Ford Maverick 2022 Review

Four years ago, Ford surprised us by announcing that it would cease production of all sedans (with the exception of the Mustang), and it has been frantically searching for replacements ever since. A compact pickup truck was the most popular option. Since SUVs and CUVs now span all categories and sizes, why can't pickup trucks do the same? With only the medium-sized Ranger and the full-size F-150 to sell, it makes perfect sense for Ford to add a small pickup to its lineup before GM and Toyota enter the market.

Pickup trucks have always been a fixture in North America, and not just because of our culture or image, but because they represent our devotion to a carefree and do-it-yourself lifestyle. Ford has once again resurrected the Bronco, this time by plucking "Maverick" from a bag of abandoned automobile names. The fact that the 1970s Maverick was a sedan and not a pickup truck is irrelevant. Its namepuller must have been an old Mavericks fan, or it could have been the Dallas Mavericks. Also saved from elimination (nearly, as they trailed the Suns 3-2), they won two games in a row to advance to the Western Conference finals. Who said that they couldn't repeat their 2011 championship victory? Ford product planners better get ready (a fleet of Mavericks for the homecoming parade, literally).

Ford not only defies the automobile industry norm by producing a pickup, but also revolutionizes it by repositioning hybrids as a more affordable option than comparable gasoline models. With a starting MSRP of $25,900 and no direct competitors in the pickup segment, the Maverick Hybrid targets the $25,370 Honda Civic Sedan, the $24,880 Toyota Corolla Cross, and virtually all compact sedans and crossovers.

Ford Maverick is available in hybrid and EcoBoost configurations. Hybrid is only available in the XL and XLT trim levels, whereas EcoBoost adds the luxuriously appointed Lariat. All Maverick Hybrids have front-wheel drive, whereas all EcoBoosts have all-wheel drive. Pricing for all models are: XL $25,900, XLT $28,500, EcoBoost XL $28,400, XLT $31,000, Lariat $34,450. Need AWD and fuel efficiency simultaneously? I regret to inform you that you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

In addition to standard features such as power windows and air conditioning, other standard features include remote keyless entry, automatic high beams, an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, FordPass Connect with embedded modem and WiFi, a rear view camera, and a tire pressure monitor. XLT models come with enclosed bed storage, a power tailgate lock, a SecuriCode keypad, 12V powerpoints, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and more. Lariat models feature more expensive-appearing interior and exterior upgrades, including body-colored mirrors and door handles, standard LED headlights, and "window-in-window" rear windows. XL and XLT offer a rear window for $220 as a manual, non-power option.

If, like me, you require heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power-adjustable driver seat, then you must add the Luxury Package, which is exclusive to the XLT and Lariat. In addition, the XLT Luxury Package includes a 400W/110V outlet, a leather steering wheel, a full-size spare tire, eight bed tie-downs, and a trailer hitch. Lariat models feature adaptive cruise control, a blind spot warning system, lane centering, wireless phone charging, SiriusXM, and a B&O sound system with eight speakers.

The Ford Maverick shares its unibody chassis with the Escape and Bronco Sport. Although born as a lightweight truck, it meets all "Built Ford Tough" factory standards. The Maverick appears considerably larger than the Escape and Bronco Sport, and its actual dimensions support this impression. It is a small pickup truck, not a small car.

The Maverick is not only physically larger than the Bronco Sport, but also has a more imposing front end with a larger grille and headlights. The body contours are comparable to those of other Ford pickups - nothing to write home about in terms of aesthetics or design language. As with all modern pickups, the truck's name is tastefully imprinted on the rear door.

The interior design is straightforward, simple, and functional. The recycled material used for the door and dash panels gives the interior a stone-like appearance and makes the materials used for construction easy to clean and maintain. The Maverick has injected some refreshing design elements, such as the way the door grabs end to accommodate taller water bottles, the not-original but nicely repeated exposed screws, and the eyeglass holder located behind the screen.

