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.
2022 Ford Maverick
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.