Now that the 2022 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz compact crossover pickups have been fully unveiled and headed our way by year’s end, it’s time to compare them side by side to see how they stack up.
Both the Maverick and Santa Cruz are built upon uni-body crossover chassis and are available only ion a four-door, five-passenger configuration. The both feature cargo boxes which are structurally integrated with their cabs unlike body-on-frame trucks that have separate cargo boxes that allow for frames to twist without wrinkling body work. In these two, extra structural engineering design steps are taken to keep the bodies from becoming overstressed.
The Ford Maverick shares its design architecture with the Bronco Sport yet has its own unique sheet-metal that brings a lot more flavor from the larger F-Series trucks to its DNA. It has standard LED headlamps and wheel sizes of 17 to 18-inches. An off-road themed FX4 package is available with all-terrain tires.
Maverick has the largest cargo box of the two at 4.5-feet in length and features a number of design elements and features slots in the steel bed walls, multiple anchor points, and a multi-position tailgate than support up to 500 pounds, enabling you to haul items like a 4×8 sheet of plywood.
Hyundai took a far more bold and sporting design approach on the Santa Fe based Santa Cruz pickup. The grille for instance features standard LED daytime running lights that are hidden until they light up. Wheel sizes up to 20-inches are available and there will be an off-road variant with all-terrain tires.
The plastic composite inner cargo box is smaller than Maverick at 4-feet in length but features a lockable trunk space underneath its floor. There’s also a standard integrated lockable tonneau cover for extra security.
The 2022 Ford Maverick is the largest of the two measuring in with a 121-inch wheelbase and a length just shy of 200-inches. The Hyundai Santa Cruz has a 3-inch shorter wheelbase of 118-inches and overall length of 196-inches – about 5-inches shorter which accounts for its smaller bed size overall.
Thus, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is closer in size of the two trucks to the compact pickups of the old days. And to put them both into perspective, The first generation Toyota Tacoma Double-Cab had a 121-inch wheelbase, a 203-inch length but had a 5.5-foot bed. Both the Maverick and Santa Cruz are smaller.
While we don’t have detailed interior dimensions from Hyundai to compare to the Ford, the cabin sizes are very similar when it comes to things like legroom, headroom and the like.
The cabin of the Ford Maverick does offers up a design and execution decidedly more truck-like than the Hyundai, sharing many of its cues from the Ford Bronco Sport. This means more basic and lower end materials and less in the way of technology features when it comes to instrument cluster and infotainment options.
Being more truck-centric however means Maverick has a lot of storage opportunity designed into its door panels for instance, making it ideal for use as a work truck and for long trips. Under the second row is a storage area well executed and constructed.
Under the rear seat of the Santa Cruz is a similar storage area but its construction and execution doesn’t look as well thought out as the Ford. The rest of the interior in the Santa Cruz however leans more stylish and high quality in terms of its materials and design – identical to the Tucson SUV in which it is based.
Technology features in the Santa Cruz are more high-end with available 10.25-inch instrument cluster and touchscreen center displays with a full-array of feature content that based on early information from both companies appears to best the Ford.
What’s under their respective hoods is really where these to trucks really go in different directions. The Ford Maverick is the only truck at launch to offer a hybrid powertrain and a standard one at that. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an electrified CVT with 191 combined horsepower and up to 40 mpg – standard. It is available in FWD only.
Optional is Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. It’s available in both FWD or AWD with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Santa Cruz comes standard with a 190 horsepower non-hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine but will be available in both FWD and AWD. Optional is the most powerful of the two trucks, a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and mated to a new heavy duty 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters.
So of the two, the Santa Cruz offers the most power on the high end, but Ford offers equivalent horsepower on the base level plus far more efficiency at 40 mpg. Keep in mind Hyundai has a hybrid powertrain they could add to the Santa Cruz if they choose.
Towing & Capacity
When it comes to capability, bed size is a factor here but towing capacity between the two another area where they become more separate.
The 2022 Ford Maverick has a total towing capacity of 2,000 with the base Hybrid powertrain and can tow up to 4,000 pounds with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Payload capacity for both is 1,500 pounds.
Towing capacity with the Hyundai Santa Cruz is substantially more at 3,500 pounds for the base 2.5-liter model and a class topping 5,000 pounds for the 2.5-liter turbo. Payload capacity for the Santa Cruz has not been shared with us as of the production of this video.
Price and Trims
The Ford Maverick will be available in base XL work truck trim with bare steel wheels and a stripper interior starting out at $19,995 and range up to a full-boat Lariat model expected to exceed $35,000 easily with top powertrain and options.
As of today, pricing has not been announced for the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Being a more consumer and lifestyle oriented truck offering, we would be surprised if they offer it in a super stripped-down commercial oriented XL kind of trim grade as you will find the Ford Maverick. Thus pricing is likely expected to start in the low 20,000’s, a slight bit higher than the Ford.