The small pickup truck segment is about to get more competitive

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Looks like 2022 is the year of the small trucks and vans. Ford released its Maverick for the 2022 model year, and Hyundai did the same with the Santa Cruz. These two compact vehicles have met with serious success with owners of traditional trucks and those from different segments. Apparently, more and more brands are considering getting into the small truck wars, and that’s good news for those who want a pickup box but don’t want a big one.

Who makes small trucks?

Currently, Ford and Hyundai are the two brands that offer these types of pickup trucks. The 2022 Ford Maverick comes standard with a hybrid engine and the styling of a traditional truck. It rides on the same platform as the Ford Bronco Sport.

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If you need more power, the Maverick has an optional turbocharged engine that can be equipped with all-wheel drive. And that’s something some buyers will likely appreciate.

The other vehicle currently under construction is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. This pickup has unique styling and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. It should be noted that this truck is more expensive than the Maverick, but its interior looks less stripped down.

With the Santa Cruz, buyers can get the first truck offered by this Korean auto company. Just like the 2022 Maverick, it can also be equipped with all-wheel drive.

Will more automakers make compact pickups?

With the success that Ford and Hyundai have found with compact pickups, it’s no surprise that other brands are considering entering this segment. Manufacturers like Toyota and Ram are apparently planning to build smaller trucks.

Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022 | hyundai

As for Ram, there are alleged plans to revive the Dakota nameplate. But, this pickup will likely fall into the midsize segment. According Car and driverthe Dakota could have the capacity to tow up to 7,650 lbs, much like the current Jeep Gladiator.

Toyota has yet to confirm the return of a small truck. But hard not to imagine the manufacturer entering the fray. The smallest Toyota truck right now is the Tacoma. And this pickup is pretty big, especially compared to Tacomas of the past.

The RAV4 platform would be ideal for building a Toyota truck. It’s already a success in terms of sales, plus it offers a plug-in hybrid option. A truck with this type of powertrain could give a Toyota truck a leg up on the competition.

Should I buy a new truck?

As with any vehicle, compact trucks have their pros and cons, but they are capable and add a bit more utility than a bedless vehicle. Both the Maverick and Santa Cruz are unibody pickup trucks, meaning they have a more car-like ride than trucks that use body-on-frame construction.

A yellow 2022 Ford Maverick drives down an area road.
Ford Maverick 2022 | Ford

In addition, these trucks have proven to be affordable. The 2022 Ford Maverick starts at around $20,000, which is pretty cheap for what you get. The Santa Cruz is more expensive, but even its starting MSRP is under $25,000.

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