“What truck should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would Detroit Editor Alisa Priddle drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.
I admit to having a blast in a Ram Power Wagon that can literally drive up and over almost anything. And I breathed deep the first time I was swaddled in leather in a Ford F-150 King Ranch. I also kinda love the new tailgate on the GMC Sierra.
But in regular driving, knowing I will be in stop-start traffic every day, and sharing freeways with those who don’t like to use turn signals, a large pickup can be daunting—and that is before trying to park it.
I understand the resurgence of the midsize pickup: utility of a bed but not as intimidating to drive. I would like to take it even one step further and make the sacrilegious move to a unibody truck because I want carlike ride and handling but I could use a pickup bed.
More about Alisa: Alisa Priddle is the Detroit Editor for MotorTrend and does not like hot weather. Even Detroit is too warm a clime, which sends her scurrying to cottage country in northern Ontario as often as humanly possible, with an overstuffed SUV and a trailer hitch to get the boat in the water.
The only choice on the market right now is the Honda Ridgeline but I would like to hold off and wait for the Hyundai Santa Cruz. I first saw the concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show and have been pestering Hyundai execs for news of its production ever since. I don’t want to say it is taking a long time, but my hope has outlived many of the execs I asked. Some who said it is a go, are now a “went” and no longer work for the company.
The latest intel is that the four-door Santa Cruz that seats five and would be based on the Tucson compact crossover, could become a reality next year.
Past-CEO Dave Zuchowski, who pushed hard for it, said the truck was greenlighted in 2016 to arrive in 2018 as a 2019 model. That deadline has come and gone. Then COO Brian Smith said we were looking at 2020 to be in showrooms.
It won’t have the diesel that was in the original concept but a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine would work. I am hoping it has available all-wheel drive and enough towing capacity for a small boat.
What has me most excited is that SangYup Lee, head of the Hyundai Global Design Center, says the look has evolved to better fit with Hyundai’s most recent models. Which is a great thing because Hyundai design is off the charts these days—just check out the latest Sonata.
Lee says the new design has been locked in and is more distinctive, with more character. The suicide doors may not have survived. Hopefully the short bed that can be extended is still in play.
And it should he affordable. The original goal was a lifestyle pickup that started about $25,000. The target price likely has inched up a few thousand, but if it has the capability, size and looks I need, it will be a bargain and a conversation starter.
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