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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Revealed As Future Ford Maverick Competitor

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Earlier this month, we showed off a few teaser images of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, a new compact pickup that will compete directly with the forthcoming 2022 Ford Maverick. At that time, Hyundai didn’t share too much information about what it calls a “segment-shattering Sports Adventure Vehicle,” but now, the new Santa Cruz has been officially revealed.

Hyundai refuses to call the Santa Cruz a pickup truck, even though it has a bed and truck-like proportions. Regardless, it is a boldly-styled vehicle designed to cater to urban-dwellers who need a vehicle versatile enough to take out on weekend adventures. This means something capable of carrying all sorts of gear that’s better suited to ride in a bed than in the cargo area of a crossover or SUV.

Hence, the bed on the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz features a lockable tonneau cover, integrated corner bumper steps, hidden bed storage, and a variety of bed extension accessories. However, the bed is certainly on the small side, measuring in at just four and a half feet long and four feet wide, while the vehicle itself is smaller than all mid-size trucks currently on the market, including the Ford Ranger.

The Santa Cruz rides on the same unibody platform as the new Tuscon crossover and is powered by the same pair of 2.5L, direct-injected, inline-four-cylinder engines – one that’s naturally-aspirated, and one that isn’t. Both are mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The N/A engine is targeted to produce 190+ horsepower and 180+ pound-feet of torque, while the turbocharged motor is expected to make 275+ horsepower and 310+ pound-feet of torque.

Both models offer Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system with multiple driving modes. In terms of capability, the N/A model offers a max towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, while the turbo model will tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has not yet been announced, but it’ll be interesting to see how closely it comes to matching the Maverick’s sub-$20k starting price. The pickup/Sport Adventure Vehicle will be available to reserve in late April and goes on sale this summer.

We’ll have more on all of Ford’s competitors soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for non-stop Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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12 Comments

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  1. Ford has already been building a better version than either of them and it is rated to tow 5000lbs(7300 with weight distribution hitch). It’s called Explorer Sport Trac. Has selectable 4wheel drive with low range. All of the gear (even more) can be kept quite dry and secure with an optional locking bi-fold hard tonneau cover that doubles as a cargo carrier.
    If memory serves (debatable according to my wife), the Sport Trac was introduced in 2005.
    Ours is equipped with a 4-liter V-6 and runs like a scalded greyhound!
    The 2010(memory thing, again) they were available with a V-8. That had to be quite exciting!

  2. I drive an ’03 Sport Trac and it’s still running well, but I have been watching the Santa Cruz and Maverick. I like what I see today with the Santa Cruz and don’t have the need to have my vehicle be more “truck-like.” The Santa Cruz has some nice features and styling. Where the Maverick could win for me is if it could come in closer to that $20k mark and be closer in size and comfort to my beloved ST.

  3. IF, this comes reasonably well equipped, with $20,000 msrp, it will be a huge seller. Good competition results in better pricing and better engineering for all of us. I wish them the best of luck….

  4. Already downsized from full size trucks to a small suv. This or the Maverick would work better for taking my small boat to the lake, easier then throwing all the wet gear in the hatch.

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