Here’s What’s New In The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz - SUV VEHICLE

Here’s What’s New In The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz



  • The 2025 Santa Cruz boasts sleek style, advanced tech, and rugged sophistication to stay competitive in the pickup segment.
  • The XRT model enhances ruggedness with off-road tires, approach angle, and exclusive design features for daring adventures.
  • Enhanced interior features, including larger screens and safety upgrades, ensure a futuristic and upscale driving experience.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz has always been in a unique category of vehicle, as it offers both the comfort and utility an SUV provides, whilst also displaying a confident sense of ruggedness inside and out. This balance has led it to remain a competitor in the compact and mid-size pickup segments, which includes such models as the Ford Maverick and Chevrolet Colorado.

Hyundai revealed the new Sport Adventure Vehicle, or SAV, at the New York International Auto Show this year to an audience of car folks and enthusiasts alike. The 2025 Santa Cruz’s sleek, sporty attitude can be observed just at a glance, but there’s more to this little adventurer than meets the eye. Hyundai made sure of that!

Inside, the new Santa Cruz boasts the latest in tech and connectivity features, many of them standard across all trims, as well as comfortable and contemporary styling throughout the entire cabin. Hyundai made sure to make these 2025 refreshes feel meaningful, and maybe spark more interest in the stylish utility Santa Cruz offers. While there are many tough competitors in its segment, the Santa Cruz has made a name for itself in the modern age of utility, comfort, and capability.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Hyundai, and other authoritative sources, including JD Power.

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The 2025 Santa Cruz Is Ready To Tackle Tough Terrain And Look Stylish Doing So

The exterior received a fresh face nearly all around the entire vehicle. These include aggressive features, clean contours, and sturdy lines that convey a sense of toughness and sophistication. This was one of the goals when re-designing the Santa Cruz, as Hyundai wanted to usher in an era of clean sophistication for their working-class models. This move will no doubt appeal to the modern buyer, as sleek and sporty are a popular design choice among younger buyers.

Moving around the 2025 Santa Cruz reveals even more commanding lines and clean, rounded character contours which all serve to widen the stance of the 2025 Santa Cruz. The clean lines blend well with the aggressive areas, which include the flared fenders, flared side skirts, and the new front and rear bumper fascias. Together, these design elements combine in a delicious mix of rugged maturity. New daytime running lights are stylish and aggressive, and convey the adventurous spirit within the SAV.

The XRT Model Aims To Venture Far Beyond The Pavement

The newest off-road-focused Santa Cruz XRT will increase the capability and ruggedness of the Santa Cruz, which translates to bigger off-road tires, increased approach angle, and an exclusive body design. The XRT packs the turbo 2.5-liter inline-four and makes good use of the HTRAC AWD system. Tow hooks are integrated into the unique front bumper and sit right below the XRT-exclusive grille. All 2025 Santa Cruz received a refreshed grille design, but the XRT gets its own special refreshed grille that displays its bold, aggressive attitude.

Key 2025 Santa Cruz XRT Features

  • XRT-exclusive front and rear bumper fascia
  • XRT-exclusive wrench-inspired 18-inch wheels and 245/60R18 all-terrain tires
  • Front tow hooks
  • Increased approach angle
  • Surround-view monitor

Along with the exterior visual cues, which are both stylish and functional, the interior boasts a few key features that set it apart from the pack, so to speak. Among the most instantly noticeable is the XRT debossed seatbacks, which proudly announce to those inside which grade of Santa Cruz they’re in. Tech-wise, the XRT adds a surround-view monitor and blind spot monitor to the standard safety suite for even more maneuverability and peace of mind.

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The Interior Improves On Modern Features And Standard Tech

The 2025 Santa Cruz’s interior tech upgrades put it in line with the top players in the compact crossover segment by not only adding larger screens, but integrating them in a way that truly feels futuristic and upscale. The lower trims will likely retain the previous model year’s 4.2-inch gauge cluster display. However, an optional 12.3-inch panoramic digital gauge cluster will instantly increase the driver interface.

The same goes for the infotainment display in the 2025 Santa Cruz, as the low trims will probably sport the standard 8-inch infotainment display from last year, but the new upgrade option is worth looking into. The available 12.3-inch audio-video navigation system is an upgrade from the previous model’s 10.25-inch onboard navigation system and integrates smoothly with the optional panoramic cluster thanks to a redesigned dash. This makes for a modern, sophisticated appearance and user interface experience.

