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If the Hyundai Santa Cruz ute is sold in Australia will it be classified as an LCV?

Asked by Aidan

I see in the USA they are selling a Hyundai Santa Cruz ute. The image looks like it has an integrated tub. If it was sold in Australia, would it be classified as an LCV?

Answered by CarsGuide

22 Sep 2021 David Morley

The Santa Cruz not only has an integrated tub, it’s also a monocoque design rather than a separate body on a ladder-style chassis as many commercial vehicles are. But it would, in Australia, still be classified as a light commercial vehicle. According to the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, light commercial vehicles are: '…motor vehicles constructed to carry goods or specialised equipment that are less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass. They include utility vehicles, panel vans, cab chassis vehicles and goods vans.' And that pretty neatly describes the Santa Cruz utility.

There has been a lot of talk about the Hyundai tray-back making it to Australia, but a couple of things are standing in the way. The volume models, for a start, are front-wheel-drive and the construction rules out the huge towing limit of something like a Toyota HiLux or Ford Ranger (3.5 tonnes). But there’s plenty to suggest that the Santa Cruz would be a nicer thing to drive than a conventional dual-cab ute and, for those who don’t need to tow super-heavy loads, the Hyundai might make a bit of sense. But don’t hold your breath on it coming here. For now, Hyundai is saying no to an Australian launch, purely because the Santa Cruz is not being built in right-hand-drive form.

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