The name Maverick, first used by Ford for a compact sedan it sold during the 1970s, is revived for 2022 in truck form.
The 2022 Ford Maverick is a crew cab, short bed, front-wheel-drive compact pickup whose standard engine is a full hybrid with an EPA rating of 42-mpg city, 33-mpg highway, and 37 mpg combined. It partners with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and produces 191 horsepower.
An optional 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine is available, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. With front-wheel drive the gas engine is good for 23-mpg city, 30- mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. All-wheel drive reduces fuel economy to 22/29/25 mpg.
With a $1,495 destination charge included, pricing starts at $21,490 for a hybrid Maverick, and $22,575 for a gas-only version.
There are three trim levels: XL, XLT, and Lariat. The XL is your basic truck but it does come with a comprehensive infotainment system, a feature considered indispensable in every new vehicle now. Look to the XLT and Lariat for such things as off-road, towing and luxury packages, and multiple features for gussying-up the bed as well as the cab.
My tester was an XLT with the turbo engine. Features included on this mid-grade trim that are not available on the XL include an exterior keypad, power tailgate lock, enclosed storage compartment in the bed, cruise control, and 17-inch painted aluminum wheels.
The tester was embellished with a $2,345 seemingly misnamed Luxury Package adding an eight-way power driver’s seat, trailer hitch receiver, six D-link bed connectors, and a spray-in bedliner. Freestanding options included Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver- assistance technologies, a manual rear sliding window, and aptly named Hot Pepper red metallic paint.
Squeezing an engine, passenger cabin, and bed into a compact vehicle isn’t easy. By definition, it requires compromise. There’s little leeway for the engine compartment, so reduction measures are restricted to the cab and bed. In Maverick’s case, rear seat legroom took the biggest hit. Any person bigger than a small child would have to sit sideways for comfort. However, the back seat area is great for other sentient beings such as dogs, and for inanimate cargo items. Overall, the cab is handsome, practical, smooth and quiet.
My tester was equipped with rubber floor liners, a $135 option. Ordinarily, rubber floor coverings are wonderful to have in the Pacific Northwest, but these had the fatal flaw of being slippery, even when dry.
The 4.5-foot bed isn’t a construction worker’s dream, but it has a 1,500-pound payload, equivalent to about 37 bags of 40-pound black oil sunflower seeds, perfect for my needs as an independent wild-bird habitat manager. Especially now, when the voracious hordes of band-tailed pigeons are here for their annual summer visit.
Outdoor recreational equipment can be accommodated by the bed as well.
The turbo engine powers Maverick in an able-bodied way, but the hybrid has more appeal in my mind, where fuel conservation transcends zero-to-60 times in importance.
2022 FORD MAVERICK XLT FWD 2.0L ECOBOOST
Base price, including destination charge: $23,775
Price as driven: $28,540
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.
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