2023 Ford Maverick Gets Beat by 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Only two new compact pickup trucks are available in the United States: the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Both trucks are also very successful, with sales very high. See how they stack up in this 2023 Ford Maverick vs. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz head-to-head comparison. With its many advantages, the Santa Cruz beats the Maverick.

2023 Ford Maverick vs. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Front angle view of orange 2023 Ford Maverick
Cyber Orange 2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

In this 2023 Ford Maverick vs. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, payload, off-road capabilities, passenger space, warranty coverage, and price.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Performance and gas mileage

Front angle view of light blue 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck, highlighting its release date and price
Blue Stone 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

On the performance front, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz has the advantage with its stronger engine options. Its standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generates 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, while the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the standard hybrid powertrain in the 2023 Ford Maverick generates 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque, and the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

However, the Maverick is more efficient. The Maverick Hybrid gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 42 city/33 highway mpg, while the gas-powered Maverick gets a fuel economy of up to 23 city/30 highway mpg. In comparison, the Santa Cruz has a gas mileage of up to 21 city/27 highway mpg. Unlike the Maverick, the Santa Cruz doesn’t offer an efficient hybrid model.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Towing and payload

On the towing front, the 2023 Santa Cruz has the advantage. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds, compared to 4,000 pounds for the 2023 Maverick. The Santa Cruz can also haul a heavier load in the pickup bed, with a maximum payload capacity of 1,906 pounds, compared to 1,564 pounds for the Maverick.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Off-road capabilities

For off-road capabilities, both the Maverick and Santa Cruz offer a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system and have ground clearance of 8.6 inches. For the Maverick, though, the all-wheel drive system is not available for the hybrid model.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Passenger space

The Santa Cruz is slightly bigger than the Maverick, resulting in more passenger space. Both pickup trucks can seat up to five people, but the Santa Cruz has a total passenger volume of 104 cu-ft, compared to 100.3 cu-ft for the Maverick.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Warranty Coverage

The Santa Cruz has more generous warranty coverage, with the backing of a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In comparison, the Maverick has a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also, unlike the Maverick, the Santa Cruz offers a free maintenance plan, with three years or 36,000 miles of coverage.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Price

Which pickup truck costs more: the 2023 Maverick or the 2023 Santa Cruz? The price information is not yet available for the 2023 model year, but both trucks will likely only have a slight price increase compared to the 2022 versions. 

The starting price of the 2022 Maverick ranges from $20,995 MSRP for the XL trim up to $26,860 MSRP for the Lariat trim. In comparison, the starting price of the 2022 Santa Cruz ranges from $24,440 MSRP for the 2.5L SE trim up to $40,170 MSRP for the 2.5T Limited trim.

2023 Ford Maverick vs. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Which pickup truck is better?

In this 2023 Ford Maverick vs. 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck comparison, the 2023 Santa Cruz has most of the advantages. This includes advantages for performance, towing, payload, passenger space, warranty coverage, and a free maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Maverick include gas mileage and a lower price.

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