2022 Ford Maverick is a 40-mpg hybrid pickup for $21,490 – Roadshow

In a bid to offer the most comprehensive lineup of trucks in the automotive business, Ford unveiled its highly anticipated 2022 Maverick on Tuesday. With a unique blend of versatility, fuel efficiency and bargain-basement pricing, this compact, unibody-based pickup could revolutionize the US truck segment when it goes on sale later this year.

A truck for car folks

With the Maverick, Ford is responding to customer needs — namely, motorists’ insatiable demand for trucks. The automaker no longer offers sedans (at least in America), but nonetheless this vehicle is designed to appeal to small-car buyers, people that never knew they wanted a pickup. With a crossover-derived unibody structure, much of which is shared with the Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs, the Maverick should feel very familiar to drivers who are used to driving traditional passenger cars. A low ride height means this little rig is easy to get into and out of, plus its generously sized windows provide unobstructed outward visibility.

In many ways, the new Maverick is similar to Honda’s ingenious and pioneering Ridgeline, which is sized to compete with midsize trucks such as the Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. The upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz, however, is a direct competitor to this Blue Oval product, though that’s about it for rivals. There really aren’t any other compact trucks available in the US today, which is both a real shame and a huge opportunity for Ford and Hyundai.

Ensuring it can withstand years of abuse, during development, the Maverick went through the same rigorous testing the larger F-Series pickups endure. According to Ford, that equates to an impressive-sounding but totally nebulous 19 million miles of simulated and real-word evaluation. The Maverick was subjected to all kinds of conditions, from snow and sand to salt-water baths, plus plenty of torture testing to ensure it can work and play like a traditional pickup.

2022 Ford Maverick Specs

Maverick Hybrid Maverick EcoBoost
Engine 2.5-liter hybrid I4 2.0-liter turbo I4
Power 162 hp (191 hp total) 250 hp
Torque 155 lb-ft 277 lb-ft
Transmission CVT 8-speed auto
Max payload 1,500 pounds 1,500 pounds
Max towing 2,000 pounds 4,000 pounds
Wheelbase 121.1 inches 121.1 inches
Length 199.7 inches 199.7 inches
Width 72.4 inches 72.4 inches
Height 68.7 inches 68.7 inches
Passenger volume 100.3 cubic feet 100.3 cubic feet
Cargo volume 33.3 cubic feet 33.3 cubic feet

Tough truck looks in a smaller package

The Maverick has its own look that’s quite different from Ford’s larger F-Series models. Strangely, the truck’s low beltline does not dip down near the side-view mirrors like it does on its larger stablemates, though there is a subtle crease in the door skin that pays homage to this signature design flourish.

With a sturdy, squared-off body and big grille, the Maverick reminds us of an F-150 from the early 1990s. That prominent front opening is flanked by standard LED headlamps, which include automatic high beams. Overall, this trucklet is honest, no-frills and refreshingly simple, much more truck-like than the upcoming Santa Cruz. It will be interesting to see if small car buyers gravitate toward this fashion-forward Hyundai or the boxier Maverick. Traditional truckers will probably prefer the latter.

Is the new Maverick’s exterior styling a little too basic for you, or do you appreciate its honest shape and clean lines?

Ford

Every version of this new Ford pickup features a SuperCrew body and has room for five people. At a hair less than 200 inches in length, the Maverick is considerably smaller than the midsize Ranger, something that should make it a snap to maneuver in tight quarters or city centers.

At the rear, “Maverick” is stamped into the tailgate in capital letters, so everyone knows what this truck is called. Plastic rail caps run the perimeter of the bed, including alongside the rear window and across the edge of the tailgate, where a small spoiler is integrated. This should help protect the sheet metal from scratches and dings. Curiously, the truck’s license plate is mounted asymmetrically, to the right-side of the bumper, so there’s room for the trailer hitch in the middle.

Business in the front, party in the Flexbed

The cargo box is the business end of any pickup truck and the Maverick’s is one of the most versatile in the business, even if it’s only about 4.5 feet long. This so-called Flexbed is chockablock with clever features, and according to Ford, is the result of nearly a year and a half of development work.

The Flexbed is loaded with tie-down points, features several convenient D-rings for securing cargo and even comes with a range of pockets so you can install two-by-four or two-by-six pieces of lumber to create custom dividers or even a false floor. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

The Flexbed could be the most versatile cargo box in the truck business.

