We got behind the wheel of America’s two smallest pickups: the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Both offer beds that are super versatile, despite their petite size.
The Santa Cruz’s bed comes with more standard features, while the Maverick’s is more customizable.
Pickup trucks have ballooned to small-house size in recent decades, but two small-ish options have hit the market recently: the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Read Insider’s full review of the Ford Maverick here: The $20,000 Ford Maverick is a bare-bones pickup truck that proves less really can be more
Both are more compact and easier to live with in a city than a full-size truck, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on utility.
Read Insider’s full review of the Hyundai Santa Cruz here: The $24,000 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a truck that feels like an SUV — making it the perfect adventure vehicle
Hands-on testing showed us that the Santa Cruz and Maverick both sport small beds that pack a big punch.
Here’s how their beds compare across size, standard equipment, and available features.
Overall, the pricier Santa Cruz offers a bed with a greater array of standard features. The $19,995 Maverick is a bargain with a cargo box that’s sparser but more customizable and DIY-friendly.
The Santa Cruz’s bed measures in at 48.4 inches long at its floor, compared with 54.4 inches for the Maverick.
Measured at its broadest point, the Santa Cruz is 53.9 inches wide, about a half inch wider than the Maverick.
The Hyundai’s bed is made of hard plastic.
The base-model Maverick sports a bare-metal box…
… but Ford offers options for liners and coatings.
Both offer nifty storage solutions, but the Hyundai delivers more on that front than standard equipment.
Read more: See all the features of the Hyundai Santa Cruz’s tiny truck bed, from built-in steps to hidden cubbies
The Santa Cruz comes with two small cubbies.
They’re perfect for odds and ends you don’t want bouncing around.
It also has a lockable, weather-proof trunk underneath the floor for larger items.
It’s big enough for a couple of backpacks or other small-to-medium-sized gear.
The Maverick offers up to two cubbies too, but they’re bolted shut in the base model, pictured here.
You need to spend a little more to get them.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz also benefits from a bunch of handy steps built into the rear bumper that make it easier to get into the bed or reach cargo.
The Maverick wins out from a customizability perspective.
Read more: Tour the $20,000 Ford Maverick’s small but extremely versatile truck bed
Ford advertises it as great for do-it-yourself types who want to personalize their vehicle with homespun racks and accessories.
It offers an access point to 12-volt electricity, meaning buyers can rig up lights, air compressors, and other powered add-ons.
It also comes with an array of pre-threaded holes for mounting racks, rails, or tie-down points.
The Maverick’s bed comes with a slew of slots meant to fit dimensional lumber.
Read more: The new Ford Maverick’s coolest feature is its highly versatile ‘Flexbed’ — here’s how it works
The idea is that customers can knock together cheap bed dividers and cargo racks that are easy to reconfigure on the fly.
Ford has plans for some DIY projects, like a simple bike rack, available online.
The Santa Cruz boasts the same kind of system.
Both tailgates are perfectly adequate for taking a load off or packing up a bag.
But the Hyundai’s can be opened with the key fob in all trims. It’s also assisted, so it slowly descends instead of just plopping open like the Maverick’s does.
Both cargo areas are designed to fit full-size sheets of plywood in a pinch.
But they can’t just lay flat like in a full-sized truck. Owners need to open the tailgate to a halfway position and lay the sheets across it and the wheel wells.
Payload capacity is about even: 1,564 pounds for the Maverick and 1,609 for the Santa Cruz.
As for options, both the Santa Cruz and Maverick can be configured with various types of bed covers, power outlets, and in-bed LED lighting.
The decision between these two trucks comes down to preference and budget. The Maverick starts at around $20,000 while the Hyundai commands $4,000 more.
If you want more standard features and have a bit more to spend, the Santa Cruz may be your best bet. But if you’re into a more basic, more truck-looking vehicle and have a tighter budget, you may be better off with a Maverick.
Read the original article on Business Insider