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A new battle for pickup truck supremacy has begun. The compact pickup segment is already heating up between the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. There is plenty to like about both models, and each has advantages over the other. However, one compact truck has a superior interior, and it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact truck’s interior

The Hyundai Santa Cruz compact truck has a superior interior to the Ford Maverick.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Car and Driver called the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz interior one of the most excellent cabins among midsize pickups. When it’s outclassing larger cabins, you know it’s good. This isn’t anything new for Hyundai, as the automaker is well-known for building high-quality interiors. Moreover, attractive materials, modern technology, and more make the Santa Cruz look and feel like a luxury model.

Hyundai’s compact truck is available with a four-door crew cab configuration. Notably, the front and rear passenger spaces are very similar to competing trucks. Further, the Santa Cruz feels spacious for its size and even outclasses some midsize models. For an affordable compact truck, most people will be surprised at how high quality the interior is.

The Ford Maverick’s interior is average

2022 Ford Maverick, it doesn't have the high quality interior of its compact truck rival.
2022 Ford Maverick | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Every Ford Maverick model comes with four doors and a roomy back seat. Additionally, storage bins throughout the cabin allow for extra cargo space. Although the Maverick offers enough features and niceties for most people, it’s far from high quality. Reviewers often call the quality of materials inside the Maverick “cost-cutting.”

That’s where the Maverick shines. Thanks to cost-cutting materials and interior quality, it’s amazingly affordable. However, overall, the interior is significantly cheaper and lower quality than the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Hyundai tries its best to make sure its compact pickup truck is worth the extra money.

Compact truck interior comparison

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a small truck that could soon see a hybrid powertrain
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

According to Edmunds, the Santa Cruz’s interior is nicer to the touch than Ford’s offering. Both models come with standard 8-inch touchscreens, but the Santa Cruz Limited trim upgrades to a 10.25-inch unit. Contrarily, the Maverick’s extra interior storage compartments and backseat area for 3D-printed accessories give it a leg up. However, those who don’t have 3D printing capability will not find that helpful.

Hyundai’s offering allows owners to fold up the rear seat for more space. On the other hand, the Ford Maverick requires lifting the entire seat. In short, hauling a prominent item in the back of the Hyundai compact truck while a passenger is present is possible, but not in the Maverick. That’s what makes the Santa Cruz have a superior interior.

Compact truck battle: Interior quality vs. price

Which one is more important to you? Even in its highest trim level, the 2022 Ford Maverick is shockingly affordable. While the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is more costly, it’s easy to tell where the money goes. If the build quality and feel of the interior are important to you, choose the Hyundai Santa Cruz. If an ultra-high quality interior is far less important to you than saving money, the Ford Maverick is the perfect compact truck.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz TrimPrice2022 Ford Maverick TrimPrice
SEL Premium$37,075Lariat$27,355
Trims and prices are after destination fees, from Car and Driver.

It’s easy to see that one compact truck is much more affordable than the other. Ford’s option costs under $30,000 even in the Lariat trim, which is well-equipped. However, the more costly compact truck has a superior interior. Every Hyundai Santa Cruz is built with high-quality, soft-to-the-touch interior materials. That makes it the best option for those who need a luxurious pickup to drive every day.