The $24,000 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a truck that feels like an SUV — making it the perfect adventure vehicle

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

The Santa Cruz is unlike anything else on the market.

It starts at $24,000 and has a small but versatile truck bed.

It's the perfect tool for weekend adventures.

Three people came up to me and asked the same question, "What the heck is that thing?", after I drove the new Santa Cruz pickup truck.

I think that number would have been higher if we weren't living in a time when many people's social skills have deteriorated into nothing, like their early-pandemic sourdough starter or their will to clothe themselves below the line.

The Santa Cruz only hit the scene this summer, so most people haven't seen it before. It's weird as hell, that's the reason why the small pickup attracts questions and puzzled stares.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

The Santa Cruz is unlike anything else you can buy today. A big chunk of the roof was taken out and stuck on a modest truck bed by the way.

The result is a vehicle that perfectly combines the utility of a pickup with the feel of an SUV. The Santa Cruz is an alternative to the big trucks and faceless SUVs that dominate US roads.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

Weird isn't always bad.

The Santa Cruz is the first pickup for the US market from the Korean manufacturer. The Santa Cruz is the only direct competitor that has a starting price of $23,990.

The base SE trim has front-wheel drive and a four- cylinder engine making 191 horsepower. Both all-wheel drive and a more powerful engine are standard equipment on the SEL Premium and limited trims. The fully- loaded limited model of the car I was given for a few days last month came out to over $41,000, including a destination fee.

A bed in a package is useful.

I had doubts about how much stuff the Santa Cruz's little bed would be able to handle. It's 12 inches shorter than the cargo areas of a popular truck like the Toyota Tacoma, and it's four feet long. The Santa Cruz was versatile.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

I was able to put my bike in the back of the Santa Cruz without a lot of fuss when I set out for a day of mountain biking. It fit like a glove when it was placed on a diagonal.

The bed has more utility than an outdoor box. The small cubbies on either side of the bed were great for the excess bungees and straps I brought along, as well as a large under-floor cargo area that held my shoes, backpack, and helmet. If you want, you can use the bed like a regular trunk with a lockable tonneau cover.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

It shouldn't have come as a surprise that the Santa Cruz was able to take me and my bike to the trails. The pickup isn't geared for people who need to haul sheets of plywood on a daily basis, but for people who buy Ford F-150s and Chevy Silverados. It's intended to be used more casually for things like beach chairs, camping gear, and even occasional projects around the house.

One of the Santa Cruz's biggest selling points is how not-truck-like it is. Since it's basically an SUV, it's not a problem to slip into parking spots. The Santa Cruz is easier to own in a dense city than it is in a larger one.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

Without a jacked up ride height, tall hood, or long bed, you can see out of it. The Santa Cruz can use blind-spot cameras and a panoramic overhead view, both of which are included on the limited model.

The Santa Cruz is comfortable and high quality. The top-trim model I tested had upgraded features like leather-trimmed seats, a display in place of a normal gauge, a heated steering wheel, and more. Even the base Santa Cruz has conveniences like Apple CarPlay and advanced safety tech.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

The Santa Cruz has a lot going for it, but as 2004's "Ocean's Twelve" showed us, even the best things can't be great all the time. The Santa Cruz is short on legroom in the back seat because the second "Ocean's" movie lacks a cohesive and logical plot. It's too small to carry large humans long distances back there, even though it's roomy for children and small adults.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

Our impressions bring a little quirkiness to the US roads.

The Santa Cruz is an odd place. I'm completely enamored by its quirkiness and its attempts to accomplish. I believe others will be as well.

The Santa Cruz is the 2022.

This car-truck-thing isn't going to change the way people buy trucks. It may capture the hearts of sporty Subaru owners who want a bit more utility out of their vehicle. The Santa Cruz is a great option for people living in cities who don't like parking.

The Santa Cruz is a refreshing break from the norm in a car market that's become increasingly homogeneity.

Business Insider has an original article.