Sense, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert, and automatic high beams. Our TRD Pro included additional features like blind-spot monitoring and a surround-view camera. Despite these, the Tacoma lacked more advanced safety features found in other Toyota models and competitors. It scored four out of five stars overall in NHTSA crash tests.
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