We already know that the movie “Top Gun Maverick” is a hit. But there is another Maverick that is also a big hit, and rather than flying through the skies at insane speeds, this Maverick rolls through the streets at a leisurely pace. Let’s take a look at Ford’s newest pickup truck, the Ford Maverick.
If the Ford Maverick name sounds familiar, that’s because it existed back in the 1970’s as a compact car. While this new pickup truck from Ford shares no resemblance to that car, one thing it does have in common is that it is a compact vehicle. The 2022 Maverick comes in below the Ford Ranger and of course, Ford’s shining star, the F-150. Not only is the Maverick smaller than the two other trucks from Ford, it’s vastly different from the others as it uses a unibody construction rather than a body-on-frame that the F-150 and Ranger use (as well as most other pickups on the market). In fact the Maverick is based off of the Ford Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs.
The Ford Maverick sports a four-door crew cab with a 4.5 foot bed. Oddly enough, the standard powertrain is a hybrid system, with a turbocharged (non-hybrid) gas engine available as an option. The Maverick competes against the recently revealed Hyundai Santa Cruz and can even make a case against the Honda Ridgeline, although the Ridgeline is slightly larger.
The Maverick comes standard as a hybrid, using a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. It makes a combined 191 horsepower and brings in an EPA estimated 37 mpg combined (42 city/33 highway). For a more truck-like feel, there is an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp.
There are 3 trim levels available for the Maverick. Base is the XL which is pretty simple with its steel wheels and cloth interior. It does come with an 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so if those are the only necessities needed, the XL is good choice, especially with it’s under $21,500 price tag. If you want a little nicer Maverick, opt for the XLT which adds alloy wheels, an upgraded interior and a power locking tailgate. The top-of-the-line Lariat equips the Maverick with keyless entry and pushbutton start, dual zone climate control, leather-like upholstery, a power driver’s seat and a power rear window. The Maverick comes standard as a front-wheel drive vehicle, but all-wheel drive is available. There is even an FX4 Off-road package that adds in all-terrain tires, hill descent control and skid plates.
The tester was a base XL and while it did look pretty cheap, I kept reminding myself of its $21,490, which in today’s car market is a steal.
The Mavericks small size and specifications makes it sound like an ideal city runabout. It is, but with the no-frills interior and the way it drives, the Maverick feels surprisingly very truckish. The ride is stiff, the steering is vague and there is a fair amount of body roll when going into turns. These are not necessarily faults, just the typical characteristics of a pickup truck. Power from the hybrid powerplant is ideal, needing just under 8 seconds to reach 60 mph. The turbocharged four-cylinder is said to drop 2 seconds off that mark.
While the cabin on the tester is far from plush, it does offer standard necessities such as a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, and adjustable lumbar support for the front seats. The front seats are comfortable and the dash layout is simple and easy to get acclimated with. Visibility outside is really good thanks to the Maverick’s large windows and boxy cab design. Seating in the rear is decent although legroom is limited. Storage in the cabin is plentiful – with water bottle holders in the doors, a larger center console to hold items as well as a large underseat storage area.
Being a unibody (car-based) vehicle, the Maverick isn’t the truck of choice for big jobs. Nonetheless, it still can do its share of work. Maximum towing capacity is 4,000 pounds while the payload can carry 1,500 pounds. An integrated trailer brake controller is even available.
In a world where today’s midsize trucks are as big as yesterday’s full-size trucks, the Ford Maverick is certainly a nice welcome. It’s perfect for those people who just want a small truck that can haul cargo while still being maneuverable enough to tackle crowded city streets. Keeping that in mind, the Maverick, just like the move, it’s bound to be a hit.
– Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
Base Price: $19,995.00
Price as Tested: $21,490.00
Layout: front-engine / front-wheel drive
Engine: 2.5 liter four-cylinder with Hybrid electric motor
Transmission: CVT automatic
Horsepower: 191 hp
EPA Fuel Economy: 42 mpg city / 33 mpg highway
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