In June, Ford announced a critically important vehicle for the brand. That vehicle was the 2022 Ford Maverick. The 2022 Maverick is a small pick-up that promises excellent fuel economy to the tune of 40 MPG in the city for the hybrid trim. The Maverick is exactly the sort of vehicle Ford promised when it discontinued all of its cars in the US, except the iconic Mustang.
When Ford discontinued its cars, it didn’t have many vehicles that offered the sort of fuel economy its car fleet offered. Ford’s fleet was ripe with vehicles such as the Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion. Ford’s challenge with those small vehicles was making them as appealing as brands like Honda and Toyota. Ultimately, if any of Ford’s cars had sold well enough in the States, the automaker surely would’ve kept them in the US as it did in some other parts of the world.
The 2022 Ford Maverick is exactly what the brand needs with a small pickup that’s sort of a throwback to the original Ford Ranger that was much smaller and much less expensive than the Ranger pickup we have today. The Maverick is packed with all sorts of nice features, considering the truck starts at $19,995, and we will run down some of its best. The features below are in no particular order.
1. The Powertrain
Any list of best features for the Ford Maverick has to start with its standard powertrain. With gas prices soaring and a global push towards electrification, the standard full-hybrid engine in the Maverick makes it the only pickup in America to come standard with hybrid power. The engine under the hood of the little pickup is an Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder delivering 191 horsepower and 155 pound-foot of torque combined with the electric motor. The standard hybrid engine is only available with a continuously variable transmission driving the front wheels.
Many people may be unfamiliar with an Atkinson-cycle engine. It differs from the standard internal combustion engine by utilizing an expansion stroke that is longer than the compression stroke allowing the engine to provide improved thermal efficiency compared to a regular piston engine. Ford also points out that the hybrid powertrain utilizes an electric traction motor designed and manufactured in-house specifically to be lightweight and powerful.
Maverick buyers who want more power and towing capability can choose the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost producing 250 horsepower and 277 pound-foot of torque. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic and comes standard with front-wheel drive but can also be had with all-wheel drive. In many cold-weather states, people see all-wheel drive as a requirement.
2. Fuel Economy
The big benefit of having a standard hybrid powertrain for the Maverick is its very impressive fuel economy. Initially, Ford promised that it was targeting 40 MPG in the city for the standard hybrid powertrain. However, when the final EPA estimate was announced the vehicle was good for 42 MPG in the city. Ford expects to return 33 MPG on the highway and a combined rating of 37 MPG. That’s incredibly impressive fuel economy for a pickup truck. That’s better fuel economy in the city than the Honda Civic, with much more capability in towing and hauling for the Maverick. In fact, in our testing of the 2022 Maverick pickup, we achieved 40 MPG while carrying 1000 pounds of cargo.
The fuel economy won’t be as impressive for those who choose the more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost, but it is still quite good. According to the EPA, that version of the truck is good for 23 MPG in the city, 30 MPG on the highway, and 26 MPG combined in the front-wheel-drive configuration. When optioned with all-wheel drive, the Maverick returns 22 MPG in the city, 29 MPG on Highway, and 25 MPG combined.
3. Towing and Hauling
It may be hard to believe that a small pickup capable of 42 MPG in the city is also capable of towing and hauling just about anything the average homeowner would need. The little Maverick has a 4.5-foot bed in all trims and can carry 1500 pounds payload. It’s hard to visualize exactly what 1500 pounds of payload looks like, but that would equate to about 37 40-pound bags of mulch.
If you’re doing a DIY construction project in the backyard, the Maverick could also hold a similar amount of plywood or other large items. Ford also says there’s enough volume in the bed to carry a standard ATV for those who enjoy power sports. Certainly, we’ve all known the anxiety that comes with needing to purchase a large item, such as a TV or furniture, and wondering how exactly you will get it home. The Maverick might be a fuel-sipping vehicle, but it has the capability the haul most of what any homeowner would want.
All versions of the Maverick can tow 2000 pounds, which is enough to pull a pair of personal watercraft or a pop-up camper, among other things. For those who want more towing capability, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost version can be equipped with an optional 4K Tow Package doubling that tow rating to 4000 pounds. Ford says that’s enough for an average 21-foot boat or an even larger camper.
