By on June 16, 2021

Ford Maverick

Thanks to all of you who welcomed this new series when it appeared on your digital screens last week. Experiments can fall flatter than that can of 7Up you left out overnight, and we’re glad this one made the cut.

Given the BnB’s propensity for small pickup trucks with blue ovals on the grille (remember Sajeev’s understandable but slightly terrifying infatuation with his last-gen Ford Ranger?), the new Maverick makes a perfect foil for the second entry in The Right Spec series of posts.

Ford is making a lot of noise about Maverick’s base price just sneaking in under 20 large before the inevitable destination fee. However, there’s a case to be made that anything with an open truck bed (no matter its overall length) should be able to tow more than a utility trailer filled with a few bags of soil. Upgrading the base XL trim to include Ford’s 2.0L EcoBoost engine increases the price to $21,080 but brings more pulling power to those underhood horses. This is a sum of $1,200 less than the non-EcoBoost XLT truck, by the way.

Someone deep within the bowels of the Glass House must have imbued people in charge with more than a few grains of sense since the so-called ‘4K Tow Package’ is available as a $725 stand-alone option that doesn’t require the selection of a sunroof or coffee maker or annual subscription to Mad Magazine (and yes, we know Mad ceased publishing; our tepid joke stands). It includes a trailer hitch receiver with a 7-pin harness, an oil cooler for the transmission, and a snazzy high-capacity radiator. With it, the Maverick can tow 4,000 pounds.

Ford Maverick

The company also has the intelligence to offer more than sad-sack greyscale colors on the XL, including the Velocity Blue shown here. An 8-inch infotainment screen, LED headlamps, and automatic emergency braking are all part of the deal. About the only further recommendation your author will make is to consider the optional sliding rear window, a feature that greatly increases a truck’s functionality in certain cargo situations and provides a bit of ventilation for us old guys who miss the days of vent windows. We must note the caveat that Ford forces the selection of CoPilot360 (because lane-keeping has so much to do with a sliding rear window).

This brings us neatly to a pre-destination price of $21,875 for a mini-truck with a 54-inch open bed and the capability to tow 4,000 pounds. Considering inflation, that would be equivalent to splashing out $11,750 on a new-for-’93 Ranger pickup. Base price of a two-wheel-drive Ranger SuperCab XL that year? Precisely $11,775 before a smattering of options, netting you a truck far less powerful and lavishly equipped than today’s Maverick.

Ford Maverick

Are we right on the money this week? Sound off below.

Please note the prices listed here are in American dollars and currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market prices notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.

[Images: Ford]

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67 Comments on “The Right Spec: 2022 Ford Maverick...”


  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    I will agree that the configuration in the article is spot on. Maverick makes a lot of sense at anything under $25K MSRP (plus D&D, T&L). Once you go over that you have to cross shop it’s stable mate the Ranger, and a bare bones Ranger is a lot more truck than Maverick can hope to be.

    So keep that Maverick lite on options and heavy on utility and you’ve got a sweetheart of a truck for under $25K large.

    In fully kitting out a Maverick it came to a few ticks over $35K. My current ’19 Ranger Super Cab (6′ bed), FX4, Lariat with full tech package and a few other boxes checked was $42K out the door (including D&D, T&L). Maverick pales in comparison to this configuration Ranger and at less than $5K difference OTD price.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    My advice to any truck-SUV buyer has been if there is a stand-alone towing package that beefs up engine and transmission cooling and/or the suspension and alternator, it’s worth every penny – even if you don’t plan to tow anything.

    It’s cheap long-term insurance.

    I like the spec – I’m an XLT kind of guy but I don’t know what it gets me in the Maverick. I know I wouldn’t want an XL trim Ranger back in the day.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Correct. When towing packages are available and when they come with worthwhile upgrades I spec them.

      Durability durability durability

    • 0 avatar
      Tirpitz

      As a non-truck guy considering a Maverick as a cheap new vehicle this kind of advice is very helpful. I’m probably never going to tow anything but since I’d be buying to keep over 10-15 years anything that makes the truck more reliable would be something I’d spend money for up front.

      The downside is that I have to give up the hybrid power plant. Wonder which engine choice will be the most reliable. I’ve seen people touting the reliability of Ford’s hybrid system but also some people suggesting that the hybrid system in the Maverick is new.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Don’t know where they’re getting the idea that the hybrid system is new. It’s essentially the same system Ford has been using for the last decade, just with a bigger engine (2.5L up from 2.0L) from the same engine family.

