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We’ve been working on this mystery for a while. The Ford Maverick seems to be incredibly popular compared to the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. But the 2022 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are both excellent compact trucks to consider, so what’s really going on? 

The Ford Maverick has a better fuel economy 

Orange 2022 Ford Maverick, the pickup truck with the best gas mileage in 2022, driving on a mountain road
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

As gas prices rise, the answer might be right in front of us. The 2022 Ford Maverick could be more popular than the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz because it has a better fuel economy. 

One reason people are attracted to smaller trucks is because they’re trying to avoid massive gas guzzlers. Although, we wouldn’t exactly label the Santa Cruz as a guzzler. 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and up to 27 mpg on the highway, which is fine. But the much larger Ford F-150 receives an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and up to 26 mpg on the highway. 

Of course, the Ford Maverick Hybrid is wildly popular with an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in the city and up to 33 mpg on the highway. That’s hard to beat! Also, the gas-powered engine gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined. 

But the Hyundai Santa Cruz has more power 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 lbs when properly equipped. That puts it up there with the Honda Ridgeline in the midsize truck range. The 2022 Ford Maverick can tow up to 4,000 lbs. 

Plus, the Hyundai Santa Cruz can carry a payload of up to 1,906 lbs, while the Ford Maverick can carry a payload of up to 1,564 lbs. This is a marginal difference, but it could matter to those looking to haul more weight. 

Both the Maverick and the Santa Cruz have two engine options. But only the gas-powered engine can be equipped with the tow package and all-wheel drive. So, you’ll have to move up to more expensive engines to access its full capability. 

Both of the Santa Cruz’s engines can be equipped with AWD and the towing package. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder option with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. 

The standard Ford Maverick engine is 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor to produce 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. 

Is the Santa Cruz or Maverick better? 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a small truck that could soon see a hybrid powertrain
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Both the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and the 2022 Ford Maverick have similar sizes and features. However, the Santa Cruz may have a smoother ride and quieter interior compared to the Maverick. 

According to MotorTrend, the Santa Cruz may have high-quality interior materials across each trim level. The standard Maverick is a bit Spartan. The Santa Cruz has a composite bed, and the Maverick has a steel bed. 

The Maverick might be easier to customize with personal mods and storage solutions. However, the Santa Cruz has a cubby under the bed with a drain plug. Declaring a winner is pretty tough, but we do know one thing. The Maverick has a better fuel economy.


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