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Model Showcase: 2022 Ford Maverick

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Dec. 2, 2021—In today’s market of sharp dealer markups on top of already expensive, large, luxurious pickup trucks, Ford brought to market a compact unibody pickup with a price tag starting around $20,000. And it continues to impress.

It’s the Ford Maverick, which has a hybrid powertrain option that boasts 40 MPG in the city. Ford hopes that its small stature (smaller even than the growing Ranger model) attracts a different kind of pickup consumer.

“Maverick challenges the status quo and the stereotypes of what a pickup truck can be,” Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager, said in a press release. “We believe it will be compelling to a lot of people who never before considered a truck.”

That seems to be panning out, as Ford racked up 100,000 order reservations in August. Let’s dive in.

Hybrid Standard Powertrain

The standard-trim powertrain can push itself to 500 miles on one 13.8-gallon tank of gas, Ford says. It’s a hybrid system with a 2.5-liter, DOHC engine as the internal combustion component with an electric motor. Together, it all produces 191 hp.

The hybrid powertrain is mated to a continuously variable transmission, and only front wheel drive is available. That might be a dealbreaker for some would-be pickup owners, but consider a target demographic of urban-centered weekend warriors who need good MPGs for the commute, and it makes much more sense.

Those who want a full internal combustion Maverick will need to pay a bit more for the turbocharged 2.0-liter, rated at 250 hp. This can be had in a front wheel drive or all-wheel-drive configuration. The transmission is also different from the hybrid model—an eight-speed automatic would be on this powertrain option.

To follow up and note the Maverick’s size: it checks in at 199.7 inches in length. Compare that to 210.8 inches on the Ranger and 231.7 inches on the F-150. For those wondering, the length of the 2011 Ranger—the last of the smaller North American models—was 189 to 203, depending on trim.

ADAS and Other Features

Like most new Ford models, the Maverick has the basic ADAS features standard. Those are auto high beams, pre-collision assist with automatic braking, pedestrian detection, and a rear-view camera. The branded Ford Co-Pilot 360 option brings in adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, lane centering, cross-traffic alerts, hill descent control and more.

On the fun gadget side, Ford has been showing off what it calls its “flexbed,” which is aimed at a highly customizable truck bed for sectioning off, tying down, and hauling various items.

That includes spaces and notches for 2x4s to help provide support, and it has a 12-volt outlet. The tailgate can also stop halfway down to help carry longer items more securely.

“People can create segmented storage, bike racks, and other DIY solutions by sliding 2x4s or 2x6s into slots stamped into the side of the bed.There are two tie-downs, four D-rings and built-in threaded holes in the sides to bolt in new creations,” according to Ford.

Of course, it’s the pricing that caught many headlines for the Maverick. The base XL trim starts at around $21,000. The top-level Lariat package is around $27,000. Compare that to the lightly optioned base Ranger for $25,000 and the base F-150 at $29,000.

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