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Coddled by the protectionist Rooster Tax, pickup vehicles in the US have turn into swollen symbols of decadence, used extra usually as life-style equipment than instruments for work. Concurrently, the decline of economic system vehicles in favor of crossovers has left People with few decisions for small, utilitarian autos. With the continuing chip crunch sending new automobile costs skyward, the times of low-cost vehicles and small vehicles appeared to be a factor of the previous—till, that’s, the arrival of the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid.

Producing a automobile just like the Maverick is a dangerous proposition, because it’s antithetical to what most American truck consumers have proven they’re going to purchase. At nearly a foot shorter than the smallest Ranger, it is pretty small and never particularly rugged, being tailored from the Ford Escape’s light-duty unibody. As a substitute of four-wheel drive and a diesel engine with a reputation like a condom, it has solely front-wheel drive that is linked to a hybrid engine by a CVT. It is much less an alternative choice to a Tremendous Responsibility than to a Honda Ridgeline, which hasn’t precisely been a smash hit. In principle, the Maverick does not appear primed for fulfillment.

The 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid is bluer than the sky, James Gilboy

In apply and over my week with the Maverick, although, it turned quickly obvious why this light-duty pickup is offered out till this summer season. The Maverick melds the utility and driving expertise of a pickup with the on a regular basis suitability of a world-class economic system automobile, giving drivers precisely the automobile they want for all however essentially the most excessive use instances. It is spacious, quiet, comfy, economical, sturdy, and never even quick on know-how. I am undecided everybody will like a number of the styling, it isn’t what you’d name fast, the bottom mannequin is sparsely outfitted, and its functionality is—naturally—restricted. Even so, the Maverick is a terrific truck that is nearly unimaginable to under-utilize, and it is made all the higher by giving consumers extra bang for his or her buck than a field of firecrackers on July fifth.

2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid Specs

  • Base value (XLT as examined): $21,490 ($27,295)
  • Powertrain: 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid | constantly variable transmission | front-wheel drive
  • Horsepower: 191 mixed @ 5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 155 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
  • Seating capability: 5
  • Cargo quantity: 33.3 cubic ft
  • Towing capability: 2,000 kilos 
  • Payload capability: 1,500 kilos
  • Curb weight: 3,674 kilos
  • Gas economic system: 42 mpg metropolis | 33 freeway | 37 mixed (44 achieved in testing)
  • Fast take: The nice American economic system automobile has returned, and this time it is a truck.
  • Rating: 9/10

The Fundamentals

Being a relative of the compact Escape crossover, the Maverick is Ford’s smallest pickup. As such, it has the second-lowest payload score of any Ford truck (solely the Raptor’s 1,400 kilos undercuts it), and the least towing capability, at 1,500 and a couple of,000 kilos respectively for the bottom hybrid mannequin (although the turbo EcoBoost can tow 4,000). It additionally has the bottom value, not simply amongst Ford vehicles, however of the make’s total lineup. Sure, regardless of being a truck, it is a budget possibility, whether or not or not you suppose it feels or appears to be like prefer it.

That most likely depends upon how you are feeling about its headlights, which remind me of the cheap-looking wire-framed glasses worn by outdated males and trendy Zoomers alike. I am additionally categorically not a fan of black plastic physique cladding, but it surely’s not so apparent on the Maverick, which is quadrangular in the way in which American truck house owners like. Its entrance, aspect, and rear profiles all appear like they belong to a much bigger truck, which does misleading issues to the attention on a relentless foundation. By itself, the Maverick appears to be like monolithic; in visitors, it isn’t a lot larger than the vehicles round it, and is dwarfed by a contemporary heavy-duty pickup. It maintains their increased driving place, although, which lets the motive force meet different vehicles nearer to eye degree with out sacrificing a lot visibility.

The Maverick XLT’s inside, being largely plastic and material, is probably going not costly to make, although its uncovered bolts for mounting 3D-printed equipment and wildly various textures and finishes forestall it from trying or feeling low-cost. It jogs my memory of a not too long ago renovated public faculty, and I do not imply that in a disparaging means; there’s an ambiance of constructing the perfect future doable from what’s obtainable. It emanates optimism, and that is one thing we might all use extra of in our lives. There is a sense of simplicity, which is to be discovered each within the truck’s analog gauges and in its eight-inch central touchscreen. Its interface is mercifully uncluttered and accepts wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Powertrain choices include an obtainable 2.0-liter turbo engine or, because the tester had, the usual hybrid engine, headed by a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder. This thrifty-but-shrimpy engine combines with an electrical motor (which might transfer the truck by its lonesome) to supply a mixed 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque that journey to the entrance wheels by a constantly variable transmission.

Driving the Ford Maverick Hybrid

As you may most likely guess, that sort of energy does not make the Maverick fast, although the CVT does optimize for what energy is there, delivering a… saunter ahead when known as on. Throttle and brake response are easy, steering is neither too heavy nor too floaty, and it turned corners with modest, poised physique roll. The Maverick tries to run on electrical energy every time doable, which is a part of why it scores almost double the gasoline mileage of every other truck on sale in America. I averaged 44 mpg in my week with it—in a truck! That was a nice week, too, as a result of the Maverick is remarkably refined for its value.

