2022 Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz | How they compare on paper

It's not often that a car segment starts with a new model, let alone two. But that's exactly what we have with the 2022 Ford Maverick and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: the beginning of the truly compact pickup segment. The two trucks will hit the market this year and are shockingly similar in shape, size and philosophy. So of course we had to put the numbers together and see how they compare.
Since neither of the two trucks is for sale yet, there are a few small gaps in the data that will only be filled later. And we haven't driven either of these vehicles so this is just a look at the numbers. Still, we should be able to learn something from these preliminary data. We also ruled out the Honda Ridgeline because, while it shares some design ideas, it is significantly larger. That being said, we'll talk more about this at the end of this post. Now for the numbers.
2022 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz specifications
Engines and transmissions
Both trucks use four-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive based layouts, but there are big differences from the basic drivetrains. The Maverick is the only one with a hybrid powertrain available, and it's actually the base engine. It's a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated engine paired with an electric motor and CVT. The combined power is 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque, and it gives an estimated 37 mpg combined back, making it the most efficient choice without a doubt.
The Santa Cruz, on the other hand, has a non-hybrid 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine and is linked to a traditional eight-speed automatic. Power is almost dead even with the Ford at 190 hp, but the Hyundai makes more torque at 180 pound-feet. Fuel economy is a bit disappointing at 23 mpg combined. The low fuel consumption is made up for by the available all-wheel drive, which isn't even an option on the Hybrid Maverick.
Each of these trucks also has an optional four-cylinder turbo engine, both with front-wheel drive as standard and with all-wheel drive as an option. The Maverick has a 2.0 liter power unit with 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. The Santa Cruz's larger 2.5-liter engine delivers 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Everyone has an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the Ford has a more traditional torque converter automatic while the Hyundai has a dual clutch model. The Hyundai gets 22 mpg combined, which is hardly worse than the base model. Ford has not yet disclosed the fuel economy for the Turbo Maverick.
Towing capacity, payload and cargo space
The reason people buy trucks is, of course, to move things, and these trucks are very similar in that area too. The Maverick has a 4.5 foot bed that is your signature box shape. This is slightly larger than the Santa Cruz's bed, which is between 4 and 4.3 feet long because of its oddly shaped front wall. The Santa Cruz has a trunk under the bed base that adds some cargo space to the short bed. The Santa Cruz also has a larger payload capacity of 1,748 pounds over the Maverick's 1,500. That being said, the Santa Cruz can only have 660 of those pounds in bed. Ford didn't say whether such a restriction applies to the Maverick.
Towing is one area where the Santa Cruz has a clear advantage. The base model can pull up to 3,500 pounds, and the turbo version can carry 5,000 pounds. The Hybrid Maverick only pulls up to 2,000 pounds, and the Turbo can pull 4,000 pounds.

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Outside and inside size
While moving cargo is the reason you buy a pickup truck, its small size is a big reason you want one of these trucks. And of the two, the Santa Cruz is a bit smaller overall. It is 4 inches shorter lengthways with an almost 3 inches shorter wheelbase. It also sits 2 inches lower. But it's about 2.5 inches wider than the Maverick. Neither truck is particularly large, however, as each is at least 10 inches shorter than the smallest body-on-frame mid-size pickups.
Unfortunately, we have no information on the interior or the empty weight of the Santa Cruz. As for the Maverick, the passenger compartment generally appears to be similar to medium-sized double cab trucks. And depending on how these midsize trucks are equipped, the Maverick can be anywhere from 500 to 1,000 pounds lighter than them.
That's the biggest gap in the data. Only Ford has given prices, but only for the base Maverick. It costs $ 19,995 before the target fee, so the final price is $ 21,490 including the target fee of $ 1,495. As for the Santa Cruz, we know it's based on the Tucson, which starts at around $ 26,000. So we wouldn't be surprised if the Santa Cruz is similarly priced.

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And what about the Honda Ridgeline?
We have excluded the Ridgeline from the main table because it is significantly larger, more expensive and more powerful in the standard configuration. It's sized more like medium-sized trucks and about 10 inches longer than the Maverick. Most of that length manifests itself in the longer 5.3 foot bed. The bed also includes a trunk sunk into the floor like the Santa Cruz. The payload is between 1,500 and 1,600 pounds and the towing capacity is 5,000 pounds. The only engine is a 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It also gets 21 mpg combined, not much worse than the Santa Cruz. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional. The base price is around $ 37,000. So it's bigger and in some cases can carry more, but it's also a lot more expensive.
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