2022 Ford Maverick: America’s Newest Small Pickup Starts Around $20K, Packs Hybrid Tech Standard
Ford says it’ll get 40 mpg city while the EcoBoost non-hybrid variant can tow up to 4,000 pounds.
You and I know that pickup trucks are larger—and more expensive—than they've ever been. We'll never see the likes of the original Ford Ranger again, a compact truck with a single bench seat, hand-crank windows, and an available seven-foot bed. The 2022 Ford Maverick aims to be the closest thing to that, though, and while it only comes in four-door configuration, it does its darnedest to fight the good fight with a starting price around $20,000 including destination.
Oh, and it comes standard with a super-efficient hybrid powertrain, too.
What's Under the Hood?
Let's talk about that before moving onto the inevitable size comparisons. In its most basic form, the 2022 Maverick is propelled by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that runs on the Atkinson cycle rather than the traditional Otto cycle. It's aided by an electric motor that helps bump output to 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque; nothing world-beating, but it does provide a Ford-claimed 40 miles per gallon city and 500 miles per tank. That's impressive, not just for a pickup but for any car bigger than, say, a Honda Civic.
That also translates to modest truck specs like a tow rating of 2,000 pounds and max payload of 1,500 ell-bees. Compared to Hyundai's Santa Cruz, those don't sound particularly impressive. It's important to note, however, that there are two very different powertrains for the Maverick. There's the economically focused, electrified base model and a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost non-hybrid for people who have something bigger to tow.
Whereas the hybrid Maverick sends its power through a continuously variable transmission, the EcoBoost variant makes use of a more traditional eight-speed automatic. That's good for handling the turbo four-cylinder's 250 hp and 277 pound-feet of torque, which is still sent to the front wheels unless you opt for the available all-wheel drive. In top spec, the Maverick can tow 4,000 pounds—not as much as Hyundai's offering in the space but still enough to pull a 21-foot boat, Ford claims.
Well, How Big (or Little) Is It?
Now, circling back to the Maverick's physical size and stature. It is indeed smaller than the current Ranger, which used to be Ford's smallest truck but is now far from tiny. Unlike most trucks it's built on a unibody chassis (like the Honda Ridgeline and upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz) shared with the Escape and Bronco Sport crossovers.
The Maverick measures 199.7 inches from front to back, 68.7 inches from top to bottom, and 72.6 inches from mirror to mirror. Compare that to the Ranger's triple slash (210.8/71.1/77.8) and you'll start to get the feel for it.
Without a two-door option available, the Maverick's wheelbase is 121.1 inches, which really isn't small at all. The Bronco Sport, which also rides on Ford's C2 architecture, has a wheelbase of just 105.7 inches. Ford has geared the Maverick towards being a blend of car and truck and, because of that, some stats seem like a compromise, at least on paper.
For a more thorough size comparison of the Maverick to other cars and trucks, check out our post from The Drive's staff writer Peter Holderith.
Is It Handy?
For starters, Ford's Flexbed, as it's calling it, is 4.5 feet long. Drop the tailgate and usable space expands to six feet. It's meant to be extremely versatile to make up for the limited room out back, so it provides two tie-downs, four D-rings, and threaded holes so owners can customize the way they use the Maverick's bed—think bed-mounted dry storage boxes and so on. Ford apparently plans on releasing blueprints for 3D-printed accessories so owners can make them at home, too, which is indeed handy.
What's more, there are slots meant to hold 2x4 or 2x6 pieces of lumber in order to divide the bed into sections. It's hard to say just how much room you'd have when dividing 4.5 feet of space, but, modern problems require modern solutions.
The tailgate itself is full of tricks, too. It can be locked in the halfway position, allowing you to securely store longer loads. The Maverick's gate can support 400 pounds when mounted that way, meaning 18 sheets of 4x8-foot three-quarter-inch plywood can be loaded top of the wheelwells and strapped down.
Finally, to tie it all together, it's got an available pair of 110-volt plugs—one in the cab and another in the bed. Although it's far from the F-150's Pro Power Onboard system, it does give owners some flexibility when it comes to electric supply on the go.
Oh Yeah, What's the Tech Like?
From infotainment to safety, the Maverick's got it, and a lot of it comes standard. Every version of the truck—from the XL, to the XLT and Lariat—gets an eight-inch touch display mounted front and center. It'll run Apple Car Play and Android Auto while also providing wi-fi signal for up to 10 devices if you pay the monthly price.
Ford's Co-Pilot360 packs pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking plus automatic high-beam headlights. You can tick the boxes for additional features like adaptive cruise control with stop and go, the automaker's Blind Spot Information System, lane centering, and evasive steering assist. Not mentioned in Ford's release is its partially hands-free BlueCruise automated driving suite like you'll find on the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E.
When Can I Get One?
Supply chain problems notwithstanding, the goal is to have Maverick trucks on dealer lots by fall of 2021. As we've seen with the new Bronco, making cars isn't always easy, but the chip shortage does seem to be leveling out now. Especially excited buyers can get a Maverick First Edition model, which is built off the Lariat and features all kinds of niceties like a high-gloss black roof, body color door handles, unique graphics, and three colors exclusive to the limited-run trim: Carbonized Gray, Area 51, and Rapid Red.
Pricing for the higher-trimmed Mavericks has not been released; however, the base XL starts at $19,995 before destination fees. Keep in mind that you'll still be paying for those and the amount of said fees varies from place to place. All things considered, expect the most affordable Maverick to go out the door costing right above $20,000.
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