By on October 5, 2021

2022 Ford MaverickThere are currently two small trucks on sale – the Hyundai Santa Cruz and the 2022 Ford Maverick. Only one really looks the part.

That would be the latter. And thankfully for Ford and its buyers, the Maverick more than acts the part, too.

(Full disclosure: Ford flew me to Nashville, Tennessee, and fed and housed me for a night. A t-shirt, water bottle, and candle were offered, I did not take any of them. I did, however, find a new whiskey to buy for the next time the liquor cabinet runs dry. Thanks, Ford, for putting the break stop at a distillery and serving its hooch at dinner.)

The Maverick is one in a fairly long line of highly anticipated Ford vehicles that have launched over the past year and change. And based on an invite we got while I was in Nashville, there’s at least one more to come. That thud you heard from Dearborn is exhausted employees hitting the floor.

This isn’t in any particular order, but between 2020 and 2021 Ford has launched the Mustang Mach-E, Bronco and Bronco Sport, F-150, and Mustang Mach 1. Look for the Mustang Mach-E GT soon enough, and we expect the F-150 Lightning to follow in short order. We also saw an updated Expedition at Motor Bella in Detroit this month.

Maverick, Mach-E, Bronco, and Lightning have gotten the lion’s share of buzz. The Maverick, especially, has truck buyers – and wannabe truck buyers – on notice. Which is why I found myself in Tennessee, playing with trucks all day.

2022 Ford Maverick

Ford set things up so our time with the Maverick would be split between standard on-road driving and doing more traditional “truck stuff” such as towing. Day one was all about driving both powertrains – hybrid and gas engine – on road, while day two was about towing, payload, and off-roading. With more on-road time if we needed/wanted it.

As you know by now, or at least you know if you’ve been following Maverick news here or elsewhere, the truck will be offered in three trims – base XL, mid-level XLT, and top-trim Lariat, with two powertrains. The base powertrain is a hybrid that uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor, while a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas motor is available. You likely know Maverick shares its bones with the Bronco Sport and Escape.

The hybrid puts out a total system horsepower of 191 and 155 lb-ft of torque and pairs with a continuously variable automatic, while the 2.0-liter turbo-four makes 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque and mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Hybrids are front-drive only, while the four is available with FWD or AWD.

2022 Ford Maverick

It will surprise precisely no one when I tell you that the gas four is more engaging on-road than the hybrid, especially in FWD guise. It’s more responsive, pulls away from stoplights with more gusto (especially with an unladen bed), and is simply more fun in the stoplight-to-stoplight urban/suburban cut and thrust. It’s better at providing quick power for passing and merging.

That’s not to say the hybrid is to be avoided, but it is pokey, at least by comparison. I’d spring for the 2.0 unless fuel economy or a lower MSRP are key drivers of your Maverick purchase.

All forms of the truck, including the 2.0-liter with the FX4 off-road package, are pleasantly engaging when it comes to handling. Again, the FWD 2.0 shines, thanks to its lighter weight, but there’s not much of a penalty for opting for AWD – even, as noted, when outfitted with the FX4 package. Except that the FX4 trades a Sport drive mode for an off-road drive mode.

Steering is heavy without feeling too artificial – though it feels a bit better in the gasser – and thanks to unibody construction, it handles better than many expect a truck, even a small one, would. There is some body roll, and truly pushing it reminds you that the Maverick isn’t built for that purpose, but at slower speeds and more relaxed paces, the Maverick is both competent and entertaining, or at least entertaining enough. Sport mode makes things a bit more fun.

The ride isn’t quite car-like, but it’s smooth, especially for a truck. At least on the mostly-pristine roads outside of Nashville, anyway. I look forward to a Midwest-road torture test, but so far it seems like long highway slogs in the Maverick won’t be taxing. Wind noise and road noise were mostly appropriately filtered out.

2022 Ford Maverick

Maverick is underpinned by an independent MacPherson strut setup with coil springs, stabilizer bars, and twin-tube hydraulic gas-pressurized shocks up front, and an independent twist-beam suspension with stabilizer bar and twin-tube hydraulic gas-pressurized dampers in the rear. All-wheel-drive trucks have a different rear suspension: Independent multi-link trailing arm with stabilizer bar, coil springs, and twin-tube gas-pressurized dampers (monotube with FX4).

Wheel sizes are 17- or 18-inches.

Ford, perhaps having read the reviews of the Santa Cruz, took a different tack than Hyundai when it came to the media drive. As noted above, it wasn’t only about on-roading. There was a light off-road course to show off FX4’s mud/ruts mode, and several trucks were set up to tow or haul a payload in the bed. Some trucks had the 4K tow package, which as the name implies, increases towing capacity to 4,000 pounds. It’s available on the gas engine. Otherwise, max towing capacity is 2,000 pounds. Max payload is 1,500 pounds.

I towed an Airstream and a couple of ATVs and some Jet Skis, and the Maverick did just fine, though the gas engine was a bit smoother and had fewer struggles going uphill, 4K or not. A tow/haul drive mode is available. Dropping a bunch of stuff into the bed also didn’t phase the truck.

Maverick’s bed is 4.5 feet long – six with the tailgate down – and the tailgate offers multiple positions. Tie-down clamps double as bottle openers, and there are D-rings and bed tie-downs as well. Slots built into the side of the bed are there to help with things like planks of wood. Lift-in height is listed at 30.1 inches.

2022 Ford Maverick

The off-road course was easily handled by the FX4 – so easily, that while Ford said to use mud/ruts mode, there really wasn’t a reason to. FX4s get hill-descent control, tow hooks, underbody protection (read: skid plates), all-terrain tires, and the aforementioned suspension tuning. I asked about whether the company could create, say, a Badlands trim and while Ford reps did the usual dance around commenting on future product I was told there is no reason such a thing couldn’t happen.

As for a Raptor or Warthog version, that’s tougher to tell, but I could see the truck easily getting the Bronco Sport’s Badlands package, including the drive modes. Hint, hint.

I dig the Maverick’s styling – it’s boxy with some rounded edges. Definitely more plain than the Santa Cruz, but also more “truck-like”, and attractive in person, either way. My feelings about the cabin were decidedly more mixed – some of the design is wonky looking, the materials feel a bit cheap, and the scourge of top-mounted infotainment screens continues. On the other hand, controls were easy to reach and use and the gauges and driver-info screen in the cluster were easy to read. Form mostly follows function here, and even the quirks, like the weird door handles, are easy to get used to.

