Ford has revealed its unibody compact truck, the Maverick, and so far the reception has been positive. For roughly $20,000, the Maverick offers a solid set of features and the brand has gotten creative with storage space, making this small truck feel like it has more room than compact trucks of old.
Under the hood, a 191-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline-four hybrid is standard, or you can upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. With the hybrid version, the battery pack is stored under the passenger-side rear seat, which reduces the storage space by about the size of a fully inflated soccer ball. The gas-powered variant makes use of the entire under-seat storage area, including some interesting notches made for the insertion of 3D-printed accessories (more about those next week). I had a chance to check out the new Maverick XLT in person at the Chicago Auto Show media day this week and took some notes for you all.
Let’s talk about the door armrests first, because they’re unusual. They’re split, creating a short handle that you can use to shut the door and still leaves space for a large water bottle. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to insert a water bottle into a door storage space and find that it requires origami-folding skills. Ford designers figured out how to fit a one-liter bottle to sit in the bin and still have enough room for another bottle. Or you can skip the drinks altogether and slide a laptop or tablet into the door pocket.
Storage under the back seat is also clever with several cubic feet of space to hold anything from tools to the kids’ sports equipment. It’s also a great place to hide valuables and purses if you’re heading out for a bike ride and need to stash your stuff away from the prying eyes of potential thieves. Presumably, you could add lockable storage in the back as well with add-ons like the Bronco offers.
I like the practical truck bed setup, which is 54 inches long with the tailgate up or 72 inches with it down. Ford says it spent time watching college kids move into dorms and do-it-yourselfers at home improvement and furniture stores to come up with a configuration that works. Slots are stamped into the side of the bed, and two tie-downs, four D-rings threaded holes in the sides leave room for hauling. The 120V three-prong outlets in the back seat and bed are handy for camping, as well.
In the rear corner of the passenger side of the truck bed, a latched storage space hosts a small removable platform. If you pull out that platform, the space doubles, making room for the stuff you don’t want to spill or tip over, like a skinny plant or a bottle of wine.
On top of the storage options, the interior is surprisingly roomy for tall people. Chicago-area automotive journalist Damon Bell is 6’5”; he sat in the back seat and still had headroom. Maverick marketing guy Trevor Scott is nearly the same height and he fits comfortably in the driver’s seat.
For a small truck, the Maverick has made the best of its available space. Now I just have to figure out what to do with those 3D accessory slots.
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