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The Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz are often pitted against each other in the small pickup market. For the 2023 model year, each one offers a similar amount of features and the base-level versions cost about the same.

However, when you look at the top-tiered trims, the price tags are pretty far apart. Why is the Santa Cruz so much more expensive at these higher trims?

Front angle view of blue 2023 Ford Maverick compact pickup truck
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

Why the Hyundai Santa Cruz is so much more expensive than the Ford Maverick

There are a couple of reasons why the Santa Cruz is more expensive at the higher trim levels. First, it has a couple more trim levels between the base and the top-tiered trim.

One of them is a special edition type trim, the Night, which basically offers very little but aesthetic upgrades. The other is a luxury version (SEL Premium), which comes just under the top trim, the Limited. 

Another reason why you see a more expensive price tag for the top-tiered Santa Cruz is that Hyundai is offering the base model at $3,000 more than the Maverick’s entry-level truck. It’s already starting a bit higher and then you have the extra trims pushing the cost up even further by the time you get to the Limited. 

Hyundai Santa Cruz’s highest trim is about $41,000, but the brand really loads it up with features. The Maverick’s top-tier model, the Lariat, starts in the $29,000 range, but you can get plenty of extras added for a few thousand more. Plus, Santa Cruz has excellent warranty coverage

The Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz are both similar pickups, but if you buy the top trim, the Santa Cruz is much more expensive. This is likely due to the extra trims it offers, and the fact that a lot of features the highest version has are included, while the Maverick gives you plenty of packages to add to your purchase, which will drive the final cost even higher. 

Trim levels for the Hyundai Santa Cruz

Hyundai’s Santa Cruz is a similar pickup that offers many of the same features as the Maverick, but there are some key differences. The highest trim model is the Limited version, which comes with AWD, leather upholstery, Bose sound system, ventilated front seats, and a 360-degree camera system for about $40,320. 

With the base model, the SE, you get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with eight-speed automatic transmission. It also comes with a six-speaker stereo, an 8-inch display screen, forward collision with a mitigation system, and blind-spot monitoring with intervention. It starts at $26,745. 

Upgrade to the SEL and you get heated mirrors and front seats, push-button start, power adjustable driver’s seat, and a lockable pickup bed storage bin. It starts at $29,085. Next in line is the Night trim, which offers a turbocharged engine, 20-inch dark alloy wheels, and special blacked-out accents for the exterior. You can get this model for $37,105. 

Upgrade to the SEL Premium trim and you’ll get standard AWD, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system starting at $38,645, according to U.S. News.

Trim levels for the Ford Maverick

Ford’s Maverick pickup comes in a few different trims. First, the base model, which is the XL version, comes in a front-wheel, and all-wheel drivetrain with a Supercrew body style configuration. This model starts at $23,690, according to Edmunds. It offers your basic features such as cloth upholstery, air conditioning, and cruise control to name a few. 

Stepping up to the XLT trim, you can expect to get higher-quality upholstery, alloy wheels, and a power-locking rear tailgate. You’ll also get FWD, AWD, and an advanced AWD setup for $25,950. The highest trim Ford offers for the Maverick, at this time, is the Lariat, which comes in FWD, AWD, and an advanced AWD system. 

This model has a push-button start, simulated leather coverings, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. This starts at $27,955, but you can also add a few packages to the purchase, like a luxury, towing, and an off-road package.


The Most Expensive Pickup Trucks for 2023