2022 Ford Maverick

I had more room in the rear seat than in the Santa Cruz, with acceptable head- and legroom for my tall and overfed frame. Entry and exit were a breeze.

Key standard and available features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Sync infotainment, Wi-Fi, up to six USB ports (two are standard), wireless charging for cell phones, in-bed 12-volt power sources, in-cab and in-bed 110-volt outlets, bed lighting, adjustable drive modes, hill-descent control, skid plates, LED headlamps, flip-up rear seats, under-seat storage in the rear, power-sliding rear window, and power-locking tailgate.

Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 driver-aid suite includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and automatic high beams as standard. Available options with Co-Pilot 360 include adaptive cruise control with stop and go, blind-spot information with cross-traffic alert, lane centering, and evasive steering assist.

Fuel economy isn’t yet listed for the hybrid, but for the four-cylinder, it’s 23/30/26 with front-drive and 22/29/25 with AWD. I saw 36.7 mpg, per the computer, during an urban “hypermiling” challenge in a hybrid and up to 30 mpg in some gas models. I did see a dismal 12.2 mpg during one towing loop with the gas engine.

2022 Ford Maverick

Pricing is listed at $19,995 to start with a base hybrid and $21,080 for a gas XLT. Add $3,305 for AWD. Destination is $1,495. Gas models are reaching dealers now, and hybrids are expected to follow this fall once fuel-economy testing is finished.

Playing around with the online build and price tool, I got a loaded Lariat up to around $36K. Ford expects the volume model to be the XLT, and building one in my preferred version of that trim (gas with AWD, Co-Pilot 360, XLT Luxury package, and various other features) would set me back around $31K.

I will note here that if you want keyless, push-button starting you have to opt for the Lariat. For the Snow Belters, heated seats/steering wheel require an option package on XLT and Lariat.

Right now, only the Maverick and the Santa Cruz occupy this segment. Ford folks looked at me like I was an alien when I suggested there may be some cross-shopping of the also unibody Honda Ridgeline here, despite its larger size and higher price (a loaded Maverick Lariat would bump up against a base Ridgeline), just because it, too, is a truck that’s built to be both at home in the city and the boonies. Perhaps they were right to do so, but it’s the only other truck that seems close in mission and intent, despite the obvious differences.

Putting the Honda out of the picture, the Maverick seems to do the truck stuff better than Hyundai’s offering, though that’s based on speculation, as Hyundai didn’t offer us the chance to tow or trundle around with a loaded bed during our first drive. The Santa Cruz feels like a slightly sporty compact SUV with a bed replacing the cargo area. It’s for the surfer, the cyclist, or the homeowner who occasionally needs to haul supplies from Home Depot.

2022 Ford Maverick

The Ford, of course, can do all that, but it seems more ready to tow your boat, haul cylinder heads for the local auto-parts store, and go off-road to that one particularly remote trailhead. All while remaining right-sized for urban driving (and parking) and being set up for easy highway commuting.

I’ve long mourned the death of the small truck that can balance utility and on-road comfort. Santa Cruz is nice, and I liked it, but it leans towards on-road driving. Maverick simply offers a better balance between work, commute, and play. It’s the first compact truck in a long time to be both good at doing “truck stuff” and “car stuff.”

It also offers an affordable, smaller alternative to the mid-size and full-size light trucks that have gotten bigger and more expensive in recent years. Many truck buyers don’t need V8 power or massive towing capacity. Many don’t need anything beyond light-duty off-road capability. Many do most of their driving in cities and suburbs and would struggle to park larger trucks in a downtown parking garage.

Ford and Hyundai won’t be alone in this segment for long. But until the others show up – and I suspect they will – Maverick holds the edge when it comes to all-around performance and utility.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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220 Comments on “2022 Ford Maverick First Drive – Return of the True Small Truck...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    I knew Ford had a better handle on trucks than Hyundai but I didn’t know the gap was so extreme. I personally like the SC more than the Maverick but the way Hyundai is offering them and the way they can’t stop tripping over their dicks during the launch does not bode well for its future.

    “unless fuel economy or a lower MSRP are key drivers of your Maverick purchase.”

    Hybrid all the way on the Maverick. With as few options as I can accept.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d definitely take this over the Santa Cruz. But I’d also pop for the bigger engine and AWD – it’s still reasonably priced, and it’d be a bit of a sleeper.

      What I’d really love to see would be a “SVT” version of this with the larger 2.3T and a performance suspension. Sell it for thirty or so. I’m not into trucks at all, but I’d give that a look.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I expect the truck you’re proposing would be $40K.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @ajla:

          I’d figure 40 loaded, 35-ish base. Remember, this is Hecho en Mexico, which helps explain why the current versions are so cheap. With the right setup, it’d be a pretty solid performance value for that money.

          While they’re at it, they should do an Escape ST.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I agree on that Escape ST. Although I like the Bronco Sport and now this Maverick Ford has completely abandoned any semblance of a “sporty” Escape. That’s a shame, because 2.0T in sport mode is actually a lot of fun, but the current Escape is grandma’s car dull

      • 0 avatar

        I would want AWD and the higher towing (even if I’m only towing my 1800 lbs runabout.) I’m happy Ford lets you get that and still keep it under 30k. Only wish the base included or offered cruise control as an option.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        “The bigger engine….” is the 2.5l hybrid one :)

        I’m with ajla on this one, hybrid FWD XLT. And I live in upstate NY. The snow is nothing some good tires can’t handle. It’s on my radar, in that configuration.

        As per the opening sentence of the article, is the Maverick out for sale yet? I haven’t seen a single one in person.

        • 0 avatar
          eng_alvarado90

          yes, it’s already reached a few owners like this Youtuber. It’s interesting how his Maverick w/o the 4K towing package handled a loaded U-haul trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ_QfUQVR0E&t=1277s

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @eng_alvarado90: I don’t think I would want to own anything after that YouTuber owned it; guy’s murder on his vehicles. Even he said one of his previous EB vehicles became a garage queen after only 15-18 months.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “and it’d be a bit of a sleeper”

        [email protected] on the Bronco Sport 2.0T.
        Meh, I’ll take the hybrid fuel economy.

        motortrend.com/reviews/2021-ford-bronco-sport-badlands-first-test-review/

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          These cars arent’t exactly aerodynamic, so they’re not going to be quarter-mile stars to begin with. Besides, no one buys these to take to the dragstrip anyway – around-town performance will be the key, and it’s suprisingly good with these cars. C/D tested an Escape with the 2.0 and it got to 60 in 5.7 seconds, which is right line with something like a GTI. Not bad at all for a rolling brick.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’d be more excited about getting high 30s MPG than having an ~6 second 0-60 time. YMMV.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yep, YMMV. If I was into fuel economy, I’d probably opt for something like a Corolla Hybrid.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Exactly. Pickups are geared for towing. Or street racing if you wish.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            We’ll see what happens once some comparison tests come out but I’m guessing that versus the Maverick 2.0T the Santa Cruz 2.5T will be at least .3 faster to 60 and quicker than the Ford in all other metrics.

