The 2022 Ford Maverick Is a Complete Waste of Time

The compact pickup used to be really popular and really cool. Japan was the master of these tiny, tough, unkillable little masterpieces. Although they were sweet, lived forever, and sold like ice water in hell, long gone are the days of the first little Hilux, the Datsun pickup, and B series Mazda. The folks behind the blue oval say they are trying to bring back the compact truck, but the 2022 Ford Maverick isn’t really the same thing and feels like a waste of time. 

Who is the 2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck really for?

In fact, the Maverick feels bigger than it feels like it should. Especially considering that Ford recently released the updated Ford Ranger in all its smaller-truck glory. And, the Ranger looks way cooler than the Maverick. Why did Ford take a classic model name, apply it to a totally different model, and make a slightly smaller verison of something they have one trillion of? These are the tough questions. 

How does the 2022 Ford Maverick Compare to the 2021 Ford Ranger?

I mean, it’s not that different in size, but it is less capable, so… As Pickup Truck Talk says, back in the day, there were pickups and trucks, and no, they weren’t the same. A truck was a large industrial piece of farm or construction equipment, while a pickup was a car-sized vehicle with a bed meant for light-duty work. Somewhere along the way, the two vehicles merged, making the pickup truck. 

The need for small, light-duty trucks is real. Most people don’t need to tow 10,000 lbs. Trucks have gotten so big and capable that the price tag has gotten out of reach for many people. Smaller, simpler trucks can help with that, but Ford already did it with the Ranger. 

A blue 2020 Ford Ranger XL SuperCrew drives on a paved snowy mountain road
2020 Ford Ranger XL SuperCrew | Ford

RELATED: The Ford Maverick Squashes Bronco Pickup Truck Dreams

The 2022 Ford Maverick is smaller and cheaper than the Ranger. The Maverick is said to have a shorter bed by about 24 inches and be a couple of thousand dollars cheaper than the base-model Ranger. Both of those figures matter but how much? 

We can assume the price difference is likely the most appealing part but once you get any kind of cool features on the Maverick it will likely cost more than the Ranger. Assuming that’s the way it works, why pay more for a smaller and less capable truck. 

What are the engine options for the Maverick and Ranger?

Similar to the Bronco Sport, the Maverick will likely have two engine options; the 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder making 181 hp and the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 245 hp. Both engines will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Maverick is also likely going to be front-wheel drive based on the suspension setup. I assume an AWD version will be available.

The slightly bigger, most recent Ford Ranger comes with only one engine option, the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder making 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Both the rear-wheel-drive Ranger and the Maverick clear the ground by about 8.4 inches. The AWD Ranger will clear 8.9 inches. 

The Ranger feels like the better version of the Maverick

I know Ford is trying to have a small truck, and while that used to be a great type of vehicle, I think a truly small truck is not in the American zeitgeist. The Ranger feels to me like the smallest truck that still is something Americans want. As someone who loves the little old F100s and C10s, I am fine with being wrong on the marketplace being willing to buy a smaller truck. More importantly, the Maverick just doesn’t feel small enough to do well with the Ranger sitting right next to it.