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The battle between the 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is really starting to heat up. We’re still learning more about these compact options, but we just found out that the Ford Maverick has an ace up its sleeve. 

The 2022 Ford Maverick has a better fuel economy than the Hyundai Santa Cruz 

A light-blue 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid drives down a city street
2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid | Ford

So, we’ve known about the 2022 Ford Maverick having a standard hybrid powertrain for a while. It’s expected to get up to 40 mpg. But it has some underwhelming aspects. For example, it only has 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. Also, it currently can’t be paired with all-wheel drive. 

So forget about off-roading and navigating through slippery conditions with the Maverick Hybrid for now. It could be updated to pair with AWD later. In the meantime, we’ve been excited about the more powerful engine option, but we worried that it would be thirsty and shouldn’t have been. 

The 2.0-liter turbo-four engine provides 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. It gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with 30 mpg combined. Cracking 30 mpg is impressive. 

How fuel-efficient is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz? 

With the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, you get a 2.5-liter inline-four engine that pumps out 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. The higher amount of torque with the base engine is pretty enticing against the 2022 Ford Maverick. You can also upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. 

The base engine gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city, up to 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. But at least the base engine can be paired with AWD. With the turbocharged engine, you get 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg combined. But it still gets up to 27 mpg on the highway. 

The Ford Maverick’s hybrid engine is paired with an electric continuously variable transmission (eCVT). The gas-powered engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. There is no manual option. 

With the Santa Cruz’s base engine, you get an 8-speed automatic transmission. But the turbo engine is paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Hyundai Santa Cruz might be thirsty, but it’s expected to be faster and sportier than the Maverick. 

Both trucks have a unibody design to drive more like a car than a truck. However, while the Santa Cruz is available now, we’re still waiting for the Maverick to hit the streets. Then we will see which option has a better performance. 

Which truck has better features? 

A 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz parked in gravel
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The 2022 Ford Maverick presents a good deal with a starting price of about $19,995, which is hard to beat. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz starts at about $23,990. These prices are listed before the destination fees, and dealership markups have been added. 

When properly equipped, the Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,906. The Ford Maverick can tow up to 4,000 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,500 lbs. So, the Santa Cruz is a little more capable. 

Both trucks offer a larger infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, the Santa Cruz also has a digital cluster display. Safety features include forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking. 

While the Maverick hits a home run by having a better fuel economy, the Santa Cruz offers a bit more muscle and tech. We can’t wait for the Maverick to arrive to provide a better performance comparison. 


The 2022 Ford Maverick Is Stronger Than Expected