          • 0 avatar
            eng_alvarado90

            I linked a Youtube video from a current Maverick owner (AWD, no 4K towing package, no FX4 package) which got 0-60 in mid to low 6s and the quarter mile in 14.8s. Not too shabby

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      While Hyundai needs to add the excellent 1.6T hybrid system that’s offered in the Tucson stat, for the near-term, don’t see Hyundai having a problem selling every SC they build (granted, Ford is building more than double the capacity of the SC).

      Hyundai simply doesn’t have any more production capacity at its Bama plant, which is going full steam as long as there is adequate chip supply.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I’m of the complete opposite opinion on this. The Maverick interior looks really cheap, and I’d want one fairly specked out. For me, I’d take a hybrid if it could do 0-60 in the mid 6’s. Obviously that’s not the case so gas turbo it is.

      I’d also like to see one with cooled seats as well, which even the Santa Cruz doesn’t have them either.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      “Hybrid all the way on the Maverick. With as few options as I can accept”

      Yep. I’m a cheapskate and don’t need to go fast. With the tailgate down this could haul a couple dirtbikes, if the tailgate can take the weight. Very tempting.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The Santa Cruz has more power with each engine than the Ford and claims more payload and towing capability. Not a fan of its higher price, however.

      On the other hand, the Maverick is a Ford, and I’ve never owned a ‘reliable’ Ford.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Tim. Did Ford explain why AWD and hybrid are not offered together on this vehicle?

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I think there was an explanation and I am blanking on it right now. I will dig around.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        Space constraints. Battery/electric prop unit or transfer case/driveshaft/rear axle.

        Pick one.

        • 0 avatar
          kcflyer

          Didn’t they offer AWD and hybrid in the Escape?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yes had one in the pre-2012, and they offer it in the 2020-up version too.

            Ford PR gave the excuse that the Maverick has a larger traction motor in the transaxle. Which doesn’t make much sense to me since it appears the bulk of the stuff is shared with the Escape and it would seem to make sense to switch the Escape to the more powerful motor too.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Nope the battery takes up some of the storage space under the rear seat and would not block the diff or driveshaft. No room for the driveshaft is why the Escape plug-in Hybrid is not available with AWD because the larger plug in battery occupies space where the driveshaft would pass with mecahnical RWD. For the Corsair they get around that by using a 3rd motor to power the rear wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ Tim. Did Ford explain why AWD and hybrid are not offered together on this vehicle?”

      Because Ford engineers are amazingly inept.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Did Ford explain why AWD and hybrid are not offered together on this vehicle?”

      — Transmission. The hybrid is spinning a CVT while the turbo is spinning a 9-speed.

  • avatar
    Bocatrip

    Another CVT? on a truck no less? Another way to keep the price down, as well as reliability. At least the gas engine has a conventional trans.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      As with all four-cylinder Ford and Toyota hybrids, this “CVT” is a planetary power split device, not actually a belt-driven transmission. They’re very simple mechanically and as reliable as the sun.coming up.

      Both of these powertrains have pretty good records in service but I”d pick the hybrid if ultimate reliability were the goal. This is a close relative of the powertrain that served for years in New York City in Escape Hybrid cabs.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      It’s not a typical rubber band CVT like you’d find in some cars. It has 2 electric motors that work together like a transmission. It has no gears, and has no expanding band like a common CVT. It should actually be more reliable than a regular geared transmission – fewer parts.

      • 0 avatar
        Greg Hamilton

        Both Dal20402 and dwford beat me to it and are correct. This eCVT uses a planetary gear set and is very reliable.
        Sometimes I think the comments on this site are written mostly by trolls.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          I am glad you learned word “troll”

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          “Sometimes I think the comments on this site are written mostly by trolls.”

          This.

          There’s a bot out there that trolls auto forums, looks for the term “CVT”, and immediately goes into full Bubba “herp derp ain’t no CVT worth a dang, all trash, gimme GEAR STICK!” mode.

          The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Si-EVT:

          https://youtu.be/rDPwQefY2KY

          The idiotic auto press will call it a CVT, but only because they can’t figure out how the world works. This is a great unit, and that video is a great way to spend 80 minutes. Learn yourselves something, people.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It’s a planetary gearset CVT. The 2.5H system has been around since 2009 and is probably the most reliable powertrain Ford has ever made so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      I hate that all reviewers and auto journalists call these hybrid planetary transmissions “CVT.” They have completely different characteristics and feel, not to mention mechanicals. They are absolutely not CVT.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ Another CVT? on a truck no less? Another way to keep the price down, as well as reliability. At least the gas engine has a conventional trans.”

      Hopefully this transmission lasts to 100k. The last Ford CVT was good for about 75k.

      Built Ford Proud.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    How about some hard data? Curb weight? Size of box?

    It’s an interesting vehicle, but one reason people buy trucks in 2021 is to tow. Can this thing tow a car on a trailer, 5-6000 pound without falling apart?

    I doubt it.

    It seems to do well with the EPA cycle, better than the Hyundai Santa Cruz–which is frankly not much better than a Chevy Colorado V6 AWD, and CAN actually tow, as can a Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It’s only rated for 2000 or 4000 pounds depending on configuration. It’s not the right tool for the job if you’re trying to tow heavy things.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      tows 2000lbs standard, 4000lbs with the 2.0T AWD and the optional 4k tow package.

    • 0 avatar

      Tows 4K lbs. (2k without towing package) Ford wants you to buy an F150 if you tow or maybe a Ranger. 1500lbs payload is good thou. Weighs 3700 lbs. Bed is 54″ x 53″

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      If you are towing 6000lbs then you should buy a half-ton.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        Yes, undoubtedly a half ton is better for towing 6000 lbs.

        But for 4000 lbs, Colorado/Tacoma are fine. They are rated to 6000-6500 I think, so even 6k is OK.

        At some point people will know if the Maverick is relatively fuel-efficient, compared to the Vera Cruz, or if Ford did a better job of gaming the EPA numbers.