Advanced Driver Assist And Safety Features Expand Upon The Previous Model Year’s Suite

While the Santa Cruz already features most of the modern functions there are to offer, Hyundai wanted to give drivers added peace of mind in the form of more safety features. These include Front Attention Warning (FAW) for all 2025 Santa Cruz, Blind Spot View Monitor, and Surround-View Monitor for the XRT. These added features extend the already diverse safety and assist suite, which includes Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection, Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Lane-keep Assist.

Notable Driver Assist And Safety Features

  • Smart Cruise Control With Stop-And-Go Technology
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • Rear Occupant Alert

Leather Is Available For The Interior

Hyundai definitely upgraded the layout and interface of the 2025 Santa Cruz, though the upholstery materials from the previous model are still in use. Before you roll your eyes, understand that the materials are already of quality build, and on high trims, leather makes a return in a classy, mature application. The low trims feature satin and odor-resistant cloth, while the higher trims upgrade to Hyundai’s H-Tex material. Make your way to the top-of-the-line San ta Cruz, the Limited, and you’ll find the cabin draped head-to-toe in soft leather. The updated layout blends well with all material options, projecting the cohesive and, again, mature essence of the 2025 model.

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The Powertrain Options Remain The Same As The Previous Model Year

2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz-02

While no major changes have come to the powertrain and drivetrain, there isn’t necessarily a need for change at this point. The Santa Cruz debuted just three years ago. During that time, it has turned heads, both for its appearance and for its respectable abilities. This is due in part to the peppy 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder that’s also found in the 2024 Santa Cruz. The lower trims will receive a 2.5-liter I-4 that produces 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, but the top trims will pack the turbo 2.5-liter I-4. The Turbo I-4 puts out 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT Specs


2.5L Turbocharged Inline 4-Cylinder


281 @ 5,800 RPM


311 Lb.-Ft. @ 1,700 – 4,000 RPM


Eight-speed Wet Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)



Max Tow Cap.

5,000 Pounds

(Source: Hyundai)

Both engine options connect to an eight-speed automatic transmission, though there are a few differences in their application. While the low-trim models feature the SHIFTRONIC eight-speed gearbox, the higher trims powered by the turbo I-4 receive the eight-speed wet dual-clutch DCT transmission. The DCT includes a multi-disc and individually controlled hydraulic channel torque converter, which improves responsiveness by expanding the direct connection band while downsizing the oil pump and minimizing friction loss via double ball bearings. 2025 Santa Cruz equipped with the DCT transmission will also receive paddle shifters and a tow-driving mode upgrade.

The Enhanced All-Wheel Drive System Increases The Santa Cruz’s Capability

All 2025 Santa Cruz will feature the unique AWD system called HTRAC AWD, which is a multi-mode system that provides an electronic variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The Sport driving mode gives the Santa Cruz a more agile feeling by sending additional torque to the rear wheels for a sporty, dynamic experience. The HTRAC AWD system includes a wide range of torque distribution variability for situations including hill starts, straight-line acceleration, and high-speed cornering.

This versatile drivetrain is a key component to the Santa Cruz’s capability, as it provides a wide variety of driving styles that no doubt make handling tough terrain or in rough weather easier. Models equipped with the turbo 2.5-liter I-4 and the DCT transmission will be able to take full advantage of the HTRAC AWD system, given the added power and responsiveness gained from the upgraded engine and transmission.

The added Tow driving mode also gets enhanced by the HTRAC AWD system, as drivers can distribute torque accordingly when hauling cargo. While on the subject of hauling, the Santa Cruz is able to pull up to 5,000 pounds when equipped with the turbo I-4, and 3,500 pounds with the non-turbo I-4.

When Can We Expect To See The Santa Cruz Hit Dealerships?

Hyundai has stated that they plan to ship by the end of summer 2024, so the latest Santa Cruz will likely be back in the media by the end of the year with official specifications and more detailed reviews. For now, off-road and adventure enthusiasts will have to settle for Hyundai’s New York International Auto Show debut and the following spec descriptions.

No official prices are available at this time, though many speculate that Santa Cruz will retain the low price point that first garnered enthusiasm back in 2021. The previous model year’s price ranged from $28,275 to $42,695 for the top Limited trim.


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