At least for now.
The small(ish) pickup truck is back. A segment written off by automakers not so long ago is seeing something of a resurgence thanks to the debuts of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Neither has traditional body-on-frame construction but it's also not necessary. Both offer highly capable all-wheel drive systems and driving modes that'll meet owners' needs.
We've already done an in-depth comparison between the two and pricing has been released for both. The Maverick has the clear-cut advantage in the latter department, which leads to another important factor for undecided buyers: residual value. CarsDirect ran the numbers following the Santa Cruz SE base model's recently announced $269 per month. That amount is based on a 36-month residual value of 60 percent.
The Maverick, specifically the entry-level XL Hybrid, has a residual value of 62 percent with a 10,500-mile yearly limit. The XLT Hybrid has the highest residual value of 64 percent. So when it comes to comparing residual values, the Maverick has a clear advantage at present. It's important to note that Ford has yet to announce Maverick lease deals but, unfortunately, the base trim will not be included in promotional leases.
Whether this is permanent or not remains unknown but we should point out the base Maverick begins at just $21,490, including destination. Financing with a low-interest rate could be the better option regardless of whether there's a lease offer or not.
But here's a curveball for shoppers who place an emphasis on residual values: the Honda Ridgeline. Yes, it's bigger than both the Maverick and Santa Cruz (it's officially classified as a mid-size truck, like the Ford Ranger), but it does have residuals of up to 69 percent. Bear in mind it's more expensive to lease but not by much depending on trim. The Ridgeline also isn't cheap to buy, as we've long known but that slightly higher monthly lease payment could only be $58 more than the Santa Cruz. Bigger truck for not much more money.
It's hard to directly compare the Ford and Hyundai and even the Honda to some extent in terms of pricing and trim level packaging. The best solution for customers is simply to try before you buy or lease.