        I’m inclined to think not, my past few vehicles have been pretty consistent with EPA–the city rating reflects real world suburbia, the highway rating reflects trips of 250 miles or more on the interstate.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “but one reason people buy trucks in 2021 is to tow”

      People buy trucks because they look cool. Most don’t tow or haul… or even go off road. Those that do tow wouldn’t even look at these mini trucks for anything over about 3k worth of stuff (if they are smart). Behind Mav and SC you are most likely to see small boats (under 20′), pop-up type campers, dirt bikes, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      You can use a 10lb sledge to drive a finishing nail but that doesn’t mean it is the best tool for the job. Sure this isn’t going to tow a huge trailer, nor can you use it to haul 2 tons of gravel but not every truck buyer needs such a truck. This appears to be able to do what a lot of truck buyers ask of their truck, which is that of a family sedan than can also haul things that might be too dirty or large to fit in a car.

      The Maverick is the first truck that I would actually consider using as a daily driver and can see one replacing our F-150 and my daily driver, if they offer 4wd with the Hybrid. The F-250 would still stick around though for those times when I do have the need for more capacity.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      People aren’t going to buy this to do serious towing – it’s for someone who wants a small(ish), cheap(ish) vehicle with a bed that you can use to haul bikes, camping or hunting gear, or other stuff in from time to time.

      I think it’s kind of a spiritual successor to the late-’80s Nissan “hardbody” pickups. Probably the same customer base as well.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The SC with the 2.5T can tow 5,000 lbs, which is as much as the Ridgeline one size segment up, but less than the TRD Tacoma with the tow package.

      Otoh, the SC has a higher payload than the Tacoma and can fit in more garages.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    So much discussion of engines and transmissions and towing and configurations, but this is going to succeed and the Santa Cruz is going to fail for just one reason: this looks like a truck. People want a truck. People’s self-images are all bound up in driving trucks. And when the truck is compact and FWD it’s even more important that it looks like a truck.

    Has any vehicle of the CUV/SUV-with-bed class ever really made it big? I’m coming up with a bunch of failures – Baja, Sport Trac, Hummer SUTs, and the first-gen Ridgeline. (The second-gen Ridgeline made the bed look right, but not really the cab, so it’s a tweener.)

    • 0 avatar

      I kind of agree, but I think Hyundai could overcome the styling thing if they offered the Turbo on lower trims. The SC at least has aggressive looks, that’s kind of where the Honda falls down.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “People’s self-images are all bound up in driving trucks.”

      Spot on. While I hate the boxy look but most people love it. Trucks are hot sellers (and have been for years) so the Mav will sell very well based on looks alone despite it being a CUV with bed just like the SC.

    • 0 avatar
      kcflyer

      So what do you drive dal? Is your self image tied to it? Or does that only apply to people who chose trucks or other vehicles you don’t like? I have a Civic and two F-250’s. The trucks are a 73 and a 2000 MY. The 73 is now just a sentimental journey that reminds me of my dad. It gives me joy every time I or one of my kids drives it. The 2000 hasn’t left the barn in over a year without a trailer attached. The boat and trailer are 26 feet long and weigh 6000 lbs. The cargo hauler is 30 feet long with a GVRW of 10,000 lbs. I eagerly await your solution to pulling either with my 17 Civic 1.5 turbo with manual transmission. hmm? That way I can sell the 2000 F-250 and free my self image. The 73 is already promised to my son so I guess his self image is doomed.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Everyone’s self image is tied to their vehicle one way or another, and very few people like to admit it.

        • 0 avatar
          kcflyer

          I’m not saying your wrong, but it would be difficult to prove either way. I’m a self described car guy so I won’t argue a connection for me personally. But I can think of a dozen or so people in my circle of family and friends who don’t give a hoot about brands, they buy transportation and or automotive tools that meet their needs. Period.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            On the other hand I know several people who care very much about the brand of car they drive because they do see it as a status symbol/image thing. My Sister in law will only drive a BMW because it is a status symbol to her.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Dude… I drive a Highlander Hybrid. The image is “dad.” Which is accurate.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “People’s self-images are all bound up in driving trucks.”

      Other than appliance vehicles i.e. sub compacts etc. you can replace “trucks” with any vehicle you care to name.

      I’m not a fan of “image” buyers but the reality of the situation is simply this, “image buyers keep the lights on”. Most Jeep Wranglers are image buys, same can be said for many pickups. Hardcore “I need this” buyers aren’t numerous enough to make money for the car companies. Fleets are loss leaders where companies make their money back on parts and service.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @dal:

      “…the Santa Cruz is going to fail…”

      How do you define that? I think it’s a safe bet the Santa Cruz will get outsold handily by the Maverick, but that doesn’t make it a failure.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        To me SC failure can only be defined if Hyundai gave us what their sales goals are for the model. 30k at year is a number I’ve seen thrown around before.

        The Ridgeline has never been a bigger seller for Honda but they seem to be OK with that since it shares a platform with the Pilot. As someone who is buying a SC I hope the Tuscon’s success means the SC will be supported long term even if its a low volume unit… which I believe it will be.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          With all the supply and production issues it’s hard to gauge whether any sales figures for any vehicle even make sense now.

          Without the production issues, I’d guess the SC sells 40-50,000 units a year, which isn’t bad at all considering how closely it’s related to the Tucson.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I’ll guess no more than 25k.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Production capacity for the SC is purportedly somewhere around 40k; think Hyundai will have little problem selling them for the near-term.

            Adding the 1.6T hybrid powertrain makes a lot of sense, but Hyundai would need to add production capacity to its Alabama plant.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        By that I mean it’s going to be a niche product that doesn’t achieve the volume of either the Maverick or more mainstream H/K products in other segments.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ” this looks like a truck. ”

      More important it looks like a FORD truck and that’s a tremendous plus

    • 0 avatar
      smapdi

      I bought my Santa Cruz over waiting for this partially BECAUSE it doesn’t look like just a small version of a traditional square truck and vastly prefer it. I don’t see the SC styling as a disadvantage as I don’t think these are going to pull any traditional truck shoppers away. They will be pulling from the SUV crowd (at least the SC will).

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Disagree.

      The Maverick may have more of a “traditional” truck look to it, but a caricature of one with its comically oversized headlights (looks like something out of Pixar’s Cars).

      Ford seems to design goofy headlights to all its pickups, no matter the size (GMC and Ram do a better job with their headlight designs).

      And the rest is too reminiscent of those horrible econobox trucks from the ’80s/90’s in my book.

      Understand that the looks of the SC is not for everyone, but it’s the one with the more masculine and upscale design.

