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.
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.
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.
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.
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.