Can You Tow With It? Unveiling The Hyundai Santa Cruz Towing Capacity

Can You Tow With It? Unveiling The Hyundai Santa Cruz Towing Capacity When it comes to towing, the Hyundai Santa Cruz stands out as a versatile contender

When it comes to towing, the Hyundai Santa Cruz stands out as a versatile contender in the world of utility vehicles. 

With a design that merges the comfort of an SUV with the practicality of a truck, the Hyundai Santa Cruz Towing Capacity is a figure that deserves attention. 

Whether you’re planning to haul a boat for a weekend getaway or carry heavy loads for work, understanding the towing capabilities of the Santa Cruz is crucial. 

This compact pickup offers a unique blend of power and agility, making it an ideal choice for those who need the muscle of a truck without compromising on style and drivability. 

In this article, we’ll explore what makes the Hyundai Santa Cruz a reliable partner for your towing needs and how it compares to the competition. 

Get ready to discover the impressive features that equip Santa Cruz for heavy-duty tasks, all while maintaining its urban appeal.

Join us as we unveil the towing prowess of this dynamic vehicle, ensuring you make an informed decision for your next adventure or job site challenge. 

With the Hyundai Santa Cruz, it’s not just about towing; it’s about towing with confidence.

What Is The Hyundai Santa Cruz Towing Capacity?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz towing capacity ranges between 3,500 pounds to 5,000 pounds. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder model can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while the turbocharged 2.5-liter model with all-wheel drive can tow up to 5,000 pounds. It’s important to note that the actual towing capacity can vary based on the trim level and whether the vehicle is equipped with trailer brakes.

How Does The Santa Cruz’s Towing Capacity Stack Up Against Competitors?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz’s towing capacity is quite competitive when compared to both SUVs and small trucks in its class. It stands out in various ways as follows.

Against SUVs, the Santa Cruz excels by offering a higher towing capacity than many compact crossovers. For instance, it surpasses the Hyundai Tucson’s maximum of 2,000 pounds and the Santa Fe’s 3,500 pounds. It even matches the full-size Palisade, which also has a 5,000-pound towing capacity. This is impressive considering the Santa Cruz is built on a smaller platform, which has been reinforced to handle the additional towing stress.

Compared to other small pickup trucks, the Santa Cruz holds its own. The Honda Ridgeline, for example, has been a staple in the crossover-based pickup segment, offering a comfortable on-road experience and a towing capacity that suits most needs. However, the Santa Cruz provides a more agile and car-like driving experience, which might appeal to those who prioritize maneuverability along with towing capabilities.

Is The Hyundai Santa Cruz Built For Heavy-Duty Towing?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a unique vehicle that blurs the lines between an SUV and a pickup truck, offering a blend of comfort and utility. While it may not be categorized as a heavy-duty truck, it is certainly built with towing capabilities that are impressive for its class.

The Santa Cruz is based on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson, but it has been significantly reinforced to handle the demands of towing. It boasts a longer wheelbase than the Tucson, which contributes to better towing stability. Additionally, the Santa Cruz is equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in its higher trims, which provides ample power for towing, with an output of 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.

Hyundai has also calibrated the rear shocks of the Santa Cruz to maintain a constant ride height even when carrying heavy loads, which is crucial for safe and stable towing. This attention to detail in the vehicle’s design and engineering underscores Hyundai’s commitment to making the Santa Cruz a capable and reliable option for towing needs within its towing capacity range.