      That being said, the Maverick will outsell the SC due to its lower price and greater production capacity, but the SC will have the higher ATP.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Vehicles particularly new ones are primarily purchased based on emotion/image rather than objectively. Otherwise the auto manufacturers would not spend billions on advertising. And the advertising they did use would focus on objective measures, not models, and people ‘adventuring’.

        How many actually need AWD/go off-roading? And most commuters even in the ‘snowbelt’ do not ‘need’ AWD. A set of winter tires is more important/safer.

        How many actually tow? I have driven over 40 years, well over one million miles and have not towed in decades.

        How many need a full sized pick-up bed or load capacity? Unless you are a contractor or landscaper probably once per year?

        How many drive in an urban environment and use their vehicles to get to and from work, drive their kids to their activities, visit family and go shopping?

        So based on that to paraphrase James May for about 90% of the population a VW Golf would be sufficient.

        As for the Maverick thankfully Tim addressed the key points. The back seat is adequately large. Entry/exit is easy. The instrument panel was once again designed by teenagers who do not drive or people who ‘hate’ cars. And thanks to the B&B I learned about the transmission being paired with the hybrid and the hybrids history.

        I am still very interested, would prefer a ‘base’ FWD with the hybrid as that is more than sufficient for my regular use. But my better half ‘prefers’ (she says it is a requirement just like the subjective preferences I mentioned above) that she have heated seats and blind spot monitoring. Requiring ‘upgrading’ on the Maverick and/or a costly package with other options we we are not interested in. Yet heated seats and blind spot monitoring are standard on many other vehicles from other manufacturers.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Arthur Dailey – for the most part, very true. My SuperCrew does very well in 4×2. The 2 Rangers I owned needed 4×4 in the winter. My regular cab was useless in 4×2. My extended cab was better due to the added length and weight. A while back an article mentioned the number of times someone tows with a truck. It wasn’t even once per year. I can attest to that. I rarely tow with my truck but routinely use the box. That’s the whole reason for a pickup – the box.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I don’t know about all that. Men will surely gravitate to the maverick no doubt. We saw the Santa Cruz in person and my wife was willing to trade in our CX5 for it. I showed her the Maverick and she thought it was ugly. She has no interest in driving a “truck”.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Lol, that’s because most women see cars/trucks as accessories first. She’ll look much better in an SC then a Maverick

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Funny: my wife and I both think the SC looks like an ugly running shoe. She loved the look of the Maverick, as well as the concept: cheap and cheerful, perfect for carrying her surfboards and gear, great fuel economy on the hybrid, the right size, and utilitarian but not ugly. But I still think we’re going to end up with an EV6.

  • avatar

    Not a Ford guy, but so far this has impressed me. The price point and equipment is impressive. Seems like they did a good job making a cheap vehicle that people may actually want.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      sure. Made in Mexico from recycled materials

      • 0 avatar

        Ia agree this was designed from the start to be cheap. But I think it’s brilliant people want trucks not cars. Why not build a cheap version of a body style people like and just make it cheap enough to bring in those buyers to a new vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “from recycled materials”

        Virtually every current automobile contains recycled materials.

        you filling in for Echo Bravo?

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        That’s two checks in the “Pros” column! Not against American-made, but the folks in Mexico do just fine for less.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “sure. Made in Mexico from recycled materials”

        slavuta thinks it’s like his old Trabant

      • 0 avatar

        What is wrong with Mexico? Regarding recycling e.g. in Sweden according to Google sources: “Less than 1 percent of household waste in this Scandinavian country finds it way to landfills, according to Avfall Sverige, the Swedish Waste Management and Recycling association. About 49 percent of household waste is recycled, and roughly 50 percent of garbage is incinerated in power plants like this one.”

        It is not a bad thing that Mexico and Ford follow Scandinavian model.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Thanks for getting me into this. Stalin said – “cadres are everything”. Which means, outcome is driven by personnel.

          Now, take Sweden, one of the most educated countries in the world. And Mexico. Where 1/3 population is near-illiterate and less than 70% complete high school. These people, while hard workers, don’t have developed logical skills.
          Think about school you went to. You probably had good math teacher and then you had “labor” lessons, where you learned to use the tools. And even primary military training. In Mexico this does not exist.

          My concern with Mexico is quality of assembly. Tooling. I doubt they calibrate tools as vigorously as it would be in Japan.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @slavuta – assembly line workers are just biological robots. They do repetitive tasks. You don’t need a higher education for that. A manufacturer engineers in or out quality due to established profit margins. The more they invest into quality control processes and materials, the better the product.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            slavuta, I’m ALMOST going to agree with you to a point. There used to be a Ford guy here, tresome, who was instrumental in setting up a Ford factory in Mexico and the accompanying horror stories. It wasn’t the line workers, like Lou said they’re just “biological robots”, it was the surrounding support systems that was lacking

            In and around the older North American factories there are tool & die and machine shops geared to to run out to an assembly line breakdown at a moments notice to get it back up and running. In Mexico there is no expert support, so a breakdown can cost weeks of production while repair specialists are flown in to fix the problem.

            That’s where the expertise you speak of is required, in the support system

          • 0 avatar
            eng_alvarado90

            “My concern with Mexico is quality of assembly. Tooling. I doubt they calibrate tools as vigorously as it would be in Japan.”
            That wouldn’t be the country’s fault, that would be the company’s fault for not being able to implement their working culture overseas.
            Anyway, even if the Maverick was built in the US you’d still be complaining.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Lie2me – Yup. @Tresmonos. His avatar was Eli Wallach’s character from “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I often wonder want became of him. Sorry I got his name wrong, it’s been awhile, but he sure had some great insider stories

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            “Anyway, even if the Maverick was built in the US you’d still be complaining”

            Psychology 1-0-1: Projection

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            @Lie2me

            I am sure, there are low level support people of Mexican origin. Again, tool calibration. surely, this is done daily and somebody writes the log.

            I always like to repeat the story of an airliner that landed in one African airport. The technician measured low tire pressure but did not have a nitrogen to refill. He set the value in the log to the lowest permitted value and “passed this issue to the next airport”.

            This is what happened. On the very next take off the flat tire expanded sideways and started to rub against its paired tire, overheated and started the fire. Chassis went into the wing and melted the fuel line. Rest is history.

