The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has gone through the IIHS crash testing process for the first time, and it did quite well overall. It managed to get the second-highest rating from the organization, Top Safety Pick. Unfortunately, the headlights that come on the non-turbo SE and SEL trim levels hold it back from getting the Top Safety Pick+ award.
The Santa Cruz gets top marks in all current IIHS crash tests (the organization didn’t say anything about trying it with the new side-impact test that’s proving more challenging). Also, all the forward collision prevention systems received top “Superior” evaluations.
The difference between headlight types is stark on the Santa Cruz, though. The turbocharged SEL Premium and Limited models come with LED projector headlights, and they were given the best “Good” rating. On the SE and SEL, the Santa Cruz has halogen reflector headlights, which were given the worst “Poor” rating for insufficient visibility both with low-beams and high-beams.
If Hyundai introduces different base-model headlights that get at least an “Acceptable” (second-highest) rating, the Santa Cruz could get a Top Safety Pick+ nod like its close cousin, the Tucson.