The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.  -  Photo courtesy of Hyundai

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recognized the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz crew cab — Hyundai’s first pickup sold in North America — with its Top Safety Pick award when outfitted with specific headlights.

The small pickup was put through the paces of six rigorous crashworthiness evaluations — acing every one. These included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. 

But to earn the Institute’s award, vehicles must also be available with a front crash prevention system that scores advanced or superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.

The Santa Cruz meets the demanding criteria. Both its standard and optional front crash prevention systems earn superior ratings in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.

Finally, Top Safety Pick vehicles must also offer at least one good or acceptable headlight system.

The Santa’ Cruz’s LED projector headlights available on the SEL Premium and Limited trims garner a good rating — giving the pickup the final element it needed to pick up Top Safety accolades. However, a poor rating for the pickup’s base halogens prevented the Santa Cruz from capturing the Institute’s highest “plus” award.

The 2022 Santa Cruz was also recently named Compact SUV of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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