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Compact trucks are making a comeback in the American auto market, and trucks like the 2022 Ford Maverick and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compete for drivers’ wallets. With so many options on the market, folks may have a tough time figuring out which compact pickup truck is the right one for them. So, here’s a look at four reasons why the 2022 Ford Maverick is a better compact pickup truck than the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

The 2022 Ford Maverick is much cheaper than the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

A silver Ford Maverick parked outside in front of a building surrounded by snow.
Ford Maverick | Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, the Maverick is a much more affordable truck option than the Santa Cruz. The Ford starts at a little over $20,000, while the Hyundai starts at almost $25,000. This means there’s a nearly $5,000 difference between the two compact pickup trucks base trims. 

The price difference between their top trims is even more noticeable. A fully loaded Maverick will cost close to $40,000, but a fully loaded Santa Cruz will be over $40,000.

The Ford Maverick has a much better fuel economy

The Ford is a cheaper truck to buy, but it can be a cheaper truck to drive, too. That’s because the regular Maverick is a hybrid, and it gets a much better fuel economy than the Santa Cruz does. Hyundai doesn’t even offer a hybrid option for the Santa Cruz right now. On top of that, Ford offers a non-hybrid option for the Maverick, and it still gets a better fuel economy than the Santa Cruz.

The Maverick’s standard hybrid engine is a 2.5-liter which gets 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. This engine won’t allow the Maverick to tow much, but it’ll get a fuel economy of 37 mpg combined. When equipped with its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder option, the Maverick gets 26 mpg combined. In comparison, the Santa Cruz, which has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder as standard, gets 23 mpg combined.

The Hyundai’s got some visibility issues; the Ford doesn’t

The Santa Cruz has some rear visibility issues. Consumer Reports wrote, “Rear visibility is hampered by short second-row windows, thick rear pillars, and a relatively small rear window.” It also has some visibility problems on its sides.

On the other hand, Consumer Reports praised the Maverick for its visibility. The independent reviewer wrote, “The rear window in our tested XLT is a clean pane of glass, free of the sliding rear window bars that obstruct the views out the back of most pickups.” The Ford’s visibility is not perfect and there are some weak spots, but compared to the Hyundai, it’s clear that the Maverick provides more outward visibility than the Santa Cruz. 

Despite being a compact truck, the Maverick has a bigger bed

Despite both compact pickup trucks being relatively small, and Ford being cheaper than the Hyundai, the Maverick has a bigger truck bed than the Santa Cruz. To be fair to the Santa Cruz, Hyundai designed it so the truck bed would be useful even though it’s on the smaller side. 

The Maverick has a 4.5-ft long bed, while the Santa Cruz has a roughly 4-ft long bed. This six-inch difference adds up as, according to Consumer Reports, the Maverick’s truck bed has one-and-a-half times the volume as what the Santa Cruz’s truck bed provides. 

Despite all their differences, both can be great trucks depending on what you are looking for, but it does seem that the Maverick has a bit of an edge.


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