The all-new 2022 Ford Maverick Might Just Change the Game

The all-new 2022 Ford Maverick Might Just Change the Game

  • All-new compact pickup truck from Ford
  • Small, city-friendly dimensions and a lower price than the midsize Ranger
  • Built on the same platform as the Ford Escape and Bronco Sport
  • 2022 model will kick off the first generation of the Maverick pickup truck

What is the Ford Maverick?

Ford has resurrected a moniker from its largely forgotten 1970s compact car for its newest pickup truck: the 2022 Maverick. Based on the Ford Escape small SUV (which additionally supplies the architecture for the Bronco Sport), the Maverick is a small pickup truck that slots below the Ranger and the F-150 in Ford's lineup.

Its unibody construction differs from the Ranger's and F-150's classic body-on-frame construction, but the Ford Maverick pickup still delivers some impressive tow ratings. It will also likely have a more comfortable ride than its larger siblings. This could make the Maverick a solid choice for buyers who want the versatility of a pickup but don't need an old-school truck's absurdly high capabilities (and potentially high pricing). We expect the Maverick to go on sale in the fall of 2021 and have a starting price of about $21,000.

What's under the Maverick's hood?

So, check this out: The Ford Maverick can be a hybrid. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to produce a combined 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. This combo sends its power to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). If you're looking for more power, there's an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (it's a regular engine, not a hybrid) that produces 250 hp and 277 lb-ft. The 2.0-liter engine uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and can be paired with front- or all-wheel drive. Both of these powertrain choices are very similar to what Ford uses in the Escape.

2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

How's the Ford Maverick's interior?

The interior is pretty cool. Ford constructed the interior with seemingly inexpensive materials without making the entire vibe feel cheap. Sure, there are hard plastics in a few places, but there are no piano black surfaces trying to make things seem luxurious when they aren't. There are robust, tough-looking surfaces that feel like they'll hold up to abuse over time, especially the materials placed in high-traffic areas. Then, there's hard, hollow plastic where it should be — holding water bottles in place helping to keep the Maverick's price in a respectable range.

There's only one Maverick body style — a crew cab — and it's pretty spacious. Up front, there's plenty of room for small items in the center console and plenty of room for two average-size adults. At least two average-size adults should fit well in the back seat and three children should be able to squeeze into the back seat relatively nicely. Most drivers and passengers will need to duck to get inside the Maverick because of the low roof height. But once inside, there's plenty of headroom.

How's the Maverick's tech?

All Maverick trim levels come standard with a number of tech features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, an 8-inch center screen, two USB ports (one USB-A and one USB-C), 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability and a six-speaker stereo. That's an impressive suite of tech when you consider the Maverick's low starting price. The list of standard driver aids is shorter, but you do get forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios) regardless of trim level.

There's also an available 8-inch touchscreen that provides Ford's Sync 3 system — which we've got lots of experience with. Ford's Sync system isn't our favorite when it comes to the layout of the controls or the screen resolution, but it does provide excellent voice controls for simple tasks like changing the radio station. An integrated navigation system isn't available at all on the Maverick, but we see that as a sign of the times. As more shoppers rely on smartphones for navigation, many less expensive vehicles will eliminate the option altogether.

Optional driver aids for the Maverick are extensive and they include:

  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Ford and the car in front)
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
  • Evasive steering assist (enhances the forward collision mitigation system with steering-based collision avoidance)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the Maverick back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Lane centering (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
  • Rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible behind the vehicle when parking)
2022 Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick

How's the Maverick's storage? And what about towing and hauling?

Ford has done some really interesting things to accommodate buyers here. For starters, there's a 1,500-pound payload across the lineup regardless of engine. That's respectable even by midsize-pickup-truck standards. Then there's the bed-organizational system (which Ford calls Flexbed) that allows for multiple levels of storage. You can combine the wheelwells in the bed with a multi-height tailgate to create storage shelves for long, thin items, or you can organize storage in many configurations using wood. The Maverick also has D-rings and movable in-bed rails to help you strap stuff down, plus a small cubby for tools.

