Credit: Photos courtesy of Hyundai

The compact pickup truck class just got shook up with the all-new Santa Cruz. Taking many notes and influence from the carmaker’s popular Tucson crossover, this four-door, five-passenger Santa Cruz comes with the cool factor of the El Camino of yesteryear jumping in a time machine. Heads turned at every stop thanks to its curvaceous exterior; rear bed with retractable cover; attractive front grille sporting futuristic, daytime-running LED lighting package; rear-bumper corner steps; and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Under the hood, there’s a Smartstream 2.5-liter turbocharged engine complete with an 8-speed transmission with Shiftronic technology, paddle shifter, multiple driving modes, self-leveling rear suspension, and HTRAC all-wheel drive.

The cabin is also well-appointed; comfortable; practical (60/40 rear seats with storage); not stingy in the tech department (10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, surround-view monitor, BOSE premium system); heated/ventilated front seats; and Blue Link connectivity.

With Hyundai’s stellar warranty program and advanced safety technology package, everything from helping a friend move to a night on the town is effortlessly doable in this new addition to the Korean automaker’s family.

Fuel Economy: 19 city/27 highway/22 combined

Price: $39,720 MSRP fully equipped as reviewed.

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