            If this airplane landed in Japan, that would never happen. It is all in peoples character.
            I like reliable cars. And for this, I don’t trust Mexican assembly, but not only Mexican.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Yes @Tresmonos provided some excellent insight. As did @flybrian regarding retailing cars. Both sorely missed. As for assembly stories, one of my co-workers was a senior engineer at VAZ. He has some interesting stories regarding worker disinterest and lax tolerances.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Arthur Dailey – “disinterest and lax tolerances”

            I believe that is called “normalization of deviance”. It came to the forefront years ago when the space shuttle blew up. You let slip a little on a tolerance, limit or behaviour. You get away with it enough times and that becomes the new benchmark. The process repeats itself until something bad happens or an organization becomes completely dysfunctional.

  • avatar
    JMII

    “I did see a dismal 12.2 mpg during one towing loop with the gas engine.”

    That is terrible, my Dakota V8 gets that now and is the main reason I’m moving on to the Santa Cruz. I find the Maverick’s boxy style and cheap interior very off putting. The SC looks sleek, fresh and modern in comparison. You can option a Mav up to $38k but it still has a $20k interior, you can clearly see how Ford got the price down, made in Mexico vs the US too. The Mav has less tech and style then the SC. Having to step up to the top range model just to get push button start is a good example. To me the Mav is dated already.

    Ford took a totally different approach and focused on making an affordable, truck looking hybrid. Hyundai has pushed their top of the line SC from the get go. On paper they are pretty much equal once you start checking boxes on the Mav to bring it up the SC levels of equipment. Hyundai needs to drop the base non-turbo and give the SC a hybrid powertrain to compete with Ford for those looking at a gas sipping commuter.

    “I knew Ford had a better handle on trucks than Hyundai but I didn’t know the gap was so extreme.”

    I don’t think its that wide… however as mentioned, Hyundai screwed up the SC’s launch. They are doing their best to avoid all the truck comparisons while still selling a mini-truck. The first SC I saw on the road in person was setup as a pool cleaning service vehicle so I think owners are already ignoring Hyundai’s terrible surfer/skater chick marketing and using it for more truck-like stuff. The only glaring mistake is not having a true towing package, the SC has a tow hitch (if you can get one) and a wiring harness – that’s it, Ford gives you upgraded cooling and a brake controller which is what you really need. On the flip side the SC has more HP and TQ and is rated for additional 1k in capacity.

    With only 2,500lb to tow I’ll be getting a SC Limited AWD as soon as dealer stock offers more then just one unit with a $2-10k “market adjustment” mark up.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah Hyundai targeted a core market with the SC they were planning on 32-37k models being the volume seller and the materials etc were designed around that. Ford seems to be expecting 25-30k to be the volume seller and the materials again reflect that. I think the SC will sell well but not like the Maverick will. The Maverick is going to pull lots of general sub 30k buyers even if they might not have been truck buyers before.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      He said the instantaneous mpg read out was 12.2 once, not that the actual average was that, so getting 12.2 pulling a grade at near 4k lbs is not bad the high number going down the back side of that hill will put the average mpg while towing much higher.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “I find the Maverick’s boxy style and cheap interior very off putting. The SC looks sleek, fresh and modern in comparison. You can option a Mav up to $38k but it still has a $20k interior, you can clearly see how Ford got the price down, made in Mexico vs the US too. The Mav has less tech and style then the SC. Having to step up to the top range model just to get push button start is a good example. To me the Mav is dated already.”

      Finally someone who gets it. Nice to see some objectiveness vs the usual Ford cheerleading.

      The Escape Baja has so many things going against it. First it’s a new Ford. Quality issues will be abundant but I doubt it will need to have the roof replaced or have to be shipped to another factory to be fixed immediately after being built.

      The interior is shockingly bad. Cheap materials, exposed screws, you can tell that they planned for a larger screen but then forgot to recenter the smaller screen. Ford infotainment is not very good, etc.

      It’s missing basic features that are expected on a modern vehicle such as a dampened tailgate, a rear defroster and LED lighting (aside from the headlights).

      The fuel economy is abysmal for a vehicle with a 2.0L 4-banger. F-150s get that same mileage. The hybrid naturally gets better mileage but it’s a Ford hybrid system so problems will be prevalent. Plus, if you get the hybrid powertrain, you remove any sort of “truck” capability and AWD. Big mistake. Further proof Ford engineers are the junior varsity engineers in the auto industry.

      What troubles me is the fact that Ford has gone very cheap on design and durability testing. Look no further than allowing people to order FWD models with the tow package only to find out after manufacturing has started that the FWD powertrain can’t handle it. Why wasn’t this caught in durability testing? What other kind of testing did Ford just not do that will bite customers at 36,001 miles?

      Hyundai clearly built a better truck than Ford did which is astounding. The Santa Cruz is a far better vehicle and it will be much more reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        What Ford hybrid problems have you observed? To my understanding the Ford system is effectively a licensed Toyota system, considered the most durable on the market for years.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Hyundai and Ford are going after 2 different type of buyers and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      Hyundai is going after the more affluent buyer and likely someone who hadn’t thought of owning a truck before.

      Ford will get some of those buyers as well, but many will be traditional truck owners downsizing upon realising that they don’t really need as much truck as they have.

      The Maverick will have the edge in sales volume and the SC, the edge in ATP.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    No one needs a truck smaller than F-150. There is a flavor of F-150 to fill all needs of anyone that would possibly want a truck.
    Ford has told us this. Repeatedly. I drank the koolaid. I’m a true Ford believer. I support Ford canceling the Ranger. No one wants a truck smaller than F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      You forget the sarcasm tag. Also why settle with a little F-150 when the F-250 is available? ;)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Exactly.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “little F-150 when the F-250 is available”

        In 1990 I went with a “light duty” F250 over the F150 because it wasn’t much more expensive and was like buying a 1/2 ton with a lift kit and bigger tires (and better brakes).

        The new F150’s are vastly more capable than old F50’s so now-a-days one could easily substitute a F150 for a F250. I rarely ever see F250’s. People buy either F150’s or F350’s.

        Ford did try to rationalize killing the previous Ranger. Ford did screw up because the boom in small trucks occurred shortly thereafter and caught them flatfooted.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Oberkanone: “No one wants a truck smaller than F-150.”

      — Except for all those people who do. A number, by the way, far larger than what even Ford wanted to believe, which is why they built this thing.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Prediction: Ford is going to sell a ton of these.

    I actually dig it, and I’m not into trucks at all. I’d definitely pop for the 2.0 engine – I’ve tried it in the Escape, and it’s surprisingly quick. In fact, the 2.0 Escape is something of a sleeper.

    How about a performance version with the 2.3T, AWD, and a lowered suspension, Ford? I’d give that a look, and I bet a lot other “car guys” would too.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    One thing that every article on this truck fails to point out…

    Not only is this the least expensive truck sold in the US, it’s also the least expensive hybrid available in *any* body style. The next cheapest hybrids start around $23.5k.

