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Small trucks are becoming more and more popular on area roads with the introduction of the 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. But, can these compact pickups replace the traditional sedan? In the past, cars were the most popular vehicles on the roads, but Americans have since favored the practicality of SUVs and trucks. With the arrival of small trucks, cars could be under even more threat, because these small trucks offer the best of both worlds. 

Why buy a small truck?

Compact trucks offer a number of benefits over full-size trucks and even cars. With a truck like the Ford Maverick, you have a unibody vehicle that rides on the same platform as the Ford Escape. Because of that, you can expect a relatively comfortable ride that is ready to handle urban environments, all while offering the benefits of a pickup bed. 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz shows off its potential as a small truck
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

In the case of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, it uses the platform from the Hyundai Tucson and is essentially a pickup version of that popular crossover. The Santa Cruz also has unique styling and can offer over 280 horsepower. 

Are compact pickup trucks efficient?

In terms of the 2022 Ford Maverick, it is fairly efficient, especially with its hybrid powertrain. But, as noted by Car and Driver, the Maverick Hybrid may not get its estimated gas mileage. Still, it is more efficient than something like the Ford F-150 Raptor and has comparable mileage to that of a car. 

Two Ford Maverick small pickup trucks are driving on the road.
Two Ford Maverick small pickup trucks are driving on the road | Ford

Unfortunately, the Santa Cruz does not currently offer a hybrid engine, so do not expect the same kind of efficiency that you would expect from an electric motor. At the same time, it can tow more than the 2022 Ford Maverick when properly equipped, and that is something that is likely to be appreciated. 

Will Toyota make a small truck?

One manufacturer that is notably absent from the small truck scene is Toyota. Toyota’s smallest truck is the Toyota Tacoma, and that truck is not all that small. But, recently rumors have been circulating that Toyota may be interested in building a compact pickup.

This would make sense because brands like Ford have found great success with vehicles like the Maverick. So, you have to imagine other manufacturers are debating making a compact truck in order to compete and get the sales numbers. 

Can a small pickup replace a car?

Depending on your needs, a pickup truck and replace a car, and that is especially true of a small truck. Now, a truck may not have the same passenger hauling abilities, but it’s easier for a truck to be a car than it is for a car to be a truck. 

Orange 2022 Ford Maverick, which could be challenged by new Toyota compact pickup truck, driving on a mountain road
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

You can haul things like a dirt bike with a small truck, something that you more than likely can’t do with your Honda Civic. Plus, so far, the Maverick and Santa Cruz are priced pretty closely to typical cars. And that means you do not have to shell out $50,000 to get a pickup truck. Only time will tell if these trucks start outselling the car segment.


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