The Maverick, Raptor, Santa Cruz, Tundra, and Frontier show up to drag race.

It’s been a banger of a year for trucks as automakers give customers more variety than ever. Bite-sized models like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz offer a truck’s utility without the high price tags and thirsty engines. They aren’t as capable, but that’s where the Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tundra, and Ford Raptor come into play. TFLTruck is trying to determine the best truck available, and the first competition is a series of drag races.

It’s quite the collection of trucks, and they are far from equal, but the bracket makes the competition as fair as possible. It first pits the Maverick against the Santa Cruz, with the Hyundai winning. That puts it up against the Nissan Frontier, but its 310-horsepower (231-kilowatt) V6 isn’t enough to outperform the Santa Cruz, which earns its second victory. However, it’s the Tundra that puts the Santa Cruz in its place, with the Toyota taking first, though it wasn’t a wide-margin win.

Gallery: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz First Drive Review

truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first
truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first
truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first
truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first
truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first
truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first
truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first
truck battle has ford, hyundai, toyota, nissan fighting for first

The final race has the Tundra lining up against the Raptor, through the Raptor is sitting on beefy, 37-inch tires, which might have been its downfall. The Raptor is more powerful, making 450 hp (335 kW) and 510 pound-feet (691 Newton-meters) of torque to the Tundra’s 389 hp (290 kW) and 479 lb-ft (649 Nm), though it can’t eke out a win over the Toyota. The Ford lost by a bumper even though it was quicker to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) than the Toyota.

TFLTruck has more videos coming comparing the five trucks in a litany of other tests, like towing and payload capacity. It’s far from a fair comparison – the Santa Cruz and Raptor are quite different – but they are all trucks, and not everyone needs 450 hp and massive off-road tires to tow or haul. Customers have more choices than ever in trucks, and no one wants to pick the wrong pickup.


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