Ford goes crossover with its all-new small Maverick truck.
Ford’s worst-kept rumor is now a reality. Or at least the automaker has confirmed what we knew was coming. Today, the automaker introduced the all-new 2022 Ford Maverick compact pickup truck, the smallest model of its kind in America. Notably, the new vehicle, with a starting price of just $19,995, fills a gap once dominated by such nameplates as Toyota, Datsun, Isuzu, and Mitsubishi.
The new Maverick, which revives a car name popular in the 1970s, is also a hybrid. Specifically, this four-door, five-seat truck comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Thus, the company expects the new model to earn 40 mpg on the highway. The 2022 Maverick shares its platform with the Ford Focus, a vehicle that is no longer sold in America.
Placing the 2022 Maverick in the Ford line may help the automaker win back some customers who felt abandoned when the company dropped its sedans a few years back. Indeed, Ford wiped out nearly its entire car line, except for the Mustang. Consequently, some customers disappeared as the subcompact Fiesta, compact Focus, midsize Fusion, and full-size Taurus were canceled. Ford said at the time it would concentrate on utility vehicles and trucks. Certainly, it has made good on that promise with products that represent nearly all its sales.
Highlights of the 2022 Ford Maverick
Ahead of its online debut, Ford released details about its new truck. The following are the highlights:
Standard hybrid, available gas engine.
While a hybrid powertrain will come standard, Ford will offer an optional turbocharged gasoline engine for those who want one. The hybrid powertrain develops 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. The turbo engine makes 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Notably, the hybrid works with a continuously variable transmission to move the front wheels. The turbo comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission to route power to the front wheels or to all four wheels when all-wheel drive is chosen.
The Maverick features five standard drive modes. These include normal, eco, sport, slippery, and a tow/haul features for various driving conditions.
The hybrid comes with a 1,500-pound payload rating and can pull up to 2,000 pounds. A 2.0-liter turbocharged (EcoBoost) four-cylinder engine is optional and will double towing capacity to 4,000 pounds when properly equipped.
In practical terms, Ford says the Maverick will hold 37 bags of 40-pound mulch. Moreover, at the top-end of the towing spectrum, this truck can pull a 21-foot boat.
Tech features we want.
Even with a budget price, Ford will equip the Maverick with multiple technology features. For instance, an 8-inch touch-screen display comes standard. Also, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility is included. Connected services come standard.
Ford is mum on the other features, but we expect such things as USB ports, audio packages, and Bluetooth will chart the list. Available in XL, XLT, and Lariat trims, the Maverick will also face a limited-run First Edition trim. Based on the range-topping Lariat, the First Edition will offer unique wheel designs and colors schemes.
On the safety front, the standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology package includes standard pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking along with automatic high beam headlamps. Further, the options list includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go and blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert. Lastly, lane centering and evasive steering assist round out the list.
A unique flexible bed system.
With a 4.5-foot bed, the smallest in the industry, Ford designed it to manage space efficiently. A FLEXBED system includes a multi-position tailgate, slots to use lumber to subdivide the bed, and a dozen available anchor points. Further, a pair of 12-volt 20-amp prewired sources are in the truck bed along with two available 110-volt outlets.
“The whole bed is a DIY fan’s paradise,” said Keith Daugherty, an engineering specialist who helped develop the truck box for Maverick. “You can buy the bolt-in Ford cargo management system and we’re happy to sell it to you, but if you’re a bit more creative, you can also just go to the hardware store and get some C-channel and bolt it to the bed to make your own solutions.”
The Ford Motor Company is on a roll, as it introduces new or updated products, including hybrids and electric vehicles. With the release of the current-generation F-150 for the 2021 model year, the first-ever hybrid F-150 also joined the product line. By this time next year, the first full-electric F-150 debuts, dubbed the Lightning.
We saw the midsize Ford Ranger return a few years ago as well. More recently, the Ford Bronco Sport crossover utility vehicle arrived on the scene. In the coming months, we’ll see the Ford Bronco SUV, a direct challenger to the Jeep Wrangler. We expect a Bronco pickup truck to follow, enabling Ford to maintain the strongest truck line in the industry.
As for the Maverick, its time has come. There is no other model this small on the market, with the Hyundai Santa Cruz its nearest competitor. The Honda Ridgeline, itself a car-based truck, competes in the midsize segment.
The order books are open and the first deliveries are expected this fall. Auto Trends will provide additional details about features, price, and capabilities when that information becomes known.
See Also — It’s Electric: Ford Mustang Mach-E
Photos courtesy of the Ford Motor Company. All right reserved.
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