2022 Ford Maverick first drive review: America’s most-affordable truck breaks all the rules

    Ask American truck consumers if they need extra of something, they usually’ll say sure. More energy? More room? More toys? Don’t thoughts if we do. When mixed with the auto trade’s penchant for countless buyer surveys and clinics, this truism has assured that each era of pickup will get greater, heavier and costlier. It’s a vicious cycle, however each now and again, somebody tries to interrupt it. This time, it is Ford, an organization that is mockingly completed quite a bit to create America’s supersize-me pickup tradition within the first place. Nevertheless, after a pair days of intense testing, I feel this 2022 Maverick is probably going to reach discovering a giant viewers the place different smaller vans have didn’t make a dent.Firstly, you’ll want to know that Maverick is not a tiny penalty field and it is able to doing plenty of pickup stuff that thousands and thousands of parents rely on their vans to do day-after-day. Despite a jaw-droppingly low beginning worth of $21,490 ($19,995 plus an irritatingly steep $1,495 vacation spot cost), this compact load lugger avoids feeling each low-cost and tiny. In truth, at virtually 200 inches lengthy, the Maverick is not even all that small by trendy automotive requirements — it is in regards to the dimension of a Toyota Highlander, so there’s far more room inside than you’d suppose.A novel form of pickupFord’s elementary rethink of the pickup begins with the Maverick’s fundamental construction. This is not a body-on-frame beast just like the Blue Oval’s personal F-150 or Ranger. Instead, it is a unibody, together with the mattress, which spans simply 4.5 ft. Furthermore, this automobile is front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is elective, in fact, however you’ll be able to’t get a 2WD Mav that spins its rear wheels. This components has been tried earlier than, mainly with Honda’s Ridgeline, however the latter is not simply considerably bigger, it is in a completely totally different worth class, carrying an MSRP that is practically $17,000 extra. Plus, the Honda is considerably much less environment friendly.That final bit is especially essential. The Maverick comes commonplace with a hybrid powertrain in all three trims (XL, XLT and Lariat), making it not solely the primary pickup with commonplace gas-electric motivation, but additionally America’s most cost-effective full hybrid by a rustic mile. Combined with its 94-kW electrical help motor, the Maverick’s 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4 delivers a modest-sounding 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. More importantly, this FWD powertrain guarantees 40 mpg within the metropolis — a determine I beat in Nashville visitors with out attempting. This truck is considerably extra environment friendly than a Honda Civic within the city grind and it is cheaper, too. That’s outstanding. Even the mannequin’s estimated freeway and combined-cycle numbers evaluate effectively at 33 and 37 mpg, as does max vary, some 500 miles between fill-ups. A gas-only 2.0-liter EcoBoost can be accessible, buying and selling a good quantity of effectivity for added energy and functionality.
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    Maverick pricing begins at $21,490 delivered — loopy low-cost. The base XL hybrid may even be our favourite. Chris Paukert/RoadpresentAll of the above provides as much as just a little truck that ought to hit America’s roads and its pocketbooks extra like a small crossover than a typical pickup. Based on Ford’s C2 platform, the Maverick’s structure is shared with in the present day’s Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs — the previous is remarkably car-like in each look and persona and the latter is surprisingly succesful off-road. This Mav leverages the very best of each to land someplace within the center. To be clear, not everybody will love that this pickup drives like a automobile. Ladder-frame automobiles really feel inherently totally different and a few drivers merely favor blunter, truckier responses. But let’s face it, no person was going to cross-shop the Maverick with a full-size anyway.XL, XLT and Lariat, oh my!In the spirit of the Maverick’s pickup-truck rethink, I began my testing with the automobile in its purest distillation: an option-free XL hybrid, metal wheels, FWD and all. It’s value highlighting that it is an extremely uncommon incidence for any firm to supply a base mannequin for media analysis at a launch — sometimes automakers attempt to wow opinions with a heavy mixture of loaded fashions and a smattering of mid-range trims. Ford was sensible to gamble, as a result of even a fast drive makes it abundantly clear what an unimaginable worth the bottom Maverick is. So a lot in order that the XL may simply be this automobile’s finest model. Yes, there are some uncommon lacking parts for a contemporary automobile — there is not any push-button begin and also you regulate the facet mirrors by tilting the glass together with your outstretched palms. That’s positive. While the inside feels fundamental, it avoids feeling low-cost by splurging on key commonplace options, notably a crisp eight-inch touchscreen, in addition to a modern-feeling rotary gear selector. Even with the inclusion of that comparatively massive infotainment show, if you happen to’re the kind of driver who dislikes cockpit toys and simply desires to maintain your environment fundamental — single-zone local weather management, easy-clean surfaces and so forth, then the XL is the Maverick for you. It’s additionally refreshing that Ford’s designers have not resorted to visible trickery to attempt to make the cabin’s supplies appear to be something aside from what they’re. You will not discover plastics with leather-look embossed graining, for example, even on excessive trims (the exception: Lariat’s wealthy brown upholstery, which hasn’t really been close to a cow).
