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  • Writer's pictureSideStep

Duck, Duck, Maverick?

Meet the new mini-truck from Ford. (This wouldn't be an article about the Maverick without at least ONE Top Gun joke, right?!?)

The truck that no one saw coming, and few knew we needed, the all new 2022 Ford Maverick changes the "small truck" game in a big way. Introducing features like Ford's new "Flexbed" with its built-in options from Ford accessories, or its hybrid powertrain offering 40 mpg in the city, this new pickup changes the way consumers will look at trucks forever.

Unlike the (still) long awaited Bronco two door and four door, little was leaked, or even outright discussed, about the new truck ahead of its release. Only within the last few weeks have there been any real spy photos or scuttlebutt about the small truck, and all of it was spot on. Probably the biggest surprise is the standard full-hybrid powertrain and unlike its platform kin, the Bronco Sport, it's available in front or all-wheel-drive. Two engine options are available starting with the standard 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid powertrain with a modest 191 HP and 155 lb-ft. of torque when paired with the electric motor pushing through a (disappointing) continuously variable transmission. The optional 2.0L Ecoboost with its 250 HP and 277 lb-ft. of torque run through an 8-speed automatic transmission (this is the one I'll have) with the choice of front or all wheel drive, as previously mentioned.

While the 2.5L hybrid won't be winning any races it's hard to argue with a 40mpg city rating and a 500 mile range. The 2.0L Ecoboost on the other hand doubles the towing capacity of the larger displacement engine, bringing it to 4,000 lbs. with an across-the-board 1500 lbs. of payload. This is plenty enough to drag a pair of personal watercraft out to your local lake, or run away for the weekend in a small camper.

Ford made it a point to include people-space in the midst of all the function. Made to seat five passengers between it's four doors, the Maverick's size may make the fifth person think twice. Behind the cab is a surprising 4.5 foot bed referred to as a "makers' space" that extends to 6' with the tailgate down. The "Flexbed," as Ford has dubbed it, has built in recesses for 2X4 and 2X6 boards for organization and customization, with the latter being the emphasis. Ford wants Maverick owners to take advantage of the space either through Ford accessories or DIY storage solutions. The multi position tailgate and available power ports make the back of this truck a true workspace. Ford even thought about those of us who tend to add lighting and other accessories and included a ready-to-use DIY harness to use to your heart's desire.

And now for the knockout blow: this brand new pickup truck can be purchased (assuming Ford can get them to the dealers) starting this fall for under $20,000. Yeup, you read that right. A starting MSRP of $19,995 means this lifestyle-themed truck could be yours for less than any other Ford product on the market, and well below any other truck on the market currently. Now, to bring you back down to earth, the truck you'll get for $20k won't have all wheel drive, or 110 plugs, or much of any of the fantastic features discussed above, but it will be cheap. The Maverick will come in three trims, the XL which will be the one the parts stores will buy, the XLT which is the one I'd have, and the Lariat which will be the one used in all the commercials and will take this sub-$20k truck to north of $35,000 (just guessing at this point).

So is Ford going to continue to stir the pot with this new downsized, compact, or "small" truck? They have the right to name this new segment, don't they? Being the first ones there I think they've earned it, and with the Maverick, even though there's no competition yet, the Maverick will dominate. It checks all the right boxes. It's easy to park, cheap to buy, cheap to operate, and is customizable to your lifestyle. It really is the rig no one knew we needed.

Matt’s love of all things automotive came about at a very young age when his grandmother (an ex race car driver) would put him in her lap while driving around their rural neighborhood and let him “drive.” This started a passion that ultimately lead him to pursue a degree in Automotive Technology and several ASE certifications and a handful of jobs in the auto industry. His first car was non other than Kit from night rider (albeit a 12V Power Wheels like version). For Christmas some years later he was given a 1980 Honda XR80 dirt bike, which for a preteen made for an abundant amount of freedom. It was the sale of this beloved bike that funded his first car purchase of a 1971 VW Super Beetle, which he and his father rebuilt from the ground up. He currently works for an East Texas school district as a bus mechanic, but the passion for air cooled VW’s lives on.

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