Santa’s coming, but not with Cruz

Riley Riley

In the US Hyundai has revealed the price of its long-awaited ute Santa Cruz.

You can get your Yankee backside into one from $23,990 US — or about $33,000 Aussie dollars.

But that’s as near as you’re going to get to one because Hyundai has revealed Santa Cruz ain’t coming here.

Despite all the pre-publicity the ute has received here, from artist’s whimsy to full blown production model, Hyundai neglected to mention it was going to be built in left-hand drive only.

And before you begin wondering whether you can import one privately and swap it to right-hand drive — it just wouldn’t be worth it.

“Santa Cruz will launch globally in left-hand drive only, hence it will not be available for the Australian market,” a spokesman for Hyundai said.

“We expressed interest in Santa Cruz, and believe it could carve out a niche in the Australian market, but with production coming from our Alabama plant the business case for development of right hand drive wasn’t practicable.”

Hyundai says Santa Cruz is set to break new ground in the US, where they love their pick-ups.

It will offer a true Sport Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else on the US market.

The ute will be built in Montgomery, Alabama and is due to go on sale later this month.

Check out the list of standard equipment:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lights and cargo area lighting
  • Integrated rear bumper side steps
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Body-coloured side mirrors
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Molded composite bed (versus steel bed)
  • Lockable underfloor bed storage
  • Power-locking tailgate
  • Remote open tailgate via fob
  • Rear 60:40 flip-up lower cushions
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Driver attention warning
  • Lane keeping/lane following assist
  • Intelligent speed limit warning
  • Leading vehicle departure alert


Santa Cruz ups the ante in the after sales department too, with complimentary maintenance for 3 years/36,000 miles (60,000km) of normal oil changes and tyre rotations.

It also comes with ‘America’s Best Warranty’. That’s a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and 7-year anti-perforation warranty.

There’s no such thing as never in the automotive world.

They mightn’t be saying it, but you can bet your bottom dollar the local Hyundai outfit is working hard behind the scenes to get the Santa Cruz for Australia.

After all, three of the top-selling cars in Australia are utes. Why wouldn’t you want a piece of that action?


CHECKOUT: Here’s the latest Hyundai ute pics

CHECKOUT: Hey, Kia! What about a ute?

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