2022 Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz Comparison

If you've ever shopped for a compact pickup truck, you know that most entry-level trucks aren't very compact. They're midsize, and when typically equipped, their price tags come uncomfortably close to large trucks.

This will change with the introduction of the 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. Both are small pickup trucks. They're significantly smaller than modern midsize pickups. They're priced lower, too. Four-cylinder engines and front-wheel-drive (FWD) architecture promise better fuel economy, especially on the Maverick, which offers a hybrid powertrain. Tow ratings are way lower, of course, but you'll still enjoy plenty of day-to-day utility thanks to numerous convenience features in their cargo beds. And compared to compact pickups of a generation ago, the Hyundai and Ford promise far better safety.

Here's a 2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz comparison to help you decide if either of these compact trucks makes sense for you.

Price and Value

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Orange Front Quarter View

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat

While larger pickup trucks offer multiple cab and cargo-bed configurations, the compact 2022 Ford Maverick comes in a single configuration. All Mavericks are crew cabs with four forward-hinged doors, seating for five (or, realistically, four), and an open cargo bed that measures 4.5 feet in length with the tailgate closed.

Consumers will find that the 2022 Maverick ranges in price from $19,995 to $25,490, not including a $1,495 destination charge. Trim levels are XL, XLT, and Lariat. You'll also see trucks with FX4 decals; this is an option package on the XLT and Lariat.

All trims come standard with a hybrid powertrain and FWD. A non-hybrid, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is optional. You'll need the turbo engine if you want the optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, and together, they add $4,390 to the Ford Maverick's bottom line. If you also check off the FX4 package, your AWD Ford Maverick will also come with selectable Sand, and Mud & Ruts drive modes. There's no low-range gearing.

All 2022 Ford Mavericks offer a limited menu of connected services via the FordPass app. You can lock your truck from your phone, schedule remote engine starting, and check the fuel level. In addition, you'll get automatic collision notification if you enable 911 Assist through the Sync interface. The Maverick also has a Wi-Fi hotspot, and you can use 3 gigabytes of data during the 3-month trial subscription.

Ford does not offer complimentary scheduled maintenance, though you can earn points in the FordPass app and redeem them for service discounts.

Like the Ford, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz comes in a single configuration. It's a crew cab with seating for five and an open cargo bed that's 4.3 feet long with a closed tailgate. The Santa Cruz is based on Hyundai's latest Tucson SUV, which bodes well for passenger comfort even though it has a shorter wheelbase than the Maverick.

Consumers will find that the 2022 Santa Cruz ranges in price from $23,990 to $39,720, not including a $1,185 destination charge. Trim levels are SE, SEL, SEL Premium, and Limited.

The SE and SEL come standard with a conventional 4-cylinder engine and FWD. You can get Hyundai's HTRAC AWD system as a $1,500 option on these trim levels. Although not intended for serious off-road use, HTRAC transfers torque quickly to maximize traction and includes Sport and Snow driving modes. The higher trims upgrade to a more potent turbocharged engine. Initially, you'll only be able to get the turbo engine with AWD, but Hyundai will add front-drive versions later in the model year.

All 2022 Santa Cruz trims, except the base SE, come with Hyundai's Blue Link connected services complimentary for three years. Features include everything from remote locking and engine start to automatic collision notification, rapid access to roadside help, geofencing for less trusted drivers, and stolen-vehicle recovery.

Hyundai offers complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles you own a Santa Cruz.

Advantage: Hyundai Santa Cruz

Reliability and Quality

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Front Quarter View

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Since these are all-new models, neither the Ford Maverick nor the Hyundai Santa Cruz took part in the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study or the 2020 Initial Quality Study. However, at the brand level, Hyundai outperforms Ford in both studies.

The 2022 Ford Maverick comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles (10 years or 150,000 miles in California emissions states)
  • Roadside assistance: 5 years or 60,000 miles

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 5 years and unlimited mileage

Advantage: Hyundai Santa Cruz

Performance and Efficiency

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Interior Dashboard

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat

You have two engine choices on the 2022 Ford Maverick. First up is a hybrid powertrain that combines a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 162 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque with a 94-kilowatt electric motor and a battery pack. The hybrid Ford Maverick uses an electric continuously variable transmission (eCVT).

Your other option is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp and 277 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard with this engine.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet published fuel-economy ratings for the 2022 Maverick. Ford estimates that the hybrid Maverick will return 40 mpg in city driving. Also, note that AWD Ford Mavericks with the FX4 package have all-terrain tires (in place of the standard all-season tires) and will likely return slightly lower mpg than trucks without this package.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz also offers two engine choices. The base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder generates 191 hp and 181 pound-feet of torque and comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Hyundai offers a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that churns out 281 hp and 311 pound-feet of torque if that's not enough power for you. This engine uses an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) with paddle shifters.

Equipped with the base 2.5-liter engine, the 2022 Santa Cruz rates 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving regardless of whether you select FWD or AWD. According to the EPA, with the turbo engine and AWD, the Hyundai rates 22 mpg combined.

