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Did you know that the Hyundai Santa Cruz is an incredible underdog against the Ford Maverick? These little trucks don’t seem to be on the same playing field as 2023 Ford Maverick sales beat the tires of the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz. But there are a few advantages you need to know about. 

Is the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz safer than the 2023 Ford Maverick? 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz off-roading in the woods
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Yes, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is safer than the 2023 Ford Maverick. According to Pickup Truck Talk, the Santa Cruz is in the top five safest trucks for 2023, and the Maverick isn’t. The Santa Cruz is up there with the 2023 Rivian R1T, Toyota Tundra, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Santa Cruz much higher for its crash tests than the Maverick. For example, the Maverick got Poor ratings for its child safety seat latches and seatbelt reminders, while the Santa Cruz earned Acceptable scores. 

Also, the Santa Cruz has much higher ratings for its automatic collision avoidance systems. It got Superior scores for the ability to avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians during the night and day. 

The 2023 Maverick might need to work on its safety systems because it got a Basic score for avoiding pedestrians at night. It got an Advanced score for preventing collisions with pedestrians during the day and a Superior rating for avoiding other vehicles, though. 

Is the Santa Cruz bigger than the Maverick? 

The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is about three inches shorter than the 2023 Ford Maverick, but it’s also three inches wider. It has a slightly shorter cargo box but is longer with the tailgate down and has built-in, lockable storage in the bed. 

The Santa Cruz has a larger cabin than the Maverick, providing a bit more passenger space. The front and second rows provide more head space and leg room, making it the better option for taller folks. 

Also, the Santa Cruz is more comfortable. The Maverick can have a choppy ride quality over rough patches of pavement, causing taller drivers to hit their legs against plastic interior pieces. The Santa Cruz has a smoother ride quality. 

The front seats of the 2023 Maverick are a little stiff and firm. The seats in the 2023 Santa Crux are more supportive, with plenty of adjustment controls. Plus, heated seats are standard, and ventilated seats are available. 

While wind and road noise are noticeable in the Santa Cruz, it’s not distracting. The Maverick is louder at highway speeds with a wheezing engine. 

Does the Santa Cruz or Maverick have more utility? 

The 2023 Ford Maverick off-roading in mud
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

The 2023 Ford Maverick may have an off-roading package, but the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz has a standard composite bed and multi-functional tailgate. The Maverick has a multi-position tailgate. 

Plus, the Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,749 lbs. You can tow up to 4,000 lbs with the Maverick and carry a payload of up to 1,564 lbs. Both Santa Cruz engines can be paired with AWD, but only the gas engine in the Maverick is available with AWD. 

Both trucks can hold 4×8 sheets of plywood, have LED lighting, and power outlets in the bed. Factory-installed tonneau covers are available too. 

So, now the Hyundai Santa Cruz is safer than the Maverick, but it was already more comfortable, spacious, and a bit stronger.