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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz production fires up in Alabama

The unique pickup truck will reach dealers later this summer.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz production
Here they come.

Just ahead of the highly anticipated Ford Maverick starting production this year, the trucklet's chief rival of sorts, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, began rolling down the automaker's assembly line in Montgomery, Alabama on Tuesday. The unibody, compact pickup truck joins the Sonata, Elantra, Santa Fe and Tucson at the Alabama-based facility.

With production up and running, we'll likely receive more important details, like how much the truck will cost, very soon. The Santa Cruz is closely related to the the new Tucson, so expect prices to start somewhere in the mid- to upper-$20,000 range. For some comparison, Ford's Maverick will start at just over $20,000. Future Santa Cruze buyers will have the choice of the base SE trim, SEL, SEL Premium and Limited. Either a 2.5-liter inline-four or turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter engine are available. Power flows to the front wheels, or through an optional all-wheel drive system.

Hyundai's little truck will likely be a much more premium offering compared to the Maverick. (In case you're wondering: I keep coming back to the Ford because, well, neither of them really have any competition. These two are the closest to one another, even though they'll likely target different folks.) In any case, we can't wait to drive the Santa Cruz and see if buyers flock to small pickups once again like they did years ago. The first Santa Cruz pickups arrive later this summer and reservations remain open.

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