Tuesday, November 30, 2021

2022 Ford Maverick


The 2022 Ford Maverick revives an old Ford nameplate but is a new —- and very much different — vehicle from its predecessor.

The 1970s’ Maverick was a compact sedan designed to challenge the imports beginning to arrive from Japan.

The 2022 Ford Maverick is a compact pickup truck that essentially is a truck for people who never really gave serious consideration to buying a pickup but always had the thought in the back of their mind.

It is the smallest of the company’s lineup of trucks and the first to offer a hybrid drivetrain as standard. The combination of a 2.5-liter gas engine and electric motor is mated to a continuously variable transmission and offers fuel mileage of up to 40 miles-per-gallon which, Ford tells us, makes it the most fuel-efficient truck on the market today.

Want more horsepower than the 191 ponies and 155 pound-feet of torque the hybrid offers?

An Ecoboost 2.0-lit 4-cylinder gas engine also is available. Matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission, it produces 250 hp and 277 pound-feet of torque and delivers up to 4,000 pounds of towing capacity when equipped with the optional 4K Towing Package. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive available.

EPA mileage figures are for the 2.0L are 23 miles-per-gallon city, 30 highway, 26 combined for front-wheel drive, 22/29/25 for AWD models.

Perhaps the remarkable thing about the Maverick is a starting MSRP of under $20,000 for the base XL trim that this review is based on. That’s before any options and the destination delivery fee are added on, but even then you would be hard-pressed to find a better bargain.

In addition to the the XL trim, the Maverick also features an upgraded XLT model starting at $22,280 and a top-of-the-line Lariat trim for $25,490.

Standard equipment on the XL includes a locked tailgate, LED automatic on/off headlamps, a second-row bench seat with under-seat storage, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a rotary dial gear shift with normal, tow/haul, slippery, eco, and sport drive modes for standard models and normal, tow/haul, slippery, mud/ruts, and sand modes for those with the optional F4 off-road package.

Bluetooth phone communications, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto also are included on the XL, and audio functions work off an 8-inch touchscreen.

But the XL model is pretty much basic when it comes to other convenience features. The driver’s window, for example, is one-touch up but not one-touchdown and the AC/heater is one-zone.

The Maverick is available only with a Crew Cab which features good space and is easy to get in and out of. The interior emphasizes function and simplicity. It made me think back to the pickups back in the day before they became fancy SUVs with cargo beds and luxury car price tags. 

No, you won’t find much in the way of fancy add-ons or plush materials in the XL, but upper trims offer more in the way of extras to upgrade the interior.

Exact pricing on my test XL was not listed on the spec sheet, but on the list of equipment in addition to the standard features were the 2.0L engine and 8-speed automatic, floor liners, rear-seat bins, manual rear sliding window, and Ford co-Pilot360 (blind-spot alert, pre-collision assist, rear park assist, and lane-keeping system).

The 4.5 foot bed also featured a spray-in bedliner.

By the way, if you were wondering about the color of my test vehicle in the pictures, I would call it some shade of blue. Ford calls it Area 51. Go figure.

What I liked about the 2022 Ford Maverick XL: The size is ideal for those who want a vehicle for runs to the local Lowe's or Home Depot and other such chores. You get both hauling capability and an easy vehicle to drive. Performance from the Ecoboost (turbocharged) 2.0L engine has lots of punch and more than doubles owing capacity to 4,000 pounds over the standard hybrid. The no-frills cabin isn't fancy by any means but is still very functional and comfortable. Infotainment functions are user friendly..

What I didn’t like about the 2022 Ford Maverick XL: The console could use a bigger storage bin. This is the first vehicle I’ve driven in quite a wheel that had steel wheels instead of alloy. The upgrades in upholstery and alloy wheels make the jump to the XLT trim worth the extra $2,255 in MSRP.

Would I buy the 2022 Ford Maverick XL? I would buy the Maverick, but I would splurge to get the XLT trim for the extras it offers. An upgraded interior likely would ease the spartan-like feel of the XL model.

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