Although it seems that hybrid versions of every type of vehicle are available, some trucks don't fall into the available category. For one reason, the auto industry is still heavily into internal-combustion engine (ICE) tech for its pickups.
Most Automakers Still Like ICE Tech
It's not that batteries can't handle the job, as Ford has proven with its F-150 Lightning pickup. According to Ford, the Lightning can handle a prodigious amount of towing capacity while also having a decent stowage capacity onboard. Still, if you look at the other automakers who provide pickups – notably RAM and GM – you won't find many electric pickups offered.
You might think that if they weren't providing full electric capability, they would, at least, offer results that are somewhere in the middle, hybrid technology, the marriage of ICE with battery tech. Truth be told that there are very few hybrids out there that are shaped anything like pickups. Instead, most hybrids are shaped like sedans or other car-like vehicles.
Now, though an automaker has provided a hybrid pickup, it's Ford. The model is the compact Maverick. It is the only U.S. pickup with a hybrid powertrain. Also, it is the only hybrid truck that has earned support from Consumer Reports (CR).
Says MotorBiscuit.com (MB), "Ford [has] put a sweet hybrid powertrain in one of its latest trucks, the Maverick, offering affordability and fuel savings." The online site continued, "Consumer Reports ranks the best hybrids of 2022, and the Ford Maverick is the only truck on the list." The site also notes why the Maverick "deserves a spot in any best-hybrid roundup."
CR Provides Solid Consumer Info
As anyone who has looked at CR knows, the publication compiles lists of "cars, trucks, and SUVs its editors believe are worth your attention." The lists help readers to decide which vehicle is best for them.
For example, CR looked at a wide range of 2022 hybrids that are the "best on the market." The leading hybrid model is the Lexus NX. "CR reviewers picked this luxury SUV for its daily drivability and excellent handling. But, what's most impressive is the NX's $652 of yearly fuel savings."
For the average buyer, CR recommended the "trusty Toyota Prius for its exceptional fuel economy, roominess, and abundant safety features, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control." The Prius will yield savings of about $410 a year. The site noted that it would take about seven years to pay off the investment in the Prius. And, "when it comes to hybrid pickup trucks, only the 2022 Ford Maverick makes the shortlist."
Maverick Is An ‘Excellent Choice’
MB calls the Maverick "an excellent choice for a hybrid pickup truck." The pickup's original MSRP was also attractive at about $21,000, though, with market conditions, the low-end starting price for the pickup has likely been superceded a couple of times by now. Also, the Maverick is proving so popular that if you can still find one in the wild, you should grab it. Otherwise, you will have to wait until late into the next model year before you may be able to order one. Torque News covered this issue with our story: If You Blink, You'll Miss The Maverick Order Bank
So, why is the Maverick so popular? Considering its fuel economy – 37 mpg on the highway – buyers will save an average of about $792 per year, which is "better than some SUVs on" CR's list.
Ford's pioneering hybrid powertrain is a standard feature on the Maverick. "CR reviewers recommend it because they love the ride, handling, and maneuverability. Also, the controls are simple and easy to use, and the 4.5-foot truck bed offers plenty of space for daily tasks." MB also notes that the "biggest problem with the Ford Maverick " is getting your hands on one. You can no longer order a 2022 model. So, the few (if any) remaining models on dealership lots will likely sell for over the MSRP."
The Maverick offers ICE tech for those who want a more conventional pickup. The compact pickup not only offers a hybrid powertrain but also offers a 2.5-liter four. The hybrid uses a continuously variable tranny to get power to the wheels, and the front-wheel-drive is standard. However, all-wheel-drive and a multi-gear automatic transmission are available with the four. The hybrid, incidentally, cranks out 191 horsepower and 155 pounds-feet of torque.
Other Items Of Note On The Maverick
Here are some other items of note on the Maverick:
- There's plenty of cargo space at 33.3 cubic feet
- The payload is 1,500 pounds
- Standard towing capability is 2,000 pounds; the EcoBoost model can pull 4,000 pounds
- The Maverick's "bells and whistles" consist of an 8.0-inch touchscreen
- A 6.5-inch instrument cluster display
- 4G WiFi capability
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Remote start and heated seats (Lariat top-of-the-line)
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.