Build Files: Lifted 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Updated: Mar 18

We customize Hyundai's new addition to the compact truck market


See how we gave Hyundai's new truck the ATR treatment with a host of aftermarket accessories and complemented this great platform.

lifted hyundai santa cruz
Lifted Hyundai Santa Cruz

The 2022 Santa Cruz is a new addition to a new truck market: Compact Trucks. Truck shoppers for the last decade have really only had two broad category options, the full-size truck and mid-size truck. With this new category of trucks being based on already existing CUV platforms, the accessories available to them is much different than your traditional truck accessories. Through this write-up we will share with you our thoughts and images of our first lifted Santa Cruz.


First Step: The Lift Kit


Because this vehicle is so new to the Hyundai lineup, and not many of them have made it onto the road due to production issues, there hasn't been an overwhelming outcry for aftermarket parts from Santa Cruz owners. Because of this short inventory of Santa Cruz, not many lift kit manufacturing companies have gotten their hands on one to develop parts. As of March 2022, there are only 3 that we know of:

  1. Truxx 1.5" Front-Only Level Kit

  2. Adventure Offroad Custom Built Lift kit

  3. ReadyLift 2.0" SST Lift Kit

Because of ReadyLift's long history of dedication to quality engineering for suspension upgrades, this is the part we went with. Not only did it give us slightly more lift than the other options available to us, but it is backed by a 5 year 60k mile powertrain warranty.


The kit is composed of laser cut steel fabricated strut-spacers for the front, and 1" billet aluminum coil spring spacers for the rear, and sway bar link extensions and shock extensions as well. Because ReadyLift already had engineering history with the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, it took minor adjustments to previous engineering to get a solid fit for the Santa Cruz. The 1" rear spacer left the truck with just a little bit of forward rake, so that added wait of a small trailer or bed cargo won't squat the truck to the point of instability.


santa cruz lifted on black rhino boxer wheels and readylift sst lift kit
Hyundai Santa Cruz lift kit


Second Move: Wheel and Tire


While ReadyLift says the recommended wheel & tire size is a 255/70 on a 17" diameter wheel, we opted for 265/60 on 18" wheels instead. This overall tire size we used ends up being slightly smaller than the max tire size recommended, but left us open to a better selection of tires.


We sourced a set of Black Rhino Boxer 18x8 wheels in matte black finish, and paired them with 265/60 Falken Wildpeaks. This gave our lifted Santa Cruz an aggressive style without compromising ride quality or having unbearable road noise from meatier tires.



Finishing Touches: Performance Films


With the Lift Kit and Wheels/Tires installed, there was only the cherry on top left to do.


We tinted the 2 front windows with Llumar Ceramic Tint, and added rear tailgate inlays to give the back end of this truck some extra flair. These tailgate inlays are super easy to install with a soap and water wet application.





Overall: A Great Package


At Auto Trim Restyling of St. Louis, we pride ourselves on being the best area Restyler and truck accessories installer. We design and build great looking packages just like this lifted Santa Cruz package every day.


It is important when accessorizing your vehicle to make sure to buy the highest quality parts with a good warranty, bring your vehicle to a certified shop for installation, and to verify that these modifications to your vehicle are safe to do.


On this Santa Cruz, the ReadyLift parts we installed are FMVSS compliant, our wheel and tire package does not rub or hit any body or suspension components, and our films are compliant with local tint ordinances.


When accessorizing your car, make sure to be safe, and always remember:

Life is Too Short to Drive a Boring Car


lifted hyundai santa cruz
Lifted Hyundai Santa Cruz


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