4. Infotainment Technology
There are some features in modern vehicles that you don’t realize you need until you have the opportunity to use them daily. For many, these needed features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both of these features are very similar and allow a smartphone to show some apps on the infotainment system’s screen. The screen, in the case of the Maverick, is eight inches wide and touch-sensitive. All versions of the truck use the same infotainment system.
When using either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, users can project navigation apps and others directly on the vehicle’s screen. It’s worth noting that the Maverick doesn’t have wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, there are adapters available to enable wireless connectivity on the aftermarket for those who find that important.
Ford also makes the Maverick standard with its FordPass Connect service with an embedded modem supporting Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 10 devices. Wi-Fi connectivity is particularly important for longer trips with devices like tablets or handheld game consoles that don’t have integrated Internet connectivity.
For those who are unfamiliar, FordPass Connect offers some interesting capabilities, including making it easy to find your vehicle, check your fuel level, remotely lock and unlock the doors, and remotely start or turn off the vehicle from the phone. Being able to start your vehicle in cold weather remotely is a feature that’s hard to live without. Remote start means less scraping ice off the windshield and no numb and cold hands gripping a frigid steering wheel on winter days.
5. Interior Design
Another of the very cool features of the Maverick is the design of the interior. Even on base models, the interior is well-designed, attractive, and while being minimalist, it’s not basic. In our 2022 Ford Maverick review, Chris Davies called the truck honest, and that’s a very good description. It doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not and delivers more than you would expect in a vehicle starting at under $20,000.
While the entry-level version doesn’t deliver some of the interesting colors of more expensive models, even the basic version has the same interior features. One of the things we particularly liked about the interior is that Ford doesn’t pretend the materials it’s using are anything other than what they are. That means no plastic textured to look like leather. Ditching that texturing also makes the vehicle interior easier to keep clean. Considering the pricing and capability, the Maverick is destined to be an affordable work truck for many owners.
To keep the price low, Ford didn’t go out of its way to hide screws, instead making them part of the design with an industrial look, and it pulled it off very well. We also particularly liked that Ford has eschewed the trend towards touchscreen controls for everything. Instead, the Maverick has big knobs and buttons for the HVAC system that can be adjusted while wearing gloves, which those working from the truck will be doing. Chunky physical controls are also very easy to manipulate and utilize without taking your eyes off the road. The doors are also designed with slots that accommodate one-liter water bottles, which end up tossed on the seat or the floor in most vehicles.
One of the more interesting features is a smartphone stand fitted into the center console giving your smartphone a place to be secured in the vehicle while driving. In some models, wireless charging is also available. It’s a bit strange to have wireless charging as a feature without having wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. That leads to a strange situation of being unable to share your content wirelessly to the infotainment screen but being able to charge without plugging in a wire. With the vehicle that Ford expects to appeal to younger buyers, spending slightly more money and integrating wireless CarPlay and Android Auto on versions equipped with the wireless charging capability would have certainly made sense.
6. FITS System
Perhaps one of the most interesting and innovative things that Ford has done with the Maverick is its FITS or Ford Integrated Tether System. The system utilizes eight different slots spread around the vehicle’s cabin that can be used for multiple accessories ranging from cupholders and bag hooks to other items. While being able to customize the storage and organizing options in your truck is interesting, the most interesting part is that Ford will release the CAD files. With access to these files, owners with access to a 3D printer will be able to build their own accessories.
Those with a more old-school bent might even find they can cut, carve, and paint wood to create their own accessories as well. Scattered around the Maverick are QR codes that can be scanned using a smartphone. Those codes lead directly to Ford videos highlighting modifications that can be made both to the Maverick’s interior and in the pickup’s bed. The system’s goal is to enable users to create their own accessories for the Maverick rather than being tied only to Ford accessories.
The FITS system in the interior of the pickup is mostly related to allowing rear seat passengers more comfort. Inside the truck is a slot on the back of the console for adding more cupholders, bag holders, cord organizers, and more.