Also read: What Is Hyundai Santa Fe 2024 Dimensions? Here Is A Close Look

What Features Enhance The Towing Experience With The Hyundai Santa Cruz?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is designed with several features that enhance its towing experience, making it a capable and versatile vehicle for various towing needs. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the features that contribute to its towing capabilities:

  • Engine Power: The Santa Cruz offers two engine options. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine provides a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. For those requiring more power, the turbocharged 2.5-liter model with all-wheel drive boasts a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, thanks to its 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.
  • Reinforced Platform: While Santa Cruz shares its platform with the Hyundai Tucson, it has been significantly reinforced, resembling the underpinnings of the larger Santa Fe. This reinforcement allows Santa Cruz to handle the additional stress of towing.
  • Longer Wheelbase: A longer wheelbase compared to the Tucson aids in towing stability, which is crucial for maintaining control while towing.
  • Towing Pre-Wiring: The Santa Cruz comes pre-wired for towing, which simplifies the process of connecting a trailer and enhances safety and convenience.
  • Rear Shocks Calibration: The rear shocks are calibrated to maintain a constant ride height even when carrying heavy loads, ensuring stability and comfort during towing.
  • Tow Hitch Options: Hyundai offers a tow hitch for the Santa Cruz, as well as a Tow & Go Package that includes additional steel protection plates to guard against impacts or road debris.

How Reliable Is The Hyundai Santa Cruz For Towing Over Long Distances?

Hyundai Santa Cruz Towing Capacity

The Hyundai Santa Cruz has proven to be a reliable option for towing over long distances. It’s designed with a car-based platform, similar to the Hyundai Tucson, but with modifications to handle towing demands. Owners have reported successful experiences towing items like boats and small campers without significant issues. 

The vehicle’s rear shocks are calibrated to maintain a constant ride height with heavy loads, which contributes to a stable and comfortable towing experience. Additionally, the Santa Cruz is pre-wired for towing, adding convenience for long-distance hauls.

What Are The Limitations Of The Hyundai Santa Cruz’s Towing Abilities?

  1. Towing Capacity: The Hyundai Santa Cruz’s towing capacity range is suitable for small to medium-sized trailers but may not be enough for larger, heavier loads than full-sized trucks can handle.
  2. Vehicle Size: The Hyundai Santa Cruz is smaller than traditional trucks, which means it has less mass to counterbalance heavy trailers. This can affect stability and handling when towing near the upper limit of its capacity.
  3. Lack of Heavy-Duty Features: Unlike heavy-duty trucks, the Santa Cruz does not come with features like integrated trailer brake controllers or heavy-duty cooling systems, which are beneficial for towing large loads over long distances.
  4. Tow/Haul Mode: The Santa Cruz does not have a dedicated tow/haul mode, which is a feature in some vehicles that adjusts the transmission shift patterns to better handle the demands of towing.
  5. Ground Clearance: While the Santa Cruz has decent ground clearance, it may not be sufficient for off-road towing or handling uneven terrain with a heavy load.
  6. Payload Capacity: The payload capacity, which includes the weight of passengers and cargo in the vehicle, is also a factor to consider. Overloading the vehicle can affect its towing performance and safety.
  7. Towing Equipment: Owners need to ensure they have the proper towing equipment, such as a tow hitch and wiring harness, which may require additional investment if not included.

How Does Towing Affect The Hyundai Santa Cruz’s Performance And Fuel Efficiency?


Santa Cruz’s performance is influenced by the weight of the towed load. The additional weight can affect acceleration, braking, and handling. The standard 2.5-liter engine may feel underpowered when towing near its maximum capacity, while the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine offers more robust performance suitable for towing. However, even with the turbocharged engine, drivers may notice slower acceleration and longer stopping distances.

Fuel Efficiency

Towing also affects fuel efficiency. The engine works harder to pull the extra weight, especially on inclines or at highway speeds, leading to increased fuel consumption. The Santa Cruz’s fuel economy, which is generally good for its class, will decrease when towing. The exact impact on fuel efficiency depends on factors such as the weight of the trailer, aerodynamics of the load, driving conditions, and driving behavior.

What Safety Features Support Hyundai Santa Cruz’s Towing Capacity?

Trailer Sway Control

This system helps to stabilize the trailer by applying the brakes and adjusting the engine throttle as needed to prevent the trailer from swaying. This feature is particularly useful in windy conditions or when driving at higher speeds.

