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While full-size pickup trucks still dominate the automotive landscape in America, the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz show that there’s an appetite for small trucks too. Take a look at this 2024 Ford Maverick vs. 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz evaluation and see how the two models compare.

2024 Ford Maverick or 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz: What’s a better small truck?

Front view of blue 2024 Ford Maverick small pickup truck
2024 Ford Maverick | Ford

In this 2024 Ford Maverick vs. 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact truck comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes passenger space, reliability, engines, fuel economy, off-road use, towing, payload, and warranty coverage. 

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Passenger space

With its slightly larger size, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz provides a little more passenger space than the 2024 Ford Maverick. Both pickup trucks can seat up to five people. However, the Santa Cruz offers a total passenger volume of 104 cu-ft, compared to 100.3 cu-ft for the Maverick.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Reliability

Front angle view of blue 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz small pickup truck
2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Both compact trucks are reliable, but the Santa Cruz has the edge. It earned an 83/100 reliability rating from J.D. Power, compared to 81/100 for the Maverick.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Engines

For performance, the base-level powertrain for the Maverick is a hybrid with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. It produces 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. And then there’s the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

The Santa Cruz also offers two powertrain options, but not a hybrid. Its base-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generates 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, and its available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. 

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Fuel economy

The 2024 Ford Maverick is more efficient than the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz. It has an estimated fuel economy of up to 42 city/33 highway mpg for the hybrid and 23 city/30 highway mpg for the fully gas-powered model. And the Santa Cruz gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 21 city/27 highway mpg.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Off-road use

While neither small truck is a hardcore off-roader, the Maverick and Santa Cruz are suitable for light off-road use. Both trucks offer an all-wheel drive system for enhanced traction. They also provide the same ground clearance (up to 8.6 inches). However, the Maverick has the edge due to its Tremor and FX4 off-road packages.

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Towing and payload

The 2024 Santa Cruz can tow more and carry a heavier payload than the 2024 Maverick. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and a total payload capacity of 1,753 pounds, compared to 4,000/1,564 pounds for the Maverick.

However, the Maverick provides greater pickup bed utility, especially with its unique FLEXBED system. The FLEXBED has versatile configurations, DIY solutions, and multiple spots for plugging in tools and accessories. 

Maverick vs. Santa Cruz: Warranty

The Santa Cruz has better warranty coverage. It features a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, compared to the Maverick’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also, the Santa Cruz has a 3-year/36,000-mile free maintenance plan, but the Maverick doesn’t offer a complimentary maintenance program.

2024 Ford Maverick vs. 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Advantages for each small truck

In this 2024 Ford Maverick vs. 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz comparison, each small truck has various advantages. For the 2024 Maverick, this includes higher fuel economy, pickup bed utility, and off-road use. And for the 2024 Santa Cruz, advantages include reliability, more powerful engines, towing, payload, and warranty coverage.


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