The 2022 Ford Maverick has been a big hit so far with consumers and critics alike. The Maverick is an all-new compact pickup truck with a standard hybrid powertrain and a near-unbeatable price tag. With a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds, it’s also a good workhorse for light jobs.
The Ford Maverick is currently one of the most highly-recommended pickups ranked by Consumer Reports. Even so, it’s still a distant number two to the best of the bunch: the Honda Ridgeline.
Consumer Reports loved the Ford Maverick
Consumer Reports gave the Ford Maverick a high overall rating and high ratings on the road test because of its excellent handling. The Maverick’s steering wheel provides some welcome feedback and you won’t experience too much lean around corners.
It also feels quicker than every other body-on-frame pickup available, especially with the optional 250 hp turbo-four. The standard hybrid engine has 191 hp, giving it slower acceleration and a smaller towing capacity.
Still, the hybrid Mavericks deliver an impressive fuel economy rating of 37 mpg combined. Consumer Reports turbo tester with AWD achieved 23 mpg combined in real-world testing. That’s actually two points higher than the EPA’s estimated mileage for the Honda Ridgeline.
Like many trucks, the Ford Maverick’s ride is predictably firm and downright jittery at times. The engine isn’t necessarily loud, but it reportedly sounds like a “turbocharged blender” at any given time. Drivers will also hear a lot of exterior noise at highway speeds.
Consumer Reports testers weren’t impressed with the Maverick’s cabin, which is filled with cheap materials. Still, seat access is easy and drivers have great visibility inside.
Overall customer satisfaction is predicted to have a near-perfect score. Based on the Ford Maverick’s three recalls, Consumer Reports only gave the truck an average anticipated reliability score.
Why the Honda Ridgeline is superior
The Honda Ridgeline outranks every other compact and full-size truck on Consumer Reports, with an even higher overall score. Consumer Reports gave the Ridgeline a similar overall score on its road test, highlighting its cozy ride and useful features.
The Honda Ridgeline has just one engine choice, a V6 with 280 hp on tap. It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard AWD. During its real-world fuel-economy test, it got 20 mpg combined.
While it’s less efficient than the Ford Maverick, Consumer Reports testers enjoyed the Ridgeline’s relaxed suspension more. The Honda Ridgeline also lacks the Maverick’s annoying engine drones and has a more upscale cabin. While it doesn’t feel as agile as the Maverick, the Ridgeline actually has a faster acceleration time.
The Ridgeline’s cargo bed, while somewhat shallow, is also more functional. The bed itself is made from long-lasting, scratch-resistant composite materials. The cargo bed also features a built-in trunk with a lock, allowing you to store extra items safely. The gate can swing outwards or be dropped down like a conventional cargo bed gate.
The Honda Ridgeline may be around $20,000 more than the Maverick but it’s clearly the more well-rounded of the two. Honda’s truck boasts a near-perfect reliability rating from Consumer Reports and the best customer satisfaction score.
What’s the worst compact pickup truck for 2022?
According to Consumer Reports, the Ford Maverick and Honda Ridgeline are leagues ahead of the Jeep Gladiator. This truck has a very low overall score because of its unruly handling, plasticky interior, and excessive noise levels.
Still, the Jeep Gladiator has a near-perfect customer satisfaction rating due to its impressive off-roading performance. If that’s all you’re after, the Gladiator is probably one of the best trucks for you. Just be prepared for a lot of potential problems with an extremely low predicted reliability.