Hyundai Motor America just revealed the refreshed 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz at the New York International Auto Show. This isn’t a next-gen vehicle, but it does get significant changes. Here are the five things you need to know.

Bolder design

This refresh brings big changes to the trucklet, inside and out. You’ll notice a bolder grille, redesigned headlights, new wheel designs, and a large curved display that falls in line with what we see in other Hyundai models. You’ll also see new audio and HVAC controls, a new steering wheel, and a new dash design with a tray for holding devices.

Wireless CarPlay/Auto

One of the biggest tech changes is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now wireless. And that’s standard. A big complaint on the previous model is that it had wireless charging available, but no wireless CarPlay/Auto capability.

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The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT gets two front recovery hooks. (Image courtesy of Hyundai Motor America)

XRT trim gets recovery hooks

The 2025 Hyundai Santa Fe XRT gets a rugged and capable overhaul with better approach angles, all-terrain tires and (get this) front recovery hooks. Other things you’ll see on the XRT include XRT-exclusive front bumper and grille, wrench-inspired 18-inch wheels, a 360-degree surround-view monitor, blind-view monitor and XRT badging.

Digital Key & other tech

We recently saw the new Hyundai Digital Key 2 in the 2024 Santa Fe, and now this cool bit of tech makes its way in to the 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz as well. This allows your phone to act as a key fob using Ultra-Wide Band Bluetooth technology, so as you walk up to the vehicle with your phone in your purse or pocket, the door will unlock just like if you had the key on your person. Other tech of note in the refreshed Santa Cruz includes USB-C ports, a fingerprint scanner, integrated memory system, Hyundai Pay and a new towing drive mode.

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The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a new curved display. (Image courtesy of Hyundai Motor America)

2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz gets same powertrains

What isn’t new? The powertrains. The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz still offers the standard 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that delivers 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The up-level engine is still the 281-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbo with the 8-speed wet dual clutch transmission. It’s on this engine that you’ll get the tow mode.

The bottom line

We’ve always been a huge fan of the Santa Cruz, and the changes for 2025 up the ante. We’re especially excited about the new XRT changes and have to believe that our Rebelle Rally run in the 2022 model helped facilitate some of these modifications – especially the front recovery hooks. Regardless, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel.

2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz photo gallery

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