    I expect we’ll see base models parked in front of every chain auto parts store as delivery vehicles. Plenty of other places, too.

    I’m a little shy of first-year Fords, but I’m very likely to buy this in 2024. The biggest bummer for me is that the base model has everything I want except cruise control, and the only way to get CC is to jump up to XLT for $2300 more. Maybe the aftermarket will come up with a solution. I hope so.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “it’s also the least expensive hybrid available in *any* body style.”

      This is Ford’s ace-in-the-hole. They might have finally cracked the hybrid code. People don’t want these Prius-looking, ugly hybrids, way too eco-weenie. But give them a classic truck look but with 40 MPG and I expect to see parking lots everywhere filled with these truck-lets.

    • 0 avatar
      DedBull

      Exactly! Why no cruise control on the base unit? That is the one feature I can’t live without, but that means a whole trim jump to get.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        “Why no cruise control on the base unit?”

        Also no power mirrors. No push button start. Ford needed the sub $20k starting price to get everyone’s attention. The internet has been screaming for years for a basic, stripped down truck… now there is one so we shall see if these buyers will resist the urge to start checking option boxes or just go back to buying old Rangers.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Because Ford doesn’t intend to sell very many XLs to retail customers that truck is for fleet customers and to be able to have a vehicle that “starts under $20k” for advertising purpose. I expect you’ll have a very hard time finding an XL in stock unless a fleet buyer canceled an order.

    • 0 avatar

      Apparently there is already an aftermarket cruise control in testing (rostra) expected to be on the market before the holidays for $299.00

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      I’m wondering if you’ll get able to swap in a steering wheel with CC and just flash a sales code from an XLT to allow CC to be enabled? I wanted leather wrapping and audio controls on my Ram so I swapped my base steering wheel with one from a Laramie and it was plug & play. I only paid $50 for it in my local junkyard

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Interior is from chevy malibu maxx. I mean, it brings same feeling when looking at it

  • avatar
    sixt5cuda

    Sometimes, journalists quote directly from Ford’s press releases:

    “an independent twist-beam suspension”

    Nope. Twist-Beam suspensions are not fully independent. You should probably say, as many automotive sites have done:

    “a semi-independent twist-beam suspension”

    Even Ford dealerships are saying “semi-independent”.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Well, excuse me for describing it in what I thought was the most accurate term possible — which is what Ford said in its release. I know OEMs sometimes get it wrong or lie, but I haven’t seen anywhere that it’s semi-independent. I can fix if I see a reliable source, but I took it straight from the horse’s mouth assuming that they had it correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “an independent twist-beam suspension”

        I had to look that up because I was thinking one of two things:

        1. Torsion arms as opposed to coil springs
        2. Did Ford resurrect the twin I-beam suspension with a new name?

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “Well, excuse me for describing it in what I thought was the most accurate term possible — which is what Ford said in its release.”

        Ford being blatantly dishonest? Color me shocked. If only we had the entire history of this automaker to tell us they were insanely dishonest.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    Looks very much like Leiper’s Fork Distiller. I’m not a spirits drinker but I’ve heard good things. Thank you to Ford for dropping some cash on one of my local businesses.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    If this is similar to the powertrain in the hybrid Escapes that were in NYC taxi duty, should run a long, long time without issues.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    “Look for the Mustang Mach-E GT soon enough…”

    Saw a white one getting unloaded on the docks in Honolulu yesterday.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Nice vehicle and in many ways the base hybrid is the most impressive. Now, how do I turn off all of the electronic driver assistance nannies?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    It may be a lot of great things, but small is not one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, it’s small as modern pickups go.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Really, it’s about as small as a truck can get and still be considered useful

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I disagree, anyone with needs for a Ford truck will be buying an F-series or Ranger. This is aimed at people like myself who don’t need a truck but muck around with our real estate or non-trades small business and the open bed is really helpful. Ford had a real chance to own a recreated small truck market, yet Dearborn demonstrates complete ignorance of the size limitations of urban and suburban garage space and delivers something 8/10s or 9/10s of the gigantic F-150. Maybe in an extended cab its a little more in the desired realm? Not sure but unless the damn reasonable MSRP works out in real life I’m failing to see the purpose of this other than maybe as the first/one of the first hybrid pickups (Ranger crew cab MSRP is $27,4, what’s the real difference between them at the same money?).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @28-Cars-Later:

            ” anyone with needs for a Ford truck will be buying an F-series or Ranger. ”
            — Unless, of course, they really want something smaller.

            Now, in my own case, I have a feeling the Maverick is going to eat into the Ranger’s market… significantly. This is closer to the size of what many people have been wanting for nearly 20 years, with horsepower and torque numbers they’ve been wanting for even longer, in a truck this size.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Vulpine

            Remains to be seen but I’m leaning toward Ranger being more durable for “truck” tasks. Ford likely expects Maverick buyers to be a bit more gentle due to its intended market but seeing how they hold up in commercial or trades use will be interesting because I’m sure some will.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I wouldn’t count out the Maverick for durability yet. In non-U.S. markets there are plenty of small trucks and panel vans based on FWD car platforms that have cockroach durability. The powertrains on the Maverick, at least, are both more solid than the one in the Ranger, although only time will tell about the chassis and suspension.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “I have a feeling the Maverick is going to eat into the Ranger’s market”

            If it does, it will be at the extended cab fleet spec cheapskate end of the range which isn’t going to hurt Ford.

            Ford’s heavier duty F150’s crossover into the 3/4 ton truck range just like the Ranger has some overlap with the F150.

            This will be the pickup version of cannabis, a gateway to more powerful trucks. LOL

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Lie2me: “Really, it’s about as small as a truck can get and still be considered useful”

          — I’m remembering the old Chevy LUV/Isuzu PUP… Now THAT was “useful” at about 10% smaller than the Maverick. Served really well as a working pickup and delivery truck both in town and between cities.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I guess I should have clarified, the smallest KING CAB truck you can get and still be useful. I’m thinking Subaru Brat uselessness

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      It’s shorter than a 20 yr old Ranger Super Cab so there’s that

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Wow 4 inches, Ford you spoil us.

        I also could get a Ranger in a regular cab and 6 ft bed which was 189.4 long.

        https://www.therangerstation.com/tech/ford-ranger-dimensions/

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nice photos, Tim.

    I would tire of the cheap interior and the weaksauce hybrid.

