The first round of the battle of the return of the compact pickup seemingly goes to … Ford. Hyundai revealed the pricing on its new Santa Cruz, and its almost $4K more that the recently introduced Maverick.
The new Santa Cruz, which Hyundai calls a sport adventure vehicle, comes in three trim levels: the SE, SEL and SEL Activity. Powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the SE starts at $23,990.
The SEL begins at $27,190 and the SEL Activity kicks off at $30,460. All of the small pickups are powered by the same engine and transmission pairing as well as being front-wheel drive.
“The 2022 Santa Cruz breaks new ground within the SUV, truck and crossover segments by offering a true Sport Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else on the U.S. market,” the company said in a release. “Santa Cruz boasts a bold yet sophisticated design, and powerful and efficient powertrain options.”
The same but different — and cheaper
In its return to the compact truck segment, Ford dug into its past for a name: Maverick. It also looked to the future making the entry-level model a hybrid delivering an estimated 40 mpg. Not only that, it does it for less than $20K at $19,995.
The base engine pairs a 2.5-liter Atkinson Cycle gas engine with a 94 kilowatt electric motor. Together, they produce 191 horsepower. The engine is paired with a CVT gearbox and is available only in front-wheel-drive.
Maverick offers an upgrade to a 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic. This package punches the pony count up to 250, with torque rated at 277 pound-feet. The turbo-4 can be ordered in either front- or all-wheel drive.
Even the hybrid manages to carry up to 1,500 pounds of cargo and tow up to 2,000 pounds. The EcoBoost package bumps that tow rating to 4,000. To put that into perspective, the Ranger can handle anywhere from 3,500 to 7,500 pounds, depending upon options.