Tow ratings are impressive too, at least when you consider the Maverick's small size. Ford says it can pull up to 2,000 pounds with the hybrid powertrain and as much as 4,000 pounds with the turbo 2.0-liter engine and the optional towing package. The towing package includes extras such as an oil cooler, an upgraded radiator, a trailer brake controller, and a seven-pin prewired trailer connection. That's excellent for the Maverick's admittedly small class.

Inside, the Maverick has lots of neat storage options. A number of in-door cup-and-bottle holders for passengers, a large glovebox, a decent-size center console, and a big underseat storage compartment in the back seat. The hybrid battery takes about half of the storage space under the rear seats, but otherwise there's plenty of room for storage.

If you want some sort of strange customized storage compartment that Ford doesn't offer, you can do that too. FITS is a new system (short for Ford Integrated Tether System) developed for the Maverick with slots located in the cabin that will accommodate dealer-offered storage solutions such as extra cupholders or a trash bin. Ford is also planning on releasing the physical dimensions of the slots publicly so that owners can design and 3D-print their own custom storage solutions.

How economical is the Maverick?

We don't have official EPA estimates for the Maverick yet. Ford's initial press release touts 40 mpg in the city with the base hybrid powertrain. We also noticed in the fine print of an early Maverick brochure that Ford is aiming for 37 mpg combined with the base powertrain (41 city/33 highway), which is a seriously high set of ratings for anything with a cargo bed. If the powertrains under the hood of the Ford Escape and the Bronco Sport are any indication, that'll probably be the high point, however. We guess the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine will come in below 30 mpg combined.

What are the Maverick's trim levels?

At launch, the 2022 Ford Maverick will be available in three main trim levels: XL, XLT and Lariat. The XL won't have much equipment, but it will be eligible for most of the upper trim levels' options. For instance, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and the 4K towing package (trailer brake controller, trailer hitch receiver with seven-pin wiring harness, transmission oil cooler, higher-capacity radiator) are available in any trim level.

XL
This base trim will include features such as:

  • LED headlights
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Power windows
  • Air conditioning
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Manually adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column
  • Underseat storage compartments
  • Six-speaker stereo
  • Six tie-down points in the bed

XLT
On top of the standard equipment, the midgrade XLT will get:

  • Alloy wheels
  • Upgraded upholstery
  • Black exterior accents (grille, door handles, side mirrors)
  • Rear center armrest with cupholders
  • Power-locking tailgate
  • Cruise control

Lariat
This top-of-the-line trim adds to the XLT's equipment with:

  • Upgraded driver information display
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Power-sliding rear window
  • Rear-seat map pockets
  • Two rear-seat USB ports

Options for the Maverick include the previously mentioned 4K tow package, an FX4 Off-Road package (all-terrain tires, exposed front tow hooks, hill descent control, skid plates), and Luxury packages for the XLT and Lariat trims that include a spray-in bedliner, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging and an upgraded eight-speaker stereo.

Edmunds says

The Ford Maverick is a game changer. Sure, the Hyundai Santa Cruz debuted a few weeks ahead of the Maverick, and it's got a lot going for it, but Hyundai isn't even calling it a truck. If the preliminary towing, hauling and fuel economy numbers hold up for the Maverick, it will dominate a class that it had a large hand in resurrecting.

With the Maverick, Ford is offering an option for every buyer who thinks "I don't need all the capability that a midsize truck is offering" or "Midsize trucks have gotten too big and too expensive." Ford is also offering an entirely new option to people who never considered a truck in the first place — buyers concerned with fuel economy, but those who have no need to tow or traverse the toughest of local off-road trails. Few vehicles have such broad appeal, and we can't wait to get behind the wheel to test this one out. Check back in the coming months for additional coverage and information on the new 2022 Ford Maverick.


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