Advantage: Ford Maverick

Tow Ratings and Trailering Equipment

Properly equipped, the 2022 Ford Maverick has a tow rating of 4,000 pounds. This is not a high tow rating, but it'll work if you just want to bring along a couple of jet skis or a very compact travel trailer.

Note that this rating is only possible if you select the turbocharged engine; the Maverick hybrid tops out at just 2,000 pounds. You'll also need the 4k Tow package. Ford has gone the extra mile and included an integrated factory trailer brake controller in this package. This is a rare feature on any compact or midsize pickup—on Ford's Ranger, for example, you have to buy one as an accessory.

If you equip your Ford Maverick with AWD, the FX4 package is a worthwhile addition since it includes a tow/haul driving mode.

All 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz versions come standard with a tow package and a self-leveling rear suspension. Trucks with the turbocharged engine and AWD have a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds. All other versions top out at 3,500 pounds.

The Hyundai's higher tow rating gives it an edge over the Ford, but you'll have to buy an aftermarket trailer brake controller.

You'll want to pay attention to payload ratings when taking adventures with a compact pickup truck. Every version of the 2022 Ford Maverick has a 1,500-pound payload rating. Payload ratings vary on the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, but versions with the turbo engine and AWD have at least a 1,600-pound rating.

Advantage: Hyundai Santa Cruz

Safety and Driving Assistance

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Interior Dashboard

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The 2022 Ford Maverick comes standard with key advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), including a forward-collision warning (FCW) system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking (AEB), and automatic high-beam headlight control. Available on all trim levels, a Ford Co-Pilot 360 option package adds lane-departure warnings (LDW), lane-keeping assist (LKA), and a blind-spot warning (BSW) system and rear cross-traffic warnings.

Another package for the Maverick Lariat takes you into the realm of Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance with the addition of adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability, lane-centering assistance, and evasive steering assistance.

Every 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers more ADAS as standard, including FCW with pedestrian detection and AEB, LDW, LKA, and a driver attention warning system. Starting at the SEL trim level, you also get BSW with rear cross-traffic warnings and Hyundai's Safe Exit Assist system that warns occupants not to open the doors if traffic is approaching from behind the Santa Cruz.

Only the Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited model comes with Highway Driving Assist, Hyundai's Level 2 semi-autonomous assistance. J.D. Power's independent vehicle testing experts have evaluated Highway Driving Assist in other Hyundai models and found it remarkably smooth and refined.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have yet to release crash test data on the all-new Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Advantage: Hyundai Santa Cruz

Infotainment and Technology

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Orange Rear Quarter View

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat

Every 2022 Ford Maverick comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment interface with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Two USB ports are standard, and you can get two more in the back seat plus a wireless phone charging pad. You can get an upgraded infotainment system on the Lariat with voice-recognition technology.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers a couple of different touchscreen displays. The standard display measures 8 inches and includes smartphone integration. An upgraded unit on the SEL trims is the same size but adds Blue Link and satellite radio functionality. The Limited alone comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen interface, factory navigation, and rear USB ports.

In addition, both the 2022 Santa Cruz SEL Premium and Limited come with Hyundai's Digital Key, which uses near-field communication to allow vehicle access from your smartphone. You can also approve access for trusted family members or friends rather than needing to loan them your key fob.

Advantage: Hyundai Santa Cruz

Comfort and Utility

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Rear Quarter View

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Ford has tried to pack a lot of utility into the compact Maverick. All 2022 Ford Mavericks come with six cargo tie-downs, and there are two pre-wired 12-volt access points in the pickup bed for owners wanting to set up a TV and gaming console, an air compressor, or whatever else you can dream up. In addition, all trims can be equipped with two 110-volt/400-watt outlets—one in the cab and one in the bed. You can also option the 2022 Maverick with swing-out toolboxes built into the sides of the bed.

Inside the Ford, the rear seats fold up rather than down to give you more indoor cargo space. If you're planning to have passengers sit back there, note that hybrid Mavericks have an inch less rear legroom due to the packaging of the hybrid battery pack.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers a high level of utility as well. Hyundai's small pickup comes standard with built-in side compartments in the bed, as well as a lockable storage compartment in the floor with a capacity similar to the trunk of a small sedan. A cargo rail system with adjustable cleats is standard, and most versions of the Santa Cruz can be equipped with D-ring tie-downs, LED bed lighting, and a 115-volt bed outlet.

Inside the Hyundai, the rear seats flip up to provide more space for gear, and there's a removable storage bin under the seats. Otherwise, this is a more upscale interior, as the Santa Cruz offers dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and ventilated front seats—amenities that aren't available in the Maverick.

Advantage: Neither

Your priorities will dictate your preferences here.

Learn More About the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz

If you'd like to learn more about these compact trucks, be sure to read our previews of the 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, be sure to check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on July 28, 2021, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.