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Hyundai Santa Cruz body uncovered: Your first look at Korea's baby ute!

Hyundai's Santa Cruz takes shape. (Image credit:

We've seen spy shots and renders galore, but this is your first proper look at the Hyundai Santa Cruz, with the Korean mini-ute's finished body snapped outside what appears to be a manufacturing facility.

The picture - which was published by Motor1 - confirms a lot of what we know already; namely that the Santa Cruz is small, with a diminutive tray, and four doors as the only offering. 

While Hyundai is yet to officially confirm details of its new ute, other than the fact it will be built from 2021 in Alabama in the USA.

But according to reports in Car And Driver, the Santa Cruz will arrive with a choice between a 2.4-litre petrol and turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol, both borrowed from the US-spec Santa Fe and both paired with an eight-speed gearbox and AWD.

If those numbers prove correct, the Santa Cruz would deliver some 137kW and 241Nm in 2.4-litre guise, and a considerable 175kW and 352Nm with the 2.0-litre turbo engine

While Hyundai in Australia is far from confirming the Santa Cruz will arrive down under, it has confirmed - as recently as November last year - that the new ute is now "under study" for our market.

So will the Santa Cruz make its Australian debut? We'll have to wait and see. But it's no secret that the brand is far more interested in the company's upcoming HiLux and Ranger rival.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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