Cruising round Colorado’s Entrance Vary, I discovered its inside very quiet in any respect speeds, with nearly no street or wind noise to problem an over-performing stereo with strong bass and Bluetooth compatibility. The seats had been comfy and the trip nice, and since the Maverick is a crew-cab, it is spacious sufficient in all dimensions even for six-foot-five Giga Chads. I am talking, in fact, of our Vans Editor Caleb Jacobs, whose ideas on the Maverick might be learn right here, and who has confided in me he’s contemplating shopping for one. [Ed. note: I don’t know what a “Giga Chad” is, but that’s my height, title, and name, so I must be one. And yeah, I think I’m placing my order later this year! — CJ]

That is how a lot room the Maverick has for individuals, by no means thoughts their belongings, which might be stowed in plentiful inside storage together with a compartment below the again seat. Or the mattress, whose low tailgate relative to different fashionable vehicles made it comparatively straightforward to load. It solely measures 4.5 ft lengthy, however that is loads for somebody who solely wants a pickup mattress once in a while: for hauling branches to the dump, or retrieving cumbersome automobile components from their dad’s storage—like I did. It is simply sufficient of a truck to come back in clutch once you want one, however not sufficient of 1 to be a bear to dwell with.

Highs and Lows

The Ford Maverick Hybrid’s good factors drastically outnumber the unhealthy. It is a nice option to journey the roads, reasonably priced to purchase and function, suitable with DIY equipment, and on account of its truck mattress and effectivity, onerous to under-utilize. Whether or not it is modern is as much as you, as I do not love its exterior however am keen on the inside, but might perceive why anybody would really feel the other. 

It is on the sluggish aspect and I am skeptical of its luxurious Lariat trim as a result of, within the Ranger, I did not think about it good worth on account of its excessive value and terrible leather-based. Lastly, the Maverick’s functionality is not a robust swimsuit relative to different pickups, although the pickup mattress and towing capability nonetheless set it other than competing crossovers and sedans.

Ford Maverick Hybrid Options, Choices, and Competitors

There are three Maverick trim ranges: The bottom XL, mid-level XLT (which is the trim the take a look at automobile got here in), and the top-tier Lariat. The XL Maverick might have manually adjusted seats and metal wheels, but it surely does not skimp on big-ticket objects like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights, or a 4G wi-fi hotspot. Its 54-inch mattress consists of tie-downs and two energy retailers, and might be ordered with a mattress liner, tonneau covers, and body-color-matched (or contrasting) mattress toppers. Mavericks are hybrids by default, however have obtainable turbo engines that enhance towing capability to 4,000 kilos (that is greater than the Bronco), in addition to non-obligatory all-wheel drive for turbo fashions. Ford Co-Pilot360 with blind-spot warnings, rear cross-traffic watch, lane-keeping assists, and driver alertness are an obtainable possibility on all trims.

2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid in Colorado, James Gilboy

Solely Hyundai affords an actual competitor to the Maverick within the type of the Santa Cruz, which I’ve beforehand in comparison with the Maverick in depth. Briefly, the Maverick begins cheaper at $21,490 MSRP and will get much better mileage, commonplace LED headlights, and a slightly bigger mattress. The Hyundai, however, consists of extra know-how on its base mannequin—reminiscent of commonplace ADAS and wi-fi CarPlay, respectively—that are both non-obligatory or unavailable on the Ford. The Santa Cruz additionally affords higher payload and towing rankings, cheaper AWD, and a extra highly effective prime engine, although that sends its value skyrocketing to over $36,000. The XLT-trimmed take a look at automobile price $27,295 MSRP. Lastly, Hyundai produces its truck domestically, whereas the Ford is imported from Mexico.

The Chevrolet Colorado bears mentioning, because it’s solely barely dearer than the Hyundai, although it is a completely different class of truck with higher functionality however poorer mileage, to not point out a far older automobile. The Honda Ridgeline, whereas additionally unibody, has the identical issues because the Chevy: it is much more costly to purchase and run.

Sustainability

The Ford Maverick’s biggest declare to ecological duty—a hybrid drivetrain that may run on electrical energy alone—is a reasonably small one. Past that, Ford makes no claims relating to the Maverick’s sustainability, and seeing because it’s produced overseas, it requires extra fossil fuels be burned simply to get it to showrooms. As soon as it is in your driveway, although, its hybrid drivetrain begins to make a distinction, particularly with what gasoline prices as of late.

2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid gasoline economic system versus rivals, Environmental Safety Company

Worth and Verdict

The Ford Maverick Hybrid is the whole lot an economic system automobile purchaser might need, after which some. It is reasonably priced, nice, extremely modifiable, modern in some circles, and regardless of being light-duty, nonetheless affords extra utility than most American households will ever use. It is what individuals want, after they want it, and the truth that it is all of those and one of many most cost-effective autos on sale in the US simply makes me wish to kiss it. (And perhaps I did, so what?)

In an period the place American automakers are going all-in on vehicles which might be getting endlessly larger and dearer, the Maverick is a shocking reversal in fact in additional methods than one. Not solely does it problem the body-on-frame pickup’s hegemony, but it surely additionally does in order an earnest economic system automobile the likes of which we’ve not seen from an American firm because the Mannequin T. In being no extra truck than most People want, the Maverick is rarely under-utilized, and subsequently fulfills the American splendid of a pickup: A instrument for use. The Ford Maverick is a fabulous truck, and one which I hope to see produced by the hundreds of thousands as quickly because the chip scarcity abates.

Obtained a tip or query for the creator? You may attain them right here: james@thedrive.com  



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