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Ford’s Maverick or Hyundai’s Santa Cruz: Which Is Better for Poughkeepsie?

A grey 2024 Ford Maverick Tremor is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a dealer that has Ford trucks for sale near Poughkeepsie.

As your trusted place to find Ford trucks for sale near Poughkeepsie, we here at Ruge’s Ford know that not all truck drivers are the same. Some are looking for the biggest, baddest truck out there so they can conquer terrain and tackle taxing jobs day in and day out. But others are looking for something a little more subdued that’s as adept at rugged adventures as it is at driving through city streets. So, if you’re looking for a truck that’s the right size for parking in downtown Poughkeepsie but can also show up strong for camping trips, a compact truck is the way to go.

In Ford’s lineup, the Maverick is the sole compact option, and it offers both capability and maneuverability—but how does it compare to models from other automakers? Today, we’ll see how the Ford Maverick measures up against the Hyundai Santa Cruz, a “sport adventure vehicle” that’s a unique mix between a pickup truck and a crossover SUV. Which of these vehicles is better for Poughkeepsie drivers? Let’s find out!

Their Interiors

The cab is where you’ll be spending your time behind the wheel, so you want to make sure it’s both comfortable and practical. Both the Maverick and the Santa Cruz are exclusively available with crew cabs, which means you’ll get four doors and two rows of seating so you can bring passengers along for the ride. But when it comes to what’s inside, there are some differences...

The interior of the Santa Cruz is very much like what you’ll find in a Hyundai SUV: it looks nice but doesn’t have much personality. An 8.0-inch touchscreen display comes standard, and there’s also a digital gauge cluster behind the wheel. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility let you use your smartphone via the vehicle’s interface for navigation, music streaming, and more.

Step inside the Maverick, and you’ll feel more like you’re in a truck. The cockpit has a bold look that makes you feel like you’re in command of a vehicle that can handle just about anything. Its clever layout includes plenty of storage cubbies, plus an under-seat storage area in the back row, so you can tuck away any items that you might need, like camping gear for a trip up the Hudson or a change of clothes so you can have a night on the town after work. Even the base model of the Maverick lets you get your settings just right for you, with adjustable lumbar support and a tilting, telescoping steering wheel.

A white 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is shown from the rear at an angle.

Their Cargo Beds

With a bed length of a little over four feet, the Santa Cruz is no full-size truck, but it does have room for plenty of cargo. It also has a hidden storage compartment under the floor for sensitive equipment and is available with an integrated Tonneau cover to protect your things from rain showers and winter storms. Heavy-duty cargo rings help you tie things down to keep them in place while driving.

The Maverick has a few extra inches of bed length, bringing it up to a full four feet and five inches; this allows you to load up plenty of equipment, wood for DIY projects, or anything else you need to transport. Ford’s FLEXBED system makes it easy to customize your Maverick's bed to fit your needs, with slots for dividers (for easy organization) and available bed lighting that lets you load in the dark. Ten tie-downs give you what you need to secure your cargo, and they can also double as bottle openers to help you level up your tailgate party experience. You'll also have a power outlet in your bed, which can come in handy for everything from operating power tools to watching TV.

Their Powertrains

The Santa Cruz has two powertrains that are strictly assigned by trim level. The SE and SEL trims have a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that produces up to 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, while the Night, XRT, and Limited trims get a turbocharged engine that ups those figures to 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Lower-tier trims can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive, while upper-tier trims come standard with AWD. Properly configured, the Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

With the Maverick, there’s more room for customization, so you can strike a balance that’s perfect for your needs. All three trim levels come standard with a 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 engine that delivers 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Any of these trims can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive, so you can get extra traction if you want to be prepared for wet winters or tilt toward better numbers if you want to prioritize efficiency (if you mainly drive in the city).

All trims also allow you to equip the optional hybrid powertrain, which produces 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. The Maverick can tow slightly less than the Santa Cruz, at 4,000 lbs maximum, but that’s still plenty of capacity for a camping trailer or boat.

If you like to explore river towns, historical sites, and pristine wilderness during your time off, then you’ll also want to pay attention to fuel economy. Compact trucks already offer better fuel economy ratings than their mid- or full-size peers, but not all are created equal. Getting more miles per gallon can save you both money and time since you won’t have to stop at the gas station as often and can spend more time on the road.

With the base engine and FWD, the Santa Cruz has an EPA-estimated combined city/highway rating of 23 MPG. Upgrade to the turbocharged option and you’re looking at 22 MPG. Even though it’s more powerful than the base engine on the Santa Cruz, the Maverick’s base engine is also more efficient, with a combined rating of 25 MPG in AWD and 26 MPG in FWD. The hybrid powertrain does even better than that, providing an impressive 37 MPG combined, so you can go far and wide before you have to refuel.

An orange 2024 Ford Maverick is shown from the rear at an angle while hauling a kayak.

Their Prices

The cost of living in Poughkeepsie is peanuts if you compare it to Manhattan, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an expensive city. It takes a lot of money to support a family in Dutchess County, especially if you want to save up for fun vacations, home improvement projects, and other things that aren’t quite necessities. So, if you can get a good value on a vehicle, that means extra cash in your pocket for your other expenses.

When it comes to price, the Maverick is the better deal across the board. The Santa Cruz has a starting MSRP of almost $27k for its most basic trim and can climb all the way up to over $42k at the top of the ladder. By contrast, the Maverick starts at just over $23k for the base trim and only gets up to $40k for the top-tier Lariat trim. Since the Maverick’s capability and quality are comparable to the Santa Cruz (if not better), it provides a much stronger value thanks to its lower price tag, giving you all of the features you need for less.

Get Your Maverick Here at Ruge’s Ford

Clearly, the Maverick is the ideal compact truck for Poughkeepsie drivers. Its small size is great for maneuvering on tight city streets, but its capability allows it to travel into the more rural areas of New York for relaxing vacations and daring adventures. You can check out the Maverick for yourself here at Ruge’s Ford. Once you get behind the wheel of this small but mighty pickup, we know you’ll see why we’re so proud to offer the Maverick to our customers.