Skip to main content

Everywhere you look, the 2022 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz trucks are in the news. That’s because these two pickup trucks are paving the way for a new breed of truck. Check out the specs on the latest small pickup trucks from Ford and Hyundai to see which one might check all of the boxes.

Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz: Towing capacities

Comparing the 2022 Ford Maverick truck with the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
The 2022 Ford Maverick truck parked on a colorful street | Ford

These trucks might be small, but the Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz are also mighty. MotorTrend says that the Maverick has a max payload of 1,500 pounds. The Santa Cruz came in a bit higher at 1,748, but Hyundai has also modified that number a few times so far.

The payload is the combined weight of passengers and cargo, different from the regular towing number. Hyundai noted that the Santa Cruz is only rated to carry 660 pounds in the truck’s bed. Ford did not specify how much the Maverick could carry. This isn’t unusual for automakers to omit giving this specific number out.

The Maverick can tow 2,000 pounds across the board. With the optional towing package, the all-wheel drive option increases the towing capacity to 4,000 pounds. The Santa Cruz can tow 3,500 pounds with the base model. The all-wheel drive upgrade allows for the truck to tow 5,000 pounds.

Size differences: Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz

There is much controversy surrounding the idea of mini trucks or smaller pickup trucks. While some trucks continue to get bigger each year, there is definitely room for smaller trucks. Both the Ford Maverick and Santa Cruz are built on SUV platforms instead of truck platforms. The Maverick is closely related to the Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Escape. The Santa Cruz is closer to the Tuscon. MotorTrend suggests thinking of these trucks as longer SUVs with open cargo areas.

As far as exterior sizing goes, the Maverick is four inches longer, with a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase. It is also taller by two inches but 2.6 inches smaller for the width. The Ford might be a better choice if you are concerned about smaller spaces (like a narrow garage). However, shallow garages, street parking, and low ceilings might make the Hyundai a better choice.

The Maverick truck bed is 54.4 inches long, compared to the Hyundai Santa Cruz bed, that is 52.1 inches. Both truck beds allow for owners to fit a full 4×8 piece of plywood down. The Ford truck has an optional storage area on one side, while the Hyundai comes standard with two. It also has a lockable area under the trunk for safekeeping.

Fuel economy, engine options, and transmissions

The Santa Cruz has two gasoline options for the engine, but it comes in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive. This truck gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city, 26-27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. The all-wheel drive option comes with a turbocharged engine getting 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. This means the trucks are pretty evenly matched for fuel economy.

This is where the Hyundai Santa Cruz pulls ahead a bit. The 2.5L four-cylinder engine that comes standard gets 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. This one utilizes an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder makes 281 hp and 311 lb-ft. This one has an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Ford Maverick has a hybrid powertrain as the standard option. The 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor get 191 hp and 173 lb-ft combined. The optional 2.0L turbo engine makes 250 hp and 277 lb-ft. This hybrid option uses a CVT transmission, while the gas option uses an eight-speed automatic. Ford has given the Maverick a targeted EPA-estimated 40 mpg city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 37 mpg combined. This might vary as the Maverick rolls out.

There isn’t a clear winner with all of the specs laid out on the table. Some drivers might find the Hyundai Santa Cruz towing capabilities and fuel economy more critical. Some buyers might be more loyal to the Ford brand and will give the Maverick a go. Either way, these new trucks have a lot to offer.