We still can’t get over the fact that something like the Santa Cruz exists. It’s a quirky rig that looks like it started with a full head of hair before the hairdresser’s hand slipped and mistakenly shaves his back. Nevertheless, the sales figures must have been good because the 2023 model year is getting a night edition.
At first, we weren’t sure if the South Korean brand’s attempt at a compact pickup truck would receive a sequel. It’s based on the Tucson’s unibody chassis design, but lowers the trunk significantly for a short cargo bed instead. The second generation units now have our attention thanks to the blackout pack.
You should know that the 2023 edition of Santa Cruz Night is purely a cosmetic upgrade. Fans of mods murdered on their machines won’t find this a problem. The vehicle’s sleek stance is even better in dark tones, but those looking for performance tweaks should consider the higher trim packages.
It looks like Hyundai is positioning it between the SEL business and the premium SEL. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four good for 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed transmission directs it to all four wheels. The 2023 Santa Cruz Night Edition boasts a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and can handle payloads of up to 1,906 pounds.
Hyundai retains the comfortable cabin of the outgoing model, which means it’s packed with premium materials and styling. Drivers face a digital instrument cluster, while an eight-inch infotainment system takes up the center of the dash. The 2023 edition of Santa Cruz Night will carry a price tag of $35,810.
Images courtesy of Hyundai