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The Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup trucks are enormously popular with automotive consumers. While the Santa Cruz has multiple strengths, there’s a key factor that gives the Maverick an edge. The 2023 Ford Maverick has one big thing that the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz doesn’t offer: an efficient hybrid powertrain.

Unlike the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz, the 2023 Ford Maverick offers an efficient hybrid powertrain

Front angle view of red 2023 Ford Maverick pickup truck
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

Pickup trucks have a reputation for being gas-guzzlers. However, the 2023 Ford Maverick defies this perception with its standard hybrid powertrain. While the price of gasoline is not as high as it was in 2022, it’s still one of the biggest costs of vehicle ownership. The Maverick Hybrid helps alleviate this financial burden with its fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain. Owners of the Maverick can save a great deal of money at the gas pump over the long haul.

Conversely, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz doesn’t offer a hybrid powertrain. All Santa Cruz models are fully gas-powered. 

2023 Maverick has higher fuel economy than the 2023 Santa Cruz

Front angle view of blue 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The most obvious benefit of the hybrid powertrain in the 2023 Ford Maverick is its high fuel economy. It combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, delivering a fuel-sipping estimated gas mileage of 42 city/33 highway mpg. Not counting EVs, this is the highest fuel economy for a pickup truck. 

The Maverick also offers a fully gas-powered model with an available turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. While the fully gas-powered Maverick is not as efficient as the hybrid model, its estimated fuel economy of 23 city/30 highway mpg is still respectable for a pickup truck. 

In comparison, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz has a choice of either a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or an available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 21 city/27 highway mpg. 

Compared to the Santa Cruz, the Maverick Hybrid gets 21 more mpg for city driving and six more mpg for highway driving. Even if opting for the fully gas-powered Maverick, drivers will still benefit from higher fuel economy.

Another benefit of the Maverick Hybrid is convenience. With lower fuel consumption, it won’t have to make stops at gas stations as often as the Santa Cruz.

Ford Maverick is also more affordable than the Hyundai Santa Cruz


2023 Ford Maverick: Overview, Price, Specs, & New Off-Road Package

In addition to its efficient hybrid powertrain, another advantage of the 2023 Maverick is affordability. It has a starting price of $22,195 MSRP, which is the lowest starting price for a pickup truck in the United States. 

No other new pickup truck sold in America comes close to matching the affordability of the Maverick. This includes the 2023 Santa Cruz, which starts at $25,450 MSRP. While the Santa Cruz is the second-cheapest truck in the U.S., it costs $3,255 MSRP more than the Maverick. 

With its efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Ford Maverick has a big thing that the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz doesn’t offer. This results in considerable savings for pickup drivers at the fuel pump. On top of that, with its low starting price, the Maverick is more affordable than the Santa Cruz.