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    This is the cabin of the range-topping Maverick Lariat. When paired with 2.0T EcoBoost and AWD, you are round $35okay with choices. FordSpacious and sensible insideThere’s additionally gobs of area inside. Ford will not like me spilling the beans, however the Maverick really has extra front-seat head-, leg-, and shoulder-room than the much-larger Ranger. In actuality, the cabin is extra accommodating in practically each dimension than Ford’s midsizer. The Maverick really feels nicer total and extra trendy inside, in addition. That’s notably true from the Maverick’s XLT trim on up, whenever you’ll be rewarded not solely with extra options, however nicer inside supplies in richer colorways. The XLT ($23,775 delivered for the hybrid) contains blue-and-gray materials set off by orange accents and options energy facet mirrors, cruise management and a distant locking tailgate. A $2,345 Luxury Pack brings energy heated seats, distant begin, spray-in bedliner and LED field lighting, amongst different options. Annoyingly, it’s a must to step all the best way as much as the Lariat ($26,985 delivered) to get keyless entry and begin, however at the very least you additionally get a noise-curbing laminated windshield, 18-inch alloys and dual-zone local weather management.And there is not simply more room for occupants, there’s plenty of room for gear, too, together with spots for one-liter bottles in all 4 doorways and a middle console that swallows all method of detritus. The latter really features a stand to prop up your telephone or french-fry sleeve. Even your stuff has a nicer time of issues within the Maverick than in the present day’s Ranger. (Ford’s next-gen midsizer is ready to be revealed shortly and it will possibly’t come quickly sufficient.)
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    There’s a intelligent cleat and divider system for storage and Ford is encouraging homeowners to 3D print new equipment. Ford3D-printed bits provides you with FITSMore curiously, Ford has included a neat low-cost system that provides performance in response to the proprietor’s whims: Ford Integrated Tether System. FITS, for brief, is a elaborate manner of claiming “accessory slots.” You’ll discover cleats on the rear of the middle console and no fewer than seven slots within the storage wells beneath the backseat. Ford will promote you a bundle of plug-in equipment together with a trash bin, wire organizer, grocery-bag double hooks and auxiliary cup holders for $50. That’s not the intelligent bit, although. Ford has positioned a collection of QR codes by way of the automobile. When scanned through smartphone, they hyperlink to movies detailing DIY accent plans, together with gadgets like a low-cost bedside rail cleat system and bike provider, each constituted of hardware-store components. The thought is that individuals can share their very own designs with different Maverick homeowners, turning this truck right into a maker’s area for 3D-printed equipment and homebuilt options. This strategy is extra sensible tech than high-tech, however such low-dollar hacks might be invaluable to cash-strapped consumers. Any inside omissions? You will not discover separate adjustable vents for rear-seat passengers. While that is positive on a low-end truck, their unavailability begins to chafe on high-end examples, particularly those who stretch into the mid-to-upper $30,000 vary. At least there are under-seat air ducts. You can also’t go for embedded navigation, you may have to make use of a telephone app like Waze and whereas Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are commonplace, they require cables. Like Bronco Sport, the Maverick is offered with Ford’s older, less-sophisticated Sync 3 infotainment, which lacks wi-fi connectivity present in fashions just like the Mustang Mach-E and large Bronco (wi-fi charging is offered, nevertheless). Finally, you’ll be able to’t choose 360-degree digital camera protection, an option-sheet absence that once more, solely actually begins to really feel like a miss if you happen to’ve splashed out for a loaded Lariat. 
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    Yep, 4×8 sheets of plywood match. You can maintain as much as 17 with the tailgate in its mid place. FordHybrid lifeA couple of phrases on the Maverick’s base 2.5-liter hybrid: It’s good. With its modest output numbers, you’d by no means anticipate a powerhouse, however in my (admittedly restricted) driving, the powertrain was greater than as much as the duty of driving round city, feeling a lot peppy from stoplight to stoplight and even when pushed a bit on stretches of freeway and undulating nation roads. The stop-start system — usually the bane of my motoring existence — was well-behaved and the brake pedal was surprisingly agency and linear. (The latter is a typical bugaboo with gas-electric automobiles as a result of it is powerful to mix energy-recuperating regenerative braking with friction brakes.) Due to metro Nashville’s omnipresent visitors and a good timetable to get by way of all the Maverick’s variants, I by no means actually had the possibility to try exhausting acceleration runs, not to mention check out the hybrid’s 1,500-pound payload and a pair of,000-pound max tow rankings. More testing is required, if solely to see how the hybrid’s repeatedly variable transmission handles exhausting use.
