The auto industry can be so strange. The U.S. truck market soldiered on for a solid decade without even a hint of a compact model, and now, here we are comparing two of the things in the same debut model year. In one corner, we have the all-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, South Korea’s first-ever pickup truck for the American market. In the other corner, Ford’s new 2022 Maverick, which is decidedly not the Blue Oval’s first truck in America; heck, this isn’t even its first Maverick. We’re excited, you’re excited, and the buying public is very excited. Let’s see what we’re working with.
Let’s clear the air filter before we continue. Yes, we consider both of these unibody, crossover-based pickups to be “trucks.” They got a bed, don’t they? Sure, they can’t tow as much as a body-on-frame pickup, they’re not as tough off-road, and in the case of the Hyundai, they don’t look like your average truck, either. That’s alright; they ride better, steer better, drive better, and are a whole heck of a lot easier on your wallet than even something like the midsize Toyota Tacoma or Ford’s own Ranger. And they do truck things.
That said, these are not trucks for traditional truck buyers. The Maverick and Santa Cruz are aimed at city-dwelling active-lifestyle types who want a truck bed not for crushed boulders, discarded cinder blocks, skid-steer loaders, and spent whiskey barrels—which is what we assume all “true” truckers are hauling—but for muddy mountain bikes, dripping wetsuits, smokey camping gear, and vintage furniture they just found down at the local flea market.
For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.