The compact-class Ford Maverick goes on sale this fall with innovative functionality and reasonable pricing
Maverick’s exterior styling is upright and squared off. (All photos courtesy of Ford)
BY MARK MAYNARD
What this country needs is a tough little pickup truck that doesn’t require 84-month financing. Ford Motor hopes it has prepared such a segment disruptor with its 2022 Ford Maverick. This compact-class pickup was conceived as a doer, not a pretender and it is aimed at “people who never knew they wanted a truck,” Ford says.
Maverick goes on sale this fall as a five-passenger four-door pickup. It will have a choice of two four-cylinder engines — and most notably a gasoline-electric hybrid. Maverick will be sold in three trim levels in front- or all-wheel drive. Pricing starts at $21,490 and includes the $1,495 freight charge from the Hermosillo Assembly plant in Sonora, Mexico.
“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 statement. “We believe it will be compelling to a lot of people who never before considered a truck.”
Maverick’s starting price makes it $150 less expensive than Ford’s least expensive vehicle, the EcoSport subcompact crossover. And it is $5,420 less than the starting price of the midsize rear-wheel-drive 2021 Ford Ranger SuperCab at $26,910.
The interior design is straightforward and durable.
The Maverick is 11 inches shorter than the midsize Ranger. And is built on the unibody architecture with the Bronco Sport, Escape, and Lincoln Corsair SUVs. About 60 percent of the Maverick’s parts are shared with the Bronco Sport.
As a unibody pickup — not the typical ladder frame of larger pickups — there is no gap between the cab and the bed. Rail-cap protectors run the length of the bed and curve vertically to end at the top of the back window. The design adds dent and ding protection as users load and unload from the side of the bed, Ford says.
Maverick First Edition
Available for the first model year only is the Maverick First Edition, $32,360. It is built off the Lariat trim level. Its special features include graphics on the hood and lower doors, a soft tonneau cover, body-color door handles, and a gloss black roof and side mirrors. The hybrid model is fitted with 18-inch black-machined wheels and nonhybrid models ride on 17-inch aluminum wheels. Available paint colors will be Carbonized Gray, Area 51, or Rapid Red, which is special for the First Edition.
An FX4 off-road package ($800) is available for all-wheel-drive XLT and Lariat models. The package adds all-terrain tires and suspension tuning, additional underbody protection, and drive modes of mud-rut and sand.
Check the build and price website at Ford.com.
Maverick will have a choice of two powertrains. The standard, front-wheel-drive hybrid model has a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder with a continuously variable transmission. It has total system power of 191 horsepower and 155 foot-pounds of torque with the electric motor. The electric traction motor is engineered and manufactured in-house.
The hybrid powertrain has a projected EPA-estimated fuel-economy rating of 40 mpg city, Ford says. And owners can expect 500 miles of range on a tank of 87-octane gasoline.
The optional engine ($1,085) is the 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 277 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The tow rating doubles to 4,000 pounds when optioned with the 4K Tow Package ($745). That rating is enough to pull a 21-foot boat, Ford says.
Ford’s Co-Pilot360 technology includes standard pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and automatic high beam headlamps.
Available options include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert and Lane Centering with Evasive Steering Assist.
Maverick Interior Design
Lead interior designer Daniel George calls Maverick “the ultimate first vehicle for my kids.”
What’s key, he said, was understanding how people actually use the stuff they bring in, rather than just expecting them to find places to stash it.
An example of such functionality is the door panels that have a split design to allow a one-liter water bottle to sit upright rather than rolling around on the seats. The door pockets are huge and have lots of vertical clearance to place a tablet or notebooks, George said in the release. There also is a storage bin under the rear seats that is large enough for such items as a volleyball, laptop bags, rollerblades, or tools.
Door panels can hold a one-liter water bottle and a tablet.
Simple But Not Basic Cabin
The Ford Maverick customer wants simple but not basic, said Barb Whalen, who led the team in choosing materials and colors.
The goal was to have an interior that is straightforward and durable with a well-built feel, she said. The interior was designed for function, purpose and ease of cleaning.
Electronic features include a standard 8-inch center touch screen.
Unique textures and materials were used, such as reground carbon fiber for strength and visual interest. The dash panel has a stonelike finish, Whalen said. It is similar in appearance to a super-durable synthetic countertop.
“We strategically placed pops of color for functionality — creating an energetic space you want to be in,” she said.
