Automotive

Review: 2022 Ford Maverick – all that and not much else

Review: 2022 Ford Maverick – all that and not much else
Ford's new compact pickup truck, the Maverick, aims to be seen as nothing but a truck
Ford's new compact pickup truck, the Maverick, aims to be seen as nothing but a truck
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Ford's new compact pickup truck, the Maverick, aims to be seen as nothing but a truck
1/10
Ford's new compact pickup truck, the Maverick, aims to be seen as nothing but a truck
An efficient hybrid powertrain is the default for the 2022 Maverick, but it loses half its towing capability because of that
2/10
An efficient hybrid powertrain is the default for the 2022 Maverick, but it loses half its towing capability because of that
Most of the 2022 Ford Maverick's design is utilitarian in nature
3/10
Most of the 2022 Ford Maverick's design is utilitarian in nature
Like the Ranger it has little in common with, the Ford Maverick has a car-like interior and no tailgate damping
4/10
Like the Ranger it has little in common with, the Ford Maverick has a car-like interior and no tailgate damping
The usable length of the 2022 Ford Maverick's bed is about 52 inches (from cabin "bumps" to actual tailgate interior)
5/10
The usable length of the 2022 Ford Maverick's bed is about 52 inches (from cabin "bumps" to actual tailgate interior)
Rear seating in the compact Ford Maverick is cramped, as would be expected
6/10
Rear seating in the compact Ford Maverick is cramped, as would be expected
The cabin style of the 2022 Ford Maverick is quirky and shares a lot with the Escape crossover
7/10
The cabin style of the 2022 Ford Maverick is quirky and shares a lot with the Escape crossover
Comfort levels in the Ford Maverick are good up front, but seating isn't as adjustable as could be hoped
8/10
Comfort levels in the Ford Maverick are good up front, but seating isn't as adjustable as could be hoped
Instrumentation and infotainment are easy to use and read in the 2022 Ford Maverick
9/10
Instrumentation and infotainment are easy to use and read in the 2022 Ford Maverick
Despite its compact, city-ready size, the 2022 Ford Maverick is definitely a pickup truck in feel and persona
10/10
Despite its compact, city-ready size, the 2022 Ford Maverick is definitely a pickup truck in feel and persona
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The return of small pickup trucks is finally happening. The Ford Maverick enters alongside the Hyundai Santa Cruz to kick off the re-emerging compact car-based truck genre. Where the Santa Cruz aims towards fun and style, the Maverick steers towards being a truck.

The 2022 Ford Maverick comes by default as a hybrid model for those interested in fuel efficiency. It delivers on that, but at the price of capability. Many of the things in the Ford Maverick will be familiar to Ford fans, though, as the truck shares a platform with the Ford Escape crossover and the little Ford Bronco Sport utility.

At a glance

  • Low price and lots of nostalgia
  • High fuel efficiency in hybrid model
  • Bumpy ride and low-rent interior
  • Not as capable as its primary competitor
  • Already sold out for this model year
The cabin style of the 2022 Ford Maverick is quirky and shares a lot with the Escape crossover
The cabin style of the 2022 Ford Maverick is quirky and shares a lot with the Escape crossover

The new Maverick has several things going for it. It’s fairly low priced, it’s the only fully hybrid pickup in the midsized or compact classes, and its name draws on a lot of nostalgia both inside and outside of the automotive field. It’s fitting that it’s based on the Escape, given that the Chinese and European version of the Escape was called "Maverick" in those markets in the early 2000s.

Australians, of course, will remember the 1980s Ford Maverick as a rebadged Nissan Patrol, while Americans remember the two-door compact Maverick car of the 1970s. Outside of automotive, of course, there’s James Garner’s "Maverick" character from the TV series made in the 1950s, and of course Tom Cruise’s callsign in the Top Gun films.

Downsides to the 2022 Maverick, however, are also clear. It’s not as capable as its competitor the Hyundai Santa Cruz, it has a loud and bumpy ride quality, and its interior often feels lowball. The driver’s seat isn’t very adjustable, materials quality is a mix of good and iffy, and noise levels are high. The infotainment, however, is well done with fast responses and ease of use. Seating in the front is comfortable for the most part, though limited in adjustment, and seating in the rear is OK for short hauls and smaller passengers. There are plenty of places to put things, a few conveniences like charging ports and the like, and plenty of cup holders.

Rear seating in the compact Ford Maverick is cramped, as would be expected
Rear seating in the compact Ford Maverick is cramped, as would be expected

The standard Ford Maverick is the hybrid model with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that pairs with an electric motor to produce 191 horsepower (142.5 kW) through a continuously variable transmission. It’s rated at 42 mpg (5.6 l/100km) in the city and 33 mpg (7.1 l/100km) on the highway – which is good – but we weren’t able to match that highway number in our tests, averaging 31.5 instead. We have no reliable way to test city fuel economy.

Upgrading goes to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that outputs 250 horsepower (184 kW) to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 23 mpg (10.2 l/100km) in the city and 29 mpg (8.1 l/100km) on the highway. We have not tested the turbocharged model for comparison.

