2022 Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz: Spec Battle

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Everywhere you look, the 2022 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz trucks are in the news. That’s because these two pickup trucks are paving the way for a new breed of truck. Check out the specs on the new Ford and Hyundai trucks to see which one might check all of the boxes.

Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz: Towing capacities

The 2022 Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz | Ford

These trucks might be little, but the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are also mighty. MotorTrend says that the Maverick has a max payload of 1,500 pounds. The Santa Cruz came in a bit higher at 1,748, but Hyundai has also modified that number a few times so far.

The payload is the combined weight of passengers and cargo, different from the regular towing number. Hyundai noted that the Santa Cruz is only rated to carry 660 pounds in the truck’s bed. Ford did not specify how much the Maverick can carry. This isn’t unusual for automakers to omit giving this specific number out.

The Maverick can tow 2,000 pounds across the board. The all-wheel-drive option increases the towing capacity to 4,000 pounds – with the optional towing package. The Santa Cruz can tow 3,500 pounds with the base model. The all-wheel-drive upgrade allows for the truck to tow 5,000 pounds.

Size differences: Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz

There is much controversy surrounding the idea of mini trucks or smaller pickup trucks. While some trucks continue to get bigger each year, there is definitely room for smaller trucks. Both the Ford Maverick and Santa Cruz are built on SUV platforms as opposed to truck platforms. The Maverick is closely related to the Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Escape. The Santa Cruz is closer to the Tuscon. MotorTrend suggests thinking of these trucks as longer SUVs with open cargo areas.

As far as exterior sizing goes, the Maverick is four inches longer, with a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase. It is also taller by two inches but 2.6 inches smaller for the width. If you are concerned about smaller spaces (like a narrow garage), the Ford might be a better choice. However, shallow garages, street parking, and low ceilings might make the Hyundai a better choice.

The Maverick truck bed is 54.4 inches long, compared to the Hyundai Santa Cruz bed that is 52.1 inches. Both truck beds allow for owners to fit a full 4×8 piece of plywood down. The Ford truck has an optional storage area on one side, while the Hyundai comes standard with two. It also has a lockable area under the trunk for safekeeping.

Fuel economy, engine options, and transmissions

The Santa Cruz has two gasoline options for the engine, but it comes in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. This truck gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city, 26-27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combines. The all-wheel-drive option comes with a turbocharged engine getting 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. This means the trucks are fairly evenly matched for fuel economy.

This is where the Hyundai Santa Cruz pulls ahead a bit. The 2.5L four-cylinder engine that comes standard gets 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. This one utilizes an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder makes 281 hp and 311 lb-ft. This one has an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Ford Maverick has a hybrid powertrain as the standard option. The 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor get 191 hp and 173 lb-ft combined. The optional 2.0L turbo engine makes 250 hp and 277 lb-ft. This hybrid option uses a CVT transmission, while the gas option uses an eight-speed automatic.

With all of the specs laid out on the table, there isn’t really a clear winner. Some drivers might find the Hyundai Santa Cruz towing capabilities and fuel economy more important. Some buyers might be more loyal to the Ford brand and will give the Maverick a go. Wither way, these new trucks have a lot to offer.

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