2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Earns “Top Safety Pick”

Chris Teague | Nov 03, 2021

Compact trucks are back in style, as both Ford and Hyundai have released new models in the segment this year. The Hyundai Santa Cruz came first, offering an SUV-like interior with a small-but-useful bed. Today, the brand-new pickup got official safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the news is good. The 2022 Santa Cruz grabbed a Top Safety Pick award, adding to an already great year for Hyundai and Genesis safety.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Front Quarter View

The award brings the 2021 Hyundai-Genesis combined total to 18, including eight Top Safety Pick and ten Top Safety Pick+ designations. Volvo earned more than any other single brand during 2021, with 15 Top Safety Pick+ awards. The Top Safety Pick award requires that a new vehicle receive the highest-possible Good scores in all crash-test assessments, an Advanced or Superior rating in crash prevention, and at least an Acceptable score for headlights.

The Institute’s Top Safety Pick award only applies to Santa Cruz trim levels equipped with specific headlights. The top SEL Premium and Limited trims get LED projector headlights with automatic high beams that earned a Good rating from the IIHS. The SE and SEL trims are not included in the award because their halogen projector headlights with automatic high beams earned a Poor rating in testing.

Much of the Santa Cruz’s success comes thanks to its list of standard safety features, which is generous to start and grows with higher trims to include helpful tech not seen in many other brands. Standard safety-related advanced driving assistance systems include:

Hyundai offers a Safe Exit Assist system in the SEL trim and higher. The tech sounds an alert and can even lock the doors to prevent passengers from stepping out into danger. The vehicle can sense oncoming traffic and even approaching cyclists. A navigation-based adaptive cruise control system comes in the top Limited trim, which can preemptively slow the vehicle based on upcoming curves and road features. The Limited trim also gets a blind-view monitor system that projects a camera image of either side of the truck when the driver activates a turn signal.

Hyundai is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on November 3, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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