|37||Fuel Economy (mpg)||23|
|54.4||Bed Length (in)||52.1|
The compact trucks are seeing a resurgence in the automotive industry. For a long time, people believed that if you were going to be getting a truck, your only option was to get a big, bulky road hog that was hard to handle and even harder to find a good spot to park in. All of that is changing though. With the addition of trucks like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz, drivers are finding that they can still get a truck without having to stress about it being too large on the road and in parking lots.
Manufacturers have been actively working towards creating vehicles that fit the needs of every driver, and compact trucks are the direct products of this movement. The demand for these more size-friendly trucks is increasing, and with more manufacturers putting out such trucks, we have a need to compare and contrast what's available on the market. The top competitors to compare are the 2022 Ford Maverick vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, as these two trucks, while compact in size, have been giants in the industry when it comes to demand. Which of them is truly the better deal though?
The ability to save money on gasoline is always relevant, and manufacturers are beginning to feel the pressure to put out high-quality and highly fuel-efficient vehicles. This can be quite the challenge when you're looking to make a small truck just as capable as a larger one, but it can be done. Both the Maverick and the Santa Cruz have two engine options, so in the name of fairness, we'll go ahead and look at both options of engine for the trucks.
The 2022 Maverick comes with two great engines to choose from. It can have either a 2.5L I-4 full-hybrid or a 2.0L EcoBoost Turbo I-4. If you choose the hybrid, you're going to be getting the best fuel efficiency because this engine enables the Maverick to get up to 42 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway! The EcoBoost isn't far behind the hybrid, with ratings of up to 23 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. Both of these engines have an edge on the Santa Cruz, and that makes them a sure bet when it comes to great gas mileage. The other benefit of the hybrid is that you're making an environmentally-friendly choice. This allows you to feel great about the vehicle you're driving.
The 2022 Santa Cruz also has two engine options, although neither of them can compare to the Ford's great efficiency. If you go with the Santa Cruz, you'll be picking between its standard 2.5L I-4 and a turbocharged 2.5L I-4. The standard engine is capable of getting just 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway, which is significantly less than the Maverick's hybrid engine and just barely above the Maverick's EcoBoost engine. The Santa Cruz's turbocharged engine is able to get a maximum of 19 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, which is 4 MPG combined lower than the Maverick EcoBoost. Neither of the Santa Cruz's engines is capable of keeping pace with the Maverick when it comes to fuel efficiency, and that gives the Maverick a definitive edge.
One of the main reasons people want a truck is to be able to transport large objects without the need for a trailer. Trailers reduce fuel efficiency and can add complications when it comes to the driveability of a vehicle. The benefit of the compact truck is that you get a truck that can still navigate tight spaces while taking all your gear with you. So, which of these compact trucks has what it takes to handle cargo without the need for a trailer?
The Hyundai Santa Cruz comes with a truck bed that is 52.1 inches long. That's just a little longer than four feet. This is a bit small, even for a compact truck. It can still handle a good amount of payload weight, but there's just not anywhere to put it all! So if you wanted to move a bed frame or fridge, depending on the size of it, the Santa Cruz would probably need a trailer to make that happen. Again the shorter bed is nice as far as maneuverability goes, but we still feel like they could have gone a little bigger and maintained that compact truck size.
The 2022 Ford Maverick is equipped with a 54.4-inch bed. The additional inches on the truck bed put it closer to five feet than four and make a huge difference as far as what you can put in it. The extra space in the back enables the Maverick to carry loads without a ridiculous amount hanging off on the back of the truck. And unlike the Santa Cruz, the Maverick has standard storage bins under the rear seats. This means if you're going on a camping trip, you can have all your cooking gear in the cabin of the truck and the tent, chairs, and other supplies in the bed of the truck without taking up any passenger space.
The fact that Ford decided to add additional storage space within the Maverick is just another win. The engineers really made sure that while this truck is smaller, it can still compete with larger trucks in terms of how much it can move without a trailer. Another feature that Ford thought to include for the Mavericks is the Flexbed. If you haven't heard of Ford's Flexbed, it basically allows you to adjust the truck bed as you see fit. You can power tools and electronics, adjust storage compartments, and add racks. Basically, the Flexbed turns your truck bed into a portable workbench.
The Santa Cruz literally falls short when it comes to cargo capacity, both in the bed and cabin of the vehicle. We understand that keeping a truck compact can be a challenge, but the Maverick shows that you can have both room and cargo space without buying a full-size truck.
When it comes down to it, most people end up deciding what vehicle they want based on price. If the truck is great, but the price isn't, then you're probably not going to buy it. Like all vehicles, compact trucks can run the gamut of prices from low to high. Let's see how the Maverick and Santa Cruz compare.
The 2022 Santa Cruz starts at a price of $24,440.[a] While that is quite affordable compared to full-size trucks, it is still significantly more expensive than the Maverick. In fact, the base trim for the Santa Cruz costs roughly as much as the top trim of the Maverick. If that wasn't enough, the top trim for the Santa Cruz starts at $40,170![a] That's a lot to spend on a truck that can't deliver as much fuel efficiency or cargo space. We're not really on board with encouraging people to spend more to get less, so we can't really endorse the Santa Cruz as a solid buy.
The Maverick is available for purchase starting at just $19,995.[a] This price is incredible considering there are many compact cars you can't even get for that little! And $19,995 still gets you quite the package.[a] You can get an environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient, compact truck that is capable of taking a decent load wherever you want to go without breaking 20 grand. It's really quite a steal in terms of value.
If you're thinking that you have a little more than 20k to spend and want to upgrade your Maverick a little, you actually don't have to spend too much more. The highest-priced trim is available for only $25,860.[a] That's an incredible deal and still includes all your high-value perks. The Maverick Lariat trim comes with push-button start, power seats, leather interior trimmings, and a power sliding rear window. This truck has all the benefits of a truck, for a price that is less than some cars! It's a choice that practically makes itself.
Even if you had all the money in the world, the Maverick would still be the better investment. It costs less and gives more to everyday drivers. So if you want a truck that's worth more than its weight, then you want the Maverick.