Future Ford Maverick To See Competition From Upcoming Hyundai Pickup

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Just recently, we reported that the upcoming Ford Maverick, previously referred to as the Ford Courier, will likely show up in 2021 as a unibody, compact pickup positioned below the midsize Ford Ranger. When Ford launches the Maverick, the new model will face competition from an unlikely source – an upcoming Hyundai pickup.

Rear three quarters view of the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept
Hyundai Santa Cruz concept

According to Car And Driver, the first-ever Hyundai pickup will be called the Santa Cruz and will start at $25,000. The report also states that the Santa Cruz will offer a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger. Both gasoline engines will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with front- or all-wheel drive. That powertrain combination sounds almost the same, if not identical, to what Hyundai currently offers in the Santa Fe.

No word on how many doors the Santa Cruz will offer, but we expect that it will come exclusively in a four-door configuration.

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Ford Authority rendering of the upcoming Ford Maverick compact unibody pickup
Ford Authority rendering of the upcoming Ford Maverick compact unibody pickup

By comparison, the Ford Maverick will ride on the new, highly-scalable Ford C2 platform shared most directly with the Ford Bronco Sport. The same basic architecture also underpins a few other FoMoCo models, including the fourth-generation Ford Focus, third-generation Ford Escape / Kuga, and the first-generation Lincoln Corsair.

From a mechanical standpoint, we expect the new Maverick to be offered with two small-displacement Ford EcoBoost engines: the turbo-charged 1.5L EcoBoost I-3 “Dragon” as well as the turbo-charged Ford 2.0L EcoBoost I-4. Ford’s new eight-speed automatic will do the shifting duties. Front-wheel-drive will be standard, and all-wheel-drive could be offered as an option.

Meanwhile, pricing for the Ford Maverick is expected to start around $20,000 flat, an entire segment’s worth lower than the $24,410 starting price for the Ford Ranger.

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An early test mule of the upcoming Ford Maverick
An early test mule of the upcoming Ford Maverick

With all that said, it does sound like the upcoming Santa Cruz Hyundai pickup will actually be larger than the future Ford Maverick. Our line of thinking is based on the fact that the Santa Cruz will be derived from the Santa Fe, a midsize crossover that’s a direct rival to the Ford Edge. But since the Maverick will be derived from the same platform as two compact-sized Ford crossovers (Bronco Sport and Escape), it would appear that it will be a size smaller (and a segment less expensive) than the Hyundai.

An early test mule of the upcoming Ford Maverick
An early test mule of the upcoming Ford Maverick

Meanwhile, word has it that Ford’s cross-town rival, General Motors, is also readying a new unibody pickup model, but it’s not expected to be offered in the North American market. GM offers the Chevrolet Montana in Mexico as well as South American markets.

We’ll keep an ear out for any more information on the Maverick competitor from the Hyundai pickup as well as on the Maverick, and will report back as we have it. In the meantime, subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Maverick news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Ford Maverick Photos
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Written by Francisco Cruz

Frankie's first favorite car was a 1968 Ford Mustang, and he's had a strong appreciation for the nameplate ever since. Later in his youth he became infatuated with Eleanor, thanks to Nicholas Cage's stellar performance.

Frank's a real jokester, too.

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6 Comments

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  1. Considering that Ford had been the leader of truck Manufacturering for decades. I think Hyundai will be a nitch truck from the appearance of the Santa Cruz being more like an SUV with a bed where the Maverick appears to be an actual truck. I think they will compete for different customers. My guess is the Maverick will outsell the Santa Cruz by a large margin from buyers looking for a small functional work truck.

    • That’s dumb maverick’s weren’t trucks they were coupes
      Based on a mustang for people who couldn’t afford a mustang.maverick GRABBER 302 CI

  2. Incorrect. The Santa Cruz will compete with the Honda Ridgeline and be substantially larger than the Maverick (if Ford has its wits about it, unlike the mental lapses called Ranger and Colorado). I knew it was coming: that crappy 3-cylinder Dragon going in the Maverick. No thanks!

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