Where did all these Ford game changers come from all of a sudden? The 2022 F-150 Lightning electric pickup offers up to 563 hp, 300 miles of range, and 10,000 pounds of towing capacity, and it affordably ($41,669 to start!) electrifies the best-selling truck in the world. And now this truck, the new 2022 Ford Maverick compact pickup, looks like it will shake up the smaller end of the spectrum.
If its 1,500-pound payload, 4,000-pound max towing capacity, and DIY-ready 4.5-foot bed don’t catch your eye, its standard hybrid powertrain with up to 40 mpg or starting price of just $21,490 ought to make you think twice. Indeed, with the new Maverick, Ford hopes to sell small pickups to a whole swath of people who have never considered one before.
Why Should I Care About the Maverick?
For years, American automakers generally thought the public was uninterested in any truck smaller than a half ton—that’s F-150, Silverado, and Ram 1500 territory—leaving the midsize segment largely to Nissan’s Frontier and Toyota’s Tacoma. The thinking was that such trucks were too small, too expensive to build and buy, and not capable enough. The introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup in 2015 changed that, and it won our Truck of the Year award. Within five years, the segment was revitalized with more than half a dozen entries, as it turned out plenty of folks don’t need (let alone want) a full-size truck. With the new Maverick, Ford is betting that for some, even a midsizer is too much truck.
Cool. So, What Are the New Maverick’s Specs?
Like the rival 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup, the Maverick is a unibody truck built on a crossover platform. This makes it less capable than a traditional body-on-frame pickup, but it’s also cheaper to build and buy, and more efficient, too. In the Maverick’s case, it rides on Ford’s C2 platform and shares much under the skin with the Bronco Sport and Escape with which it will share a production line in the Blue Oval’s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant.
The Maverick’s powertrains come courtesy of both the Escape and Bronco Sport lines. The base powertrain is a 2.5-liter I-4/electric-motor combo that drives the front wheels through a CVT. Related to the Escape Hybrid‘s powertrain (but with a new in-house developed motor), this powerplant produces 191 total horsepower in the Maverick. Ford says the front-wheel-drive-only Maverick Hybrid will have EPA-estimated fuel economy of 40/33/37 mpg city/highway/combined and can travel up to 500 miles on a single tank.
For those who’d like a little more power or all-wheel drive, the Bronco Sport Badlands’ EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 is optional on the Maverick. As it does in the Bronco Sport, this engine produces 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, and it’s paired with an eight-speed auto. Fuel economy estimates will be revealed at a later date, but our best guess is somewhere in the mid 20s. An off-road-oriented FX4 package is optional on EcoBoost all-wheel-drive Mavericks. The Maverick FX4 has all-terrain tires, a revised rear suspension, a higher-capacity radiator and upgraded cooling fan, skidplates, exposed front tow hooks, a hitch with a four-pin connector, off-road drive modes, and hill-descent control.
Front-wheel-drive Mavericks have 8.3 inches of ground clearance, and all-wheel-drive versions have 8.6. The approach, breakover, and departure angles for the Maverick are 20.6, 16.6, and 21.9 degrees for front-drive versions; AWD Mavericks come in at 21.6, 18.1, and 21.2 degrees.
How Much Can the Maverick Tow and Haul?
No matter which powertrain you opt for, the new 2022 Ford Maverick can haul 1,500 pounds in its bed. The rival Santa Cruz on paper has a payload capacity of over 1,700 pounds, but…