Will the 2022 Ford Maverick Steal Escape and Ranger Sales?

The launch of the 2022 Maverick gives Ford a solid foothold into the compact truck segment. However, it also might leave Ford with a slight problem. For one, the Blue Oval already has a pickup one size below the F-150: the Ranger. So, where does the Maverick fit in? And then there’s the Ford Escape, which shares a platform—and some hybrid tech—with the 2022 Maverick. But since it’s a crossover, does that mean Escape customers will jump ship for the Maverick?

The 2022 Ford Maverick won’t replace the Ranger

A light-blue 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid drives down a city street
2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid | Ford

Fortunately, there’s a definitive answer to whether or not the 2022 Ford Maverick could cannibalize Ranger sales. And the simple answer is, no.

This is based on the conversation I had with Maverick marketing manager Trevor Scott at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show. According to Scott, the Maverick and the Ranger serve different customers with different needs. The former pickup is aimed at first-time truck buyers who value fuel economy. Meanwhile, the Ranger is designed more as a working and/or off-roading truck. And these differences in focus play out over the trucks’ specs and features.

For example, the 2022 Ford Maverick has a unibody design, while the Ranger is body-on-frame. Body-on-frame vehicles can handle greater payloads. That’s why the Ranger can tow up to 7500 lbs while the Maverick maxes out at 4000 lbs, Cars.com notes. Plus, they’re also more rugged and adept at off-roading. So, while the 2022 Maverick offers an FX4 package like the Ranger, it doesn’t offer a Tremor equivalent. Plus, it has slightly less ground clearance.

A white-with-red-and-black-stripes 2021 Ford Ranger XLT Tremor on a dusty trail
2021 Ford Ranger XLT Tremor | Ford

However, the 2022 Ford Maverick has several advantages over the Ranger. Firstly, there’s the hybrid powertrain, which should make it more efficient. Secondly, despite being shorter than the Ranger, the Maverick’s interior is more comfortable, especially in the rear, Cars.com says. The Maverick’s unibody design also means you step down, rather than up into its cabin. And it should offer a more car-like driving experience compared to the Ranger.

In short, the 2022 Ford Maverick and Ranger are very different pickup trucks, despite their similar dimensions. Thus, they likely won’t vie for the same dealership customers.

Does the 2022 Ford Maverick offer more for less than the Ford Escape Hybrid?

The situation is a little more complicated in the case of the 2022 Ford Maverick vs. Ford Escape. To paraphrase a colleague, the Maverick is roughly like “an Escape with a bed.” They ride on the same platform, have similar safety features, and can seat up to five people. And as noted earlier, the two share some hybrid powertrain tech.

However, the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid costs less than the Ford Escape Hybrid. The cheapest Escape Hybrid is the SE trim which starts at $28,030 before destination. Meanwhile, the base Maverick XL Hybrid starts at $19,995 before destination. And even the range-topping Lariat Hybrid is cheaper than the Escape SE Hybrid.

In addition, the 2022 Ford Maverick has slightly more cargo space in its bed than the Ford Escape Hybrid has behind its second row. The crossover can theoretically hold 34.4 cubic ft of cargo, but likely by blocking the rear window. Ford officially says the Escape SE Hybrid has 30.7 cubic ft of storage behind its second row. The Maverick Hybrid’s bed, though, has 33.3 cubic ft of storage, MotorTrend says.  

The side view of a red 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid on a city street
2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid side | Ford

But the spec battle doesn’t go all the Maverick’s way. Unlike the Maverick, the Escape Hybrid is available with AWD. And while there’s a Ford Escape plug-in hybrid, there’s no Maverick PHEV. Plus, the Maverick Hybrid has 100.3 cubic ft of passenger volume, MT notes; the Escape Hybrid has 104 cubic ft.

Will the compact pickup truck out-sell the crossover, then?

So, the Ford Escape Hybrid still has some advantages over the Maverick. But MotorTrend says Ford could over its hybrid compact truck with AWD in the future. And a plug-in hybrid model, as well as an EV version, aren’t necessarily off the table. Though it’s worth noting such features and models are an unknown time away.

Seeing as both SUVs and trucks are still in high demand, it’s unlikely that the Maverick will kill the Escape. Plus, it’ll take time for buying trends to make themselves known, especially with the Maverick’s recent launch. And while the compact pickup is designed with first-time truck owners in mind, not every crossover shopper wants a truck.

Still, with the 2022 Maverick, Ford now offers entry-level hybrids in two distinct flavors: crossover and truck. Regardless of which is more popular, it means more Blue Oval hybrids will be hitting the road.

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