3 Reasons to Buy a Ford Maverick XL Base Model Instead of a Fully Loaded Lariat

If you’ve been shopping around for a fuel-efficient compact pickup truck, surely the 2022 Ford Maverick is on the list of options. Nothing is easier than automatically jumping to the top trim, especially one as affordable as the Maverick. However, that might not be smart for this specific model. Here are a few reasons why the Ford Maverick XL base model is better than the fully loaded Lariat.

You should buy a Ford Maverick XL base model, not a fully loaded Lariat

A red 2022 Ford Maverick, the XL base model is as good as the fully loaded Lariat.
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

Ford’s new standard hybrid pickup truck, the Ford Maverick, is an excellent new entry into the segment. One of its most significant selling points is the price. The 2022 Ford Maverick starts at just $20,000, but even the top trim Lariat only reaches $25,490 before adding options. It’s pretty tempting to buy that with such a modestly priced top trim instead of the more affordable model.

However, it might not be the best idea to buy the fully loaded 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat. There are a few reasons why the Ford Maverick XL base model is a better option. It all starts with the price since that’s an essential factor in buying any car.

The Ford Maverick XL base model is cheaper, even after adding options

2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck interior, the XL base model is as good as the fully loaded Lariat.
2022 Ford Maverick interior | Ford

Let’s face it; you’re going to want a few extras tacked on to your 2022 Ford Maverick. That means the cost is going to rise from the starting price of whichever model you’ve chosen. The XL starts around $5,000 cheaper than the Lariat with the hybrid engine. Once you add some extras like Ford CoPilot360 and a Tonneau Pickup Box Cover, it’ll be up another $1,700. Without adding anything else, plus a $1,495 destination charge, the total is up to $23,190.

Not only is that still not as expensive as the Maverick Lariat starting price, but it’s also significantly less than all those add-ons with the Lariat. Adding $1,700 to the Lariat model puts it well above the $26,000 mark, and it only gets worse. Specifically, all-wheel drive with the non-hybrid engine costs another $3,305, so the Lariat model is costly if you don’t want the hybrid powertrain.

You’re not going to drive off-road anyway

The Ford Maverick pickup truck, the XL base model is as good as the fully loaded Lariat.
The Ford Maverick is one of the new pickup trucks from this year | Ford

While the Ford Maveric Lariat with the FX4 package makes an excellent off-road pickup truck, you’re not going to use it anyway. Most people spend the majority of their time driving on the regular paved road. That means there’s no difference between the expensive Lariat off-road-focused truck and the lowest of the low XL base model. If both versions of the Ford pickup drive the same on-road, why would anyone pay for the more expensive option?

Road & Track had the chance to drive both versions of the Ford Maverick. “The fact that this charismatic, useful vehicle starts under $20,000 is hard to believe after spending time in one. Whether or not you like that it has a truck bed out back, the Maverick should be considered by anyone wading through the world of hatchbacks and crossovers at this price point.” wrote R&T. The reviewer noted that Ford put an extra $10,000 worth of upgrades into the Lariat FX4, which ended up at $37,650 with destination charges.

The Ford Maverick XL base model and Lariat are mostly the same

What’s the first thing potential pickup truck buyers ask about one? They ask about the engine, towing and hauling capacity, and more capability questions. Fortunately, the XL base model of the Maverick uses the same standard hybrid engine as the top trim Lariat. Additionally, the towing and hauling capacity are exactly the same. The only way to get more capability on a Maverick is to change to the non-hybrid engine.

The non-hybrid 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine allows Ford Maverick owners access to the 4K Towing Package. That’s the only way to get more out of your pickup truck. Moreover, the XL base model can swap to the same engine and get the same package as the Lariat. Therefore, the $20,000 XL and $35,000 Lariat are still the same truck with the maximum capability.

Should you buy a Ford Maverick XL base model or a fully loaded Ford Maverick Lariat?

RELATED: The 2022 Ford Maverick Is Stronger Than Expected

As with most automotive purchases, it depends on your personal needs. For instance, those who will use the Maverick Lariat FX4’s off-road capabilities and extra features should look no further. However, people who need minimal capability, excellent gas mileage, and an excellent price should stick with the XL base model. The 2022 Ford Maverick XL base model meets nearly all the needs of casual pickup truck owners using it as a daily driver. That’s why there’s no reason to buy a fully loaded Ford Maverick Lariat for most people.

RELATED: 2022 Ford Maverick: Ground Clearance Depends on the Drivetrain