Ford has resurrected a moniker from its largely forgotten 1970s compact car for its newest pickup truck: the 2022 Maverick. Based on the Ford Escape small SUV (which additionally supplies the architecture for the Bronco Sport), the Maverick is a small pickup truck that slots below the Ranger and the F-150 in Ford’s lineup.
Its unibody construction differs from the Ranger’s and F-150’s classic body-on-frame construction, but the Ford Maverick pickup still delivers some impressive tow ratings. It also has lower pricing and a more nimble size than its larger siblings. This makes the Maverick a solid choice if you want the versatility of a pickup but don’t need all of the capability offered by a midsize or full-size truck.
Also of note: The Ford Maverick can be a hybrid. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to produce a combined 191 horsepower. The EPA estimates this Maverick will get 37 mpg combined (42 city/33 highway), which is considerably better than other pickups. If you’re looking for more power and a more traditional driving experience, there’s an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 250 hp.
And what about doing pickup-type stuff? Well, there’s a 1,500-pound payload across the lineup regardless of engine. That’s respectable even by midsize-pickup-truck standards. Tow ratings are impressive too, at least when you consider the Maverick’s small size. Maximum towing capacity is up to 2,000 pounds with the hybrid powertrain and as much as 4,000 pounds with the turbo 2.0-liter engine and optional towing package.
The Ford Maverick may be small, but it’s no city runabout. From the way it drives to its few-frills interior, the Maverick feels like a truck first and foremost. This is a compact pickup for towing and hauling with confidence — just at a smaller size and lower price point than other trucks on the market. Check out our test team’s Expert Rating to get our full evaluation of the new Maverick’s performance, capabilities and more.
Edmunds Expert Rating
Steering and handling aren’t as satisfying, however. The Maverick feels more like a traditional truck in this sense. The steering wheel feels satisfying in your hands, but any sense of the road underneath is vague, and there’s an appreciable amount of body roll when going around turns. The Maverick is a bit stiffly sprung so midcorner bumps will upset its handling a bit too.
Off-roading isn’t a strong suit for the Lariat trim level, which is what we tested, but there’s a decent 8.3 inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive to be had. Plus, you can get the optional FX4 package if you want to go even farther off the beaten path.
How comfortable is the Maverick? When it comes to comfort, the Maverick embraces more of the truck vibe than its Hyundai Santa Cruz rival. Over broken or bumpy roads, it has a choppy ride quality that never seems to go away. The seats are firmly padded but supportive, and they hold up over long trips. But there are hard plastic door panels right next to your knees, and they’re uncomfortable to brace against when navigating down curvy roads.
There isn’t much noise from the engine on the highway, but it’s a bit unrefined at idle and under full-throttle acceleration. We also noticed a strikingly loud drivetrain noise coming from beneath the rear floor that we couldn’t identify. These traits are a bit of a harder pill to swallow on the top-trim Lariat.
How’s the interior?
You’ll love the Maverick if you like your truck interiors simple. There aren’t a lot of frills or buttons, but finding the controls you need is very easy. Getting in and out requires some ducking of heads for most, but once you’re inside there’s a decent amount of headroom all around. The driving position is relatively upright, and the driver’s seat and steering wheel don’t offer much adjustability. Legroom is limited in the rear seat, as is the space under the front seats for feet.
The Maverick’s boxy cab, however, provides excellent visibility. Big, squarish windows mean that you can see well in every direction, and while they’re a bit on the small side, we like Ford’s useful integrated blind-spot mirrors.
How’s the tech?
Without the optional Luxury package, there isn’t much tech to explore inside the Maverick. You do get an 8-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and it’s quick and easy to connect, but that’s about where it ends. The standard stereo is pretty underwhelming when it comes to output volume.
Spring for the Luxury package and you’ll receive adaptive cruise control, enhanced voice controls, an upgraded 8-inch screen, a wireless charging pad and lane keeping assist. A lot of these driver aids and options missing from our top-trim test vehicle come standard on the base Hyundai Santa Cruz.
How are the towing and storage?
