Hyundai tapped the New York Auto Show as the stage to unveil their updated 2025 Santa Cruz compact crossover pickup truck with a fresh and more rugged look, a redesigned interior, more features and a more rugged version of the XRT trim variant.

For 2025 the most obvious change starts with a new face that has been redesigned to be decidedly more truck like. Bolder forms and details along with a new lower skid-plate design theme really do update the look and give it a bit more brawn.

Remaining though is its core look with the hidden daytime running lights that have made it so distinctive so far and honestly more premium looking than its chief rival the Ford Maverick. Other changes include new wheel designs across the lineup and some new colors to boot.

If I have any critique of the redesign, it’s their continued use of bright shiny chrome plastic at the lower bumper fascia that I just don’t think is going to look all that good after years of rock chips, bugs and sand pitting.

The XRT trim-grade that arrived in 2024 gets even more rugged and exclusive in its trim treatments with its own grille and bumper design with increased approach angle. It also sports bright red tow hooks. A new 18-inch wheel design comes mounted with 245/60 R18 all-terrain tires.

The interior also gets a significant shake up with a new dash design that brings a panoramic curved display that can be optioned up to include dual 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. A host of updates and features come to the available infotainment systems too.

New switch-gear controls at the center stack and slightly redesigned console are along as well as a redesigned three-spoke steering wheel. The dash itself is a bit of a corporate design nearly identical to those showing up in other contemporary Hyundai models, but it comes with a handy shelf above the glove box and looks good.

Those are the big things. Little things worth mentioning are that wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on all trim grades and they finally added a fold down armrest with cup holders at the rear seat.

Not changed that much is what powers the Santa Cruz. Carried over is the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower and its eight-speed automatic transmission. Optional is the 2.5-liter turbo with 281 horsepower and a healthy 311 pound-feet of torque.

The turbo still comes with the eight-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission which has been somewhat problematic for owners who tow but Hyundai has added a new tow mode for the transmission that should help it function a bit better under load. Those tow ratings by the way are 3,500 pounds for the standard powertrain and 5,000 pounds for the turbocharged engine with AWD. Both engines are available with FWD or AWD.

The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be along later this year with pricing and final package specifications to come along closer to that time.