2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Night Edition: It’s Anything But Basic Black
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a neat little crossover – or as Hyundai likes to call it, a “Sports Adventure Vehicle” – with a stubby 4-foot pickup truck bed in the back. It’s not quite as cool looking as its original 2-door concept design or as truck-like as the Ford Maverick, but it’s fun to drive and has some clever design touches like hidden storage cubbies under the truck bed. Now Hyundai has introduced a new trim level for the 2023 model year that looks really slick.
The blacked-out Santa Cruz Night model is based on the AWD SEL Activity trim but gains a more powerful engine and several aesthetic upgrades. It gets a dark chrome grille, exclusive 20″ dark alloy wheels, exclusive dark front and rear fascias, and exclusive gloss black mirror caps and door handles. It’s also got dual metal side steps in black. It’s powered by a zesty 2.5-liter turbocharged DOHC 4-cylinder engine that makes 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft. of torque, paired with a quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters.
Since the Night model comes with the Santa Cruz Activity package, you’ll also get a power sunroof, roof rails, a 115 AC outlet in the bed, rear sliding glass, LED bed and LED interior lighting, an integrated tonneau cover, utility rails in the bed, a 10.25″ digital instrument cluster, and wireless phone charging. Priced at $35,810, it slots in nicely beneath the Santa Cruz SEL Premium and Limited, but I prefer the murdered-out looks of the Night model.