Ford

The bed also offers a 110-volt power outlet, up to two covered storage nooks (depending on configuration) and easy access to 12-volt juice on both sides of the bed so you don’t have to tap into the taillight wiring when installing your own accessories. Another major benefit of this compact truck is its low ride height and short bed sidewalls, which make it easy to reach in the cargo box to grab items you’ve stashed there. Try doing this with your typical half-ton truck these days and you basically need a stepladder because they’re so towering. With the tailgate down, this pickup’s lift-in height is super low at less than 30 inches.

The Maverick’s tailgate can be locked in a mid-position where it can support up to 400 pounds, so you can easily haul four-by-eight sheets of building material in this pint-sized pickup. They slide right in on top of the Maverick’s wheel wells, though once loaded they do stick out past the truck by about a foot. All in, the Maverick can handle up to 18 sheets of three-quarter-inch-thick plywood, a damn-impressive amount of lumber. The tailgate also features integrated tiedown cleats that double as bottle openers.

Hybrid or EcoBoost, the choice is yours

The 2022 Ford Maverick offers two different powertrains, with a fuel-sipping hybrid setup being standard fare. This system is centered around a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that’s augmented by a 94-kilowatt electric motor that was developed in-house by Ford and tested to truck durability standards. A continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive are also included. Altogether, this drivetrain delivers 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. The fuel economy, however, should be absolutely stellar. Ford estimates hybrid-propelled Mavericks should return a whopping 40 mpg city. Engineers are targeting an equally impressive 37 mpg combined score for this truck, which will make it more efficient than some small cars.

If you need more oomph — and capability — a conventional powertrain is also available. The truck’s optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder delivers a stout 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of twist. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. Examples fitted with the former powertrain configuration are equipped with a torsion-beam rear suspension, models that have the latter feature a multilink design.

The compact Maverick could be the perfect truck for many drivers these days.

Ford

No matter the drivetrain, this new Maverick’s maximum payload is 1,500 pounds. The hybrid system enables this truck to tow a rather unimpressive 2,000 pounds, enough for a couple jet skis. Fortunately, the EcoBoost engine is available with a trailer-two package that allows the Maverick to drag up to 4,000 pounds, a much more impressive figure, enough for a 21-foot boat or a similarly sized camper.

An FX4 options group is on the menu, too, available on the XLT and Lariat trims. This includes things like all-terrain tires mounted to 17-inch wheels, an upgraded suspension and underbody shielding. Beyond that, it gets you a higher-capacity radiator, an upgraded cooling fan and hill-descent control, among other things.

A simple, purposeful cabin

Matching its exterior, the Maverick’s cabin is pleasantly straightforward, with plenty of storage space underneath the rear seat and in its uniquely designed door panels, which can easily accommodate 1-liter water bottles. It’s easy to get into or out of this truck because of the convenient ride height and there’s a similar amount of interior volume as in the Ranger. The overall design is rugged and spunky, but free of any superfluous frills.

Nearly everything in the Maverick is made of hard plastic except for the armrests, something your elbows will appreciate. The various plastics feature unique textures rather than simulated leather, which provides a unique look. Bright colors liven things up and indicate certain human-interface points. For instance, the door pulls, air-vent controls and center bin are all accented with contrasting hues to indicate their functionality.

Like its exterior, the Maverick’s cabin is simple and functional, but not without flair on this higher-end trim.

Ford

As for tech, there’s a rotary gear selector on the center console and the dashboard is punctuated by a standard 8-inch infotainment screen. Naturally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are baked right in, though neither connects wirelessly. When it comes to safety equipment, there’s a surprising amount. Automatic emergency braking and automatic high beams are standard, but you can get the Maverick with high-end goodies such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.

For a dash of customizability, the Maverick features something called the Ford Integrated Tether System, FITS for short. Basically, this is a slot at the back of the center console that enables you to attach various accessories to the vehicle, including things you design and 3D print yourself. This could include extra cup holders, bag hooks, a phone mount, and much more.

Reservations and pricing

The 2022 Ford Maverick goes on sale this fall but you can build and price and even reserve one on Ford’s website right now. Keeping things simple, it will be available in three trim levels: XL, XLT and Lariat.

As for pricing, this truck starts at just $21,490 including $1,495 in destination fees, an incredibly low figure that’s about half the average new-vehicle transaction price in the US right now, meaning the Maverick should appeal to drivers that might otherwise be shopping for an economy car. Go all-in on a Lariat model with every option and this pickup should top out at around 38 grand, which still makes it a screaming deal.

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