One of the most anticipated vehicles set for customer deliveries in January will also be the second-least expensive vehicle in Ford’s lineup. The 2022 Ford Maverick pickup, based on the Bronco Sport/Escape chassis, will be a capable small truck slotting in under the mid-sized Ranger, aimed at the urban adventure types and people who just generally want some utility of a pickup but still be able to park in their condo lot.
The Maverick will start at just $25,900 and, most interesting for us here at The Charge, that base XL model will be a front-wheel-drive hybrid. A 2.5L engine mates with a 1.1 kWh battery and motor for a combined 191 horsepower, a 1,500lb cargo payload and a 2,000lb towing capacity. A 250hp, 2.0L Ecoboost engine and AWD is available on the XL and mid-level XLT, while the top-line Lariat comes with just the 2.0L and AWD.
So why is the Maverick so hotly anticipated? Not only does it fill a unique niche, it also comes with clever touches and design to make the most of its utility. Let’s look at some of our favourite things about the Maverick Hybrid; watch this space for a full review in the coming months.
Incredible fuel economy
The Maverick hybrid is rated by National Resources Canada at a combined 6.3 L/100 km. That’s better than a Toyota Corolla with a CVT, which gets 6.7 L/100 km combined, not to mention that you still have a 1,500-lb payload available for you. On the highway, the Maverick gets a still miserly 7.1 L/100 km rating, but it’s in city driving where the little truck will really amaze, with a remarkable 5.6 L/100 km rating. Despite all of its hauling and towing capability, the Maverick Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road.
Sharp looks inside and out
From any angle, nothing about the Maverick makes it look like Ford’s second-cheapest vehicle. It comes in a variety of colours beyond the usual, such as Area 51 blue, Cactus Grey and Cyber Orange, and while the XL gets steel wheels, the XLT moves up with stylish 17” painted aluminum wheels. Inside, the XL has an all-black interior, but the XLT offers what Ford calls ‘Navy Pier’, a mix of light blues, greys and swatches of bright orange to really brighten the cabin. Cloth seats are the only option here, but they do look good; the Lariat gets brown and blue leatherette seats.
There’s a lot to unpack in this 4.5-foot bed. The tailgate extends the bed length to 6 feet, and can be positioned at an angle to carry the ubiquitous 4×8 sheets of building materials, which also rest on the wheel wells. The bed also features covered bins, multiple tie downs, lighting and a 110-volt AC outlet. Clever slots cut into the bed can accept pieces of wood for dividing cargo. Which also leads us to …
DIY truck customizing
Strangely also found in the bed is a QR code. This leads to tutorials on how to make the bed dividers and even a bike rack, but it also offers CAD files and videos for 3D-printing your own mods for the interior, such as storage dividers, cup holders, and bins. These accessories can fit into slots found around the interior the automaker calls Ford Integrated Tether (FIT) slots. You’ll most likely be able to purchase these accessories from a dealer, in case you don’t happen to have a 3D printer at home.
Storage beyond the bed
If you go thirsty in the Maverick, then it’s entirely your own fault. While the two front passengers get cupholders in the centre console, each door has cutouts to receive multiple water bottles, including tall 1L containers; you can DIY another cupholder for rear passengers with the FIT slot. The interior also features multiple cubbyholes, a larger bin in the centre console and special slots for phones. Lifting the rear seat also reveals storage space for other stuff.