7. Safety and Driver Assistance
While the Maverick is an affordable and efficient vehicle, it’s still packed with safety and driver assistance technology. Some of that technology is standard, and there’s a much broader range available optionally. The Ford Co-Pilot360 technology that comes standard includes Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and automatic high-beam headlamps. Automatic High Beam headlamps are a particularly important feature as high beams enable much better vision at night, but most drivers don’t use them.
Automatic high beam headlamps switch themselves on automatically without any driver interaction when the vehicle senses it’s safe to do so. Just as importantly, the high beam headlamps will turn themselves off to prevent blinding an oncoming driver. In addition, Ford offers other options for the Maverick, including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, and Lane Centering and Evasive Steering Assist.
The adaptive cruise control system can maintain distance from the vehicle in front. If traffic comes to a stop, the vehicle can stop completely without the driver turning off cruise control. When traffic begins moving again, it will follow the vehicle in front at the preset distance no matter the speed. That means in heavy traffic, the driver essentially has less to do and should be less likely to be involved in a rear-end collision.
The Maverick is packed with technology under the hood, inside the truck, and in its FLEXBED. Ford says the cargo box of the pickup can be transformed into a makerspace. That means there are plenty of opportunities in the bed of the truck to create your own storage and organizing systems without having to buy official accessories from Ford or a third party. The pickup bed is designed to be segmented using nothing but properly cut 2×4 or 2×6 boards utilizing slots stamped into the pickup’s bed.
To help secure loads in the bed, Maverick is equipped with two tie-down spots, four D-rings, and built-in threaded holes for owners to add their own accessories. Ford will offer a cargo management system for those who don’t want to build their accessories. However, by integrating the threaded holes into the truck’s bed, owners can easily add C-channel themselves. Just like in the interior, there are FLEXBED QR codes in the bed of the truck that link to videos showing some ideas for accessories that can be built.
Another very nice feature in the bed of the truck is standard built-in 12-volt electrical power prewired. The electrical wires are hidden under a removable cover on either side of the bed, allowing owners to integrate their own devices easily. In addition, there are available 110-volt 400-watt outlets in the bed and in the cabin with some models. The bed of the pickup for XLT and higher trims offers an integrated storage cubby on the side of the bed. Ford also designed the truck to haul full-size sheets of plywood, and the tailgate has multiple positions allowing loads to be placed into the bed in a completely flat orientation.
No list of best features would be complete without talking about pricing for the Maverick. The pickup has a starting MSRP of $19,995, which doesn’t include the destination delivery charge. That means purchasing a base Maverick will cost you over $20,000. With the destination charge of $1495, the actual MSRP for the cheapest Maverick you can buy with no options at all is $21,490. The XLT starts at $22,280, while the Lariat starts at $25,490 in hybrid trim (both without destination).
The optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost pushes the starting price on the XL to $21,080 without destination. Add the same engine to the XLT, and the vehicle starts at $23,365. The same option for the Lariat pushes the starting price to $26,575, again without destination. Adding all-wheel drive will tack on another $3305.
Rounding out the list of the top 10 features is the size of the Maverick. The Maverick is significantly smaller than the mid-size Ranger and the full-size F-150. However, many would consider it the right size for a capable pickup that needs to fit in a normal garage and be comfortable driving in the city. The Maverick is 199.7 inches long and 68.7 inches tall. To compare, the Ranger is 210.8 inches long and 73.3 inches high, and the F-150 is 231.7 inches long and 75.6 inches high. The dimensions of the Maverick still allow for plenty of interior space and hauling capability.
Maneuverability for many people is very important, and the Maverick has a 40-foot curb to curb turn radius. That should make the vehicle very easy to maneuver in city streets and will likely make the little pickup very popular for delivery fleets and city workers who need to haul things but don’t need a full-size truck.
With everything the Maverick has going for it, we expect the vehicle to be very popular with buyers. Ford is targeting a different audience with the Maverick that wouldn’t typically shop for a larger pickup. The target demographic for Maverick is likely to be a person who would otherwise end up in a smaller commuter car or SUV rather than someone considering an F-150. One of our favorite things about the Maverick is that it’s bringing back a time when pickups were affordable and much smaller than they have become in modern times. In decades past, if you wanted an affordable vehicle, little trucks were very high on the list of vehicles you considered, and the Maverick is bringing that back.