        Based on the relative reliability of their ancestors I’d expect the hybrid powertrain to be more reliable than the 2.0, although I wouldn’t expect either to have major problems.

        • 0 avatar
          eng_alvarado90

          I believe the 2nd gen Escape hybrid had a 2.5l Atkinson engine paired to the electric motor. Could it possibly be that same engine from 10 years ago?

          Those were known to be super reliable, with taxi units logging 400K miles on a regular basis

  • avatar
    thornmark

    the orig Maverick – the car – was $1995 and didn’t have a glove compartment, just a bare metal? shelf

  • avatar

    The Maverick is too large and clumsy for city driving. It is not for me.

    Most things are not ok at Ford

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      This I agree with. At a smidge over 16 feet long and no secure storage this isn’t going to be easy to park on congested city streets.

      I had posted in another story that the Maverick screams out for a Chevy Avalanche style Midgate and cargo system (admittedly this would increase complexity and cause a higher price point).

      They could easily shave 12″ to 18″ off the length, provide 6′ of tailgate up cargo capacity and seating for 2, and 8′ of tailgate down cargo capacity in a pinch. For day-to-day use buyers could have the option of the hard panel system the Avalanche had (or something similar) to provide security, and seating for 4 in a short form factor.

      It would truly be an urban small truck.

      I still believe the Maverick will sell – and for a lot of the same reasons why the Encore has sold.

      I remember sitting in an Encore at a car show just before it’s release. My hot takes were:

      1) I hate it
      2) I would never buy it
      3) This is going to sell – this is going to sell well

      I suspect if I ever sit in an early version of the Maverick I’ll have the same view.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Personally I think the overall length is fine – it’s 3-4 inches longer than my TourX but the wheelbase is about a foot longer.

        The Santa Cruz is almost the same length as my Buick but on a 10 in longer wheelbase.

        Either one sounds mighty handy to me.

        It does make it a foot longer than the old Fusion but there’s a heck of a lot more cargo space.

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        I wonder, given the Mav is a unibody design, if getting rid of a fair chunk of said unibody would adversely affect the safety and utility. Trucks for the most part are body-on-frame for very practical reasons, and I’m not sure a unibody single-cab truck would actually work all that well.
        I also think that a mid-gate style opening of any significant size would similarly affect the overall strength of the Mav’s unibody.

        Happy to be wrong as I’m certainly no engineer.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I don’t think a midgate would begin to make up for a three foot bed. At that point anything that doesn’t fit through a 12″ tall pass through probably doesn’t fit at all and if you insist on cutting it down that far I’d rather have the Escape they started with and just put the seats down.

        • 0 avatar
          eng_alvarado90

          there’s a considerable difference between a 3ft and the Maverick’s 4.5′ ft bed. Of course I’d like 1 ft of extra length with the tailgate up, but this can still be viewed as adequate to some folks

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It is actually a 2-seater with secure storage and 7 ft of bed combined, tailgate up. You’re looking at it wrong. My F-150 has 9 ft of bed including 2.5 ft of secure, lockable (super cab/clamshell) storage with the rear seat deleted.

        I still carry passengers, but they know to bring their own pillow. The rear slider window is handy for 20 ft pieces, indoor trim or irrigation pipe, but the 6.5 ft open bed is good for 12 ft sheets, panels or sticks, longer with a red flag.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    I’d skip the sliding window. I’ve had four trucks in my life, all had the sliding window. I think I used it once. then, not only do you get to eliminate the CoPilot nonsense, but you can then spend that money on a spray-on bed liner instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Agreed, in a 2-row pickup it seems kinda pointless, should be plenty of airflow with 4 windows. Otherwise the spec looks pretty good.

      the article mentions a 54-inch bed, I thought it was 48 inches?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        My 2010 F150 does not have a camper window and I miss it. If I have the rear windows open to give my dogs some air the cab pressurizes enough for it to be noticeable. I had a rental with a camper window. You open it a smidge and that sensation goes away.

      • 0 avatar
        eng_alvarado90

        it’s got a 4’5″ bed. So yeah, 54″ is about right

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      I think of it more like a bed extender than for ventilation. You could carry a few sticks of 8′ lumber.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Pipe or lumber is the only reason for that silly porthole window. Too bad the whole window doesn’t go down via a switch, that would be the ideal situation.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “Pipe or lumber is the only reason for that silly porthole window. Too bad the whole window doesn’t go down via a switch, that would be the ideal situation.”

