Ford's Maverick is America's lowest-priced pickup and its cheapest hybrid

Ford's new small truck comes with a standard hybrid powertrain good for 40 mpg, and it starts at $21,490 delivered. Is it a gamechanger?

Craig Cole Former 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).
Craig Cole
7 min read

You're looking at the 2022 Ford Maverick compact pickup, and for being such a little guy, this small truck might just have the goods to shake up America's automotive industry. Promising a unique blend of versatility, fuel efficiency and bargain-basement pricing, Ford says this unibody-based trucklet offers up to 40 miles per gallon from its standard hybrid powertrain. Yes, it has a full hybrid powertrain, standard. Did we mention it's priced from $21,490 ($19,995 MSRP plus $1,495 for destination)? That should make for some super-thrifty running. Want more info? Keep reading, friends.

2022 Ford Maverick
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2022 Ford Maverick

The Maverick slots into Ford's lineup underneath today's Ranger and should attract very different buyers.


With the 2022 Maverick, Ford is taking a new tack at responding to customer needs -- namely, American buyers' insatiable demand for trucks. The automaker no longer offers any sedans (at least in America), but nonetheless, this vehicle is designed to appeal to small-car buyers, people who never knew they wanted a pickup in the first place. With a crossover-derived unibody structure, much of which is shared with the Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs , the Maverick should feel very familiar to drivers who are used to driving traditional passenger cars. A low ride height means this little rig is easy to get into and out of, plus its generously sized windows provide unobstructed outward visibility.

In some key aspects, the new Maverick is similar to Honda's ingenious and pioneering Ridgeline, which is sized to compete with midsize trucks such as the Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. The upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz, however, is more of a direct competitor to this Blue Oval product, though, and that's about it for traditional rivals. There really aren't any other compact trucks available in the US today, which is both a real shame and a huge opportunity for Ford and Hyundai. In fact, one could argue that the Mav's biggest rivals aren't pickups at all -- and they might not even be new vehicles. (Our man Paukert thinks the Honda Civic might be the Maverick's biggest competition, of all things).

Ford says it subjected the Maverick to the same rigorous testing that its larger F-Series pickups endure. According to the automaker, that equates to an impressive-sounding but totally nebulous 19 million miles of simulated and real-word evaluation. The Maverick was subjected to all kinds of conditions, from snow and sand to salt-water baths, plus plenty of torture testing to ensure it can work and play like a traditional pickup.

Watch this: 2022 Ford Maverick: Big truck features, pint-sized package

Tough truck looks in a smaller package

The 2022 Ford Maverick boasts its own look that's quite different from Ford's larger, blockier F-Series models. Strangely, the truck's low beltline does not dip down near the side-view mirrors like it does on its larger stablemates, though there is a subtle crease in the door skin that pays homage to this signature design flourish.

With a sturdy, squared-off body and big grille, the Maverick reminds us of an F-150 from the early 1990s. That prominent front opening is flanked by standard LED headlamps, which include automatic high beams. Overall, this trucklet is honest, no-frills and refreshingly simple, much more traditionally truck-like than the upcoming Santa Cruz. It will be interesting to see if small car buyers gravitate toward this fashion-forward Hyundai or the boxier, more conventional styling of the Maverick.

2022 Ford Maverick: This super-affordable hybrid pickup could be a gamechanger

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2022 Ford Maverick Specs

Maverick HybridMaverick EcoBoost
Engine 2.5-liter hybrid I42.0-liter turbo I4
Power 162 hp (191 hp total)250 hp
Torque 155 lb-ft277 lb-ft
Transmission CVT8-speed auto
Max payload 1,500 pounds1,500 pounds
Max towing 2,000 pounds4,000 pounds
Wheelbase 121.1 inches121.1 inches
Length 199.7 inches199.7 inches
Width 72.4 inches72.4 inches
Height 68.7 inches68.7 inches
Passenger volume 100.3 cubic feet100.3 cubic feet
Cargo volume 33.3 cubic feet33.3 cubic feet

Every version of this new Ford pickup features a SuperCrew body and has room for five people. At a hair less than 200 inches in length, the Maverick is considerably smaller than the midsize Ranger, something that should make it a snap to maneuver in tight quarters or city centers.

At the rear, "Maverick" is stamped into the tailgate in capital letters, so everyone knows what this truck is called. Plastic rail caps run the perimeter of the bed, including alongside the rear window and across the edge of the tailgate, where a small spoiler is integrated. This should help protect the sheet metal from scratches and dings. Curiously, the truck's license plate is mounted asymmetrically, to the right-side of the bumper, so there's room for the trailer hitch in the middle.

Business in the front, party in the Flexbed

The cargo box is the business end of any pickup truck and the Maverick's is one of the most versatile in the business, even if it's only about 4.5 feet long. This so-called Flexbed is chockablock with clever features, and according to Ford, is the result of nearly a year and a half of development work.

