2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz mpg numbers are here and they're not what we expected

Better numbers than some trucks, but not the blistering mpg that was expected

1w ago

When the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz was revealed the stylish and somewhat funky pickup grabbed the attention of many people, and now the EPA has released their estimated fuel economy for it.

The fuel economy depends of course on which of the two engine options you select. The base engine is a 2.5 liter I-4 that produces191 horsepower and 181 pound feet of torque. The second option, for those who want a little more performance, is a 2.5 liter turbocharged I-4 that produces 281 horsepower and 311 pound feet of torque. The base engine is paired with an eight speed automatic transmission, but the second engine option is paired with an eight speed dual clutch automatic. Front wheel drive is standard, but you can opt for the HTRAC all wheel drive system.

Throughout the EPA's testing they determined that it's actually the base engine with all wheel drive that gives you the best economy with an estimated 21/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined. If you select the front wheel drive option, you can expect the same 21 mpg city and 23 mpg combined, but highway drops to 26 mpg. For those who want the turbocharged engine option, if you choose all wheel drive, you will see 19 mpg city, 22 mpg combined, but will still maintain a 27 mpg highway.

When it comes to comparing the Santa Cruz and it's economy to larger, midsize pickups, it's more efficient than most of the larger pickups. The popular Toyota Tacoma's highest EPA estimate was 20/23/21 mpg city/highway/combined and those numbers come from the rear wheel drive, 2.7 liter four cylinder engine. If you were to opt for the more powerful V6 and 4WD, you would see a drop in those numbers. The 2021 Honda Ridgeline with it's all wheel drive only and singular powertrain option of a 3.5 liter V6, received an 18/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined. The only gas powered truck to come close to the Santa Cruz is the Ford Ranger. The Ranger has one engine option, a 2.3 liter turbocharged four cylinder and received a 21/26/23 mpg city/highway/combined, but it did so in rear drive.

You might be thinking, what about Chevrolet, how do they compare? Well, if you equip the Colorado with it's diesel and rear wheel drive options, according to the EPA you'll get 30 mpg highway, 20 mpg city and 23 mpg combined.

While it looks great that the Santa Cruz is better than it's direct competition, if you look further into the truck world it's not as good. The 22-23 mpg combined is great, but there are several much larger, full size even, trucks that top it. The Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid get 25 mpg and the diesel fed Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra get 26-27 mpg.

We don't get know what numbers the new Ford Maverick, which is a true compact truck like the Santa Cruz, will produce with it's hybrid powertrain, for now we can say that the Santa Cruz is one of the most fuel efficient pickups you can buy. It might not have produced the numbers that some were hoping for, but when the Santa Cruz goes on sale this summer, we predict it will be a great seller.

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Comments (6)

  • What are you supposed to fit in the back? The bed starts at the axle...

      9 days ago
    • Given the fact that it is a smaller truck, you don’t get the luxury of having a ton of space in the back.

        9 days ago
    • It's a lifestyle truck. The Maverick will fall on the utility side of the spectrum but the Santa Cruz will appeal to lifestyle truck buyers.

        9 days ago
  • Santa Cruz?

      7 days ago