2022 Ford Maverick assessment: Principally glorious

With a easy, rectangular grille and unadorned flanks, this boxy pickup’s exterior styling is apparent and paying homage to an F-150 from the early 1990s, however do not let its austerity dissuade you. The Maverick is chock filled with intelligent options and its inside is much extra versatile — and hospitable — than you may think.

It is nowhere close to as visually fascinating as Hyundai’s swanky Santa Cruz, however the Maverick is an sincere rig, one which serves as Ford’s entry-level product now that it not presents small vehicles within the US. And like as we speak’s hatchbacks and sedans, it is constructed on a unibody structure and comes normal with front-wheel drive. Obtainable in three trim ranges and completely with a four-door physique, 5 seats and a 4.5-foot cargo field (half a foot longer than the Santa Cruz’s), this rig was designed for light-duty use and drivers which have by no means owned a pickup earlier than.

One function first-time truckers are positive to understand is the modern Flexbed, which is ready to deal with as much as 1,500 kilos. However that is not all. The Maverick’s low trip peak coupled with the field’s quick sidewalls means it is a cinch to succeed in in and seize issues. The tailgate locks in a mid place, which lets you slide requisite 4×8 sheets of constructing materials proper in on high of the wheel wells. This mattress additionally contains a vary of tie-down factors and D-rings, making it simple to safe cargo. There are threaded holes within the sidewalls so you’ll be able to mount equipment, lined storage nooks can be found and varied pockets are stamped into the Sheetmetal to accommodate 2x4s or 2x6s so you’ll be able to construct your personal dividers or assist cargo in numerous methods. Like bigger Ford vans, you’ll be able to even get a 110-volt energy outlet within the mattress.

The Maverick’s cabin is simply as modern. The door panels are designed to accommodate 1-liter bottles in an upright place so they don’t seem to be rolling round in every single place. There are many cubbies and the rear-seat cushion lifts, revealing extra storage bins or permitting you to hold bigger cargo. What’s absent, nonetheless, are frills. Do not count on Nappa leather-based, open-pore wooden furnishings or laser-etched speaker grilles. Nonetheless, regardless of its lack of gildings, the Maverick manages to really feel richer than its price ticket.

2022 Ford Maverick XLT AWD

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2022 Ford Maverick XLT AWD

No frills, and that is superb.

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Except for the armrests, all the things inside is manufactured from exhausting plastic, however fascinating textures and shapes maintain this cabin from feeling like a cage of injection-molded disappointment. The sunshine-gray trim contains a refined diamond faceting that provides some aptitude, although it is also made with bits of floor up carbon fiber, which provides energy and offers an interesting speckled sample. Orange accents brighten the inside, whereas glorious ergonomics and simple-to-operate controls assist make this a contented place to be. Not even the molded steering wheel seems to be or feels egregiously low-cost. Automotive designers: That is the way you do a low-cost inside.

This midrange Maverick XLT’s seats are lined in beautiful two-tone material that appears nice and feels good. The entrance buckets are supportive and all-day comfy, although the rear seat is merely enough. Adults match OK, however the backrest is a contact too upright and legroom is scarce.

In step with its ultra-low worth, this truck doesn’t have push-button begin, that means you need to stick an old style key into the steering column and provides it a twist. (How retro!) An 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Automobile Play is normal gear. Regrettably, this show is a bit low-res and oddly off-center on the dashboard. Much less-than-favorable viewing angles imply issues look washed-out from the driving force’s seat. At the least the Sync three infotainment system is intuitive and snappy. Embedded navigation is not supplied at any worth, so ensure that to carry your cellphone and a cable.

2022 Ford Maverick XLT AWD

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2022 Ford Maverick XLT AWD

Sync three is fairly primary however simple to make use of.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Different normal gear consists of computerized excessive beams and pre-collision emergency braking. This XLT mannequin additionally options computerized brake maintain and blind-spot monitoring, which is included with lane-keeping help and a full-size spare tire within the $540 Ford Co-Pilot 360 package deal. The Maverick is obtainable with some upscale facilities, simply do not count on all the most recent bells and whistles. Issues like adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality, lane centering, a reverse-sensing system, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are on the menu.

A hybrid powertrain serves base obligation within the Maverick, delivering a decent 191 horsepower and a ridiculous 37 mpg mixed (42 mpg metropolis, 33 mpg freeway). For light-duty use or simply puttering round city, go this route, although in order for you all-wheel drive, the flexibility to tow as much as 4,000 kilos (when correctly outfitted) or favor one thing somewhat spunkier, seize the out there 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. It delivers a stout 250 hp and 277 pound-feet of torque.

That uplevel powerplant makes for a surprisingly good truck engine, delivering potent efficiency all through the rev vary. Punch it and the Maverick leaps off the road, urgent you again into the seat with a agency, sustained shove till the transmission grabs the following gear. That EcoBoost engine can be a paragon of refinement. Begin it up and you do not really feel a factor — no shudders and nil vibration. It is simply as silky whereas working, making little noise and remaining as clean as whipped butter. The stop-start system is clear, too, seamlessly killing the engine whereas ready at purple lights and restarting it immediately.

This little truck is surprisingly practical.

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A normal eight-speed computerized transmission helps allow the Maverick’s sprightly efficiency. Throughout, this unit flirts with greatness, seamlessly slurring between gears and simply dropping ratios when you could speed up. The one grievance I’ve is usually you’re feeling it downshifting whereas rolling to a cease.

With all-wheel drive and the two.0-liter engine, count on 22 mpg in metropolis driving and 29 mpg on the freeway. Mixed, this model of the truck is rated at 25 mpg, although in blended use I am getting greater than 27 mpg and that is with out even attempting. Choosing front-wheel drive will increase the Maverick’s EPA scores by 1 mpg in all three classes, although they’re nonetheless a far cry from what the hybrid can ship.

Except for its versatility and powertrain refinement, what’s additionally stunning concerning the Maverick is its highway manners. This compact pickup is whisper quiet at velocity and the agency trip manages to be silky, with no grittiness, vibration or clunks to be felt. The steering is good and heavy but additionally exact, giving the automobile a planted really feel. Throw in a superb driving place plus good outward visibility and you’ve got a truck that drives higher than some luxurious automobiles.

This can be a very competent little truck.

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Because it sits, this truck checks out for about $29,845 together with $1,495 in vacation spot charges and a modest $4,985 in choices. All-wheel drive and the EcoBoost engine account for about two thirds of that upcharge, whereas Ford Co-Pilot 360, the FX4 off-road package deal, 17-inch wheels, a spray-in bedliner and all-weather flooring mats make up the distinction. Lower than 30 grand for this glorious little pickup makes it virtually the cut price of the century, as a result of keep in mind, the common new-vehicle transaction worth within the US as we speak is properly over $40,000.

I feel the Maverick is best than any midsize pickup on the market, save for the also-built-on-unibody-architecture Honda Ridgeline. Easy and affordably priced, but nonetheless pleasurable to drive and many succesful, this compact rig is extra cohesive than the bigger Ford Ranger, higher thought out than the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins and extra comfy than a Toyota Tacoma. The equally new — and equally sized — Santa Cruz may beat the Maverick due to its extroverted design and extra upscale inside. Till we do a proper comparability it is not possible to say for sure, however that may be a take a look at I look ahead to conducting.

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