|54.4||Bed Length (in)||52.1|
|8||Infotainment Screen (in)||8|
When you think of a pickup truck, what immediately comes to mind? Do you envision a gas-guzzling, heavy-duty truck that forces you to sacrifice luxury and comfort for capability and performance? Fortunately, this is no longer the status quo, thanks to automakers like Ford and Hyundai that are revolutionizing the truck segment with compact models like the Maverick and the Santa Cruz. But how exactly do the models compare, and who wins in the race between the 2022 Ford Maverick vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz?
For starters, the Maverick and Santa Cruz prove that capable workhorses come in all shapes and sizes, not just heavy-duty diesel-powered models. However, the similarities end there as the 2022 Ford Maverick easily takes the lead against the Hyundai Santa Cruz by delivering more capability, efficiency, and all-around comfort in the segment. Sure, the Santa Cruz has plenty of great features, but it’s hard to beat the legendary blue oval, and everything the “Built Ford Tough” logo stands for in America.
You’ll find the 2022 Maverick is the clear winner in this race, but that isn’t to say that the Santa Cruz isn’t a viable option. The Maverick and Santa Cruz simply excel in different areas, which means it’s up to you to select the right compact truck for your budget and driving needs. That starts with understanding how the models compare.
The 2022 Ford Maverick easily takes the lead against the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz when you compare performance, efficiency, and capability. The Maverick is the first pickup in America to come standard with a full-hybrid powertrain, which is responsible for the Maverick’s targeted 40 MPG estimated average and its estimated 500-mile range. The powertrain is a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor to deliver 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque along with a 1,500-pound payload and a 2,000-pound towing capacity. This makes the Maverick a supremely capable and efficient truck that delivers quick acceleration and capable handling even when towing a modest load like a pop-up camper or jet ski.
Ford knows that a hybrid powertrain isn’t always a viable option for drivers who need more capability, which is why you’ll find the Maverick can also be equipped with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost gas-powered engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. This truly reflects the “Built Ford Tough” motto and pushes the Maverick’s performance even higher to deliver 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. It also doubles the truck’s towing capability to 4,000 pounds, which gives you the option to confidently haul a trailer, camper, or boat. Add in the available intelligent all-wheel drive along with the five standard drive modes (Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Tow/Haul), and the Maverick’s capability truly shines.
You won’t find a hybrid powertrain on the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, which means Hyundai’s truck isn’t as efficient, nor does it offer the same level of instantaneous torque that you’ll find on the hybrid-powered Maverick. Instead, the Santa Cruz comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission that produces 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque.
The 2022 Maverick showcases Ford’s commitment to designing trucks that work for you and make your life and job easier even when you’re behind the wheel. The Maverick embodies Ford’s design theme that form follows function, which is apparent whether you’re looking at the integrated tether system in the second row or the customizable truck bed. The Maverick is proof that practicality and function can be beautiful and sophisticated.
Ford pays keen attention to detail on the Maverick, and it shows with the all-new FLEXBED system that allows you to transform the bed of the truck to fit your needs. The FLEXBED is a paradise for DIY-ers because you can use the slots stamped into the side of the bed to create segmented storage, add bike racks, kayak racks, or other components to fit your hauling needs. You’ll also find two tie-downs, four D-rings, and built-in threaded holes in the sides of the bed that give you an endless array of tie-down options. What’s even better is that you don’t have to buy accessories from Ford but can easily create your own system using parts found at your local hardware store.
This customizable theme continues to the Maverick’s interior, where you’ll find Ford’s exclusive integrated tether system in the second row. Ford knows firsthand that drivers accumulate a lot of stuff inside their vehicles, which is the inspiration behind this unique FITS system. Designed with multitasking in mind, the system offers endless personalization by allowing you to choose from a variety of accessories like double hooks, storage dividers, trash bins, storage containers, and more to fit your style, whether you need to hang grocery bags or a backpack, stow gear under the rear seat, or neatly contain smaller items. Ford even plans to release the system’s specs, which means owners can print their own solutions via 3D printers.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz doesn’t offer much in terms of customizable or versatile storage solutions. You’ll even discover that the Maverick’s bed is longer at 54.4 inches compared to the Santa Cruz bed at 52.1 inches. However, if you’re looking for a standard bed without the bells and whistles, the Santa Cruz is a safe bet with its molded composite bed and a power-locking tailgate that you can open using the key fob. The bed also includes heavy-duty D-rings, a sliding bed divider, and available add-ons like a bed fence, bed mat, and cargo net. The rear bumper features integrated side steps, and you’ll find the lockable side compartments are a nice place to safely store small equipment and tools.
Technology levels the playing field between the 2022 Ford Maverick and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, with both models offering plenty of connectivity, safety, and driver-assist tools. The Maverick comes standard with an 8-inch center touchscreen display that’s home to Ford’s leading SYNC infotainment system, as well as access to your favorite apps via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. You’ll also have access to your truck via the FordPass Connect app that transforms the Maverick into a traveling mobile hotspot that can support ten devices. You can use the app to remotely monitor the truck’s location, start or stop the engine, and lock or unlock the doors.
The Maverick’s intuitive technology extends from its infotainment system to its suite of active and passive safety and driver-assist tools. The Ford Co-Pilot360 suite is one of the best in the industry and comes standard on the truck. The suite includes Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking that can bring the Maverick to an emergency stop when a collision is imminent. The suite also comes standard with automatic high beam headlamps. You can add enhanced tools like Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go, a Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Centering, and Evasive Steering Assist, all of which are designed to give you confidence behind the wheel.
Like the Maverick, the Hyundai Santa Cruz comes standard with an 8-inch center touchscreen display. From the display, you can wirelessly sync your smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. You’ll find a similar feature to FordPass Connect with Hyundai’s Digital Key, which gives you remote access to the Santa Cruz via an app on your smartphone.
Hyundai also goes to great lengths to make your safety a priority with its Hyundai SmartSense suite of safety and driver-assist tools. The suite starts with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection that uses the front camera and radar to watch for pedestrians and other vehicles in the truck’s path. If something is detected, it will alert you to the potential collision and, if you fail to respond, can bring the truck to an emergency stop.
The Santa Cruz also comes with Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist that makes changing lanes easier, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist that detects vehicles crossing in the rear path of the truck. Lane Following Assist helps you keep the Santa Cruz centered in its lane, while Lane Keeping Assist makes sure you stay on the road. Other tools include Highway Driving Assist, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Driver Attention Warning, and Rear Occupant Alert, all of which prioritize the safety of you and your passengers.