Ford Maverick first look: A small truck with big bang for the buck

The engineers at Ford have been busy this year! First they rereleased the Bronco and then came the F-150 Lightning. And today they released the Ford Maverick. With the sun setting on the sedan market, Ford is hoping to lure urban and young buyers into the truck market. The compact Maverick comes with a small price, releasing at just under $20,000.

Ford is synonymous with trucks. Big trucks. “The best-selling truck in America” has long been dominated by Ford’s heavy duty, and unabashedly big, F-150. If you own a home or venture into the hills, there’s no denying the benefit of a big truck. It crushes weekend chores and can capably tow anything into the backcountry. But the intimidating footprint puts off many potential buyers. Sure, the mid-size truck takes the edge of navigating city streets. I personally own a Tacoma and my wife still anxiously grips the wheel every time she has to drive our mid-sized Toyota.

Trying to tap into young, eco-conscious urban buyers who divide their time between Co-op parking lots and The Home Depot, Ford dipped below the mid-sized truck threshold today, launching the 2022 Ford Maverick. It borrows the same platform from the Bronco Sport and Ford’s Escape to create a compact truck that is shorter and easier to handle. Bumper to bumper, the Maverick measures 6-inches shorter than most mid-sized trucks.

It’ll still haul a proper load

The Ford Maverick can carry up to 1,500 pounds in the bed

The draw of a truck can’t be denied. The bucket bed allows you to tackle projects at home you just can’t (or won’t) do with an SUV. Core to this pickup is the 4.5-foot bed. That’s five inches shorter than the mid-sized Ranger, but still gives you a full six-foot bed when you drop the gate. Ford says it can stack up to 18 sheets of 4×8 three-quarter plywood, within the 1,500 pound payload capacity.

Trimmed with bed slots and eight standard tie-downs (including two that double as bottle openers because, you now, DIY projects make you thirsty), there are innumerable ways to configure your load. For inspiration, Ford put a clever QR code that you can scan to follow other Maverick owner’s creative whims.

Integrated cleats, tie-downs, and slots allow you to configure your load

Two 12-volt power sources are wired to a dedicated 20-amp circuit. It’s enough to run air compressors or camp lighting. Interested in bringing the Dometic or powering the laptop? The truck is prewired to two optional 110-volt/400-watt outlets to support heavier charging.

Maverick Interior Design

The inside has seating for 5 with lots of storage options

The four-door’s spacious cabin is functional and durable and has room for five. Storage cubbies are tucked throughout the cabin. And it’s forward-thinking storage. The front door can swallow a 1-liter Nalgene, a MacBook Air, or tablet.

A pair of bins hide under the rear seat and can swallow a travel bag

Rear storage bins hide under the back seats and can stow larger bags and sports gear. If you don’t have passengers, the rear bench folds down, giving you even more internal space.

The eight-inch touch screen serves as command control, giving you access to many driver assistant controls

Piloting the truck, an 8-inch center console touch screen sits in front of the driver. It’s WiFi compatible and integrates with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The console provides access to Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 system, which supplies numerous drive-assist features, including automatic emergency braking and high beam assist. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane assist are optional upgrades.

Models

The base model Maverick XL is only offered as a front-wheel drive hybrid truck. Power is supplied to the truck through a hybrid power plant. The 2.5-liter gas engine is supported by a 94-kilowatt electric motor (which Ford borrows from their Escape SUV.). The combination delivers 191 total horsepower and 155 lb./ft. of torque, and gets an estimated 40 miles per gallon in the city. With a 13 gallon tank, drivers can expect to get upwards of 500 miles on a single tank of gas.

Ford claims the XL can carry up to 1,500 pounds and tow up to 2,000 pounds, which is about the weight of a small adventure trailer.  Considering the average buyer won’t be pulling hay trailers on the farm, it’s suitable for most drivers.

The XL model can tow up to 2,000 pounds. Upgrades will allow you to tow up to 4,000 pounds

Want more towing power? The Maverick is available as a non-hybrid EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 produces 250-hp/ 277 lb.-ft. torque as either front or all-wheel drive. This also buys into a 4,000 pound tow range, or the average boat or large trailer.

2022 Ford Maverick MSRP and options

Big trucks bring big price tags. But that’s where the Maverick is, well a maverick, bucking those high-price trends. Potential buyers can walk into a Maverick XL for just under $20,000. The XLT is listed at $23,775, and the Lariat, Ford’s tip of the spear trim, starts at $26,985.

For serious backroad adventures, the FX4 package brings off-road capable upgrades, including all-terrain tires, suspension tuning, skid plates, and additional drive modes for mud and sand, and hill descent control. Prices are not available yet for the FX4 trim.

Ford.com

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