Anyone  thinking Hyundai’s  first foray into the ute market will see  the Korean maker  deliver a rival for Toyota’s HiLux or Ford’s Ranger will be a long way from the mark, with the company unveiling its  first ever ‘pick up’ recently taking the covers off the Santa Cruz, which is due to hit US roads later this year.

Unfortunately the Hyundai Santa Cruz won’t make it to Australia, because it was never designed for right-hand drive.

However, Hyundai and Kia are working on a larger, one-tonne style dual cab, like the HiLux and Ranger, which we should see in the next couple of years badged as either.

a Kia or Hyundai. With dual cab utes holding down three top three or spots in the sales charts in Australia in many months lately, the two Korean brands are desperate to get a piece or the action  and better compete with the likes of Toyota and Mazda in particular.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is not one  of those one tonners, it is a four door crew-cab style ute that the company says will target urban dwellers ‘looking to escape on weekend adventures’.

The 1219mm long ute bed is not as long as  those offered by the HiLux and Ranger, but it will appeal to many who want a smaller ute that gives room for four or five people in the can and enough room in the tub for a reasonable amount of luggage and gear, and  in this case it comes with a locking, metal roll-up tonneau cover to keep things safe and secure in the back.

The Santa Cruz is scheduled for production in the USA at the company’s Alabama factory from June this year, with sales starting there around July or August.

The Santa Cruz offers both front-drive and all-wheel-drive a 2.5-liter petrol-direct-injected four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission