The Top Gun references were obvious and easy. The old timers complaining about Ford (once again) rehashing the name of a classic car from Ford’s past was predictable. The rest about the Ford Maverick, Ford’s brand new vehicle in a new segment for the automaker, is far from obvious or predictable though.
We knew the name was coming. We knew it would be smaller than the Ranger. But the rest of the information regarding the Maverick was unknown until today. And the details show a small truck that could have mass appeal to a new consumer.
That’s been Ford’s MO for a while too as they seek to expand their consumer base and have successfully done so with the Mustang Mach-E, Ford F-150 hybrid and upcoming EV Lightning and soon-to-come return of the iconic Ford Bronco. All of these add up to one of the most exciting years in Ford Motor Company’s history, certainly of the last 25 years.
“The Maverick product proposition is like nothing else out there. It’s a great-looking truck featuring four doors with room for five adults, a standard full-hybrid engine with city fuel economy that beats a Honda Civic, plenty of towing and hauling for weekend trips or do-it-yourself projects, and it starts under $20,000,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Maverick challenges the status quo and the stereotypes of what a pickup truck can be. We believe it will be compelling to a lot of people who never before considered a truck.”
What Is The Ford Maverick?
This is a brand new arena that Ford is entering with the five-passenger small truck. While Ford has the Super Duty, the F-150 and the Ranger, the Maverick slots in even smaller than the Ranger. See the graphic below for a representation of where the Maverick fits into the Ford truck family.
Maverick comes as a standard five-passenger, four-door pickup, with a full-hybrid powertrain and a projected EPA-estimated rating of 40 mpg city fuel economy. It all comes with a starting MSRP of $19,995 according to Ford.
It has a look all its own, but Maverick has iconic Ford pickup truck style with a door design that pays homage to the company’s signature drop-down side windows and a front end that
stretches edge to edge, connecting the standard LED headlamps and grille for a more prominent, planted appearance.
The unibody Maverick is offered at three trim levels – XL, XLT and Lariat. An FX4 package available for all-wheel-drive XLT and Lariat trucks adds more off-road capability with rugged all-terrain tires and suspension tuning, additional underbody protection, and off-road-focused drive modes like Mud/Rut and Sand, as well as the addition of Hill Descent Control. The Maverick has a 121-inch wheelbase and 8.3 inches of ground clearance.
Available for the first model year only is the Maverick First Edition package. It is built off the
Lariat trim level and includes unique graphics on the hood and lower doors, a high-gloss black-painted roof, soft tonneau cover, body-color door handles, high-gloss black skull caps, and gloss black-painted and machined 18-inch wheels for hybrid or unique 17-inch aluminum wheels for the gas model. It comes in Carbonized Gray, Area 51 and Rapid Red, unique to First Edition.
Ford Maverick powertrain options
Ford proudly totes that the Maverick is their first truck in North America to feature a full hybrid powertrain standard. The 2 .5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid powertrain delivers 191 horsepower when combined with the electric motor and 155 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a continuously variable transmission driving the front wheels. It features an in-house-designed and manufactured electric traction motor, which is light and powerful.
Ford says Maverick will have a standard payload of 1,500 pounds and the volume to carry a standard ATV, plus it has the capability to tow 2,000 pounds.
Those who want more capability can upgrade to a 2.0-liter EcoBoost gas engine delivering 250 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque with an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. Equipped with the optional 4K Tow Package, conventional towing doubles to 4,000 pounds.
“One thing that’s non-negotiable is that Maverick is Built Ford Tough,” said Chris Mazur, a third-generation Ford employee who led development of the all-new pickup as chief engineer. “Our engineers were unrelenting, putting it through a battery of vicious on-road, off-road, environmental and simulated customer use testing until we were satisfied. Ford trucks are Ford trucks – through and through.”
Maverick’s Interior and Technology
Daniel George was interior design leader for the Maverick and called the Maverick “the ultimate first vehicle for my kids.” With that mindset, the Maverick has plenty of technology and interior features.
Its standard 8-inch center touch screen features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility so customers can have the experience they’re used to with their phones. Maverick has standard FordPass Connect with embedded modem and Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices, while standard FordPass makes it easy to find the truck, check fuel level, lock and unlock the doors, and start or turn off the vehicle – all from your phone.
I am disappointed that Maverick only comes with Ford’s Sync 3 system and not their newest version (Sync 4). Ford did the same thing with Bronco Sport however, which I noted as a negative when I reviewed that vehicle.
The interior design is stylish and spacious, with thoughtful features and the versatility for city driving or escaping the urban life. Surprisingly roomy, there’s excellent leg and headroom, shoulder and hip width, and a comfortable seating position for both rows.
Ford Co-Pilot360 technology includes standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Automatic High Beam Headlamps. Available options include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Centering and Evasive Steering Assist. Five standard drive modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Tow/Haul to enhance performance and confidence over various driving conditions.
Maverick really goes all-out when it comes to functionality with its unique FLEXBED™, which is packed with standard features and opportunities to transform the cargo box into a complete makerspace. FLEXBED gives customers organization and storage solutions to secure cargo, while accommodating Ford accessories and creative DIY solutions. The team developed its features after watching people at home improvement and furniture stores as well as college kids moving into their dorms, observing how they struggled to load things into small crossovers and cars while working around the cargo limitations they faced.
People can create segmented storage, elevated floors, bike and kayak racks and more by sliding 2x4s or 2x6s into slots stamped into the side of the bed. There are two tie-downs, four D-rings and built-in threaded holes in the sides to bolt in new creations.
“The whole bed is a DIY fan’s paradise,” said Keith Daugherty, an engineering specialist who helped develop the truck box for Maverick. “You can buy the bolt-in Ford cargo management system and we’re happy to sell it to you, but if you’re a bit more creative, you can also just go to the hardware store and get some C-channel and bolt it to the bed to make your own solutions.”
When Does Ford Maverick Go On Sale?
The 2022 Ford Maverick goes on sale this fall. The build and price website is live at Ford.com
and reservations or orders can be placed today.
I try to remain unbiased in what I cover here, but as I was looking everything over regarding this truck it was one of the first vehicle launches I’ve seen Ford do that A.) I could afford B.) I would have a need and interest for.
I’m 48 years old and live in the suburbs. I am probably not even their targeted demographic, but initially I’m very interested in this truck. It may seem curious why Ford launched a brand new vehicle in a segment that doesn’t really exist. How much interest the Maverick generates could create more competition in this segment as I see the merit of this small, unibody truck.
What do you think? What interests you or doesn’t interest you regarding the Maverick? Leave me your comments below.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.