Electronic features include a standard 8-inch center touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment. The standard FordPass Connect feature has embedded Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices. FordPass also allows owners to use their smartphone to find the truck, check its fuel level, lock and unlock the doors and start or turn off the engine.
The bedsides are low for easy unloading.
FITS — Ford Integrated Tether System — is a multitasking solution for passengers in the back seat. A FITS slot at the back of the front console will accommodate a variety of features in the accessory package. It includes cup holders, a trash or storage bin, and a double hook for grocery bags and purses.
There also are under-seat storage dividers. And Ford is working to publish the slot geometry so people can 3D-print their own solutions. Those accessories can be stored in multiple slots under the rear seats.
The tailgate is rated for 500 pounds.
A “Flexbed” Makerspace
“The whole bed is a DIY fan’s paradise,” said Keith Daugherty, an engineering specialist who helped develop Maverick’s bed.
The team’s innovative “Flexbed” system will help ease cargo-packing dilemmas and transform the bed into a complete makerspace.
There is an optional bolt-in cargo-management system, Daugherty said. And owners can bolt steel C-section channels to the bed to create their own setups.
Segmented Storage Options
Storage can be segmented with by 2-by-4s or 2-by-6s fitted into slots stamped into the side of the bed. A raised floor can be created for flat transport of full plywood sheets. Special racks can be made for bikes, kayaks, and other sporting gear. The bed also has two tie-downs, four D-rings, and threaded holes in the bedsides.
“Customers can scan the FLEXBED QR code in the bed for some interesting ideas to get started,” Daugherty said.
The payload can accommodate up to 18 sheets of plywood.
DIY projects, tailgating and camping will get a boost from prewired 12-volt electrical power on either side of the back of the Maverick’s bed.
There also are options for 110-volt, 400-watt outlets. One outlet is in the bed and one is in the cabin, said Gaby Grajales, an electrical engineer on the Ford Maverick team. The 110-volt outlets have enough juice to power phones, laptops or small TVs. The power source can also charge cordless tools or run a small corded tool, such as a jigsaw,
There’s also a storage cubby built into the bed side of the XLT that is large enough to keep a ball hitch or air pump. The Lariat has two cubbies.
A 110-volt household plug in the Maverick’s bed.
Ford Maverick By The Numbers
Maverick has a payload of 1,500 pounds and a tow rating of 2,000 pounds. That’s enough to haul a pair of personal watercrafts or a good-sized pop-up camper, Ford said in a release.
All models have four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.
A bedside storage cubby.
Drop the tailgate to extend the 4.5-foot-long bed to 6 feet. Maverick’s tailgate has a halfway-open position that can be handy to support up to 18 sheets of 4-by-8-foot plywood on the tailgate lip and wheelhouses.
The tailgate can support 500 pounds and has tie-down clamps that double as bottle openers. Almost any size adult can reach over the sides and grab items off the floor, Ford says.
Segmented storage in the Maverick bed.
The Ford Maverick is 199.7 inches long on a wheelbase of 121.1 inches. It stands 68.7 inches tall and is 83.5 inches wide at the side mirrors. Lift-in height to the bed is 30.1 inches.
The bed is 54.4 inches long and 53.3 inches wide or 42.6 inches wide between the wheelhouses.
The base curb weight for the hybrid model is 3,674 pounds. The EcoBoost model has curb weights of 3,563-3,731 lbs.
The back seat in the Lariat model.
Several midsize pickups have been redesigned or significantly updated this year. They include the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Frontier. The Hyundai Santa Cruz is only size-comparable competitor to the Maverick, so far. It goes on sale this summer.
The 2022 Maverick will go on sale this fall.
Maverick Assets and Issues
Pickup trucks are an American institution. Many pickup-intenders, however, have lost interest because even the midsize models have gotten so large and expensive.
Maverick could be a refreshing choice that supports the lifestyles of mainstream motorists rather than the truck taking over the lifestyle. But there could be diminished appeal with only one cab configuration. An extended-cab model would be desirable for many.
The base $21,490 MSRP is attention-getting, but that is for the entry XL model. Most transaction prices for the XLT and Lariat will be closer to $27,000 or $35,000 with AWD and a few extras.
Maverick has a manageable 40-foot turning circle. Because of that owners won’t have to use their other, smaller car to run errands. And, in turn, the Maverick could become the family’s only “car.”