Ford Just Did It Again
Ford has quietly brought back a classic nameplate, Maverick. Now don’t go looking for a compact sedan from the 1970s. Think – Pickup Truck – Think 2022 Ford Maverick as a Compact Pickup Truck. Now, this is the 21st century, so there is also a gasoline/electric hybrid engine as standard equipment and a Ford Ecoboost engine as an option. While the 1970’s Mavericks often came from the factory with rust bubbling up under their paint, this 21st-century hybrid-powered front-wheel-drive truck is a far cry from what I remember from those mid-70s sedans. The 2022 Ford Maverick compact car-based pickup truck truly amazed me in just about every way.
Ford provided me with a base model Maverick XL for a week during the cold month of January to test out. This compact front-wheel-drive car-based pickup truck truly amazed me in just about every way. From build quality to the well-thought-out interior to the fact that as a base XL. Built in Mexico with great design, inside and out. This little pickup in base XL trim will be great for those who do not want any frills. Or for those consumers who long for the days when a car was a car. Or in this case, a truck was a truck, and not a rolling computer.
Not as small as those early Ford Courier trucks, it is more the size of the early Ranger pickups. Well-sized for today’s driving conditions, and with enough trim levels and options for all buyers to find one that fits their style of driving.
Engines and Drivetrains
This Maverick has a 2.5 hybrid engine, though you can get a 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine. It also has front-wheel drive, though you can get an all-wheel drive as an option. I found our XL with front-wheel-drive and the 2.5 hybrid to be quite responsive and with 38-miles per gallon, quite thrifty. The hybrid was quiet, not as noisy as many hybrids are when “hybriding.” I often refer to it as milling wood, cause that is what it sounds like to me. No matter the speed or location, this Ford hybrid was quite powerful and worked quietly and economically.
For $21,490 this base Ford Maverick XL gives you a hybrid as standard equipment along with great fuel economy, front-wheel drive, seating for five passengers, a pickup truck bed, all in a very nice, good-looking package. While our tester was the bottom of the line trim, you can upgrade to an XLT starting at $22,360, or a Lariat starting at $25,860 – All come with Super Crew Cabs – which means four doors and seating for five. And the 2.5-Litre Hybrid engine is standard, though you can move up to the 2.0-liter Ecoboost for $1,085. And if you want, you to make it all-wheel drive for another $3305. Plus there is a whole slew of options that you can add on from the factory or your Ford Dealer, and no doubt aftermarket suppliers will be coming up with many other toys for the Maverick.
Over the past few decades trucks have become as luxurious as some cars. This base model Maverick XL harkens back to the days when you had basic seating, an engine, heat, and a radio if you went upscale. That’s about it. Thought you can option it with a lot more tech if you desire. My tester had a rear-view camera, Bluetooth, wired Android Auto, and Apple Car Play, power windows, and locks but not power or remote-controlled exterior mirrors. The base XL Model offers tough durable fabric seats, that you see in many other entry-level ford products. The seats are attractive and comfortable in all seating positions front and back. For a truck, the Maverick is very utilitarian and has a timeless look to it, inside and out.
Hard plastic rules in the Maverick. It is not ugly, again a rugged and durable look to it, which is what you want in a pickup truck. Especially when that pickup will be a commuter work truck. I found the interior door handles with their open design to be very attractive, though they may catch on pockets getting into the vehicle. And the lower step-in height of the Maverick will make this attractive to those with mobility issues, where getting up into a larger truck can be troublesome.
The rear seats are nothing to be ignored. Underneath there are large storage areas to hold things you may not want prying eyes to see. You will also find the Maverick’s 12-volt battery under the right rear seat. The XL model did not have a fold-down center armrest, making it a true 3-passenger bench seat in the back. Only a 12-volt cigarette lighter outlet (why car makers still use these is beyond me, I have not had anything that plugs in there in 20-years.) There is an odd cutout on the rear of the front center console, designed to hold something, I never figured that out, no doubt an upfitter will.
Lots of spaces to store small things throughout the Maverick, including front cupholders in the center console, and rear door cup holders. The center console had plenty of places to put things like masks, your phone so you can see it. I found that one of the most useful things inside this Maverick.
Business End of Any Pickup Truck
Is of course the pickup bed, and the Maverick has a 5-foot bed. Not really long, but long enough to do a lot of chores, and you can always drop the tailgate and put in a bed extender giving you more space. The pickup truck has always been seen as a utility vehicle, for use around the farm, construction site, or elsewhere. Inside the bed, you will find the Maverick pre-wired and bolt-ready for a lot of add-ons, that you can get with the more expensive upgraded models, or supply yourself.
The Maverick is ready for some goodies, either by the owner or by an upfitter. No doubt you can buy aftermarket accessories directly from Ford, or other suppliers. But really you can make them yourself and just bolt them into the already built-in holes in the bed. While the XL does not come with a bed liner; a spray-on one will be easy to apply. Want to carry your bikes or other toys, you can make a holder that will bolt directly into the bed. How about a tonneau cover, no question they will be available from an aftermarket supplier? In the back seat area, there is an opening that will be perfect for something, you just have to figure out what it is, and make it work.
I am often asked would I buy this vehicle? In the case of the Ford Maverick, yes, I would. Especially if I were commuting a long distance with its 38-miles per gallon. I like the ride, the look, and the fact that this is a Built Ford Tough product. I just really liked driving this truck. It was hard to give it back when the week ended.
Have you driven a Ford Lately? If not, you should think about doing so. Especially signing up at an auto show for a test drive gift card, which will provide you with a $50 gift card for just test driving any Ford product. No doubt Ford will also send you some other incentives as well to encourage you to buy their products.
Now, I wonder when they will bring the Ford El Ranchero back? Who is with me?
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Words and Images by William West Hopper, unless otherwise stated.
Mr. Hopper has long been an automotive enthusiast, and is one of a select group of members of the Washington Automotive Press Association, where he is President Emeritus, who leads VIP Tours of the Washington DC Auto Show each year.
Mr. Hopper has been a content creator in the automotive space for over 40 years. You can currently find his work here in the Queer4Cars.com site as well as on various YouTube channels.