It has been 23 years because the final time I purchased myself a brand new automobile, and this 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL AWD is it!
As lots of you realize, I ordered a 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL again in early July 2022. It is taken about 4 months for the precise mannequin I needed to reach. It was assembled on the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA). The Montgomery, Alabama facility was working at full steam to fill orders, because the Santa Cruz is mighty fashionable. My pickup (I am avoiding the phrase “truck,” for the faint of coronary heart) was geared up with solely two choices.
Given my funds was beneath $35,000 for no matter I selected, I needed to maintain it easy. Whereas you will get an all-wheel drive (AWD) Santa Cruz for beneath 30K, I needed heated seats. Thus, the SEL choice was a should, together with a tow package deal and rubber ground mats. All in, with vacation spot, my pickup got here out to about $32,500 and alter.
What’s it wish to order a brand new Santa Cruz?
The ordering half was pretty simple. I went on-line to Hyundai’s website and setup my pickup precisely the best way I needed it. That features the $400 Sage Grey (greenish) paint. On the time, which was early July, no native dealerships had something just like what I ordered. There have been a number of who had the extra highly effective turbo, or one with tons of extras, however they have been above my funds. One dealership in California had my mannequin, however needed an extra $1,500 for his or her “safety package deal.” I refused.
I had no assist from Hyundai, regardless of my standing as an automotive journalist. In some circumstances, automakers present some firm reductions as it is a boon for them to have a journalist willingly personal certainly one of theirs. With Hyundai – no cube. Regardless of that, I arrange my financing, obtained a decent quote and hit the button. An area dealership, Schomp Hyundai, mentioned they’ll transfer ahead with the order for me. On high of that, there was no value bump. I obtained the car for MSRP.
Then, the wait.
I used to be effectively conscious of the components scarcity, and knew it will take time. Sadly, 4 months is a very long time to attend for a brand new car. Particularly after I knew I’d most definitely be out of city when it arrived. Fortuitously the gross sales individual I handled stored me within the loop about my Hyundai’s standing. Positive sufficient, as I used to be boarding a airplane for SEMA – I obtained a textual content that it arrived. I despatched my spouse to select it up. Fortuitously, she was fairly completely satisfied about the entire affair and introduced my new pickup residence.
Why did I select a 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz?
I began off wanting a Honda Ridgeline or a Nissan Frontier, however they have been too far out of attain. Probably the most logical contender was the Ford Maverick. I lined up the precise package deal I needed, and even added the Tremor package deal, which got here out to about $100 greater than the Hyundai. It appeared like a no brainer because the Maverick was sooner, towed extra and was extra off-road succesful.
In my line of labor, I’m able to (sometimes) deliver autos residence for prolonged analysis. That is what I did with a number of Mavericks, Santa Cruzs, Ridgelines and Frontiers. Regardless of the small dimension, and being the least highly effective, my partner and youngsters appeared to want the Santa Cruz. The inside of the Ford was not as comfy, or car-like because the Santa Cruz – in keeping with the boss-lady.
This was a car that she would drive usually as effectively, so the conclusion appeared logical. I used to be fairly happy with the beefy guarantee Hyundai supplies as effectively. For me, it was the small particulars and general utility I appreciated. Frankly, I just like the appears to be like of it too.
Why did I wait 23 years?
I do not like shopping for new automobiles – ever. Depreciation and financing are taboo (normally), so I like licensed pre-owned automobiles (CPO), or just used automobiles. I’ve owned dozens, and I did chunk the bullet and purchase a number of new ones for my boss-lady, however not me. Then I began to journey – lots. On multiple event, my used autos left my household stranded. Even with prolonged warranties, a few of the experiences have been downright damaging. Lastly: proper now, used automobile costs (which are enhancing), are nonetheless ridiculous.
I needed one thing frugal, cheap, utilitarian, protected and family-friendly.
Okay, however why not the sporty turbo!?
Two causes right here: it was too costly, and I dislike the twin clutch, eight velocity transmission. Positive, the turbo is a kick to drive, our studio has a long-term one which’s fashionable with the crew. I like the thought of the extra fundamental, tried-and-true, eight velocity computerized transmission. Positive, it hunts gears, and the 191 horsepower engine is not a rocket, nevertheless it’s simply wonderful for my wants.
My solely regrets is perhaps addressed in time. I did not order the $3,250 exercise package deal. This package deal gave you the roll-up mattress cowl, solar roof, leather-based wrapped steering wheel and roof rails – amongst different issues. What I needed, and what wasn’t provided as an choice/accent have been the roof-rails and leather-based wrapped steering wheel. I used to be instructed that the roof-rails might grow to be an adjunct, however the steering wheel is hard luck.
Regardless of these disappointments, the general pickup has me smiling from ear to ear. I do know that I will preserve it for some time, and that my household will likely be coated for a very long time, if there’s a difficulty.
Now, I must hunt for a 2,000-lbs-ish journey trailer to drag behind. We’ll see how that goes.