Front-wheel drive and hybrid power are standard for Ford’s smallest pickup.
Ford has taken the wraps off its baby pickup, the 2022 Maverick. True to its name, the Maverick arrives with some atypical features for a Blue Oval truck, including a standard hybrid drivetrain and front-wheel drive. Did we mention the low starting price of just $21,490 ($27,850 in Canada), including destination?
To put that into perspective, Ford’s new unibody-based pickup will be the cheapest ride on dealer lots, at least before any incentives in base XL trim—and in America. The diminutive EcoSport S runs $150 richer, at $21,640. In Canada, the EcoSport remains the least-expensive Ford, to the tune of around $600 CAD.
Both the Maverick and the EcoSport feature a front-wheel drive layout as standard. The Maverick uses the same basic platform as the Bronco Sport, but instead of that cute-ute’s 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, the Mav runs a hybrid powertrain. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder works alongside a 94-kW battery pack, combining for 191 horsepower. A continuously-variable transmission handles non-shifting duties, contributing to a targeted 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km) in the city and 37 mpg (6.4 L/100 km) combined. Ford is aiming for a single tank to last 500 miles (800 km).
Maverick buyers wanting all-wheel drive will need to upgrade to the 2.0-liter EcoBoost motor. The four-pot hooks up to an eight-speed automatic to transmit its 250 hp and 277 lb-ft to terra firma. Towing capacity doubles with the EcoBoost, to a maximum 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg). Both drivetrains offer a maximum 1,500-pound (680 kg) payload.
The design is pretty standard modern pickup, though with enough tweaks to help the Maverick standout alongside the Ranger and F-150. Big, blocky standard LED headlights frame an equally large grille up front. Just one body style will be available at launch: a four-door, 4.5-foot bed setup. That slots in under the Ranger’s 5.0-foot box, and above the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz’ 4.0-foot space.
Ford is calling the Maverick’s tail Flexbed, with slots stamped into the sides for customers to slide in 2x4s or 2x6s to create their own compartments. Two tie-downs, four D-rings, and built-in threaded holes also offer more customization options. Two available 110-volt outlets offer the necessary juice for accessories, too. Also, the multi-position tailgate allows the Maverick to carry up to 18 sheets of 4×8 plywood.
The Maverick will come in three trims at launch: XL, XLT, and Lariat. Ford will offer an FX4 package on the Lariat as well as the XLT AWD, adding all-terrain tires, unique suspension tuning, more underbody protection, and Mud/Rut and Sand drive modes, which replace other models’ Eco and Sport. Hill Descent Control is also included in the FX4 pack.
Inside, the Maverick takes a similar no-nonsense approach as the exterior, with simple shapes and big, easy-to-read controls. A standard 8.0-inch screen handles infotainment duties, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. A built-in modem offers a WiFi connection for up to 10 devices. Ford has used materials like reground carbon fiber to give the design some spice. It’s also color-coded parts like the door handles and air-vents to highlight their functionality. The Maverick also includes FITS—short for Ford Integrated Tether System—which lets owners slot their own accessories into the back of the center console.
Standard safety kit includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and the federally mandated rearview camera. Depending on trim and option packs, buyers will also find adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, reverse sensing system, and more.
The 2022 Ford Maverick will go on sale this fall. Interested parties can already head to Ford’s website to build, price and reserve the lil’ pickup now, however. Prices start at $21,490 ($27,850 in Canada) for a front-drive XL; even moving up to the Lariat with the First Edition and Luxury packages comes in around $37,000 ($46,000 CAD).
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