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The battle between compact trucks just took a turn. The Hyundai Santa Cuz came out first, entered production before the Ford Maverick, and has more muscle. However, the 2022 Ford Maverick sped past the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz as the more popular option. 

The 2022 Ford Maverick vs. the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz 

The 2022 Ford Maverick in the woods
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

Despite coming out before the 2022 Ford Maverick and entering production first, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is falling behind. The Ford Maverick sold 4,140 units in October, while the Hyundai Santa Cruz only moved 1,848 units. However, selling 1,848 models is still impressive. 

The Maverick is moving off dealership lots in about five days, which is an impressive pace. Plus, the young people are attracted to the Maverick. A quarter of its sales are attributed to buyers between 18 to 35 years old.  

So why is the Maverick more popular? Is it the look? The Maverick features a more traditional pickup truck design with a boxy shape, while the Santa Cruz has a massive unique grille, curvy shape, and side creases. 

Why is the Maverick selling more units? 

We suspect that the 2022 Ford Maverick’s price is attracting buyers. The base model starts at $19,995, while the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz begins at about $23,990. That’s about a $4,000 difference. The prices listed are the MSRPs, so the dealership markups and destination fees haven’t been added. 

The Maverick also has the hybrid advantage. With the standard hybrid powertrain, you get an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in the city and up to 33 mpg on the highway. With the Santa Cruz, you get an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and up to 27 mpg on the highway. The Santa Cruz seems pretty thirsty in comparison. 

But the Maverick’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor to only generate 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. 

That standard engine in the Satna Cruz is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder option that pumps out 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. 

You can pair AWD with the base engine on the Santa Cruz. But you can’t pair AWD or the towing package with the base engine on the Maverick, limiting options. But apparently, that doesn’t stop buyers. 

Does the Maverick or Santa Cruz have better features? 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in the woods
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Both the 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz have unique storage solutions to store 4×8-foot three-quarter-inch sheets of plywood. The Santa Cruz has an in-bed trunk and a lockable tonneau cover, but the Maverick offers a 12-volt power point and a 110-volt outlet. 

The Santa Cruz and Maverick both offer a standard 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But the Santa Cruz has an optional 10.3-inch screen. Both trucks offer wireless charging as well. 

While the compact trucks seem similar, the Santa Cruz can tow 5,000 lbs while the Maverick tops out at 4,000 lbs. Despite being a little stronger with more value, the Santa Cruz isn’t attracting buyers like the lower-priced Ford Maverick. 


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