          Like the Tundra has had for 21 years?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If users had to keep lumber, materials, furniture, etc (length/width/height), within the dimensions of the bed or truck (or close to), nothing would ever get done.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I think I’d actually stick with the hybrid. If I wanted something more powerful or more capable then I’d buy a different vehicle. A cheerful, open bed hybrid is the killer app here.

    -XL trim 2.5H
    -Velocity Blue
    -Bed extender
    -spray in liner
    -trailer hitch
    -110V Outlet

    $22.6K

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      Here would be my “city” build:
      – XLT trim 2.5
      – velocity blue
      – hitch receiver ($100)
      – tilt/slide roof ($795)
      $24,670
      All my vehicles in the past 20 yrs have had power roofs, none have leaked, and I like the light and ventilation. Manual sliding rear window makes no sense to me in a double cab truck driven by 1 person 99.5% of the time. Bed liners, floor mats, etc. will all be addressed by the aftermarket.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My perfect spec?

    XLT in Area 51
    Luxury Package – spray in bed liner and power drivers seat is nice to have.
    All Weather Floor Liners
    Towing package
    AWD – 2.0 ecoboost

    $30,305

    I outfitted a Ranger crew cab 4×4 in pretty similar spec (didn’t even get steps that my 5’3″ wife would demand) and it rang up at…

    $40,695

    When I outfit an F150 the way I want it usually hits about $42K. (Extended cab, XLT 4×4 2.7 turbo).

    Do we know what the incentive differences will be? No of course not.

    I know the Maverick and Santa Cruz will be more pleasant to drive the 300 plus days of the year that I DON’T need truck capability.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick Astley

      Not quite sure where you get that price difference at.

      Ranger XLT super crew 4×2 (to keep door count yet larger bed), 302A tech package, tow package and spray in bed liner rings in at $36.5. For using this anything like a truck, the Ranger comes out better off than a $30K Maverick.

      I’ll agree that any Maverick below $27K-28K OTD is a value proposition over Ranger. But tarted up like you have it, Maverick is simply not good enough as a truck near the $30K range to compete with Ranger.

      This, of course, means that full-beans $35 Mavericks will sell in droves and not one rational car person will understand why you didn’t just buy a better truck at that price.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        A super crew 4×2 is not an acceptable substitute for a super cab 4×4. The longer bed is not an advantage to me. The Maverick already has better rear seat leg room than the super cab Ranger. I live in the mountain west. I’m getting as many driven wheels as I can.

        For “truck guys” the car like nature of the Maverick is a disadvantage. For me that’s where the advantages start.

        8 in ground clearance for the Maverick? Heck drop it to about 5 in and give me an ST model with same payload and towing capacity. I’d be even happier.

        There is a small but significant group of people who acknowledge that they would find a truck handy a few days a year but don’t want to put up with the disadvantages the other 300 plus days they don’t need it.

        The other part of the market for this vehicle is going to be the people who would have brought Fusions. They’ll be thrilled with the hybrid FWD model.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “I know the Maverick and Santa Cruz will be more pleasant to drive the 300 plus days of the year that I DON’T need truck capability.”

      This is the key. Once more people admit they don’t do much “truck” stuff with their truck then vehicles like the Mav and SC make sense.

      The whole value argument is the main reason the full-size crowd doesn’t understand mid-sizers or compacts at all. Turns out some people will PAY to drive a smaller vehicle since its easier to live with it. If only use pure cost as a measuring stick then nobody would buy a Miata since its smaller then pretty much any equally priced car.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Average consumer will be happy with a Mexican made Ford. Hey, if they buy China-built cars without considering US trade deficit, they will buy this. But yea, last weekend I spent on 21 foot boat that weights 4020lb. Oops, I am out of range

  • avatar
    Dan

    More power is always a good thing and the turbo motor is cheap – $1000 – up front but giving up 10-15 MPG on a vehicle that exists at all to be cheap really closes the value gap. I also don’t trust any of those tiny turbo motors reliability wise. Ford had a really good track record with their past hybrid/CVT setups.

    $3500 for AWD on a FWD platform that doesn’t need it damages the value proposition ever further.