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    With as much as 8.6 inches of floor clearance, gentle off-roading is feasible, however you will not discover a low vary or lockers right here. FordOff-road…ishFord arrange a fundamental off-road take a look at loop at a farm, the place I attempted out a mid-range 2.0T XLT geared up with AWD, the FX4 Off-Road Package and a set of elective knobbier 17-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires. At $800, the FX4 group is the very best deal on the Mav’s choice checklist. It contains every part from distinctive 17-inch aluminum wheels, bedside graphics, tow hooks and skid plates to a heavy-duty radiator and fan. The further cooling can be useful as a result of FX4s include a hitch rated for two,000 kilos together with larger digital smarts: hill-descent management and Sand and Mud & Ruts drive modes are additionally included. (A 4K Max Tow Package can be accessible for $745 on AWD fashions.) Maverick FX4s function commonplace Pirelli Scorpion A/T rubber and you will have to spend practically as a lot — $795 — to get the aforementioned 10-mm-wider Falkens. That is not actually value it, as a result of even with the slight carry afforded by the taller 235/65-series rubber, the Maverick is admittedly solely appropriate for modest all-terrain exploits. You’ll be positive tackling rutted two-tracks to get to your favourite tenting spot and you’ll anticipate to barter uphill trails studded with softball-sized rocks with out worry. But even with upwards of 8.6 inches of clearance and the two.0T’s extra refined rear multi-link suspension, and not using a devoted low vary or the Bronco Sport Badlands’ locking rear twin-clutch drive unit, you would be clever to not anticipate way more. 
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    A 4K Max Towing package deal is offered, enabling you to tug small trailers, side-by-sides and so forth.  FordTowing with EcoBoostIn distinction to Hyundai’s strategy with the Santa Cruz, Maverick’s solely actual rival, Ford is steadfastly advertising and marketing this Maverick as a truck, not some type of life-style crossover with a small mattress, so it should not be stunning that the Blue Oval additionally arrange a towing demo for us. I grabbed a full-house Lariat 2.0T AWD with the 4,000-pound tow package deal and proceeded to haul a few Polaris ATVs on a double-axle trailer (complete weight: 3,650 kilos) round Tennessee’s rolling hill nation. It’s as much as the job. The EcoBoost in-line 4 generates 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, so there’s an unusually massive energy gulf between the Maverick’s powertrains. There is not a lot oomph with the two.0T that you simply’re liable to forgetting you are toting one thing, however acceleration below load is greater than satisfactory and the mannequin’s typical eight-speed automated and built-in trailer-brake controller reinforce driver confidence. That stated, if you happen to plan on dragging bigger hundreds repeatedly, you could need to take into account an even bigger rig, particularly since towing actually takes a toll on effectivity. There had been instances when the journey pc’s instantaneous readout said 12-12.5 mpg — doubtless worse than what you’d get working a bigger, less-stressed truck. If you are not towing, you’ll be able to anticipate a still-reasonable 22 mpg metropolis, 29 mpg freeway and 25 mpg mixed in AWD 2.0T fashions (add a single mpg per cycle for FWD fashions).Flexbed smartsAs far as payload goes, you are restricted to 1,500 kilos no matter powertrain. That’s really fairly good — simply 60 kilos shy of Ford’s SuperCrew 4×4 Ranger. The greater story is the baked-in versatility of Mav’s Flexbed. Despite solely being 54.4 inches lengthy, you’ll be able to safe 17 4×8 sheets of plywood with the tailgate angled to its center place. There are a bunch of options designed to maximise flexibility, together with 2×4 pockets, false flooring dividers and entry panels for 12V energy so you do not have to splice into the taillight wiring so as to add one thing like an air compressor. Again, none of that is excessive tech, nevertheless it’s sensible stuff that helps take advantage of out of what in any other case may’ve been a problematically small mattress.Check out our man Craig Cole’s in-depth Flexbed walkaround video right here: Watch this: 2022 Ford Maverick is far more versatile than you may suppose
    04:07 On the security entrance, all Mavericks include automated emergency braking and twilight-sensing headlamps with auto high-beams. If you desire a blind-spot monitor with cross-traffic alert and lane-keep, you may want a $540 Co-Pilot 360 suite that is elective on all however the top-trim Lariat with Luxury Package. Nearly each different security function, from lane centering and evasive steering help to rear parking sensors, requires going all the best way up Mav’s trim ladder. Frustratingly, that features adaptive cruise management.Broad appealOK, so this Sonora, Mexico-built Ford is not excellent. It will not be for everybody and it actually will not treatment America’s insatiable shopper urge for food for extra — mine included. That stated, the Maverick is a remarkably versatile and intelligent package deal that makes a superb case for being all of the pickup most individuals will ever want. It’s straightforward to drive and has extra cabin area than some bigger vans. The key variations between this Maverick and different unibody pickups which have wilted in showrooms earlier than it’s that this Ford is outrageously inexpensive and fuel-efficient in its entry-level spec. Lower-end fashions must be a straightforward favourite for fleet consumers, from large-scale public utilities and municipalities to smaller mom-and-pop plumbing firms. In truth, the Maverick is succesful sufficient that farmers may need to take into account shopping for one as a substitute of a side-by facet UTV, a lot of that are far costlier.Most importantly, this Ford’s lengthy checklist of virtues ought to make it a lovely (if left-field) different to entry-level consumers searching for their first automobile, and even as a possible used-car cross store. Yes, some conventional pickup homeowners could snicker or snarl and say that this is not a truck in any respect, however that is positive, as a result of it seems like Ford goes to promote tons of Mavericks. True to its title, this pickup goes its personal manner and is all the higher for it. Editors’ notice: Travel prices associated to this story had been lined by the producer, which is frequent within the auto trade. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s employees are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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