The start of 2022 brought with it the Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck. Hyundai has positioned it as a “sport adventure vehicle” for young drivers who want flexibility and freedom on the road. We were excited to customize the first generation of the Santa Cruz, and add some modifications to upgrade its appearance.
Looking at the Santa Cruz’s exterior you can see it maintains an athletic and futuristic style compared to many blocky trucks. The best way to improve these angular features was to create some black pinstripes along them. After the pinstriping the Santa Cruz needed a bolder look on the back end, so installing a black lettering inlay on the tailgate was used to give it more emphasis. With these mods among a couple other additions we made an affordable set of mods to start customizing this compact truck.
Custom Vinyl Pinstriping
Pinstriping has been used on vehicles for decades. They can range from highly ornate designs that captivate those who pass by to simple lines that accentuate the body of the vehicle adding another depth of character. Because of the Santa Cruz’s somewhat unorthodox blend of an SUV and a truck the front end and overall structure has distinct body lines. We chose to accentuate them with a simple parallel pinstripe.
The pinstripe lays across the sides of the doors, wraps across the back tailgate, and ends in a point on each side of the hood. The two lines of this pinstripe are different weights with the thicker one on the bottom. Doing so helps provide more substance to this subtle modification. Using this mod improves the athletic and modern feel of the vehicle.
Vinyl Tailgate Inlays
Now that we had an added touch of black with the pinstripe we filled in the tailgate Santa Cruz lettering with a vinyl inlay. Applying the satin black vinyl lettering on the tailgate makes a bold impact giving more pride to the model of the vehicle. The inlay also matches the other black trim and accents tying different parts of the car together. Using an inlay, whether it’s a complimentary color or a unique design, can expand the appearance of your vehicle.
For one more touch of darkness we applied a window tint film. Window tinting creates a strong alluring look to your vehicle along with improved privacy from prying eyes. Plus, window tints protect you, your vehicle, and cargo from the sun’s damaging rays. On this Santa Cruz we applied a 20% window tint to the two front windows since the back windows are already a bit darker from the factory.
Don’t forget, when you go to select your tint you need to keep in mind your local laws so you don’t get ticketed. We always recommend a professional install for this modification. Poor tint jobs will bubble and discolor over time. Make sure your window tint installer has a good warranty to protect your investment!
Lastly we installed some minor mudflaps in each of the wheel wells. These small mudflaps were made to integrate seamlessly with the Santa Cruz, but can be swapped out for ones that are a bit longer or a different style. Having mudflaps helps to thwart rocks that are flung up from the wheels while driving. This keeps debris on and off the road from damaging your vehicles body paint.
Other Potential Add-Ons
If we were to add more additions on this Santa Cruz we would use accessories like: upgraded mud flaps, fender flares, a hood scoop, a lift kit, or a new wheel and tire setup. Additions like these would help to create a more rugged and burly look on this sporty compact truck. We look forward to working on more of these Santa Cruz’s in the future and creating some remarkable builds!
Interested in customizing your Hyundai Santa Cruz? We offer pickup and delivery across the contiguous United States. Learn more or contact us for a quote we’re happy to help.