NASHVILLE, Tenn. — We’ve been trying ahead to driving the 2022 Ford Maverick for a very long time now. Again when the compact pickup truck was first revealed, we at Autoblog said how we every thought we’d configure ours, have been we to purchase one. I believed I’d decide a base hybrid, and add the Ford Co-Pilot360 driver help bundle (and a console secure). This was earlier than I’d had the prospect to even see the truck in individual, not to mention drive it. Nonetheless, my most well-liked configuration got here out to a mercifully low $22,895. Now that I did lastly get to see the Maverick in individual and spend an excellent variety of miles on- and off-road in a number of variations, I used to be keen to search out out if my preliminary ideas would maintain true.

We’ve seen loads of pictures of the Maverick, and have even noticed prototypes testing across the Metro Detroit space, nevertheless it wasn’t till we stood subsequent to at least one that we actually realized how diminutive this truck is. At a peak of simply 68.7 inches — 4.6 inches decrease than the Ranger, and 6.9 inches shy of the F-150, we might see proper over the roof. It’s, in any case, constructed on Ford’s C2 modular platform shared with the Escape and Bronco Sport. However for such a little bit pickup, it’s bought an enormous character.

The Maverick’s commonplace powertrain is a hybrid system, with a 2.5-liter engine and electrical motor making a complete of 191 horsepower 155 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid is just out there with front-wheel drive, nevertheless it’s the effectivity darling with a focused gasoline economic system score of 40 miles per gallon metropolis and 33 mpg freeway. The hybrid is rated for a 1,500-pound payload and a pair of,000 kilos of towing.

Stepping up into the two.0-liter EcoBoost engine earns you a complete of 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. It shares the hybrid’s 1,500-pound payload, however can tow as much as 4,000 kilos with the out there tow bundle ($745). It does away with a repeatedly variable transmission in favor of an eight-speed computerized. Selecting the EcoBoost additionally means you may go for all-wheel drive, which additionally swaps the impartial torsion beam rear suspension for a multi-link setup.

Whatever the powertrain, the Maverick could be had in one among three trim ranges: XL, XLT and Lariat. The bottom XL trim begins at $21,490 (together with $1,495 in vacation spot charges) for the hybrid. The EcoBoost provides $1,085 throughout trim ranges, whereas all-wheel drive provides an extra $3,305. Lastly, for many who need to enterprise additional off the crushed path, the all-wheel-drive Maverick XLT and Lariat trims supply the FX4 bundle ($800) with all-terrain tires, a specifically tuned suspension, additional underbody safety, Mud/Rut and Sand drive modes, in addition to hill descent management. A completely loaded Lariat with EcoBoost, all-wheel drive, FX4 bundle, 4K tow bundle, Ford Co-Pilot360 and the Lariat Luxurious bundle rings in at $35,715.

The inside of the Maverick is an fascinating place. Price-saving measures dictate the inclusion of numerous laborious plastics, however we see and really feel fascinating shapes and textures. The plastic throughout the highest of the sprint has a grain harking back to canvas. We see fascinating colours from the inclusion of floor carbon fiber byproduct in different laborious plastics. The door panels are molded to offer storage for a large number of water bottles of varied sizes and styles (and I’m thrilled to report {that a} 32-ounce Nalgene matches snugly within the rear door). The door armrest is minimize out, leaving a cantilevered seize level full with uncovered fasteners for a rugged, utilitarian look. There are storage cubbies beneath the middle stack, subsequent to the usual 8-inch touchscreen and on prime of the sprint behind the display. The rear is house to extra hidden storage within the cavernous bins beneath the second-row bench.

