Immediately after testing the two-door Ford Bronco, a Ford Maverick replaced it. The Maverick is a compact pickup truck in a segment that has been dormant for nearly three decades. Along with the Ranger and F-Series, the all-new Maverick solidifies Ford’s leadership in all matters of pickup trucks.
Ford sent a 2022 Maverick Lariat our way, the highest of three trim levels offered. Priced from just $19,995 for the base XL trim, the Maverick is by far the lowest-priced model of its kind. The XL is followed by the XLT ($23,445) and the Lariat ($26,945). Add $1,495 for the destination charge.
Besides its compact size, the Maverick is unusual in another way. Specifically, a hybrid drivetrain is standard equipment, while a turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a $1,085 upgrade. The hybrid is front-wheel-drive only, but the turbo offers available all-wheel drive. The 2022 Maverick comes with four doors, seats five, and features a 4.5-foot-long bed (3.5-feet wide between the wheel housing).
2022 Ford Maverick Lariat
On our first day with our test Ford Maverick Lariat model, we took photos and drove more than 60 miles. While that is not enough time and distance for a full review, we can easily share our first impressions here. So, without further delay please read on for our initial findings.
Unlike the Ranger and F-Series, the Maverick features unibody construction and rides on the same platform underpinning the Ford Focus compact car. The Focus is no longer offered in the states (it remains popular in Europe and other markets), but its supporting architecture lives on in the Maverick.
Notwithstanding the crossover-like frame, Ford managed to give the Maverick a strong truck-like look. This means a long and wide hood, an upright front fascia, beefy roof pillars, and a drop-down tailgate are present. From every angle, the Maverick exudes its truckiness with its rugged persona.
Room for Five
On paper, the Maverick seats five. Ideally, four is the way to go. Yet, squeezing three in the back seat is possible. No, the Maverick is definitely not designed with crews in mind, but it can serve quite well as a second family vehicle, one we think will make many trips to the garden center for mulch and to the recycling center to drop off yard waste, aluminum and glass, and small pieces of furniture.
But for the individual looking at his or her first vehicle, the Maverick is too difficult to ignore. First, its low price is a winner. You can buy this truck, add a few comfort features, and drive off paying under $25,000 for that privilege. Second, the rear seat folds up, revealing a decent compartmentalized storage area. Yes, you can get a tonneau cover for the truck bed, but squirreling away things inside the cabin is always welcome.
The Lariat with the turbo engine, all-wheel drive, and the Luxury Package with Ford Co-Pilot 360 retails for $35,060. The price includes the destination charge and $7,780 in accessories.
It was not hard for us to fall in love with the fully loaded Maverick. We are just as certain that Ford intends that to happen for many buyers. After all, when comfortable leather seats are offered, it is difficult to ignore them.
The standard equipment package with the Lariat includes LED headlamps with signature lighting. The bed has the usual tie-downs along with two cubby compartments. Other features include a power-sliding rear window, ambient lighting, and push-button start. A power driver’s seat, ambient lighting, and an LED instrument panel round out the offerings.
Lariat Luxury Package
Besides the plush leather seats, the Lariat Luxury Package adds an upgraded bed tie-down system with a pair of locking brackets. In the bed is a 400-watt, 110-volt inverter (a second one is inside, rear compartment), a spray-in bedliner, and LED box lighting. Other upgrades include heated side mirrors, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an 8-speaker B&O audio system. Satellite radio, smartphone compatibility, and an upgraded infotainment system are included.
Expanded safety features, including evasive steering, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control with full stop and go are included. This package incorporates a wireless charging pad, two USB ports, and a trailer hitch with four pins.
That Ford made a hybrid powertrain standard with the Maverick is a stroke of genius. Especially with gas prices pushing past $4 per gallon. Indeed, with an EPA rating of 42 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway for a combined 37 mpg, the standard Maverick looks downright awesome.
The hybrid includes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission. This powertrain combination delivers a combined 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque.
Our test model came with the available 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. This combination delivers 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Ford included all-wheel drive with ours.
The fuel economy is 23/30/26 mpg city/highway/combined with front-wheel drive and 22/29/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. The hybrid offers a significant edge in the fuel efficiency arena.
On the Road
The engine is a fine match for the Maverick. Robust step-off acceleration, generous amounts of power, and a quick-spooling twin-scroll turbo make all the difference here. Not once did we detect turbo lag and we were certainly happy about the amount of power on tap.
That said, the eight-speed transmission could use some adjusting – the gears either held too long or the transmission was found “searching” for the right cog. Ford may have the transmission tuned to “sport” mode, but the gear seeking is a curious phenomenon.
The steering is more truck- than car-like. This means it is sufficiently weighted, but also a bit imprecise. The Maverick feels planted while navigating twisty roads with only minimal body roll detected. Beefy brakes help bring this truck to a certain stop.
While behind the wheel of the Maverick, it feels more car-like overall, but everything else about this model belies that. We appreciate the commanding seating position and the terrific forward sightlines.
Ford’s Hit Parade
Ford has a knack for producing exceptional trucks, although we won’t say the current Ranger is that. On the other hand, the F-Series and Maverick are at the top of their game, leaders in the compact and full-size pickup truck categories. We think the Maverick will easily sell as Ford reopens a market long ignored by the industry.
See Also — History of the Ford Maverick
Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.