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A Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup is Still Coming — But it’ll Look Different

The Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup concept looked pretty wild when it debuted back in 2015. But now, the company says the styling direction has changed. Here’s what our friends from Motor Trend wrote about the pivot last week, after speaking with SangYup Lee, head of the Hyundai Global Design Center:

The new Santa Cruz “will be a lot more distinctive” and have “a lot more character,” said Lee in an interview with MotorTrend. It is still a crossover pickup “but the look of it is a lot more progressive.” The new look has been finalized and locked in.

That all sounds good to us, but we’d like to see some of the design cue from the concept — like the suicide doors — make it to the next iteration.

Since we’re all for “distinctive” styling, we’re hoping the designers let their imaginations run wild, and deliver something that’ll really stand out in the pickup segment. That said? The mid-size truck segment is getting super competitive, and the Chevy Colorado, the Ford Ranger, and the Toyota Tacoma all come with a built-in fan base. So we think it could be for interesting for Hyundai to go out on a limb here.

In addition to undercutting the price of the Tacoma, we think it might make sense for them to make something like the Subaru Baja, the spiritual successor to its beloved Brat. That would certainly allow for some interesting styling decisions, and appeal to folks who want the versatility a bed offers, but would also appreciate the performance of a small crossover for the city. Sure, it’s a risk, but it could be an opportunity for Hyundai to create it’s own niche.

That said, if you’re looking to get into the mid-sized pickup or crossover market today, head to your local AutoNation dealer. Regardless of what you’re looking for, they’ll have plenty of options!

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