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2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Brings Subtle Flair, Off-Road Chops

a red car driving on a road
2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz Brings Subtle FlairHyundai
  • Hyundai is revamping its pseudo-pickup, the Santa Cruz, for 2025 with a new face, improved off-road capability, and upgraded technology.

  • All trim levels are benefiting from a new front fascia for 2025, though XRT models also get a new front bumper that adds approach angle capabilities.

  • Bigger screens and standard wireless Apple CarPlay also define the new model year, as Hyundai tries to mount an adventure-ready fight against Ford and others.


Pickup trucks are undoubtedly growing by the year (even if the functional bed size isn't), but there's also a downsizing trend for certain pickups. Ford's utilitarian Maverick truck launched in 2022, largely creating a category of its own inside a saturated pickup market. But the folks in Dearborn can't claim full responsibility for the resurgence of truly small trucks.

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Hyundai jumped into the compact segment as well. After launching its quirky, pseudo-truck-crossover Santa Cruz in 2022, Hyundai and Ford began competing for the same set of buyers. As it turns out, four doors, five seats, and the ability to put something (albeit small) in the bed every once in a while is quite appealing.

a red car parked on a dirt road
The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz has a bed size of 52.1-by-53.9-inches.Hyundai

As the 2025 model year approaches, Hyundai is subtly revamping its adventure-ready Santa Cruz, which is based on the Tucson crossover, but with a bed. The Korean automaker is not doing so through substantive mechanical changes, instead moving forward with a slight facelift.

Namely, a few trim-specific bumper updates represent the majority of the changes, but the results are more significant on paper than at first glance. While all 2025 model-year Santa Cruz units will receive a new front fascia, grille, and daytime running lights, the off-road-styled XRT trim will benefit from several true off-road capacity upgrades.