The Maverick’s party piece is the massive number of cubbies and interior storage areas. The doors can accommodate huge water bottles, the rear underseat storage is relatively large, and there are all sorts of useful dividers in the large center console. The Maverick has mastered small-item storage.
Loading in a large car seat will be a bit difficult because the top tethers are located behind the folding rear seats. Plus, the underseat storage is accessed by lifting up the entire rear seat bottom, so you’ll have to remove any child seats to get underneath. What a pain.
The Maverick’s maximum towing and payload capacities are impressive for such a small vehicle: 4,000 and 1,500 pounds, respectively. The Maverick also offers a four-pin and seven-pin connector and an integrated trailer brake controller, the latter of which is missing in the rival Hyundai Santa Cruz. So while the Santa Cruz ultimately has a higher overall towing capacity, the Maverick is better equipped to tow straight from the factory.
How’s the fuel economy?
With the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and all-wheel drive, the Maverick gets an EPA rating of 25 mpg combined (23 city/30 highway). That’s an impressive number that we were able to easily beat in the real world. On our 115-mile real-world evaluation route, our test Maverick returned 27 mpg in mixed driving. On the same route, a Santa Cruz actually topped that by 2 mpg, but the real trump card here is the Maverick’s hybrid powertrain. EPA estimates say the hybrid Maverick will return a segment-topping 37 mpg combined (42 city/33 highway). That beats most non-hybrid compact sedans.
Is the Maverick a good value?
At its entry price, there’s no denying the Maverick’s appeal. An EPA estimate of 37 mpg with the hybrid engine and a starting price just under $22,000 are both very impressive. Our test vehicle, however, came in at nearly $32,000 and it was missing a considerable number of options. There were no driver aids and some other creature comforts that come standard on other trucks. The optional Luxury package adds in many of those desirable features, and we think it’s worth the money.
A three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty is pretty typical among trucks, and that’s what the Maverick gets. But the Santa Cruz blows it out of the water with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The Maverick is relatively nondescript. It accomplishes its mission of looking like a truck, and therefore it goes mostly unnoticed. The optional engine is peppy and it can be relatively fun to drive, but there is a more entertaining vehicle in the class.
We give it some credit for its efficient hybrid engine, along with its no-frills interior and low starting price. Pair that with a functional and easy-to-use bed, and you’ve got a unique offering, but not one with a ton of personality.
Which Maverick does Edmunds recommend?
Much of the Maverick’s appeal comes from its low price. As such, get the midlevel XLT. It doesn’t have many additional standard features over the base XL, but it does give you more choice should you want additional options. The best value for the Maverick also comes from sticking with the base hybrid powertrain.
Ford Maverick models
The 2022 Ford Maverick is a compact crew-cab pickup that’s available in three main trim levels: XL, XLT and Lariat. Each trim comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a hybrid system to produce a combined 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. This combo sends its power to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
- This thing is pretty quick to 60 mph, under 6.5 seconds. Simple to launch; powerbrake, rpm settles around 2,600, release the brake. It’s a little quicker when you let the rpm settle and are in Sport mode, but otherwise no other tricks to shave time off here. I tried “Low” and that didn’t do anything, and turning traction control off also does not help. The transmission shifts pretty quickly the first two shifts and then the 3 to 4 shift takes just slightly longer. Engine feels responsive and spunky. No way to manually select gears, but it will rev match on downshifts if you have a Low selected.
- Excellent braking stability from 60 mph, very minimal steering wheel wiggle and doesn’t stray off its path. There’s a little bit of residual bouncing as you come to a complete stop, but otherwise this is a very solid and confident braking experience. The pedal also keeps its firmness and there’s minimal brake dive. Pretty much feels like an SUV from the driver’s seat. There are the usual antilock braking noises, but they’re not excessively loud.
- Feels relatively nimble but the soft tires don’t lend a ton of cornering grip. Body roll is kept in check for the most part and the steering, although not offering much feedback, is accurate and returns good effort. The experience behind the wheel of the Maverick definitely feels more truck-like than in the Santa Cruz, but it’s far less floppy than any midsize truck. Seems like Ford wanted to leave some of that truck feel in.