2022 Ford Maverick vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Compare Trucks

June 10, 2021

The 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz resurrect a small truck segment that had been dormant for more than a decade. Both of these crossover-based vehicles give shoppers an open bed and a more adventurous edge than compact crossover SUVs that fill roads like construction zones in summertime. 

Despite their similarities—seating for five, compact crossover platforms, available all-wheel drive, turbo-4 engine options, towing capacity of at least 4,000 pounds—the Santa Cruz and Maverick appeal as urban getaway vehicles in completely different ways.  

For starters, the Maverick comes standard with a hybrid powertrain but only with front-wheel drive. The 2.5-liter inline-4 hybrid makes 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque and has a towing capacity of 2,000 lb. The key metric for the hybrid is its EPA-targeted 40 mpg city, 37 mpg combined. For more power and available all-wheel drive, Ford offers a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 on the Maverick. It makes 277 lb-ft and can tow up to 4,000 lb. 

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Hyundai equips the Santa Cruz with more potent but less efficient powertrain choices. The standard 2.5-liter inline-4 makes 190 hp and 180 lb-ft, and with an 8-speed automatic and front-wheel drive, it can tow up to 3,500 pounds. With available all-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-rated 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined, which is more efficient on the highway than with front-wheel drive. An available 2.5-liter turbo-4 puts out 275 hp and 310 lb-ft, and with available all-wheel drive, it can tow 5,000 lb. 

Specs favor the Santa Cruz for some truck duty, but the 2022 Ford Maverick nails the look, even though it shares a platform with the Ford Escape and Ford Bronco Sport. A bar across the grille of the vertical front end distinguishes the Maverick, but the round wheel arches housing 17-inch steel wheels, square ends, and flat sides follow the lineage of Ford’s truck design through the Ranger to the F-150. Though smaller than a Ford Explorer Sport Trac, it looks like a successor to that SUV. 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz evokes the Subaru Baja from 15 years ago in that it lacks any pickup truck pretensions except for the small bed and standard 18-inch wheels. Sharing a platform with the redesigned 2022 Hyundai Tucson compact crossover, it could be mistaken for the Tucson at the front. Black cladding runs down the body to the rear, where hatchet-shaped taillights frame a pronounced tailgate that sits over integrated bumper steps, like those in a Chevy Colorado. 

While both small trucks are over a foot shorter in length than mid-size trucks such as the Colorado or Honda Ridgeline, the Santa Cruz is even smaller than the Maverick. At 195.7 inches long, it’s 4.0 inches shorter, rides 2.0 inches lower, and is nearly 3.0 inches narrower than the Maverick. Hyundai hasn’t disclosed all specs yet, but with a wheelbase of 118.3 inches, the cabin volume and rear leg room certainly will come up short against the Maverick. 

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Maverick's cab is larger than either of Ford's compact crossovers, and the 36.9 inches of rear leg room on the turbo-4 model is 2.4 inches more than the Ford Ranger with a crew cab. 

Not only does the Maverick do a better job of fitting at least four adults, the 4.5-foot-long pickup bed is larger and more versatile. With dual covered bins and up to 10 tie-downs, as well as available bed lighting and aluminum rails, the Maverick mimics the beds of its bigger cousins. An adjustable tailgate capable of holding up to 400 lb can be rigged to tote 4x8 sheets of plywood without a bed extender, Ford says, and two mountain bikes can slot into the bed with their front wheels angled. Inside, flip-up rear seats conceal even more storage areas.

The Santa Cruz also embraces underseat storage, but the bed is more limited than the Maverick’s. It’s longer at the bottom than the top, which measures out to 48.4 inches. A built-in tonneau cover and hidden bed storage with a drain plug offer a different level of security. Hyundai promises a sliding rear window from the cab to the bed. 

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

Both trucks come with a 110-volt AC outlet in the bed, and 8.6 inches of ground clearance in all-wheel-drive versions. The short overhangs lead to good approach and departure angles for both, but the shorter bed makes for a better departure angle on the Santa Cruz at 23.2 degrees. With either truck, short bed walls make for easy access to content inside the bed when standing outside of the truck, and about 30 inches of lift-in height makes it possible for dogs of various sizes and ages to happily jump in without assistance. 

Hyundai equips the Santa Cruz with more standard features, but we don’t know yet at what price. The base Maverick XL costs $21,490, including the $1,495 destination charge. That’s a steal. Both vehicles come with standard automatic emergency braking and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the Santa Cruz doesn’t require a wire. 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Features specific to each trim and complete pricing will be announced closer to the Santa Cruz’s sale date this summer and the Maverick’s later this year, when we expect to do a head-to-head compare behind the wheel.

On paper, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz doesn’t measure up to the size or efficiency of the 2022 Ford Maverick, but it offers more capability and an expected degree of sportiness. Both small trucks are a welcome antidote to anodyne crossovers everywhere.


Summary

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz combines the utility of a truck with the roominess of a crossover and the small footprint of a hatchback.
The 2022 Ford Maverick tests the small-truck waters, with running gear that’s already a runaway hit.

Styling

Performance

Comfort & Quality

Safety

Features

Fuel Economy

MSRP

from Coming Soon
from $19,995

Invoice

from Coming Soon
from $19,595

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

- TBD -

Engine

Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4, 2.0 L

Drivetrain

All Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
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