Over the last few years, we have driven hundreds of vehicles but nothing comes close to the value, price and fuel economy offered by the all-new Maverick. And that is not an understatement. Check this out. The first full hybrid compact pickup in the United States starts under $20k, seats five comfortably in a spacious cabin and best of all touts over 42 mpg in city. You just can’t beat that! The only problem? Well, Ford cannot produce enough Mavericks since the demand, understandably so, is relentless. Pre-orders should be open soon for the 2023 model year, we are told.
Under the hood of our hybrid version sits a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine putting out 162 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 155 pounds-feet of torque @ 4000 rpm. Add a 94 kW electric motor to the mix for a boost in hp by 29. The impressive pickup is coupled with a flawless electronic continuous variable transmission. An independent MacPherson strut front and a twist beam rear suspension isolates occupants from road noise and rough bumps. The electric power steering is razor sharp, with a consistent on-center feel. You can effectively go well over 500 miles in the Maverick, which offers normal, eco, sport, slippery and tow/haul modes. Tow capacity is good at 2,000 miles with a standard payload of 1,500 pounds, affording 37 bags of 40-pound mulch!
Boxy appears to be the theme with squarish LED headlights flanking a black mesh grille with dark surround/gray bars, door and tailgate handles. And yes, boxlike windows for excellent outward vision. Ten tie-down hooks in the 4.5-foot-long bed can be useful. The spacious interior may be all cloth material but you will love the impression left by the two-tone dark gray and orange accents on the door handles, air vents and storage areas, sort of a marble look. The 8-inch touch infotainment screen sits atop the dashboard with simple knobs, cleverly separated from temp controls by a/c vents. A huge bin under the flip-up rear bench is a wise use of space. Other standard amenities include single-way a/c, manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel, six-way manual driver and four-way front-passenger seats and a rotary club dial.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, electronic stability and Advance trac controls, regenerative braking, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard. Opt for the worthy $540 Co-Pilot 360 package, which will fetch you pre-collision assist with auto emergency brakes, blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert, lane-keep, rearview camera and auto high-beam headlamps.
Slotted between the Ranger and the F-150, the Maverick is an amazing value for the money. With gas prices still hovering over $3, it will lighten the burden on your wallet. And for a hybrid, the truck moves quickly and quietly down the road, with superb ride and satisfactory handling.
So, the next time you are at the Ford dealership and happen to come across this renegade, snap it asap!