    +1 to ApaGttH above that upgraded cooling is a good idea every time.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Canadian base price for the Maverick is now set at just under $26k. Plus destination. Plus anything else the dealer might tack on when these first become available and prove popular.

    So moving up in specifications takes it out of the ‘cheap transportation’ realm

    Personally I have not towed anything in over 30 years and do not foresee doing so anytime in the future. And I would prefer the hybrid powertrain as most of the time the vehicle would have only one or two occupants and a minimal load.

    And being a FWD platform is enough for me. I feel no need for AWD/4WD.

    An oil cooler and higher capacity radiator would be nice, but purely for longevity reasons.

    Otherwise as long as the ‘base’ model has cloth seats, heated front seats, locking tailgate and blind spot warnings then that appears to be the one that fits my needs best.

    Adding a hard tonneau cover would be a necessity.

    What of the ‘bed’ is there a factory lining?

    Canadian consumer tastes in vehicles are again different from those south of us. An article published today lists the vehicles with the greatest discrepancies in sales rates between the two nations.

    Canadians purchase an inordinate amount of Venues, Konas, Mazda 3s, Seltos (Selti?) and Kicks.

    We purchase in ratio far fewer Altimas, Accords, Camrys, Sonatas and Chargers. So it appears that in the USA there is still a demand for sedans that does not exist in Canada.

  • avatar
    Tirpitz

    I like a lot about the XL trim and don’t need most of the extra do-dads on the XLT. I can spec a nice XL hybrid for around $22K, adding just the bed liner and the extra charging outlets. I like cheap and simple on this- otherwise you are missing the point.

    Only problem I see is that supposedly there is no cruise control on the XL. Might be a deal breaker if you are driving any longer distances on the highway. I have to spend $2.5K more to get an XLT configured the same way.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      No cruise control? That could indeed be a deal breaker. That and the fact that I have had no ‘happiness’ with any Ford manufactured after 1977.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    I’d stick with the hybrid because I don’t tow, and the sliding glass isn’t that useful in a crew cab (the driver can’t reach it).
    But I do WAAAAY too much highway driving to forgo cruise control, and that bed needs a hard lid, which turns it into a giant trunk. That’s all I need.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Then get a a hybrid in XLT trim. About $23K and you get cruise control and nicer wheels… along with power side mirrors and power tailgate lock. You can add a hard tonneau cover for about $1,100 and still keep it just under $25K.

  • avatar
    brett

    Sanjeeve is still driving that Ranger.

  • avatar
    MitchConner

    I’d like to get a small, really simple pickup in white with cloth buckets, one big mat on the floor and a big stick shift. The Maverick doesn’t offer that. I don’t even know if anybody offers that anymore. Just a plain Jane stripper — kind of a U-Haul rental pickup with a stick. That’d be kind of fun to bomb around in.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Can’t even get a 1/2 ton truck with a manual transmission anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @MitchConner – Ram was the last domestic holdout with a manual transmission but you had to buy a HD with a Cummins. That ended in 2019. GM also stopped offering a manual with the Colorado in 2019. Nissan Frontier also ditched the manual in 2019.

      The Toyota Tacoma is the only remaining manual transmission truck.

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      About 3 years ago, GM used to sell a $21K Colorado WT with the Ext Cab, 6ft bed and 6 spd manual. Plain jane spec, 4 cyl, 2WD. Very few people got one.
      It’s now gone. I don’t know why would the Maverick would have any different outcome if offered in that combo….

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’d still rather buy the Ranger SuperCab XL than this yuuugggee Maverick “mini-truck”. However despite the propensity in size, I applaud Ford’s overall move here.

  • avatar
    DedBull

    Can’t do XL trim, I absolutely insist on cruise control. I wish it was a standalone option…

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Everything should be standalone, but they have to draw the line somewhere. The cheapskates like me are used to not having cruise control. My first (used) cars didn’t come with it or it didn’t work. I’ve own new and used cars and trucks (later in life) with cruise control but I haven’t used it, except to see if it works.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    XL Hybrid
    Co-Pilot360 $540
    Hitch $100
    Sunroof $795

    $22,925

    Maverick is an amazing value w/ hybrid powertrain. 40 mpg! 2.0, no thank you. AWD, not needed. I’d choose Ranger over Maverick my use required higher towing capacity or AWD.
    Sunroof makes me happy. Ford offering sunroof on base XL trim makes me happy.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I spec’d it out as follows:

    XLT Hybrid
    -XLT Luxury Package
    -Bed extender
    -All weather mats

    $26,625.

