I’m old enough to remember when the Hyundai Excel launched in Australia.

They never made an Excel ute, but it didn’t stop one champion from building his own!

Hyundai Excel Ute

Australians’ perceptions of Hyundai have changed so much since then, so it’ll be interesting to see how their real utes are received if and when they land here.

Reports indicate that they could still be a couple of years away, but there’s already plenty of information available on the two new rigs.

The Santa Cruz is set for a US launch next year, possibly followed by Australia.

Hyundai Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz concept

It’s more of a passenger vehicle than a genuine commercial vehicle, so whilst it looks interesting, it’s not going to have the towing capacity and tray size that many builders and tradies need.

But for the thousands of Aussies who drive around in dual cabs that never see a day of hard work in their lives (like our Ranger!) it could prove popular.

The Santa Cruz looks quite sharp in the single-cab concept version, but the dual-cab looks a little awkward in the spy shot and rendering below…

Hyundai Santa Cruz spy shot
Hyundai Santa Cruz render

But what about the more serious ute? That’s said to be a few more years away, but there is still a bit of information getting about.

The new rig is aimed squarley at the HiLux and Ranger, which have long been favourites of Aussie tradies.

That means it’ll have serious towing capacity and may be packing some serious power.

The images below are just renderings, but it’s amazing how close some of these renderings end up being to the finished product…

Hyundai dual cab ute
Hyundai dual cab ute

A report by Carsales speculates that the new ute could use the 204kW, 588Nm turbo-diesel inline-six from the GV80.

Looking at Australia’s most powerful diesel utes currenly, the Hyundai would outmuscle the 200kW Mercedes X-Class V6 (which is gone now anyway) and the 190kW Volkswagen Amarok V6.

But no matter how good looking or how powerful the new Hyundai dual-cab will be, do you think tradies will switch to it from their Hiluxes and Rangers?

[ays_poll id=9]

Hyundai utes coming to Australia