Car Comparisons

Data Comparison: Hyundai Santa Cruz vs Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline first entered production in 2005, with the second-generation version arriving a dozen years later.

On the other hand, the Hyundai Santa Cruz hit Canadian roads for the first time in 2021. Pricing is pretty simple: there’s a Preferred trim that’s $40,799 before freight and tax, or the decked-out Ultimate that rings in at $47,599. Meanwhile, pricing for the 2024 Ridgeline starts at $46,990 for the Sport and climbs to $50,990 for the Trailsport model, while the Black Edition tops the range at $53,990.

How Do They Size Up?

The Ridgeline measures 5,334 mm (210.2 in) from bumper to bumper compared to the Santa Cruz that comes in at 4,971 mm (195.7 in). While the difference isn’t especially significant, those with smaller parking accommodations should bear this in mind.

The Honda runs the longer wheelbase of the pair, too, measuring 3,175 mm (125.2 in). The Santa Cruz’s wheelbase is 3,005 mm (118.3 inches). It’s also slightly taller overall, although it boasts barely less ground clearance.

What About Space?

The Santa Cruz’s bed measures 1,323 mm (52.1 in) with the tailgate up, and 1,900 mm (74.8 in) with the tailgate down. With the Ridgeline, the bed spans 1,626 mm (74.8 in) with the tailgate up and 2,108 mm (83 in) with the tailgate down.

Of course, that means the Honda has more outright cargo volume, with 960 L of space compared to 764 L in the back of the Santa Cruz. Both benefit from waterproof under-bed storage compartments, although the Ridgeline’s is easier to access thanks to its dual-hinged tailgate that can be opened conventionally or sideways like a door.

The Santa Cruz has a payload capacity of 864 kg (1,906 lb) compared to the Ridgeline’s rating of 718 kg (1,583 lb). Both machines have a maximum towing capacity of 2,268 kg (5,000 lb).

How Are They Inside?

Front-seat occupants in the Ridgeline get 1,003 mm (39.5 in) of headroom – a little less than the 1,034 mm (40.7 in) in the Santa Cruz. Rear-seat passengers get even more upright room in the Hyundai, while the pair is virtually deadlocked when it comes to legroom.

Performance and Efficiency

The Honda Ridgeline is powered by a proven 3.5L V6 with 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends torque to the ground via an automatic four-wheel drive system.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz uses a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder that generates 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Remember: torque is the important figure, and Santa Cruz drivers can expect better throttle response at lower engine speeds and more eager response from the engine in around-town driving.

The Ridgeline is rated to burn 11.5 L/100 km combined, while the Santa Cruz is good for 10.6.

What’s the Better Buy?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a totally fine pickup truck with a punchy engine and an all-wheel drive system that really knows what it’s doing when the snow flies. Being slightly smaller makes for a more nimble drive, too.

Even still, as a truck, the Honda Ridgeline is the better option. Chunky controls and thick dials surrounded by a rugged look inside matches the boxy aesthetic outside. On the other hand, the Hyundai’s interior takes a more clean and futuristic approach. Smooth lines and all-digital displays impart an overall look that’s tidier and more inviting, but it gives the Santa Cruz the look and feel of a jacked-up family sedan rather than a pickup.