The Hyundai Santa Cruz comes in two flavors and, like its salsa, they appeal to those who like it mild or spicy. The base version makes 191 horsepower, but you can step up to the hot turbocharged four-cylinder and get a 281-horsepower version. However, that extra turbo will add at least $7,000 to the base price of your 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz. So, the question begs, is the turbo worth it in a Hyundai Santa Cruz?
Is the turbo in the Hyundai Santa Cruz worth it?
The base version of the 2.5L 2023 Santa Cruz has a 191-horsepower four-cylinder, while the 2.5T version has a 281-horsepower turbocharged version. However, the base engine only makes 181 lb-ft of torque, while the turbo makes an impressive 311 lb-ft, which helps with city driving and, more importantly, towing and hauling. The base engine gets 22 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, while you pay a fine for the turbo and get 19 mpg city but 27 mpg highway.
The turbo engine is recommended if you want to do more truck stuff. car and driver He calls the base engine “slow” and “underpowered,” and you’d definitely feel the weight of a trailer with that engine. In terms of acceleration, the base engine can get the truck to 60 miles per hour in about 8.8 seconds, while the turbo slows it down to around 6.0. Much of that is down to the base truck’s traditional automatic transmission, though, while the turbo gets the quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. The turbo version can also tow 5,000 pounds, or 1,500 more than the base truck.
What’s new for 2023?
Since the Santa Cruz was an all-new truck for 2022, there wasn’t much of a need to update it. However, Hyundai added a few little touches. You get an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 10.35-inch touchscreen and Dynamic Voice Recognition on top-level, SEL Premium and Limited trims. Additionally, the SEL Premium now has navigation-based cruise control. The all-black Night finish is also available.
What is the same on all trucks in Santa Cruz?
The Santa Cruz is based on the Tucson SUV, though Hyundai says the two don’t share any body panels. Regardless, like the Tucson, it drives like a car and comes with various driver aids and even all-wheel drive on any trim. All come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry and Hyundai’s new fast touchscreen interface.
But, these are all trucks. Trucks are for hauling things, and with a box that’s too short you can’t haul much. The Santa Cruz has the shortest bed of any truck you can buy new. But it can tow 5,000 pounds (or 3,500 with the base engine) and haul a total weight of 1,700 pounds.
Interestingly, Hyundai publishes two different figures for its bed length, one for the top, with the tailgate closed, and one from the ground, with the tailgate closed. From the top it measures 48.4 inches, from the bed floor it measures 52.1 inches. The rear of the cab has a slope that makes it longer at the bottom, and the factory roof also takes up some space.
Regardless, if you’re looking for a truck to haul and tow, the turbo is your go-to. If not, the base 2.5L should be fine.