If a mid-size Ranger was too big, now take a look at the 2022 Ford Maverick compact. It’s also available as a hybrid—and in an unusual touch, that’s the base engine. The XL starts at $27,895, before taxes but including the non-negotiable delivery fee of $1,995. XLT drove the next step, which starts at $30.795, while some options brought it to $35665. Both models can be selected for a non-hybrid engine, which is the only option on the higher-end Lariat.
Design: 8.5 / 10
The Maverick is based on the same platform as the Bronco Sport and Escape, but looks more like a truck than a choppy SUV — unlike its closest competitor, the Hyundai Tucson-based Santa Cruz. Ford only comes as a four-door, five-passenger cab, with a 4-foot, 5-bed cab. It looks well planted, and runs on 17-inch wheels.
Upon entering, what you initially notice is the gray speckled plastic on the dashboard and doors. She is mindful of the things in school bathrooms at first, but she quickly grew on me due to her great looks and easy-to-clean nature. Instead of looking cheap, the heavy plastic cabin looks fun and functional.
Safety: 7.5 / 10
The Maverick is not yet rated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which downgrades its scores here.
Standard assistance items include front emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and a mandatory backup camera on all new vehicles. If you want more, add a $850 package that gives you blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and hill descent control. Adaptive cruise control is only available on the top-tier Lariat, as an option.
Features: 7.5 / 10
The defector is relatively basic. One of the base XL, the XLT included 17-inch aluminum wheels, LED headlights, manual driver’s seat, 8-inch touchscreen, conventional cruise control, under-the-rear-seat storage bin, USB Type-A and Type-C ports, door Rear locked, ignition ready to use – which I prefer to turn on with the push of a button, although many drivers do not.
Along with the aforementioned safety kit, my tester went with the deluxe XLT package for $3150. It added elements including an eight-way driver’s seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, remote engine starter, body-color heated door mirrors, and a trailer; And in the bed, an interior liner, LED lighting, tie rods, and a 110-volt outlet. If you choose the gas-only four-wheel drive model, you can also add an FX4 Off-Road Package or a higher capacity tow package.
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Ease of use: 9/10
Trucks have become so large that it is difficult to climb into them. Alternatively, the Maverick can be accessed to get in, out and get to the bed. The low, straight hood improves visibility and makes it feel like a bigger truck.
The minimalist-looking instrument panel uses buttons and dials to operate the climate system and stereo. The infotainment screen looks a bit dated, but it’s intuitive and easy to use.
Operation: 8.5 / 10
The Maverick has a payload of 680 kg (1,500 lb), and the bed can be fitted with dividers to hold bikes. The hybrid has a towing capacity of 907 kg (2,000 lb), which follows the slightly larger Santa Cruz and Honda Ridgeline with a maximum of 2,267 kg (5,000 lb).
The cabin has roughly the same head and legroom as the Santa Cruz. The rear seats flip up for additional luggage storage. The interior is designed for maximum functionality, including half-handles on the doors so that you can put a tall water bottle behind them; center console phone holder; And plenty of storage for small things, including an open container in the upper dashboard. I still haven’t come up with the idea of the seemingly meaningless cubbyhole in the center display frame.
You wouldn’t mistake the Maverick for the coolness of the F-150 Platinum, but it’s still a comfortable pickup truck — especially if you choose the XLT Luxury package with the heated, electrically-adjustable driver’s seat. I prefer these seats, which are fabric to leather, they provide an upright position and good support.
It’s not the quietest cabin, especially since the hybrid system can make some weird noises while driving, but the ride is smooth and textured. The climate control is only one zone but has an automatic setting. Rear seat passengers get relatively good legroom for the truck’s size, and a central armrest with Cup holders from the Luxury option.
The hybrid uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 162 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque on its own, and 191 hp net when working in conjunction with the electric hybrid. It is connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and rigidly drives the front wheels. It’s a full hybrid, automatically switching between petrol and electric or a combination of the two. Its acceleration is not fast but smooth and linear, and should be enough for most everyday driving.
Optional with XL and XLT trims, and exclusive to Lariat, is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, and can be selected with the Off-Road Package, or with a towing package to tow up to 1,814 kg (4,000 lb). It’s naturally more thirsty than a hybrid, but if you want all-wheel drive, this is the choice you have to make.
Driving feel: 8/10
The Maverick may be based on SUVs, but it looks like a pickup truck, which is a very compliment. The steering is well weighted and not too light, the vehicle is responsive and the cornering circle is tight. The transition from gas to electric is often smooth. The brakes work just fine, without the artificial feel you can sometimes get with these regenerative systems where the electric motor works in reverse to capture energy to charge the hybrid battery.
I ended up on snowy roads a few times, where I would have preferred all-wheel drive, given the lighter rear of the truck. The transition to a 2.0L with all-wheel traction adds another $2,500 to the XLT’s asking price.
Fuel Economy: 9/10
The Maverick hybrid is officially rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) with a rating of 5.6 l/100 km in the city, 7.1 on the highway and 6.3 all together. (Hybrids get better city miles on the highway because they can often run on battery alone.) In a week of frigid cold weather, I averaged 8.6l/100km, which seems in line with realistic expectations.
If you choose the optional 2.0L non-hybrid engine, it will average 9.6L/100km in combined driving. Both are better than the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which has 10.8 l/100 km but more horsepower and torque; and 11.5 l / 100 km that were lifted by Honda Ridgeline.
Starting at $30,795 with delivery, and an option to $35,665, my XLT felt reasonable. The hard part for a lot of people is getting past the idea of ”buying by the pound” – if a truck is. This is amazing So much, it must be This is amazing Big. Instead, it’s about paying for the right size for you.
Hyundai Santa Cruz is much more expensive, ranging between $40,424 and $46,624 with delivery. But it also has standard all-wheel drive, much more features, and a more luxurious interior. Another SUV-based truck option, the Honda Ridgeline, starts at $47,536.
Buyers will shop via Santa Cruz, but I see the Ford as a truck, while the Hyundai is a sports car with a bed. It’s equally good for what it is, and it’s likely to come down to the price, whether you want a plain and simple Maverick, or a more upscale Santa Cruz.
Midsize trucks haven’t thrown large trucks off their perch, and this compact Maverick certainly won’t, either. But it’s a useful, good-looking, good-sized, fuel-efficient car for a lot of people who want a pickup truck, and it’s definitely worth a try.