Earlier this month, the Hyundai Santa Cruz was revealed as a North American exclusive SUV-based bakkie sitting on the new Tucson platform. Hyundai markets it as a product that is not a truck, but rather a “sport adventure vehicle”. The Santa Cruz is left-hand drive only, so its chances of reaching South Africa are not all too strong but Hyundai South Africa believes it’s a product that could see some success if made available here.
Speaking at the local launch of the new Santa Fe, Hyundai South Africa’s Sales and Operations Director Stanley Anderson expressed his thoughts on the upcoming double-cab bakkie.
“It’s based on the new Tucson platform so it’s an SUV bakkie. It’s not a ladder-frame chassis. It’s really a Tucson with a load box. I think as a concept it could work in our market, especially in our brand. We’re very strong in the SUV segment, so who knows,” he said.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz may be entering a niche segment of its own in North America but it still has to prove its worth against more conventional bakkies such as the Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-MAX-based Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier (Navara).
“Maybe they do look at a right-hand drive at some other stage. We’ll see how it performs in the USA. It’s not a big, full-sized pick-up and the Americans like their big full-sized pick-ups so we’re very interested to see the performance and also the concept as well.” Anderson ended.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz will be made available with a naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2,5-litre four-cylinder engine using a torque converter and dual-clutch respectively. Both models use an all-wheel drive system.