2022 Ford Maverick
Ford has struck gold again. This time by producing a small pickup truck that is built to do small jobs.
The 2022 Ford Maverick was developed from a compact SUV platform – the same as the Escape and Bronco Sport - built as a unibody pickup truck. It comes only in a four-door cab integrated with a 54.4-inch bed. You do have a choice of two engines, one of which is a hybrid gas-electric driveline, and available all-wheel drive.
The new compact pickup truck has already captured the hearts and minds of customers since its introduction. We were wondering whether the Ford Maverick fulfills all of the promises it made to attract these new customers.
As we mentioned, the unibody SuperCrew cab and integrated bed is a simple, straightforward design. The profile matches any modern pickup truck, but down to a smaller footprint. The front end is blunt, but with some distinctive Ford truck design elements, including a set of split LED headlamps.
In the bed, you do not get any special storage or a tonneau cover in the Maverick. The bed’s floor loads flush with the tailgate. Ford created a FLEXBED system that makes organizing cargo, including a way to haul bicycles without losing key space.
Our XLT tester came with a set of dark finished 17-inch alloy wheels and some trim upgrades. In all, you might just like the Maverick for the way it reminds you that it is indeed a pickup truck.
Inside the XLT SuperCrew cab is an interesting approach to practicality throughout the cabin. The door cards may seem “unfinished,” but they use a mix of materials to create spaces for water bottles and other items. These materials are found throughout the instrument panel and center console – a mix of grays and a burnt orange. Most of plastics are of a better quality.
The instrument cluster is a mix of analog dials and a small comprehensive digital information center. On top of the center stack is an eight-inch touchscreen driven for Ford’s SYNC 3 system. You also get Ford’s customary rotary shift knob and solid controls and switches.
The Maverick seats five using a multi-tone cloth upholstery. These seats are comfortable up front with manual adjustments for height, rake, and recline. There is some support in the front seats. Rear seat room is fine for average-sized adults with plenty of headroom to spare.
Our tester came with the most talked about of the two engine choices. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder Hybrid driveline is similar to the one available on the Ford Escape. With the electric motor, the Hybrid puts out a combined 191 horsepower. Power is sent only to the front wheels using a continuously variable transmission.
You can also opt for a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is only with that engine that you can get all-wheel drive.
With the Hybrid, you can tow up to 2,000 pounds and can carry up to 1,500 pounds ion payload. With the EcoBoost engine and all-wheel drive, you can maximize your towing capacity to 4,000 pounds.
Out on the road, the Hybrid driveline does a solid job in motivating this 3,563-pound compact pickup truck. We felt no lag in acceleration. In turn, the Maverick was at ease on the highway. It does exceptionally well around town as a light hauler of materials or simply a commuter.
As for fuel economy, we averaged 35.7 MPG.
There are a few things that will surprise you about the Maverick. The ride quality seems better than its larger pickup truck brethren. Part of it comes from the unibody construction, but it is mostly because of the twist-beam rear suspension. It does react when you drive it on rougher surfaces, especially older and less smooth stretches of highway. Handling is quite good, as expected in a two-wheel drive pickup truck. It corners well, but it does lean and roll at the limit.
You will also find a tighter steering radius than most pickup trucks. Response to the wheels is quite good and does not require a lot of turning to get to a tight spot. On-center feel is fine, with minimal play at the steering wheel. The brakes were also decent, with some delayed hybrid feedback at normal and panic stops. Pedal feel is quite good, however.
The 2022 Ford Maverick is available in one configuration – the SuperCrew with the 54-inch bed. You can choose between three trim levels, two engines, and an available all-wheel drive with the EcoBoost engine. Starting price for a Hybrid XL trim model is $19,995. Our XLT tester came with a sticker price of $25,525. We found that you can equip a Maverick with the EcoBoost and all-wheel drive well into the mid-$30,000 range.
At this moment, there is only one vehicle that is in the Maverick’s size class – the Hyundai Santa Cruz. We anticipate there will be more new entries in this segment to match the success of Ford and Hyundai in reintroducing the small pickup truck to this market.
This is not about being one of the first to re-establish a segment. It is about how the Ford Maverick defines this segment. That includes giving customers a pickup truck that looks like one, but it works better overall. If you get on the order list, you will not be disappointed when it arrives at your nearest dealer.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors