2022 Ford Maverick debuts as truly compact, hybrid pickup
Ford has unveiled the 2022 Maverick pickup truck and has delivered on the promise of a truly compact truck with the fuel efficiency and pricing that consumers would expect in that category. It's fully hybrid as standard, offering up to 40 mpg (5.9 l/100km) in the city.
Ford is clearly marketing this truck towards urbanites, emphasizing its versatility, compact size, and maneuverability. Pricing will start just under US$20,000.
Unlike most pickup trucks, the Maverick is a unibody design, unlike any other truck in Ford’s lineup. Its hybrid powertrain is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (in an Atkinson cycle) mated to an electric motor and continuously variable transmission (CVT). These combine to produce 191 horsepower (142.5 kW) and 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) of torque. An upgraded 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline-only engine will also be available, boosting output to 250 HP (186.5 kW) and 277 lb-ft (375.5 Nm) through an eight-speed automatic transmission. If the latter engine sounds familiar, it’s also what powers the Ford Bronco Sport.
The Ford Maverick will have all of the capabilities of a pickup truck, but in a compact package. Payload is rated at 1,500 lb (680 kg) with enough bed space to carry a four-wheeled ATV. Towing is rated at 2,000 lb (907 kg) for the hybrid model and 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) for the gas-only model. Ford equates that to a small pop-up camper or pair of personal watercraft for the lower end, and an average 21-foot boat for the higher end.
Inside, the new Maverick will come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. FordPass Connect with an embedded Wi-Fi modem will also be standard, but will require a subscription for connectivity. FordPass also allows smartphone connectivity for vehicle control, location and so forth, via Ford’s app.
The Maverick will seat five passengers "of adult size," Ford says. There are drink holders in the rear door armrests, storage underneath the rear seating, and door pockets capable of holding a tablet or notebook. Plug-ins throughout the pickup allow connectivity and charging of various devices, plus the Ford Integrated Tether System (FITS) offers modular storage space for additional gear. Upgrade options in the Maverick trim levels will include added cupholders, storage dividers for the underseat storage bin, and so forth. Ford will publish the FITS slot geometry to allow DIYers to contrive their own storage solutions and accessories for the system.
Built into the pickup truck will be Ford’s Co-Pilot360 safety system with pre-collision assist, automatic emergency braking, and automated high beams. Upgrade options will include adaptive (radar) cruise control with stop and go capability, blind spot information, cross-traffic alerts, lane centering and evasive steering assist.
Ford seems very proud of the new Maverick’s functional cargo bed. Called the FlexBed, it’s described as "a DIY fan’s paradise." The engineering team members at Ford watched people at home improvement stores, at moving and storage sites, and while moving into college dorms, in order to get ideas for how people modify or rig their pickup truck beds for various uses. With that knowledge, they designed the FlexBed to be capable of accommodating several configurations.
A QR code on the FlexBed itself gives ideas for some of these, which include slots made to fit standard 2x4 construction lumber to make a platform, tie-in points for things like DIY bicycle racks and motorcycle holdfasts, and more. Even homemade lighting options are accommodated with the built-in 12-volt accessory port, so consumers can avoid "hacking" the truck’s wiring harness and the potential disaster that might ensue.
Also available are two 110-volt, 400W outlets (one in the cabin, one in the bed) for further adaptability. The pickup’s bed measures 6 ft (1.8 m) long with the tailgate down. The tailgate can be lowered and set to a "half-cocked" position (via the tethers) for a flat load surface between the tailgate’s edge and the inner wheel arches, allowing 4-ft (1.2-m)-wide sheets of plywood to sit flat. The tie-down clamps on the truck’s tailgate also double as bottle openers.
In all, the 2022 Ford Maverick is what the automaker hopes the small pickup truck crowd is looking for. Dimensionally, it’s 199.7 inches long and 68.7 inches high (507.2 and 174.5 cm). That’s roughly 11 inches (279 mm) shorter in length than the Ranger or Honda Ridgeline and about 2 inches (51 mm) shorter in height. It makes the Maverick about 32 inches (813 mm) shorter in length than the Ford F-150, thus making it a truly small pickup truck.
Ford says that the Maverick will enter the North American market later in 2021 for the 2022 model year. There will be three trim levels, plus a special First Edition package for this model year. Ford has not yet announced international plans for the new Maverick.
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Clearly there is a very significant set of customers who are not willing to pay the shockingly high prices of the current Ranger. (The prior Ranger customers, of which I am one.)
As to that small bed, let’s be honest - there are more than a few full size pickups that have never had anything larger than a cooler or bike in the bed.
A winner, especially with gas prices the way they’ve been hiking since the start of this year in the US.
Having driven one of these for several years, back in the Seventies, I don’t have much confidence in something called a Ford Maverick.