is helping to revive a long-extinct truck segment. Along with the upcoming , Ford's new Maverick is a compact pickup, noticeably smaller than the midsize . With a super-affordable price tag, stellar fuel economy courtesy of its standard hybrid powertrain and spacious, thoughtfully designed interior, the Maverick could be a runaway hit, especially with first-time truck owners.
Keeping things simple, the Maverick will be available in three trims: XL, XLT and Lariat. But no matter the model, its cabin dovetails nicely with the exterior. This pickup's styling is unusually straightforward, with simple lines, squared-off forms and no unnecessary creases, swoops or tacked-on trim. Mirroring this, the dashboard is boxy and highly functional. The primary controls are easy to see and reach, plus designers color-coded certain human-interface points including the air-vent controls, center-console storage cubby and door grab handles. This adds a splash of color and subtly encourages you to reach out and touch these areas.
2022 Ford Maverick: This super-affordable hybrid pickup could be a gamechangerSee all photos
Speaking of the door panels, they're of a unique design with an interrupted grab handle you can grip in a variety of ways. This was done so the pockets can accommodate more stuff, including a large, 1-liter water bottle. They stand vertically and drop right in, easy peasy.
Since the Maverick starts at about $20,000 you can't expectlevels of material quality. Nearly everything inside this truck is made of hard plastic except for the armrests, which are suitably plush (thank goodness). There may be an abundance of hard surfaces, but nothing is shamelessly chintzy. Designers went with unique textures rather than simulated leather, which is what gets used in so many vehicles these days. One of the most interesting materials employed is the light-gray trim on the dashboard and door panels. It features diamond-like facets and is made with reground carbon fiber, which adds strength and gives it a unique speckled appearance that should help hide dirt and grime.
The dashboard's most prominent feature is the standard 8-inch touchscreen. It's home, at least in the top-shelf Lariat model, to a Sync 3 infotainment system. There's a cubby to the right of this display, which pushes it a couple inches closer to the driver, making it easier to reach, but this arrangement looks a bit odd. The storage space seems too small to be of any real value. Naturally, and are included across the range, though these smartphone-mirroring systems cannot connect to the Maverick wirelessly, so make sure to bring a cable. A 4.2-inch driver-information display is standard, though a larger 6.5-incher is offered.
A wireless charging pad is available in the new Maverick, which is a great place for the driver to stash his or her phone. A convenient handset rest for the front passenger is also included and up to four USB ports are offered. An unexpected luxury is the electronic rotary shift dial, which is also a prominent part of the center console.
Thecomes standard with an embedded modem and a FordPass Connect 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to 10 devices. When activated, this allows you to find your Maverick in a crowded parking lot, check the fuel level and tire pressure, keep tabs on when it's time to go in for an oil change and more, all remotely from your smartphone.
For an added touch of luxury, a B&O sound system with eight speakers is available on the Lariat trim. Shrewdly, engineers located the rear speakers up in the C-pillars, not in the door panels. This provides more storage space in the backseat and allows you to easily and securely carry a mountain bike, just pop the front wheel off and it should fit no problem.
Surprisingly, comfort is one of the Maverick's strong suits. The front buckets are supportive and about chair-height off the floor and there's a decent amount of headroom and legroom in the backseat, which should easily accommodate two adult passengers. Not surprisingly, the middle position is pretty tight, so plan accordingly. Flip that lower cushion up and you'll find a generously sized storage bin that's large enough to hold a fully inflated volleyball, various tools or a laptop bag.
Making it easy to customize the Maverick's interior is the Ford Integrated Tether System, or FITS for short. There's a special slot at the rear of the center console that allows owners to install a variety of accessories, including ones they 3D print themselves. This could include bag hooks, extra cup holders or even a smartphone mount. Ford will publish the dimensions of this opening so people can start getting creative.
Thecould be a groundbreaking vehicle. With a base price of about $20,000 plus its welcoming and versatile interior, this compact truck could bring many new customers to the Ford brand, and it may even convince a few full-size pickup owners to downsize to something a little more manageable. Look for this little rig at blue-oval dealerships in the fall.