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New Ford Maverick First Impressions From a Picky Small Truck Fan

Having seen the new Ford Maverick this week, this fan and former owner of a small truck came away with some strong emotions around the new truck.


The new Ford Maverick is going to be a huge success for Ford. There exists a market for unit-body small trucks in America. Such trucks will appeal to almost every major sales segment. New college grads, parents buying trucks for high school kids, commuters who like trucks and need a low cost of ownership and low cost per mile. Retired folks who like to have a runabout perfect for weekend hobbies. Landscaping and other trades who need trucks for estimators and foremen to use that can still carry tools amd materials in a pinch. We can keep going.

We saw the Maverick this past week at the annual New England Motor Press Association’s awards evening. Ford brought the truck out to show it off. It turns out that New England is a big market for small trucks and Ford is planning for a strong market penetration starting in just a few months.

Image of Mitsubishi Mighty Max by john Goreham

A bit of background on me would include the fact that my first new car was a $5999 Mitsubishi Mighty Max purchased in 1990. I was fresh out of college and landscaping for a professional outfit during the week and freelancing a bit on weekends. I loved that truck. It was affordable transportation that helped pay for itself. During the week, I often grabbed our foreman’s Isuzu pickup to run for materials, coffee, or lunch. Small trucks were an important part of the automotive world then, and it was weird that the automakers opted to kill them.

Some more background might include that I am a HUGE fan of the Ford Bronco Sport. That vehicle stole my heart this past winter when I tested it for a week in rural New Hampshire during some wicked weather. Why is this important? Because the Maverick and Bronco Sport have a lot in common under the skin.

Image of Ford Maverick spare tire by John Goreham

While the rest of the press took images of the Maverick inside and out, I crawled around the tailgate and took an upskirt image to see if it had a spare tire and if it had a crappy leaf spring cheapo suspension or a real one. You can see the results for yourself above.

If you’d like to see a walk-around and interior video of the Maverick check out this TikTok video shot by my pal Cliffid From Medfid. Watch for more Maverick content soon. We look forward to testing the new truck later this month.

Join the Facebook Ford Maverick Club.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin


Shane (not verified)    July 27, 2021 - 3:40AM

Might Max? Issuzi? I guess autocorrect doesn't catch either of those -- Mighty Max and Isuzu, of course.

I am a long-time Subaru BRAT owner and I'm jealous when we visit... well, almost every other country on this planet and see plenty of small trucks.

Jesse (not verified)    July 27, 2021 - 2:08PM

I hate it when an automaker cannibalizes its own product names. I remember GM used the Nova platform to make a Pontiac GTO.....really?? Here we go again. The Ford Maverick name is from the '70-'77 model years in the US market. It came out when I was in high school. A friend of mine had one. An entry level car. Affordable and meant to compete with foreign nameplates in that segment. But to call it a Maverick smacks of no imagination. Hardly sound intimidating, but then again it isn't. Perhaps later models will have a dose "bad-ass" added to the platform. Hope it is a hit. For lots of folks, this is all the truck they need. I guess GM will come out with their version and call it a Nova

Bobby (not verified)    July 28, 2021 - 4:18PM

In reply to by Jesse (not verified)

Jesse, where’s your nostalgia? At first blush I thought the Maverick sedan/coupe name was odd for a PU but soon found it tickled my nostalgia and old school bone as well as an homage to Ford’s western theme (mustang, pinto, ranger, king ranch edition, lariat trim,etc). Someone mentioned an F100 would be good, might I remind you Cadillac is returning to actual model names instead of letters/numbers.

Bill (not verified)    July 29, 2021 - 2:27AM

In reply to by bighap (not verified)

No spare tire is even worse than having to put up with a doughnut spare. I used to have a Nissan LEAF with the dinky air compressor and a can of goo which the compressor was supposed to inject to seal small holes. I got a flat and attached the pitiful device, only to watch all the goo run out of the hole, making a mess on the street and not doing anything to stop the leak. It was then that I noticed there is an expiration date on the goo can, and I was about a year past the date. I did get something out of the experience though, the goo partially plugged up the TPMS sensor. I had to Jack up the car, take the wheel off, and go to a shop to get the tire fixed.

I went to Walmart and bought a Slime brand flat fixer kit and tossed the OEM thing in the trash. The Slime brand compressor looks more substantial and there does not appear to be an expiration date on the Slime compound.

Bill (not verified)    July 28, 2021 - 10:14AM

Thanks for the look from underneath.

When I first read a Maverick announcement, I did a double-take because of my memories of the shoddy buck of bolts Maverick sedans from the 1970s. I certainly like the idea of an at least small-ish truck. The new Maverick is huge by Chevy Luv standards, but it is much better built and surprisingly fuel-efficient versus other small-ish trucks. I had several 1990s era Rangers and liked them, especially the standard cab, manual transmission, long bed 1994 Ranger I had.

It is a disappointment to see the doughnut spare tire instead of full size. I suppose that is necessary to save weight and make room for the hybrid battery pack. That crank-down cable to lower the spare looks kind of iffy for use in road salt states. My 2005 Tacoma had a mechanism like that, and Toyota had to recall and replace it with something with a much thicker cable and a safety chain to prevent random dropping of tires in the road.

I would be in the queue for the Maverick, but…. I really don’t want a 4-door crew cab in a small truck. A little space behind the steaks is handy, but the odds of those rear seats in my truck ever being occupied is close to zero. I’d much rather trade that rear seat space for a longer bed. I know there is a fancy tailgate with detents that is supposed to make hauling plywood panels easier, however that doesn’t help for hauling large quantities of other stuff like bags of mulch, or a big item like a lawn tractor. Unless a Maverick with a longer cargo box appears, the Maverick is a no-go for me.

Ian Cudmore (not verified)    July 28, 2021 - 12:05PM

Ok, and how did it turn out? Is it actually a small truck, or is it just slightly smaller than the other behemoths on the road? The deck and roof height both seem high. The fact it only comes in crew cab is another disappointment.

Is it just a midsize truck pretending to be a compact?

Robert Hoff (not verified)    July 29, 2021 - 2:10PM

I think it will be just perfect for my liking, not nearly as big as the std half tons and a bit bigger than other country’s mini pickups ( or our Chevy Luv/ Ford Courier) from years past.

Jesse (not verified)    July 30, 2021 - 10:36AM

My brother had a Chevy Luv Mikado p/u truck, somewhere a '79 model year. It was manual transmission 4WD. Put it in "granny gear" and the engine sounded like it was gonna go through the hood......and creep along ever so slowly in that gear. That gear was used to pull out of mud and such......keeps from spinning the tires. It was a neat little truck to knock around on. Rust was its greatest enemy. He eventually go rid of it.

Michael Scholz (not verified)    November 12, 2021 - 8:15PM

I ordered a hybrid lariat. I've had lots of trucks, ford, chevy, Toyota, Nissan. I've always wanted a good gas mileage truck. For: bicycles, couches, moving, groceries, small suburbia items, this is a perfect fit! No construction workers want a mini truck. But, I don't give a truck. Truck em.