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2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Diagonal AWD Test Reveals Clear Winner

In the compact pickup segment, Ford and Hyundai are duking it out for the same customers. But how do the Maverick and Santa Cruz fare in the diagonal AWD test? Sam CarLegion is much obliged to answer that question in the following video, and the differences are pretty clear.
2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Diagonal AWD Test 6 photos
2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Diagonal AWD Test2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Diagonal AWD Test2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Diagonal AWD Test2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Diagonal AWD Test2022 Ford Maverick vs. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Diagonal AWD Test
In slightly wet conditions, the Maverick “sends the power slightly better when it’s needed. In the Santa Cruz, you find that it struggles a little bit.” Sam CarLegion says that it’s not a massive difference, which is understandable considering the similarities between the AWD systems.

Only available with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo, all-wheel drive costs $2,220 on top of the force-fed mill’s $1,085 asking price. Over at Hyundai, the Santa Cruz with all-wheel drive is $1,500 more expensive than the front-driven base specification. Only the 2.5-liter GDi can be optioned with HTRAC AWD because the 2.5-liter T-GDi is only AWD.

Manufactured in Mexico alongside the Ford Bronco Sport, the Maverick has the upper hand in terms of efficiency. The $19,995 hybrid boasts a combined rating of 37 miles to the gallon (6.35 liters per 100 kilometers), which makes it the most fuel-efficient pickup on sale in America today.

On the other hand, the Hyundai Tucson-based Santa Cruz offers more payload and towing capacity. When properly equipped for the job, the U.S.-built pickup is much obliged to haul 1,748 pounds as opposed to 1,500 pounds (793 and 680 kilograms), while the claimed max tow weight is listed at 5,000 pounds compared to 4,000 pounds (2,268 and 1,814 kilograms).

Although it’s more expensive than the Built Ford Tough Maverick, the Tucson-styled Santa Cruz is universally acclaimed for the more sophisticated ride and better handling. At the end of the day, however, the starting price and fuel economy of the Blue Oval’s truck may favor the Maverick in the long run.

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