Already the winner of several prestigious awards, Ford's new compact pickup, the Maverick, continues to win accolades. This time the pickup was named the winner of MotorWeek's 2022 Driver's Choice Award for the "Best of the Year."
’Right Vehicle, Right Time’
MotorWeek host and creator John Davis called the compact truck the "right vehicle at the right time." The pickup's affordability, standard hybrid powertrain, advanced connectivity, and personal use versatility were called out during a digital award ceremony Thursday. You can view the awards at the series' website.
Now in its 41st season as TV's original automotive magazine series, MotorWeek announced a full slate of awards at this year's Drivers' Choice Awards. MotorWeek is not only TV's original automotive magazine series but also the digital media's original series.
This year's awards are featured at MotorWeek.org and appear on a special episode of the series this week. The episode can also be seen on the cable/satellite partner, MAVTV Motorsports Network.
MotorWeek's editorial staff evaluated more than 150 cars, trucks, and sports utility vehicles this year. Drivers' Choice Award winners in 13 consumer-driven categories were chosen based on driving performance, technology, practicality, fuel efficiency, and value for the dollar.
The award program added a "Best EV" category this year to recognize the automotive industry's electrified trend and increase consumer interest in the best plug-in choices.
MotorWeek's 'Best of the Year'
"Ford Maverick is both obtainable and highly efficient and designed from the start to appeal to a large and varied buyer base," explained Davis. "The first-ever pickup with a standard hybrid powertrain, even in base 2.5-liter front-wheel-drive form, the 2022 Maverick can tow up to 2,000 pounds or handle up to 1,500 pounds of cargo. That towing capacity rises to 4,000 pounds with the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and all-wheel drive. With its four-door SuperCrew body style, it's roomy enough for five passengers while having enough gravitas to handle both weekend home projects and fun runs without compromises. It truly is an urban adventure vehicle."
The base model is available in front-wheel drive with a starting price of just under $20,000 before delivery charges. Davis said that low entry point makes Maverick an attractive choice to first-time buyers, businesses, and those on a tight budget. The price includes a built-in 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a built-in WiFi hotspot, and wireless smartphone charging.
Despite a short 4.5-foot length, multiple tie-down points, and the multi-position tailgate allows Maverick's "flex-bed" to accommodate up to 18 quarter-inch sheets of plywood. The bed also has two 12-volt power points. Ford offers bike racks for outdoor enthusiasts and numerous other factory-designed accessories so owners can customize the Maverick for their own needs.
Davis also lauded the truck's off-road handling. "We found that the Maverick handles steep, ruddy hills and high-speed bumpy areas with ease. The compact size of the truck gives owners a range of operating capabilities without the cumbersome aspects of larger trucks," he said.
With its standard 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain, the Maverick is almost 40 percent more fuel-efficient than any other pickup truck on the market. Davis observed that the Maverick even exceeded Ford's expectations regarding miles per gallon (mpg). The ratings from EPA testing have this compact hybrid truck at 42 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 37 mpg combined.
The 2022 award was Ford's second in two years. Ford's Mustang Mach-E drove home with Best of the Year in 2021.
"Receiving the Drivers' Choice Award for 'Best of the Year' reaffirms the overwhelming response we've had from Maverick customers and means so much to our team, considering the attention they put into making Maverick affordable, flexible, and fuel-efficient. We're honored to earn this recognition for the second year in a row after winning with Mach-E last year," said Samir Raval, Maverick chief engineer.
Chicago Auto Show
While the Drivers' Choice Awards are announced annually with great fanfare at the Chicago Auto Show, the largest consumer-driven auto show in North America, MotorWeek will take another pause due to the pandemic. "We at MotorWeek salute our colleagues at the Chicago Auto Show, and we look forward to returning next year to announce the 2023 Drivers' Choice Award winners," Davis said.
Lucas Oil, TireRack.com, and RockAuto.com sponsor MotorWeek and the 2022 Drivers' Choice Awards nationally.