From that latter part of the 1970s through the early 1990s small pickup trucks were offered in much higher numbers than they are these days.
While we still have the large and powerful models on the road today and some of the full-size pickups we drive have become more efficient, the mid-sized trucks of today are closer in size to the full-sized trucks that were offered in the previous decades. What we used to have, that no longer remains, are the compact pickup trucks that were offered by nearly every automaker that was present in the market of the past.
The Caused Shift
As the SUV market has grown, the compact pickup truck was phased out. Even the models of the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet S10 that were once some of the most popular in the market saw the end of their time when the market called for more SUV and trucks to be larger. With this in mind, the question is whether or not a compact-sized pickup truck will be able to sell and be popular on the market once again? We can still see some examples of the old compact-sized truck on the road, but these small dinosaurs were replaced when the crossover SUV market grew. A few newer small truck models’ such as the Chevrolet Colorado, have experienced a good amount of success in the market.
It appears Hyundai is going to take a stab at bringing a compact pickup truck to the market. With the recent popularity and redesign of the new Honda Ridgeline, the automotive market can handle another unibody pickup truck that drives more like an SUV or sedan and Hyundai feels like they have the answer. The plan is to bring the Santa Cruz pickup concept that was shown in Detroit to the market and let this become the pickup truck to start the lineup from this brand and give us a compact model to drive.
Changes from Hyundai
The Santa Cruz pickup truck that was shown in 2015 was based upon the Hyundai Tucson platform and gave us a look at a small two-door unibody pickup that was powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that produced 190 horsepower. The expectation is that this new pickup will have an available AWD system to choose as well and there may also be a four-door version that’s offered when this truck goes into production. The plan is to roll this new pickup out for us to see in 2018 or 2019 with production following close behind.
This new Santa Cruz pickup truck isn’t the only way Hyundai is making changes. This brand has seen the trend downward for sedans and upward for SUVs. With this in mind, we’ll see the new Kona compact crossover in the next few months that will eventually be an EV model in 2018. In 2019 there will be a new Santa Fe offered and a redesigned version of the Tucson that will be offered in the 2020 model year. These changes at the top of the lineup for Hyundai are significant and show this brand understands the market trends in the US.