All Maverick models have a cargo bed that measures about 52 inches (132 cm) in usable length (length from cab end to inside of tailgate when closed) and a 1,500-lb (680-kg) payload capacity. Towing starts at 2,000 lbs (907 kg) for the hybrid model and ends at 4,000 lbs (1,814 kg) with the turbocharged model. For comparison, the Hyundai Santa Cruz’s towing is rated at 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.

Despite its compact, city-ready size, the 2022 Ford Maverick is definitely a pickup truck in feel and persona
Despite its compact, city-ready size, the 2022 Ford Maverick is definitely a pickup truck in feel and persona

The Maverick has both a front-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive option. It won’t do much off-road, we found, outside of what most compact crossovers with about 8 inches of ground clearance can do. This isn’t an off-road beast, and nothing done to it will change that fundamental fact. It is, however, good enough on dirt roads and light off-road terrain to be useful. Just don’t expect it to be a popular sight in Moab or Baja.

What’s first and foremost in the Maverick’s overall design and feel, however, is its desire to be perceived as a truck. It feels, operates, and gives off a persona of "truck" in every way it can ... despite the clearly car-adopted interior and framework it comes from. The modern but quirky interior design, bumpy ride feel, heavier than expected turning quality, and very pickup-truck body design all go towards that goal. There’s no mistaking the Maverick for anything else.

The 2022 Ford Maverick’s no-frills starting price of about US$22,000 also makes sure it’s seen as a utility option. Its popularity is unquestioned, of course, with all 2022 models now sold out and customers awaiting the (likely largely unchanged) 2023 model production to begin.

And for those Europeans hoping that this smaller pickup will enter their markets alongside the Ranger, expect disappointment. Ford has made it clear that the Maverick will not be exported to Europe. The Maverick is currently or will soon be offered in South American, Australian and Asian markets.

Product Page: 2022 Ford Maverick

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14 comments
14 comments
TechGazer
That doesn't look small to me. The Japanese small pickups from the 1970's-90's were small. This looks bloated in comparison.
Brian Aksil
So in Ford's ultimate wisdom they finally fixed the jerk truck size to a practical vehicle and then dropped the ball by not having hybrid 4WD. It's only available in 2.0eco-trash engine configurations which barely keep their hatchbacks at highway speed, no excuses for this disappointment.
kwalispecial
I'm happy to see this truck on the market and I hope other companies follow suit. Not everyone needs a behemoth to haul loads of rocks and pull horse trailers. Lots of us are suburban dwellers who just want a compact and fuel-efficient vehicle with an open bed for sports equipment or trash cans. Except for moving day, I can't think of another time in my life I've needed to carry 1500 lbs, I just want a place for dirty stuff. And I don't want to have to live with a gigantic truck that gets 15mpg to get that.
PBZ
I have an XL EcoBoost AWD.

@TechGazer,
You are right, not that small compared to small trucks of the past, but the smallest we can get here in the USA.

@Brian Aksil,
Totally wish they had done a hybrid AWD, that would be perfect for me, even if it did mean giving up some power.

The EB engine is actually pretty good though, definitely plenty of power. 0-60 in ~6 seconds and no problem maintaining speed on the highway. Same for my hatchback (Fiesta ST).
BlueOak
All that talk about comparing the Hyundai Santa Cruz also tested… and yet no mention that was a $40,000 Santa Cruise against this $22,000 Ford Maverick.

Sales numbers for the two models will be telling. Is the Santa Cruz sold out?
TpPa
Well considering most people who buy pick up trucks don't use them as intended, ya that includes some sports equipment or a couple of trash cans, save the gas & the environment and get a small trailer for those few days you need dirty room. There is so many full size pick ups in the USA without a scratch or a hint of dirt in the bed i's not funny, just another fad or I like the way they look so drive around all alone getting 18 mpg if lucky it is foolish. Then you also see some big 2500 (250's) or even 3500 (350's) without even a towing kit at all on the back, need one get one, don't - don't
DavidB
@kwalispecial, definitely check out the Hyundai Santa Cruz!

It’s a great looking small pickup, and a neighbor of mine is absolutely thrilled with his.
Steve Barry
Still gonna keep my 2011 F150 Lariat.
Derek
As someone that's been driving one of these around for the last several weeks, i couldn't disagree with you more on many of your points, they are very quiet, much more so than my other two vehicles. The differences you draw between the Maverick and other vehicles, you exaggerate into distinctions.
Mostly, I think you misunderstand the market they are targeting, it isn't the big truck replacement crowd (although I have had MANY big truck guys ask about it with great interest), and given the cost and fuel efficiency, there really is just no room for your line of complaints on quality and power. Sorry this vehicle didn't meet your expectations or needs, but I, for one, could not be more thrilled with my ride and actually getting a little fatigued with the constant inquiries every time I step foot out of it, everyone seems to love it exactly for what it is. The market has and will continue to show how far you are off with your review.
Gary D.
I had a brand new 2007 Ford Ranger with a V6 that got 180 HP. It pulled my 1600 LB Tab trailer through the Rockies and back 4 times...no prob. The Hybrid Mav has MORE horsepower. It has an Hybrid option, Santa Cruz does not. Its starts 5000 cheaper. It can carry 8 foot plywood, In my 20 years of owning small trucks I have never needed anything bigger...and you can't beat the mileage. In Montana they want big trucks whether they need them or not I think. I am waiting for mine right now.
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