There was a time around the turn of the century when teeny-tiny trucks were totally The Thing. Drivers from all sorts of backgrounds were very interested in compact trucks, particularly if they had big engines. With the bed weighted down with kitty litter or mulch to prevent spinning out, these small-but-mighty vehicles zipped in and out of major trend territory very quickly. Which makes the appearance of the 2022 Ford Maverick somewhat beguiling.
In a time when truck manufacturers are going out of their way to retune their midsize and full-sized models to have greater towing and payload capacity, it seems strange that Ford would be interested in providing a less “mighty” truck option. Given that many SUVs have equal––if not more––cargo space available, a compact pickup appears out of place for Ford’s work-driven truck lineup.
And yet, the 2022 Maverick appears to hit a sweet spot that truck enthusiasts have been missing for years. It’s not too big, it has all the right power in all the right places, it comes with a standard hybrid powertrain, and there are only three trims. The odds seem stacked against Ford’s wild card, and yet the Maverick has gained plenty of attention for being exactly the truck its drivers want it to be.
A Standard Hybrid Powertrain
Equipping the 2022 Ford Maverick with a standard hybrid powertrain seems like a pretty big gamble right off the bat. Despite a new wave of electric trucks demonstrating that vehicles don’t need to guzzle gas or diesel in order to move heavy loads and take on challenging terrain, the American driving public isn’t completely comfortable with the idea of electric and hybrid vehicles.
However, the Maverick is not a massive truck. Its smaller dimensions make it friendlier on the pavement. As a result, most drivers will be expecting this type of truck to get better fuel mileage than its larger cousins. When equipped with its standard 2.5L four-cylinder hybrid powertrain and front-wheel drive, the Maverick provides 191 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque. The EPA indicates this setup has a range of around 511 miles, with the 2022 Maverick enjoying 42 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway.
Given that those numbers sound more accurate for a compact sedan, it’s pretty normal to wonder what kind of heft a truck with that sort of fuel economy can produce. However, you’ll likely be impressed to discover that the hybrid Ford Maverick can accommodate a payload of 1,500 lbs and can tow up to 2,000 lbs.
However, there is a traditional gasoline-only engine available, and it’s clearly not just an afterthought. The alternative to the hybrid powertrain is a 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged engine that offers 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can choose between standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive when the turbocharged engine is selected.
While selecting this powertrain will decrease the fuel economy to 26 MPG combined and provide a total range of 429 miles on a full tank, it does increase the capability of the Maverick. Towing capacity increases to 4,000 lbs when the 4K Tow Package is added to the turbocharged engine option.
Making the Most of Less Space
The 2022 Ford Maverick is truly a representative of the “less is more” school of thought. Despite its overall smaller stature––especially when compared to an F-150 or Super Duty––the Maverick is designed to carry things intelligently.
For those who are familiar with the F-Series, it might sound shocking to learn that the Maverick is offered in just one bed and cab configuration: a 4.5-foot bed with a crew cab. That means the Maverick arrives with sedan-like simplicity, delivering four doors opening to five comfortable seats. The bed can accommodate up to 33.3 cu.ft. of cargo. It seems straightforward enough until you start to look at the amount of detail Ford has put into allowing drivers to configure both the cabin and the bed to their own specifications.
Inside the cabin, drivers will find pockets large enough to accommodate things that have typically been relegated to the backseat, such as a 1L water bottle and your laptop or tablet. A storage bin under the rear seats allows drivers to stash a variety of items they may not want to leave out in the open.
Though the bed is smaller than its full-size family members, the Maverick features Ford’s new FLEXBED, which provides a variety of slots, tie-downs, and threaded holes to allow drivers to design exactly the box they need for their cargo. The Maverick can be outfitted with 110V outlets in the bed and cab, and some trims include built-in LED bed lighting so you can work in the dark.
Simplicity Is the Name of the Game
The 2022 Ford Maverick is offered in three trim levels, which seems a bit sparse for the same manufacturer that offers the F-150 in a seemingly endless array of configurations. However, while the F-150 is a work partner, the Maverick is a driving buddy. As a result, the interior of the Maverick is purposeful and spacious rather than luxurious. That’s not to say there isn’t quite a bit to enjoy about the Maverick, though.
The base XL trim includes comfy cloth upholstery, a six-speaker audio system, and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen. Safety features include standard automatic headlights and high beams, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and a Rear View Camera.
Stepping up to the XLT trim adds a power-locking tailgate, unique XLT upholstery, and an additional rear armrest with cupholders. Drivers can also select the optional FX4 package with this trim, which makes the Maverick ready for the trails with skid plates, all-terrain tires, five off-road-ready drive modes that include Mud and Sand, and front tow hooks.
The Lariat tops the Maverick trim levels and offers a lot of fun extras, including a power-adjustable driver seat, a power-sliding rear window, extra USB ports, and Desert Brown ActiveX upholstery. For those who have more upscale tastes, the Lariat Luxury Package adds a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, in-bed LED lighting, and a heated steering wheel, mirrors, windshield, and seats.
Discover the 2022 Ford Maverick
There are plenty of drivers who insist you can’t really do much with a 1,500 lb payload truck. And yet, the Maverick may surprise many drivers who never fully considered how beneficial a truck could be to their lifestyle.
With its straightforward cabin and flexible cargo options, the 2022 Ford Maverick may be exactly what was missing from your driving experience in the past. Sure, other trucks haul more, but that’s not the only thing a truck is born to do. The Maverick combines fuel savings, practicality, and fun––three things that don’t often show up in the same sentence, much less in a compact truck.
Is the 2022 Ford Maverick a truck for everyone? Probably not. But then again, neither is the F-150––even after a billion configurations, there are some drivers who simply don’t need a truck of its stature. Instead, the Maverick is exactly the right truck for exactly the right driver, just as Ford intended.