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2022 Ford Maverick: Low-buck truck with serious smarts

Packing a standard hybrid and unparalleled efficiency, America's least-expensive pickup is deeply clever and good to drive.

Chris Paukert
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2022 Ford Maverick
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This is the 2022 Ford Maverick and not only is it America's least-expensive pickup, it's also America's cheapest hybrid vehicle of any type.

2022 Ford Maverick
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Pricing for this compact truck starts at a jaw-droppingly low $21,490 -- and that includes $1,495 for destination fee).

2022 Ford Maverick XL
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Combined with its 94-kW electric motor, the Maverick hybrid's 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder is estimated to return 40 miles per gallon in the city, as well as 33 mpg on the highway and 37 combined. That urban test figure is around double the fuel efficiency of Ford's own midsize ranger. 

2022 Ford Maverick
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You can certainly option up the Maverick, however, including fitting a gas-only 2.0-liter EcoBoost powertrain. The latter is rated at 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, so it's much more powerful than the hybrid model, which only gets 191 hp and 155 lb-ft. It's also the only engine you can get with all-wheel drive.

2022 Ford Maverick XL
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Even base Maverick models include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. It's actually roomier than the midsize Ranger and feels more modern inside, too.

2022 Ford Maverick
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At its Nashville launch event, Ford let us test out the Maverick's towing, hauling and (modest) off-road capabilities.

2022 Ford Maverick
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Maverick's main competition is the recently launched Hyundai Santa Fe, which has a wilder design but is significantly costlier, plus it's a lot less efficient than Ford's hybrid.

2022 Ford Maverick
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The Maverick can be had with a 4K towing package, enough to tote a small trailer, boat or a pair of ATVs on a double-axle trailer.

2022 Ford Maverick
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See? Told you it could haul a small trailer.

2022 Ford Maverick
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While the base Mav starts at around $21,500, it's possible to option one to around $37,000 if you check enough boxes. That said, the base XL hybrid might be the best Maverick -- it certainly is in terms of bang for the buck.

2022 Ford Maverick
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Keep clicking and scrolling for more images from our first drive of the 2022 Ford Maverick.

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