Back in the late 90s, small SUVs like the Isuzu Amigo, the Chevy Tracker, and the Land Rover Freelander gained some popularity for their small size. They were dubbed the “cute utes,” as their diminutive statures were adorable in comparison to larger counterparts. For some reason, the recent debut of the 2022 Ford Maverick reminded me of this past blip in the automotive timeline.
Maybe it’s because the Maverick is a compact truck that will compete with other small trucks like the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Maybe it’s because of the technology that the Maverick will be available with. Either way, this latest debut from Ford has me wondering: What’s so great about the Maverick?
The Ford Maverick is the first full-hybrid truck
Let’s address the elephant in the room first: the hybrid powertrain. That’s right, the 2022 Ford Maverick will come standard with a hybrid powertrain and it’s the first truck to do so, according to Ford. That powertrain will consist of a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and mated to a CVT that sends power to the front wheels only.
Altogether, the hybrid setup will produce 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque and will achieve up to 40 mpg in the city. If that’s not great, then we don’t know what is. However, those who crave power over fuel efficiency can opt for the more robust 2.0-liter, turbocharged Ecoboost powertrain available on the higher trim levels. That setup will produce 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque and will be available in front-drive or all-wheel drive.
Maybe the Maverick’s capability makes it great
Power and fuel economy aside, a true truck can’t really be a truck unless it has the capability that truck drivers need. As such, the Ford Maverick proves its worth with its ability to tow up to 2,000 pounds when it’s equipped with its standard hybrid powertrain. And when it’s equipped with the Ecoboost setup, that number doubles.
As far as payload goes, Ford rates the Maverick at respectable 1,500 pounds. The truck’s unibody construction could have something to do with that.
Maybe it’s the truck’s tech-savvy features
Now that we know that the Maverick can hold its own in the great outdoors, let’s see what it can do at the job site. The Maverick has a unique FLEXBED design, which means that it has numerous storage compartments and everything you need to secure cargo to the bed; from bikes and kayaks to lumber.
According to Keith Daugherty, one of Ford’s engineering specialists, “The whole bed is a DIY fan’s paradise. You can buy the bolt-in Ford cargo management system and we’re happy to sell it to you, but if you’re a bit more creative, you can also just go to the hardware store and get some C-channel and bolt it to the bed to make your own solutions.”
Another feature you’ll find in the truck bed is a 110-volt outlet so that you can plug in power tools and complete projects in the back of your Ford Maverick. It’s a nice, and necessary, touch for those who need to work in the field and it’s another part of what makes the Maverick so great.
It could be the pricing as well
Ford hasn’t released the full pricing structure for the Maverick yet, however, it does say that the compact truck will start at a very low $19,995. That’s going to be hard for rivals to beat, even if they are made by Hyundai.
Either way, the Ford Maverick is great for many reasons
No matter which way we cut it, what makes the 2022 Ford Maverick so great is a culmination of all of the aforementioned features. Considering just about every automaker will be flooding their lineups with hybrid and electric vehicles in the near future, Ford is getting ahead of the game with the full-hybrid Maverick. Just when we thought the “cute-ute” phase was over, I guess we can now look forward to the “cute hybrid truck” phase that could be coming soon.