The Flexbed is loaded with tie-down points, features several convenient D-rings for securing cargo and even comes with a range of pockets so you can install two-by-four or two-by-six pieces of lumber to create custom dividers or even a false floor. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

2022 Ford Maverick - Flexbed
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2022 Ford Maverick - Flexbed

Note how low the bedsides in the Maverick are. With many trucks today, you practically need a stepladder to do this.


The bed also offers a 110-volt power outlet, up to two covered storage nooks (depending on configuration) and easy access to 12-volt juice on both sides of the bed so you don't have to tap into the taillight wiring when installing your own accessories. Another major benefit of this compact truck is its low ride height and short bed sidewalls, which make it easy to reach in the cargo box to grab items you've stashed there. Try doing this with your typical half-ton truck these days and you basically need a stepladder because they're so towering. With the tailgate down, this pickup's lift-in height is super low at less than 30 inches.

The Maverick's tailgate can be locked in a mid-position where it can support up to 400 pounds, so you can easily haul four-by-eight sheets of building material in this pint-sized pickup. They slide right in on top of the Maverick's wheel wells, though once loaded they do stick out past the truck by about a foot. All in, the Maverick can handle up to 18 sheets of three-quarter-inch-thick plywood, a damn-impressive amount of lumber. The tailgate also features integrated tiedown cleats that double as bottle openers.

Hybrid or EcoBoost, the choice is yours

The 2022 Ford Maverick offers two different powertrains, with a fuel-sipping hybrid setup being standard fare. This system is centered around a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that's augmented by a 94-kilowatt electric motor that was developed in-house by Ford and tested to truck durability standards. A continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive are also included. Altogether, this drivetrain delivers 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. The fuel economy, however, should be absolutely stellar. Ford estimates hybrid-propelled Mavericks should return a whopping 40 mpg city. Engineers are targeting an equally impressive 37 mpg combined score for this truck, which will make it more efficient than some small cars.

If you need more oomph -- and capability -- a conventional powertrain is also available. The truck's optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder delivers a stout 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of twist. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. Examples fitted with the former powertrain configuration are equipped with a torsion-beam rear suspension, models that have the latter feature a multilink design.

2022 Ford Maverick - side view
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2022 Ford Maverick - side view

The compact Maverick could be the perfect truck for many drivers these days.


No matter the drivetrain, this new Maverick's maximum payload is 1,500 pounds. The hybrid system enables this truck to tow a rather unimpressive 2,000 pounds, enough for a couple jet skis. Fortunately, the EcoBoost engine is available with a trailer-two package that allows the Maverick to drag up to 4,000 pounds, a much more impressive figure, enough for a 21-foot boat or a similarly sized camper.

An FX4 options group is on the menu, too, available on the XLT and Lariat trims. This includes things like all-terrain tires mounted to 17-inch wheels, an upgraded suspension and underbody shielding. Beyond that, it gets you a higher-capacity radiator, an upgraded cooling fan and hill-descent control, among other things.

A simple, purposeful cabin

Matching its exterior, the Maverick's cabin is pleasantly straightforward, with plenty of storage space underneath the rear seat and in its uniquely designed door panels, which can easily accommodate 1-liter water bottles. It's easy to get into or out of this truck because of the convenient ride height and there's a similar amount of interior volume as in the Ranger. The overall design is rugged and spunky, but free of any superfluous frills.

Nearly everything in the Maverick is made of hard plastic except for the armrests, something your elbows will appreciate. The various plastics feature unique textures rather than simulated leather, which provides a unique look. Bright colors liven things up and indicate certain human-interface points. For instance, the door pulls, air-vent controls and center bin are all accented with contrasting hues to indicate their functionality.

2022 Ford Maverick - interior dashboard
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2022 Ford Maverick - interior dashboard

Like its exterior, the Maverick's cabin is simple and functional, but not without flair on this higher-end trim.


As for tech, there's a rotary gear selector on the center console and the dashboard is punctuated by a standard 8-inch infotainment screen. Naturally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are baked right in, though neither connects wirelessly. When it comes to safety equipment, there's a surprising amount. Automatic emergency braking and automatic high beams are standard, but you can get the Maverick with high-end goodies such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.

For a dash of customizability, the Maverick features something called the Ford Integrated Tether System, FITS for short. Basically, this is a slot at the back of the center console that enables you to attach various accessories to the vehicle, including things you design and 3D print yourself. This could include extra cup holders, bag hooks, a phone mount, and much more.

Reservations and pricing

The 2022 Ford Maverick goes on sale this fall but you can build and price and even reserve one on Ford's website right now. Keeping things simple, it will be available in three trim levels: XL, XLT and Lariat.

As for pricing, as mentioned earlier, this truck starts at just $21,490 including $1,495 in destination fees, an incredibly low figure that's about half the average new-vehicle transaction price in the US right now, meaning the Maverick should appeal to drivers that might otherwise be shopping for an economy car. Go all-in on a Lariat model with every option and this pickup should top out at around 38 grand, which still makes it a screaming deal.