The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a new vehicle type that is part crossover SUV, part pickup truck, and part sports sedan. It’s blazing a trail of its own although the 2022 Ford Maverick is a fast-follower in the space, and the two should duke it out in the next few years for supremacy in the segment.
In this week’s episode of America on the Road we take you behind the scenes of that confrontation in an interview with Trevor Lai, the product planner for Hyundai in charge of the development of the Santa Cruz. He tells us how the project began, the challenges it faced, and how quickly it was able to come together. And he explains the many innovative features of the Santa Cruz including its locking roll-top truck bed tonneau. With its available turbocharged engine, the Hyundai Santa Cruz offers tons of driving enjoyment, as both Host Jack Nerad and Co-Host Chris Teague can attest from their recent road tests of the vehicle.
In the news segment Mercury Insurance warns electric car owners that they should consider changing the insurance policies to reflect the special circumstances of owning an EV. Recent EV fires and a major General Motors EV recall give additional credence to that suggestion.
On the road test docket this week are the Polaris Slingshot and the Lexus RX 450h. Co-host Chris Teague put the Slingshot through its paces in a rigorous test in Maine. Summer in New England was the perfect venue for testing this open-air three-wheeler that acts more like a motorcycle than a passenger car.
On the other side of the country, Host Jack Nerad tested the hybrid-powered Lexus RX 450h crossover SUV. The Lexus RX is a market leader in the segment, and the 450h and its seamless operation did nothing to make Nerad question the overall verdict of consumers. But is the 450h the one to choose? Or does the smart money choose the RX 350 and its conventional power? We’ll have the answer.