Here’s where the Santa Cruz is tied together. It drives just like a Tucson, which is to say its road manners are excellent, and it has surprisingly sharp handling dynamics for something with a cargo bed. In that sense, there is no noticeable negative effect on the driving dynamics or comfort. With its compact size, the sharp handling translates into maneuverability at lower speeds, making the Santa Cruz equally at home in a tight parking spot or twisty route up to that excellent camping spot by the lake.
The bottom line is that the Santa Cruz is a crossover with a cargo bed, and that truly is a good thing. If towing capacity, payload capacity, and any other pickup truck metrics are relevant to someone, there’s a ton of pickup trucks out there to choose from. However, right now, the Santa Cruz is playing in a segment of its own. If you want a compact crossover for a daily driver but with a cargo bed for your evening or weekend adventures, the Santa Cruz is the only game in town. Thankfully, Hyundai has set a high bar for automakers that follow its lead.