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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/1/21 11:25 a.m.
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We’ll fully admit it: We love the Honda Ridgeline. We’ve had several pass through our hands over the years, going back to the original, and find it easy to drive, easy to park, and with just the right amount of utility. No, it can’t tow a fifth-wheel, but the Ridgeline has been perfect for our needs.

Looks like Hyundai is entering this segment with its Santa Cruz. The digital world premiere will take place on April 15.

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/1/21 11:31 a.m.

Also worth mentioning? The Ford Maverick. Looking at a few of the spy photos, it may be even smaller than the Ranger:

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/1/21 11:53 a.m.

Is it me or does the Maverick look just like a F150. Size and everything. 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
4/1/21 12:01 p.m.

^Everything still looks obese with that much hood height and that high of bed sides.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/1/21 1:06 p.m.

I swear everyone on the GRM forum is into slammed minitrucks with the bed side comments.

I like high bed sides. Lets me put stuff in the bed. My first-gen Tundra had lower bed sides, I could only stack tires one level deep with the cover on. Now I can stack them two levels deep.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/1/21 1:34 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

It's not really the depth of the box that's an issue. Modern trucks don't have bedsides that are much different from the good ole days trucks. The box on a 1950s Ford F150 was just shy of 20" deep, so is my 2019 Canyon. The difference is in the load floor height. The Ford was 26", my Canyon is 32" (with 4wd) and a full size is taller. The load capacity of that Ford was just over 2000#. My Canyon is less. The beef that I have with modern trucks is I think they're built taller than necessary just "cuz it sells". A full size truck with a passenger floor height of 31" (Ford F250 4wd) is kind of silly IMHO. There's no reason a 2wd modern truck can't be built with a 26" load floor height. I think it's a sales thing.

Edit: ...and I'll add that in the good ole days stepsides were much more prevalent to ease side loading .

FMB42
FMB42 Reader
4/1/21 1:34 p.m.

I'm old enough to realize that what I think 'looks/works' well isn't what many younger drivers would agree with. Oh well, times change. Meanwhile, that Hyundai's bed length would not be worth a darn to me. That, and no slider opening rear glass, would make it a definite no go for me. But then again, many truck owners these days don't haul anything more than groceries/sodas in their truck beds.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/1/21 1:41 p.m.
FMB42 said:

But then again, many truck owners these days don't haul anything more than groceries/sodas in their truck beds.

That's sort of where I stand on this new wave of unibody-based trucks. If you often find yourself pulling large trailers or filling the bed with particularly heavy loads or anything like that, you sure absolutely get a more traditional body-on-frame truck.

But, if you are someone that just needs a family hauler/commuter with an oversized trunk that they can throw a bunch of stuff into without worrying about running some carpeting, then trucks like these are probably what you should buy.

I'll admit that at this point in my life I'd get more use out of the latter of the two.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/1/21 1:59 p.m.

I'm curious if it will be able to tow 3500lb. a BG chassis on a tow dolly is all I'm asking for. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
4/1/21 2:19 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm curious if it will be able to tow 3500lb. a BG chassis on a tow dolly is all I'm asking for. 

If a Honda Odyssey can tow an S2000 on an open trailer, I'm sure this will do fine with that. 

FMB42
FMB42 Reader
4/1/21 2:53 p.m.

I don't often haul heavy 'dent the bed up stuff' these days. But my bought used '06 Frontier bed has enough PO caused dents to make it look like I do haul heavy stuff.

karplus2
karplus2 GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/1/21 3:06 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I swear everyone on the GRM forum is into slammed minitrucks with the bed side comments.

I like high bed sides. Lets me put stuff in the bed. My first-gen Tundra had lower bed sides, I could only stack tires one level deep with the cover on. Now I can stack them two levels deep.

My dad has an 02 Ranger 2wd xl that only had AC and a sliding rear window as options.  He has had it since new and has been looking to replace it for a few years now. He can't find anything he likes because the load height is so much higher on everything now. He is super excited about the possibility of a Maverick/SantaCruz. He really likes being able to reach over the bed-sides to reach what he wants to retrieve/load. We let him borrow our 2019 Ridgeline but he said that even that was too high for him.

dean1484 said:

Is it me or does the Maverick look just like a F150. Size and everything. 

Its smaller than the Ranger but not by much:

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/1/21 3:31 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I swear everyone on the GRM forum is into slammed minitrucks with the bed side comments.

I like high bed sides. Lets me put stuff in the bed. My first-gen Tundra had lower bed sides, I could only stack tires one level deep with the cover on. Now I can stack them two levels deep.

My interpretation of this post is you need wider tires :)

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
4/1/21 3:36 p.m.

To be fair, aren't modern trucks so tall because they're full of good stuff? I've parked my Super Duty next to an old truck before, and I really like the durable (and HUGE) overdrive trans, V10, big gas tank that's not in the cab with me, spare tire that's not in the bed, beefy frame that carries a house in the bed, 10k lb. towing capacity, and big enough differential to do it all for 500,000 miles at 80mph without exploding. All those things take up space. And that's before you get into the crumple zones that modern vehicles incorporate, too. 

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/1/21 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

There you go. Inserting logic into an internet discussion...what's wrong with you? cheeky

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/1/21 4:43 p.m.