Self-Leveling Rear Dampers

These dampers automatically adjust to maintain a level ride height, improving stability and control when towing heavy loads. This ensures that the vehicle remains balanced and the headlights are aimed correctly, even with the added weight of a trailer.

Airbags with Rollover Sensors

The Santa Cruz is fitted with a total of six airbags, including full side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors. These provide additional safety in the event of a collision or rollover while towing, protecting the occupants inside the vehicle.

Can You Tow With The Hyundai Santa Cruz In All Weather Conditions?

You can technically tow the Hyundai Santa Cruz in all weather conditions, but some factors can make it more challenging or even dangerous:

  • Reduced towing capacity: Rain, snow, and sleet can affect road conditions, making it harder to stop and handle the extra weight. It’s recommended to reduce your towing capacity by 20-30% in such conditions.
  • Trailer instability: Strong winds can make towing a trailer difficult, especially on high bridges or open roads.
  • Lower visibility: Rain, snow, and fog can significantly reduce visibility, making it harder to see and react to hazards.
  • Cold weather effects: Cold temperatures can stiffen engine performance and reduce battery life. It’s crucial to ensure your Santa Cruz is in good working condition before towing in cold weather.

Related Post: Hyundai Excessive Oil Consumption: What Causes This Problem?

What Is Hyundai Santa Cruz Towing Capacity Recall?

The recall related to the Hyundai Santa Cruz towing capacity involves an issue with the tow hitch harness accessory. Specifically, certain 2022-2023 Santa Cruz models may be equipped with a tow hitch harness that could develop an electrical short circuit, increasing the risk of a fire while driving or when the vehicle is parked with the ignition off. 

Does Hyundai Santa Cruz Have A Tow Mode?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz does not come with a dedicated tow mode. Tow mode is a feature that adjusts the vehicle’s transmission shift patterns to better handle the demands of towing. Unfortunately,  this specific feature is not listed among Santa Cruz’s capabilities. The Santa Cruz is still equipped with various features to aid in towing, such as Trailer Sway Control and a robust powertrain, but a specific tow mode is not included.

What Is Hyundai Santa Cruz, Tow Hitch

The Hyundai Santa Cruz Tow Hitch is a custom-built accessory designed to fit the Hyundai Santa Cruz, allowing it to tow trailers, boats, and other loads within its towing capacity. The tow hitch typically includes a 2″ receiver, which is the part where you insert the tow ball mount. For the 2022-2024 models, the tow hitch can be purchased as part of a towing kit, which may also include a tow hitch harness for connecting the trailer’s lights and brakes to the vehicle’s electrical system. This accessory is crucial for anyone looking to utilize Santa Cruz’s towing capabilities.

What Is The Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid Towing Capacity?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid’s towing capacity information is not explicitly stated in the search results. However, the towing capacity for the standard Hyundai Santa Cruz models ranges from 3,500 pounds for the base engine to 5,000 pounds for the turbocharged model with all-wheel drive.


The Hyundai Santa Cruz emerges as a compelling choice for those seeking a vehicle that blends comfort with utility and towing prowess. 

With a towing capacity ranging from 3,500 pounds to 5,000 pounds, it surpasses many competitors in its class, offering a unique blend of agility and power. 

While not designed for heavy-duty towing, the Santa Cruz boasts a reinforced platform and a powerful turbocharged engine option. 

It also features trailer sway control and self-leveling rear dampers to ensure a safe and stable towing experience.

 However, it’s vital to consider limitations like payload capacity and the absence of a dedicated tow mode. 

Remember, towing in any weather condition requires extra caution and potentially a reduction in towing capacity. 

While the Hyundai Santa Cruz doesn’t have a specific tow mode, it offers a compelling package for those who prioritize a car-like driving experience.

This includes the added functionality of towing trailers, boats, and gear for work or weekend adventures.

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