The Maverick’s humble mattress is a mere 4.5 ft, nevertheless it’s intelligent as hell and packed filled with utility. It’s nonetheless sufficiently big to suit a pallet of mulch, with an ordinary 1,500-pound payload. There are slots the place one can match items of lumber to make use of as dividers. The multi-position tailgate can tether to separate pins to carry it in a center place, leaving the highest of the tailgate degree with the wheel arches and permitting it to hold 4×8 sheets of plywood in a flat, degree place. As much as 10 mattress tie-downs and a cargo administration system assist you to safe your load. A pair of tailgate tie-downs double as bottle openers. There are two pre-wired 12-volt retailers for wiring in your individual equipment, and an out there 120-volt outlet lets you plug in instruments or home equipment. Cubbies within the facet of the mattress permit for additional storage, and a false flooring in these cubbies could be eliminated to accommodate one thing like a two-liter bottle. So, yeah, it’s not the most important mattress round, nevertheless it’s one of many smartest.

Ford has left numerous leeway for house owners to give you their very own do-it-yourself options, whether or not that’s constructing a false flooring or bike rack within the mattress, wiring in lights or different electronics, and even 3D printing holders or dividers to slot in the Ford Built-in Tether System (FITS) dovetail slots behind the middle console or within the under-seat storage space. You’ll discover QR codes printed on sure cubbies within the automobile and the mattress. Scanning these will take you to concepts, elements lists and directions for a few of these DIY initiatives. In fact, Ford is blissful to promote you a motorcycle rack or $50 price of equipment for these FITS slots, however acknowledges that its truck prospects traditionally take these form of initiatives into their very own fingers. Discussion board dwellers, you realize what to do.

Because the Maverick’s measurement would recommend, it’s a simple automobile to drive, whether or not navigating the visitors and parking a number of downtown, cruising scenic highways or rural gravel roads. I drove the hybrid first and headed out of city and up the Natchez Hint Parkway. The hybrid’s instantaneous torque make it desirous to get underway, and its 191 horsepower is ample to assist it carry pace uphill. After about an hour of driving, from the town to the hills outdoors Nashville, it effortlessly returned about 39 miles per gallon, largely within the truck’s Regular driving mode. Later, with a half-ton of mulch within the mattress and utilizing the Tow/Haul mode, the hybrid-powered Maverick nonetheless drove simply as simply, although not as effectively. The one quibble to search out with the hybrid was the brake really feel — barely sensitive at first, however a little bit gummy as you dig deeper into the pedal. It was simple to get used to and neglect about, although.

Driving the EcoBoost with all-wheel drive supplied what most drivers will discover to be a extra acquainted, if barely noisier, drive expertise. It’s positively faster to make passing maneuvers and a bit extra surefooted in corners and on unfastened surfaces. Plus, it may be outfitted to tow that most 4,000 kilos if want be. Its eight-speed computerized transmission can be extra palatable to sure consumers, although the hybrid’s CVT behaved admirably. Both manner, there’s no choice to shift by yourself.

We bought to spend a little bit time within the FX4 bundle on some muddy, rocky farm trails. The FX4’s monotube suspension, we’re instructed, higher dissipates the warmth for a extra constant viscosity and a trip that holds up beneath extra exercise. The underbody safety did its job, deflecting a few of these larger rocks from the mechanicals beneath the automobile. The FX4’s Mud/Rut and Sand modes assist present confidence, whereas hill descent management makes descending these steep grades lots much less fraught. It appeared effective for many of the sorts of driving one may have to get to a campsite, throughout a farm or to a looking blind. We suspect even the bottom, front-wheel-drive Maverick might do lots if outfitted with the precise tires. And at that worth, it might probably make an honest various to a side-by-side for these types of labor duties.

So, after experiencing the Maverick first-hand, it holds as much as and even exceeds my expectations. Would I nonetheless decide a comparatively stripped down hybrid? Most likely. However when a completely loaded Mav nonetheless rings in properly beneath $40,000, it’s laborious to suppose that any configuration wouldn’t be a candy purchase. I’m keen to wager the car-buying public will agree. The large query now could be, can Ford construct these items quick sufficient?

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