If Hyundai hits their estimated starting price, this thing might sell like hotcakes.  Probably fits the actual needs of a lot of people and $26k with AWD or 4WD seems pretty reasonable...

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/1/21 4:46 p.m.

 

Tom Suddard said:

To be fair, aren't modern trucks so tall because they're full of good stuff? I've parked my Super Duty next to an old truck before, and I really like the durable (and HUGE) overdrive trans, V10, big gas tank that's not in the cab with me, spare tire that's not in the bed, beefy frame that carries a house in the bed, 10k lb. towing capacity, and big enough differential to do it all for 500,000 miles at 80mph without exploding. All those things take up space. And that's before you get into the crumple zones that modern vehicles incorporate, too. 

Partially, yeah.

A base 2020 F150 comes with a tire 3" taller than a 1990 F150.  The disparity in the 4x4 models is 4"  Bed depth may be an inch or two different.  Then some extra body height for a gas tank or transmission.  And next thing you know your bedside is significantly higher.

 

 

I totally get the loading height thing.  My 1994 SW2 had a loading height that was knee height.  My veloster has a loading height like 10" higher for no apparent reason and its dumb.

If its something I want to use frequently, I don't want to lift stuff up to shoulder height to load it in the truck.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/1/21 4:52 p.m.

I really wish Hyundai would make their own version of the Toyota Land Cruiser. I think there would be a demand for it. 

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
4/1/21 4:56 p.m.

Loading height was bad even on my 1999 F250 so the PO put a liftgate on it. Truck was not even lifted. The New F150's dwarf my old truck in 4x4 packages. 

 

They are going to sell these things like crazy. If them may a G80 style interior and make a "king ranch" version it would get me out of my Flex.  

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
4/1/21 4:56 p.m.

The frame strength, payload, and towing capacity wars have also made the frame rails on modern trucks a whole lot taller.  And if they want that payload without really stiff rear suspension, they need to leave room for lots of travel in the rear too. 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
4/1/21 7:46 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

To be fair, aren't modern trucks so tall because they're full of good stuff? I've parked my Super Duty next to an old truck before, and I really like the durable (and HUGE) overdrive trans, V10, big gas tank that's not in the cab with me, spare tire that's not in the bed, beefy frame that carries a house in the bed, 10k lb. towing capacity, and big enough differential to do it all for 500,000 miles at 80mph without exploding. All those things take up space. And that's before you get into the crumple zones that modern vehicles incorporate, too. 

You're trailering cars all the time (I assume) due to your occupation, though. All that stuff is very useful for that. Someone wanting a little truck isn't looking to do that. I don't pull enough cars to justify owning a big truck. I'd actually consider getting rid of my 1st Gen Colorado for a 2nd gen Ranger to have something that's smaller, more fun and easier on gas. Old Rangers are so fun.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
4/1/21 7:50 p.m.
stanger_mussle (Forum Supporter) said:
dean1484 said:

Is it me or does the Maverick look just like a F150. Size and everything. 

Its smaller than the Ranger but not by much:

The Maverick's bumper does look a lot lower than the Ranger's. Are these both 4x4s, 2wds or what? I see that the Ranger is an FX4, but are there 2wd FX4s like how Toyota has Prerunners? My dad had a Canyon Off-Road which was a 2wd at 4X4 height with 4x4 tires.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/1/21 8:14 p.m.
Colin Wood said:
FMB42 said:

But then again, many truck owners these days don't haul anything more than groceries/sodas in their truck beds.

That's sort of where I stand on this new wave of unibody-based trucks. If you often find yourself pulling large trailers or filling the bed with particularly heavy loads or anything like that, you sure absolutely get a more traditional body-on-frame truck.

But, if you are someone that just needs a family hauler/commuter with an oversized trunk that they can throw a bunch of stuff into without worrying about running some carpeting, then trucks like these are probably what you should buy.

I'll admit that at this point in my life I'd get more use out of the latter of the two.

I was at walmart the other day picking up some mulch in my Sequoia. In front of me was a guy picking up 15 bags of mulch in his late model AUDI A6 (half the bags went into is presumably very nice back seat). In front of him was someone trying to get 6 bags into the trunk of a Jetta (I think they originally wanted 8).

This thing is for those people....the suburbanites. It's not for Contractor John picking up sheets of drywall and lumber, or for Bro John, who needs a big truck to prove his manhood, or for Hauler John who likes to drag old Cadillacs home on his 20' car trailer.

IDK if it really suits my personal needs, but I can tell you this thing would be perfect for most of my suburbanite neighbors, who more often than not are hitting me up to use my Sequioa or my utility trailer to go pick stuff up since they either have crossovers with no space, regular cars, or SUVs that are too nice to actually put "dirty stuff' inside of.

Snrub
Snrub Dork
4/1/21 8:18 p.m.

Come on, we all know trucks are so high because they're a little boy's fantasy for grown ups. They're impractical for loading because that's not what buyers use it for. Maybe 5% of buyers use trucks as a truck. Why would someone beat the crap out of a $50k+ truck? They wouldn't.

I think the Santa Cruz looks good for what it is and it would make a lot of sense for a lot of theoretical buyers. It remains to be seen if those people exist, of if it'll only serve to run the Ridgeline out of the market again.

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