America’s first standard, full-hybrid powertrain pickup truck gets better gas mileage than a Honda Civic — and costs less, too. Meet the Ford Maverick.
The utility and versatility of pickup trucks ought to pique most car buyers’ interest. It’s no coincidence that for decades, one of the most reliable bellwethers of the American economy has been annual truck sales.
But three key drawbacks prevent most folks — especially those living in or near cities — from joining the ranks of truck owners: fuel economy, size, and price. Enter the Maverick, Ford’s answer to that Holy Trinity of car shoppers’ needs.
“The Maverick … is like nothing else out there. It’s a great-looking truck featuring four doors with room for five adults, a standard full-hybrid engine with city fuel economy that beats a Honda Civic, plenty of towing and hauling for weekend trips or do-it-yourself projects, and it starts under $20,000,” Todd Eckert, Ford truck group’s marketing manager, said in a press release. “Maverick challenges the status quo and the stereotypes of what a pickup truck can be. We believe it will be compelling to a lot of people who never before considered a truck.”
Here’s what you need to know about this category-shaking pickup, available this fall.
Ford Maverick Pickup Truck
An Impressive and Powerful Powertrain, With Options
While car-trucks of yore — think El Camino, Ford Eldorado, and most recently, Subaru Baja — have historically seen lackluster reception, Ford hopes the unibody, pickup-forward aesthetic will succeed.
The Maverick’s main selling points are its fuel economy (40 mpg estimated in the city), compact, easy-to-parallel-park size and, above all, sub-$20,000 base price. For $19,995, buyers get 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid-electric powertrain.
That base model pumps out 191 horsepower (combined with the electric motor) and 155 pound-feet of torque. This model is front-wheel-drive only via a CVT. However, Ford offers a 2.0L EcoBoost gas engine option that can accommodate all-wheel drive from an 8-speed automatic transmission.
According to Ford’s specs, the hybrid powertrain will provide a 500-mile range on a single tank, handle a 1,500-pound payload, and carry a 2,000-pound towing capacity. But level up to the EcoBoost, and you’ve got 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. And you can add in a tow package to double the capacity to 4,000 pounds.
To put that in perspective, Ford says the Maverick will haul an ATV in the 4.5-foot bed (6 feet with tailgate down), and the base model can tow a “good-sized pop-up camper trailer.” The EcoBoost, meanwhile, will tow a 21-foot boat.
Affordable & Variable Trim Levels
The standard Maverick — the XL — is the baby in the family. But the XLT and Lariat models offer up more luxury and features. They also open the door to Ford’s FX4 off-road adventure package — including tow hooks, off-road drive options, hill descent control, skid plates, and more.
The XLT starts at $22,280, and the Lariat opens at $25,480 — all three models offer the hybrid and EcoBoost powertrains. You can compare and customize the Maverick models here.
The Multifaceted and Customizable FLEXBED System
Ford also touts the versatility built into the box, which it dubs the FLEXBED system. The Maverick’s bed length is 4.5 feet long across all models, but that utility space expands to 6 feet with the tailgate down.
Plus, the multiposition tailgate can lock in a halfway position. It also supports up to 500 pounds and has tie-down clamps that double as bottle openers.
But the bed itself strikes an interesting compromise between a blank slate for DIY hacks and a versatile, upgradeable all-in-one solution. For instance, after watching folks use and modify their existing cargo beds, Ford added stamped segment slots into the FLEXBED. This allows owners and handypersons to slide in 2×4 or 2×6 lumber to create bed sections for more secure storage.
Ford also offers a premade, bolt-in “cargo management system” for buyers who prefer a plug-and-play solution that does the same thing.
“The whole bed is a DIY fan’s paradise,” said Keith Daugherty, an engineering specialist who helped develop the truck box for Maverick. “You can buy the bolt-in Ford cargo management system and we’re happy to sell it to you, but if you’re a bit more creative, you can also just go to the hardware store and get some C-channel and bolt it to the bed to make your own solutions.”
The bed also has campers and contractors in mind, with a variety of power options. And it’s designed to prevent hazards some users might not be aware of.
“People have forever been hacking into their wiring harness to run things like lighting, air pumps, and other useful accessories,” said Maverick electrical engineer Gaby Grajales. “This is a better solution — we’re enabling customer needs while protecting the taillamp wiring and creating a fused circuit to avoid compromising the overall electrical system. With this, you have the option to select the factory-available box lighting or install your own home-built lighting setup, or even invent a whole new use for the 12-volt access points.”
Two tie-downs, four D-rings, and built-in threaded holes in the sides round out the FLEXBED features. And for more ideas on how to fully utilize the FLEXBED, the Maverick has a QR code loaded with info.
Interior, Tech That Might Make Your Current Rig Seem Antiquated
The Maverick comes standard with an 8-inch center touch screen that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. FordPass Connect allows owners to find the truck, check the fuel level, lock and unlock the doors, and start or turn off the vehicle from their phone. It also has an embedded modem and Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices.
As for the comfort inside the cab, Ford says the Maverick customer wants “simple, but not basic.”
“Maverick is all about thoughtful details executed well,” said Barb Whalen, who led the team in choosing materials and colors. “We want this to have a straightforward, durable, honest, well-built feel.”
Whalen said the interior incorporates both functional design hits and strategic material choices for “purpose and ease of cleaning.”
“We’re using unique textures and materials like reground carbon fiber for strength and visual interest,” Whalen said. “The dash panel has a stonelike finish, like a super-durable synthetic countertop. We strategically placed pops of color for functionality — creating an energetic space you want to be in.”
The 2022 Ford Maverick goes on sale this fall. The build and price website is live. Build and reserve your Maverick here.
For a full rundown of the Maverick’s features and specs, check out our coverage on AutoWise.