Ford Maverick's Under Seat Storage Was Designed by a Dad Sick of His Kids' Smelly Stuff
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Ford has created a stir with the announcement of the new Maverick, getting everyone excited about the prospect of the return of the small truck. Starting at around $20,000, it should help to fill the gap left vacant by Ford's former car lineup. Thus, it's designed with an eye to day-to-day usability. Ford is keen to tout the benefits of this approach with features like 3D-printed accessory adapters and of course, convenient under-seat storage—which has an amusing origin story.
Nicknamed the "Sweat Box" by Ford, the storage compartments under the rear seats were the brainchild of Maverick Interior Leader Daniel George. As a dad, George was inspired by the rough-and-tumble adventures of his own children, and wanted a convenient storage solution for dirty, sweaty sports gear. That stuff reeks, you know?
The basic idea, of course, is that the under-seat storage compartments should be capable of storing items that you typically wouldn't want in the cabin. We see these backseat areas pressed into storage service in full-size and midsize trucks, so it stands to reason the feature would trickle down to small pickups. There's also one in the Hyundai Santa Cruz, but it's literally a plastic tub bolted to the floor that also doubles as storage for the factory toolkit and jack.
The design is also intended to trap nasty odors and prevent them from stinking out the Maverick's interior. Sweaty, soiled clothes aren't great to deal with on a long drive, after all. Given George's own experience hauling three young boys to and from wrestling and football practices, we can imagine the benefits of such a design.
The bins under the rear seats are nice and deep, making them a great place to store balls or helmets rather than letting them roll around in the footwells. Ford claims that multiple fully-inflated basketballs or volleyballs can fit in there. There's space enough for baseball bats or hockey sticks, too, though some space is sacrificed in the hybrid models which have a small section dedicated to a battery on the passenger side.
The "Sweat Box" also features several fittings for the Ford Integrated Tether System, or FITS for short. This is a fitting that Ford has implemented to allow the broader community to 3D print their own accessories for the car. These appear in several places around the Maverick interior, aimed at allowing users to homebrew custom hooks, cupholders, and the like. It'll be interesting to see what people will cook up to further improve the bins' utility.
We also took a closer look at the Maverick's storage options back in July. In addition to the under-seat areas, the Maverick also sports well-designed door pockets that fit large drinks for the thirsty among us. Additionally, in case you'd forgotten, the Maverick is a truck! So there's a huge bed out back for all the other stuff you might want to haul around.
Features like the under-seat storage and big door pockets might seem incidental, but when living with a vehicle, these touches can make all the difference. In future, we look forward to driving a Maverick and forgetting an important backpack in that neat under-seat compartment. Wish us luck.
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