“Talk to me, Goose!”
It’s hard to not think of as many Top Gun references as you can when talking about a pickup truck called Maverick. But if you get past some of the silliness in those references, you’ll see that the 2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck is a segment game changer and further proof that, when it comes to pickup trucks, Ford knows what it’s doing.
The compact Maverick starts as a hybrid. That’s right, the standard version of the truck is a hybrid. That standard truck makes a combined 191 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.
Power is sent to the front wheels on the hybrid through a CVT. The powertrain appears to be similar to what Ford is offering in the Escape, but does have specific components to deal with the heavier duty truck application.
It is a pickup truck, too, designed to do truck stuff. The maximum payload of the hybrid version of the truck is 1,500 pounds, and has maximum tow rating of 2,000 pounds.
Ford is targeting an EPA rating of 40 mpg in the city, too, making it one of the most fuel efficient trucks on sale when it does go on sale later this year.
The kicker to all of this is the price, which Ford says starts at $19,995 without the destination charge. With the mandatory $1,495 delivery charger, the Maverick starts at $21,490. That’s inexpensive for any vehicle, let alone a hybrid that seats 5 and has a pickup truck bed attached.
Standard equipment includes an 8-inch touch screen with support for both Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Also standard access to FordPass Connect, which allows owners to remote start the truck and perform other features from their smartphones thanks to an embedded modem.
Standard safety features from the Co-Pilot360 suite include Automatic Emergency Braking and Automatic High Beam Headlamps.
The big thing though is that there is a pickup truck bed attached to all of this. Ford is calling it a Flexbed, and it’s designed to accommodate both aftermarket accessories as well as people who want to DIY their own stuff.
Flexbed has a tailgate that can support 400 pounds. There are two standard outlets for plugging in a laptop or a television. There are several pre-wired 12-volt endpoints for hooking up lighting and other power.
“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.”
Ford will even offer videos so that people can DIY their Flexbed and provide ideas. There’s a QR code printed to every truck bed that’ll link to Ford’s website full of product ideas.
Combined with Maverick’s Ford Integrated Tether System — FITS — DIYers can 3D print accessories for inside the truck, and head to the hardware store to make accessories for the bed.
This is the first time that we’ve seen any automaker embrace the Maker mindset the way that Ford is with the Maverick pickup truck.
For those who don’t want a front-wheel drive truck, there is an upgraded 2.0-liter EcoBoost with all-wheel drive, but you lose the hybrid functionality. The front-drive architecture is likely fine for most markets, and helps keep the starting price down.
For $21,490, the Maverick offers more space and more features than most other cars on the market, and that’s before adding in the standard hybrid setup. Ford isn’t targeting the Hyundai Santa Cruz here, but they’re going after a whole group of people who want an inexpensive vehicle and never thought they could own a truck.
They’re probably going to sell billions of these things.