Trucks are getting bigger and bigger with each passing generation, but Ford is now addressing this issue by introducing an entry-level pickup in the United States. Engineered to do battle with the Hyundai Santa Cruz, the new Maverick takes the role of a unibody compact utilitarian vehicle with four doors, five seats, and a 4.5-foot bed.
Interestingly, Ford will be selling the 2022 Maverick with a hybrid powertrain as standard, combining a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter gasoline engine of the Atkinson-cycle variety with an electric motor. Together, the two deliver a combined 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet (210 Newton-meters) of torque channeled to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The Blue Oval is targeting an impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon in the city and 500 miles (805 kilometers) of range on a single tank of gas. Even with the standard hybrid powertrain, the Maverick is capable of towing up to 2,000 pounds, which Ford says is enough for a “good-sized” pop-up camper trailer or a personal watercraft. The payload capacity stands at 1,500 pounds.
All these assets come at an impressively low starting price of just $19,995 for the base XL trim level, with XLT and Lariat versions featuring more equipment also planned. Ford will sell the two more expensive flavors of the Maverick with an optional FX4 package provided the truck is equipped with all-wheel drive. The extra kit adds off-road upgrades including different suspension, all-terrain tires, additional underbody protection, and dedicated Mud/Rut and Sand driving modes complimented by Hill Descent Control.
Speaking of AWD, it can be had by ordering the compact truck with the beefier 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which delivers 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet (376 Newton-meters) of torque via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The turbocharged four-pot is also offered with a FWD layout, but you’ll want AWD and the optional 4K Tow Package to tow 4,000 pounds.
Ford will have the Maverick on sale this fall, but the configurator is already up and running on its website. Early adopters can get a fully loaded First Edition only during the truck’s first 12 months on sale. It’s based on the high-end Lariat trim and rides on 18-inch glossy black machined wheels on the hybrid model and 17-inch alloys on the EcoBoost version.
The special version can be painted in Area 51, Carbonized Gray, and a First Edition-exclusive Rapid Red shade. Regardless of choice, the Maverick First Edition has unique graphics on the lower doors and hood, combined with a glossy black roof, body-colored door handles, and a soft tonneau cover.