Why the 2022 Ford Maverick's bed is the most versatile cargo box in the business
With a slew of tiedown points, a multi-position tailgate and easy access to electrical power, the Flexbed is super versatile and a DIYer's dream.
Craig ColeFormer reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
The new 2022 Ford Maverick is poised to shake things up in the truck business, offering incredible fuel economy, value and versatility. When it goes on sale in the fall, this compact pickup will be one of the most adaptable vehicles on the road thanks to its innovative cargo box.
Ford calls the business end of this truck the Flexbed, which sounds like some as-seen-on-TV product designed to exercise your pelvic muscles, but it's so much more than that. The Flexbed is designed to help you organize and secure cargo, whether it's a couple mountain bikes, furniture or even a load of mulch. According to Ford, this feature-laden cargo box is the result of nearly a year-and-a-half of development work.
No matter the model or powertrain, the Maverick's bed can hold up to 1,500 pounds, enough to classify it as a so-called "half-ton pickup" and then some, but this space is only 4.5 feet long, pretty short. Fortunately, it expands to about 6 feet with the tailgate down.
The 2022 Ford Maverick's innovative Flexbed is ready for action
Speaking of the tailgate, it offers three different postures: fully closed, all the way open and, by repositioning the support cables on the sides, it can be locked in a mid-position, which allows you to haul four-by-eight building material across the tops of the Maverick's wheel wells. All in, this truck can handle 18 sheets of three-quarter-inch plywood without having to load them in at a janky angle. And that is damn impressive. Locked in the mid-position, the Maverick's tailgate can support a husky 400 pounds.
The Flexbed also features up to eight bed tie-downs including convenient D-rings, two cleats on the tailgate that double as bottle openers, there are four threaded holes in the bed sides so you can mount various accessories like an aftermarket Ford cargo management system (or ones you create yourself) and the bed features eight stamped pockets to accommodate two-by-fours and another two that fit two-by-six dimensional lumber so you can make your own cargo dividers or even install a false floor for maximum versatility. Protecting the bed from dents and dings are plastic rail caps. They run along the perimeter, including on the tailgate, and then up next to the rear window.
One major benefit of the Flexbed is its short sidewalls. Coupled with the Maverick's low ride height, drivers of nearly any stature can reach in and grab cargo stored there. Ford engineered it so fifth-percentile women (read: very short ladies) can access the bed without issue. Try this with your typical full-size pickup these days and you'd better bring a ladder. When it's time to load cargo, the bed's lift-in height with the tailgate down is less than 30 inches, which is pretty close to a passenger car.
The Flexbed's versatility is further bolstered by power. Yep, this sucker's electrified. The Maverick offers up to two 110-volt, 400-watt household outlets, one in the cabin and another in the bed so you can run a range of appliances. Beyond that, 12-volt power is also easily accessible at the rear on either side of the cargo box, so you can hardwire your own electrical accessories if you want. This is standard on every model and includes a separate fused circuit, so you don't have to tap into the taillamps for power and risk screwing anything up.
Providing added storage space, up to two in-bed cubbies are available. They're mounted in the cargo-box sidewalls and come with latching plastic covers. These bins are a great place to stash a small air compressor, jumper cables, a trailer hitch or other small items you may not want to keep in the truck's cabin. What the Maverick does not offer, unfortunately, is an in-bed trunk like the larger Honda Ridgeline.
The 2022 Ford Maverick will be built in Hermosillo, Mexico and should start at about $21,500 including destination fees. This pipsqueak pickup is expected to go on sale in the fall. With a standard hybrid drivetrain that should return 40 mpg city, bargain-basement pricing, maneuverable dimensions and of course that super-versatile Flexbed, the new Maverick looks like a real winner.