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It’s that time of year when automotive publications choose their best cars, trucks, and SUVs. Not only did The Drive select the best SUV, car under $40,000, and EV, but it chose the best overall vehicle for the year. Surprisingly, the best car of 2022 is a truck, specifically the 2022 Ford Maverick. What made the team of experts award this honor to the entry-level pickup? Are affordable, compact trucks the future?

The best car of 2022, according to The Drive

A white 2023 Ford Maverick in the desert, the best car is a truck, according to The Drive.
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford Media Center

According to The Drive, the best car of 2022 is the Ford Maverick. As an American publication, it’s no surprise that pickup trucks are valued more than any other type of vehicle. However, we have to agree that the Maverick is changing the game. Starting at just $21,490, the Ford pickup provides “trucky” features to owners for less than a Honda Civic.

Not to mention, the standard hybrid powertrain turns it into the fuel-efficient truck we’ve all been waiting for. How many buyers don’t get a pickup they’d often use because it’s expensive or averages terrible gas mileage? Ford’s latest compact truck offering solved a few common problems, and others will follow suit.

Why is the Ford Maverick the best?

Front angle view of orange 2023 Ford Maverick, which is cheaper that all other new pickup trucks
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

Although it’s called a pickup truck, the Ford Maverick wasn’t built to compete with the F-150, Ram 1500, or Chevy Silverado. It’s not even meant to compete with tinier alternatives, like the popular Toyota Tacoma. As The Drive put it, “it’s more of a pickup-bed-equipped alternative to stuff like Civics and Corollas-all while undercutting the former, believe it or not, when it comes to base price.”

Creating a wildly affordable, drivable, car-like pickup is perfect for today’s automotive market. Drivers who’ve bought a midsize truck, or even an F-150, for its usability are no longer forced into paying a high price at the dealer and the gas pump. According to TD’s review, the Maverick handles well, has a roomy front seat, can tow up to 4,000 pounds, and has a 54-inch bed that’s longer than its closest rival’s (the Hyundai Santa Cruz). Lastly, customizability is at the forefront with all the 3D printing possibilities for accessories.

It’s changing the game

We, as consumers, aren’t the only ones to notice how good the Ford Maverick is. Providing an affordable but usable pickup was a game-changer for Ford and other automakers. In addition, it helped to see every Maverick model being sold out within minutes for roughly two years. It was only a matter of time before competitors got the same idea. Currently, the closest rival is the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which is more expensive, doesn’t offer a hybrid powertrain, and (a negative for most truck buyers) a Hyundai.

As a result, we’re not surprised to see other significant truck-makers join the fun. For example, the Ram Dakota and Toyota RAV4 Truck are coming to dethrone the Ford Maverick. Both are rumored to come as affordable, entry-level compact trucks competing against the Maverick. Like it or not, the Ford model changed the pickup game going forward, and that’s worth recognition.

The Drive: The best car of 2022 is the Ford Maverick

In conclusion, the best car of 2022 is the Ford Maverick, according to The Drive. When this publication ranked its many vehicles, one stuck out more than the rest. An entry-level compact truck costing less than most sedans but still providing towing/hauling capabilities is sure to catch any buyer’s eye. Add a hybrid powertrain and phenomenal fuel economy during some of the highest gas prices America has ever seen, and you’ve got yourself the perfect tiny pickup truck.


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