Hyundai’s decision to flag off a strange, small pickup seemed like an unorthodox several months ago when the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz was unveiled. After positive reviews accumulated (including our own), however, it became clear that the Korean automaker had made the right decision. And now it’s clear that the general public agrees, as Santa Cruz pickup dealers are looking for homes soon after they land on the lot.
automotive analyst iSeeCars The dealer keeps track of how long the car sits on the lot before selling it. For months, the Chevy Corvette has been at or very close to the top of the pile. Now however, it has been removed by Santa Cruz, at least temporarily. Compact pickups spend an average of only eight days on the showroom floor before someone decides to snatch them up.
NS iSeeCars The list is interesting as it not only highlights the traditional hot sellers like compact SUVs, but enthusiast vehicles as well. Those in the top 20 rankings include, for example, the Subaru WRX, the aforementioned C8 Corvette, and the Ford Bronco. All these vehicles are sold out much earlier than the average time taken by a car to spend a lot, which is 26 days. In case you’re curious, Bronco spends 10.6 days on lots. So yes, Santa Cruz is technically hotter than the Bronco. Of course, that statement has a much broader context, though.
Santa Cruz has been subject to the same dealer markup as many others. We actually received an email from a reader showing a $10,000 markup on a SEL Premium trim, which is pretty incredible considering the $36,905 starting price of such a Santa Cruz. Dealerships are certainly in the loop about the high demand for enthusiast vehicles like the Santa Cruz, if they weren’t aware earlier.
The Santa Cruz was formally unveiled several months ago as a vehicle similar to the Ford Maverick. It’s a compact, unibody pickup truck with a relatively low price that’s designed for people with an “active lifestyle.” As such, it has several features that enable that approach. It can hold 5,000 pounds, its tiny bed is more versatile than you might think, and thanks to the crew cab it can still be used as a daily driver. Lastly, an integrated lockable tonneau cover also makes the bed usable as a trunk.
It’s still an unconventional car though, despite having this level of versatility, and the fact that it’s selling out so quickly will certainly be good news for some Hyundai product planners. Santa Cruz is based in Tucson — not on its own bespoke platform — of course, but getting it to market was certainly still a risk. In any case, it’s a solid little pickup with a bucketload of interesting features.
We’ll see if the bullish sales continue.
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