Automobile

2022 Ford Maverick First Drive Review: America’s Cheapest Hybrid Is a True Truck, Too

Rather than trying to hide that most of the Maverick’s interior surfaces are plastic, the design team embraced it and chose to get funky with unique moldings that add intrigue to otherwise mundane trim pieces. They didn’t shy away from color, either, as there are oranges and blues in addition to the typical blacks and greys, depending on the trim and exterior paint scheme. 

The Maverick’s 54-inch bed is a skosh longer than the Santa Cruz’s, though that’s not saying a whole lot. Ford has done what it can to make it as usable as possible, from both a space perspective as well as a utility standpoint with DIY-friendly features. There’s accessible 12-volt power on either side of the bed for rigging your own lighting solutions, and there’s also an available 400-watt inverter for when you need more juice. Then you’ll find slots for 2x4s to craft a makeshift bike rack or whatever comes to your genius MacGyver mind, and Ford plans to release virtual how-tos for anyone wanting to make the most of their Maverick’s aptly named FlexBed.

Simply Enough

I’m not saying it’s impossible to stump the Maverick—there’s always a load too big or a parking space too small—but in everyday life, it ought to be just right. Keep in mind the criteria that’s important to you and if this truck fits, it’s unlikely to disappoint. Ford built a small pickup that’s endearingly quirky and delightfully handy, all while keeping the price down and the value respectably high.

Your base Maverick comes with the hybrid engine, front-wheel drive, and the CVT. Other standard features include manual lumbar adjustments for the driver and front passenger, a remote keyless entry system, automatic high beams, an eight-inch infotainment screen, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking. Total base vehicle price comes to $21,490. The top-trim Lariat AWD I tested out had the Luxury Package ($3,340), the 4K Tow Package ($745), a full-size spare tire ($115), and a powered moon roof ($795). All in all, the total vehicle price was $37,080, so quite the jump over the standard truck.

There’s not much out there to compare the Maverick against except for the Santa Cruz, and the two are fairly evenly matched on paper. Whereas the Hyundai can tow more at 5,000 pounds, the Maverick hybrid stomps it in terms of fuel economy. Payload is where it gets a bit murky for the Santa Cruz as multiple sources list its max capacity at 1,748 pounds, which would be nearly 250 more than the Maverick’s; however, the real number seems to be 1,411 pounds. Pricing also falls in the Ford’s favor, with the Santa Cruz starting at $25,175 compared to the Maverick’s $21,490 entry point, as mentioned above. (All prices reflect destination charges.)

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