Remember when compact trucks were hot?
Long before the (still-ongoing) SUV/truck/crossover wave washed over the automotive marketplace, compact trucks and utes like the Chevrolet S-10, Ford Ranger and Subaru BRAT were big hits among those looking for a fun ride with enough utility to handle everyday tasks. Not to mention the big aftermarket for tricking out these little guys for the cover of Mini Truckin’ magazine.
And then, the market dried up. Full-size trucks pulled in all the big bucks and fans, compact trucks faded away or grew in size. All the while, compact truck fans were left to lament the demise of the segment, pining away for the day when any manufacturer would offer something smaller than the giants now dominating the streets.
In the New ’20s, the compact segment is revving back to life with a handful of entries. Among them is the Hyundai Santa Cruz, a truck first featured in concept form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
Let’s see where the Santa Cruz fits into the scheme of things, shall we?