    That luxury package has a lot of little things in it to make the truck easier to live with, without getting crazy.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    We received a really long and heavy box today from Amazon, which we must drive to some friend tonight. Casually got loaded into the manual PT Cruiser I bought for peanuts just for kicks. Said Cruiser has partial seat delete (van area for the large dog to go to park, lake, and doggie dates), but it still has a single seat behind the driver, where my wife sat while the box rested on top of the fold-flat front passenger seat. An astoundingly practical vehicle that has done this trick about 10-20 times since I acquired it a few months ago. I don’t tow (yet?), but I do have a bike rack. This is the vehicle the Maverick would replace. Hybrid is a must as it would be the ‘local’ car – we have a German wagon for anything more than 60 miles away. As such, the right spec is:

    – XLT 2.5h FWD with all-seasons with three flake symbol
    – Area 51 with equipment group 300a included (cruise control!)
    – Luxury package (heated seats are a must in upstate NY, nuff said)
    – Bed extender, trailer hitch 4-pin

    Rings in at 26,490.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Or just get a used F150

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    I kind of dig the off-set rear license plate in the bumper with the tow hitch.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    There is no right spec of the Escape pickup. Much like Ford’s awful EVs, there are way too many compromises for this “truck” to be useful. Towing and payload ratings of a Radio Flyer. Pathetic. If you need a truck, then get a truck…not a horrible Escape with a bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      with minor summarizing skills, you could see most comments above indicate people are intrigued by it for exactly what it is… a wonderful Escape with a bed (but with the good engine, not the triple turbo).

      This must be really hurtful for you. But, if you put your mind to it, you can still come up with valid criticisms, since the “bad truck” was swing and a bad miss.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “ with minor summarizing skills, you could see most comments above indicate people are intrigued by it for exactly what it is… a wonderful Escape with a bed (but with the good engine, not the triple turbo).”

        Most of the people above are probably easily impressed by shiny objects too.

        They also probably don’t do a lot of research when purchasing an automobile or have a very deep knowledge of the auto industry.

        If they did they would know that the Escape is unequivocally awful inside and out. Powertrain are generally unreliable too. But then to offer a Ford designed CVT attached to a Ford designed hybrid powertrain is just asking for trouble. Hopefully this new CVT will last longer than the 75k miles you got out of their last CVT. 80k is asking too much though.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    For a vehicle like this, designed to carry light loads at low speeds in crowded places, I’ll take the hybrid powertrain over the 2.0T every time. But there ain’t no vehicle coming into this house without heated seats (it has been decreed), so otherwise I’m spending the money for the Lariat.

  • avatar

    XL tow package. ecoboost, sunroof, AWD, about 26k. That would meet my needs.

  • avatar
    mikeep

    Matt,
    I liked what you had to say and hopefully Ford listens. I want to expand on the sliding rear window option with co-pilot 360. Assuming you configure it that way “where is the cruise control”. I challenge you and your readers to speak up and present this to FMC. Look at the Ranger and F150 XL packages and notice cruise control and upgraded rims are available . Further I recommend looking at the Bronco Sport and other vehicles on the Hermosillo assembly line. These are simple upgrades and if FMC wants to call it a truck they should have consistency with their available upgrade options. I would personally buy the base with cruise control, upgraded rims, sliding rear window and co pilot 360 assuming that’s needed for cruise control. I would probably get the hitch too to tow a jet ski or snowmobile. If the XLT offered a solid black or grey interior I could easily stomach that as well, but I like the XL interior much better. Lastly someone familiar with states like PA that have truck specific Tags needs to speak up. FMC might want to reach out to those elected representatives to amend the law. Why would you want to pay an additional fee for a vehicle that if far more fuel efficient than most sedans that are not subject to the stupid tax.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    One of the best cars I had was an 83 FWD Subaru GL 1500 wagon. A FWD Maverick is just fine for my driving. I bet I can squeeze 41-42 mpgs out that hybrid. More capable than my narrow bed short box ‘56 F100. That truck would barely haul 1000 pounds and as my Dad said, it was a true half-ton and not a pound more. AWD is ok but where I live, the rare snow-ice days don’t justify it.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    I plan on trading my 2018 Ram for the new Maverick. Ford screwed up by stopping production of the old Ranger.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    How many different “small” trucks does Ford have to make to do what the old Ranger did by default?

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