Pickup owners tend to pay more attention to the design of the cargo bed than SUV owners do to the trunk. The bed, dubbed "Flexbed" by Ford, is 4.5 feet long, more than sufficient to accommodate a two-seater sofa (50"). Mind you, the Ranger and F-150 are only half a foot and one foot longer, and the Maverick's bed can be extended to six feet with the tailgate open. Six Tie-Downs are standard, with an option for up to ten. Ford stated that the entire bed is a DIY enthusiast's paradise; simply scan the QR code on the bed wall to begin personalizing it as you see fit. Regarding DIY, you can download the orange plastic holder that "plugs" the hole next to the screen onto your 3D printer. No printer is included.

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine, when combined with a 1.1 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 98-watt electric motor, produces a maximum output of 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the vehicle will operate in EV mode from the time it is started until it reaches speeds of less than 40 kilometers per hour, at which point the engine will begin to operate. In Sport mode, the Maverick utilizes the Escape Hybrid's ECVT transmission, which provides simulated shifts to simulate gear changes.

The much more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is standard on the Lariat but is optional on the XL and XLT. Maximum horsepower for the engine is 250 at 5,500 rpm, and maximum torque is 277 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm. The EcoBoost is equipped with an automatic transmission with eight speeds. With only a few minutes of driving, we were able to determine that the vehicle is incredibly polished and pleasant, and that it feels energizing with every shift and throttle prod.

If you place a premium on performance or towing capacity, the EcoBoost with AWD is the way to go. EcoBoost owners can add a 4K Tow Package ($800) to increase towing capacity to 4,000 pounds, enough to tow a camper, yacht, or the 2,900-pound Airstream camper pictured here. Payload capacity is also a major concern for purchasers of pickup trucks. Both the Hybrid and EcoBoost models are capable of towing 1,500 pounds.

Even entry-level Mavericks offer a variety of driving modes, which vary depending on the engine they serve. The hybrid has Eco, Normal, Sport, Slippery, and Snow modes, whereas the AWD EcoBoost has Sand and Mud/Rut modes in place of Eco and Sport. Hill Descent Control is included as well (EcoBoost).

In addition to the full Maverick lineup, the XLT and Lariat EcoBoost with FX4 Off-Road Package ($1,120) were also available for testing on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. A camper pulling 2,900 pounds and a 4x8 plywood load weighing 480 pounds were also present for a short sprint. It is both surprising and encouraging to discover how simple it is to drive and control a mass of 6,631 pounds (2,900 + 3,731 lb curb weight) for someone who does not tow frequently. The EcoBoost engine provided more than adequate acceleration, the turning radius is smaller than anticipated, and we never broke a sweat driving around the island.

The suspension and brakes took the brunt of the punishment when the truck bed was loaded with wood. The Maverick is, after all, a lightweight pickup truck, so load changes and weight shifts are easily detectable. Fortunately, the brakes were more than adequate, and the Falken tires provided confidence despite the additional weight.

Many automakers, including Jeep and Subaru, have attempted to add pickup variants to their lineups, such as the Jeep Gladiator and Subaru Baja. But Ford is one of the first to transform a compact SUV into a crossover. It has advantages. With a low starting price, a hybrid powertrain, and a versatile, playful bed, the all-new Ford Maverick should have little trouble penetrating the traditional family car market.

Specifications:

  • Model: 2022 Ford Maverick
  • MSRP: $25,900-$34,450
  • Wheelbase(mm): 3,076
  • Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,072/1,844/1,745
  • Engine: 2.5-litre 4-cylinder Hybrid/2.0L EcoBoost 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower-HP: 191/250
  • Torque-lb-ft: 155/277
  • Transmission: ECVT/8-speed automatic
  • Suspension-Front: MacPherson strut-type
  • Suspension-Rear: Independent twistbeam(Hybrid)/Multi-link trailing arm(EcoBoost)
  • Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined): 5.6/7.1/6.3(Hybrid)/10.7/8.1/9.6(EcoBoost) L/100 km
  • Tires: Continental ProContact TX 225/65R17 (XL/XLT) Falken Wildpeak A/T (Lariat)
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