    The sub-20 price is mere fiction; most people will option these up into the low- to mid-30s only to realize they bought an anonymous truck that is two sizes down from the F-150 they could have bought for $40k.

    At least the Santa Cruz has a little style and a real transmission on all models, not to mention a better warranty, and better towing and payload specs.

    • 0 avatar

      The 20K is fiction but 25to 27k gets you in volume model territory. Comparing to crew cab ranger or crew cab F150 that puts you about 5K less or 10K less. That seems like a very logical stepping stone.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      That $40K F-150 that you really wanted alternative is a rose colored memory, inventory may recover by next year but in the mean time they’ve figured out that people still buy them even without $12,000 on the hood and don’t kid yourself that’ll ever come back. The retail trims as actually stocked sticker mid 50s now and sell for all of it. Hell even a Ranger is 40K.

      Zimbabwe, here we come? Zimbabwe, here we are.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        This. Checked out an F150 a couple of weeks ago on a local lot. Chromed wheels, four door, 4wd, cloth seats, no sunroof or fancy infotainment.

        Fifty-four large.

        F**king DEMENTED how much money these things are going for

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I am so glad I bought a car last year, got a letter from the dealer telling me that they’ll give me exactly what I paid for it if I want to trade. I never thought I’d see a letter like that from a car dealer

          • 0 avatar
            conundrum

            Well, they don’t plan on losing any money by making you that offer, that’s for sure. Trading for something with a “market adjustment” means they’re not really offering you what you paid for the car last year.

            Hell I got that kind of offer (“people are looking for 2008 cars just like yours and …) for my three year old Subaru a decade ago. When you go and actually check it out, much foot-shuffling, staring at the floor and other assorted nonsense, like: “Marketing is always sending these letters out from head office to drive traffic in showrooms”. So in other words, it’s total hogwash from beginning to end, not some jolly local dealer salesman signalling you just won the lottery, you lovely person and dear, dear customer who we want to treat real special just because.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I know that, but it was a letter that I never thought I’d see. It certainly didn’t “get me in the showroom”, because I know that new car is going to be so much more, but it did get my attention if only for a minute, which means a dozen other guys went for it

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        For the last decade, until about summer 2020, it was possible to get $10K off the MSRP of a pickup just by breathing. That’s evaporated and as a result pickups feel very, very expensive. $50K for “popularly equipped” and $70K for loaded is hard to swallow.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Just priced an F-150 the least expensive way I’d buy it, for grins. XLT, 4×4, 2.7TT, 301A (for auto climate), tow package, FX4 (for skid plates), Sport (for less chrome), bedliner, nothing else. It’s $54k and I need smelling salts.

          • 0 avatar

            My in laws paid like 65K for a LTZ SIlverado 2500 (with gas engine) recently
            Pickup pricing is nuts.

          • 0 avatar
            JMII

            The average new vehicle now sells for $40k. People nearly lost their minds when a loaded SC hit that number. Check all the options on the Mav and your creeping close to that number as well. Still seems like a decent deal when compared to an equally equipped full size at $50k especially if you can admit your never going to use its full capabilities in terms of towing, hauling or off road driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @SCE to AUX:
      • Nice photos, Tim.
      —- Agreed.

      • I would tire of the cheap interior and the weaksauce hybrid.
      — You, maybe. Somebody else? Maybe not.

      • The sub-20 price is mere fiction;
      — You’re right. The MSRP plus transportation pushes it over $21K

      • most people will option these up into the low- to mid-30s…
      — Because most people don’t want the base model unless it’s a fleet truck for a delivery service, etc.;

      • only to realize they bought an anonymous truck…
      — Which is pretty typical of all pickup trucks;

      • that is two sizes down from the F-150…
      — which they didn’t want in the first place or they wouldn’t even be looking at this;

      • they could have bought for $40k.
      — At best an unlikely number due to the scarcity of supply for at least another year.

      • At least the Santa Cruz has a little style and a real transmission on all models, not to mention a better warranty, and better towing and payload specs.
      — At about the current price of that F-150 you mentioned.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    They need to offer better looking wheel choices. I had to price one out to well over 30K to get a decent looking rim. And why is the 2.5 hybrid so low on torque? I thought electric assist was supposed to make more torque not less. Am I missing something here? Also as mentioned why no AWD on the hybrid?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Hybrid torque numbers aren’t that comparable to a straight gas powertrain. Yes the Electric motor produces peak torque at low rpm, but it is paired with an Atkinson cycle engine that produces less torque than an Otto Cycle. Then you need to add them up at the same rpm to give the advertised peak. What that means is that the area under the torque curve below the peak will be much higher than an ICE only powertrain. In other words you get more low end torque even though that doesn’t show up in the peak numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Guess I’ll have to drive one somehow to see what it’s like. That is if this chip insanity ever subsides and vehicles are available for test. Would never ever buy something site unseen without seeing how it performs and feels.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Nothing brings out the comments like a small truck

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Kinda nice to come to a TTAC and read a thread with over 120 posts and none of it political!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Shhhhh!

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          I believe that demonstrates that Ford has itself a sales winner with the Maverick.

          A hybrid for one demographic and a pick-up for another.
          A vehicle priced like a hatchback but that looks like a truck.

          And even Ford ‘haters’ grudgingly admit that Ford is successful at building and selling pick-ups.

          This one ticks so many boxes that it might be as big a sales monster as the original Explorer.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Arthur Dailey – agreed. The chatter on this would indicate that Ford has hit a “sweet spot” with this product. I want to downsize but I want something more off-road capable and modifiable. That means a Colorado or Ranger. The Tacoma and Gladiator are too expensive.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I ordered the XLT hybrid in Area 51 with a spray in bed, full size spare, and floor trays. If and when I get it (chip shortage) I will order front and back mud flaps and window deflectors which are easy to install. Total cost including tax, title, and licensing of just below 26k. Very reasonable for what you get and its all I need.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      The “all I need” build I keep doing is an XLT hybrid in cyber orange with a hitch receiver ($100 is a bargain) and splurging on a moonroof. Comes in under 26k. I think this will be a popular 2nd or + vehicle for a lot of people.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    40k is not “cheap”. why didn’t all you talkers ever buy the Colorado WT for 22k?

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      Because in the Maverick, $40k is topped out and loaded with all the tech, goodies, and luxuries. The $22k Colorado WT was an unfortunate case of “the cheapest our company could buy” that had a woefully underpowered 4 cyl engine, no power amenities, and just basically not in any way intended to be used as daily transport. Base for base, this Maverick will prove better than the Colorado WT in every way except bed space.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @JD-Shfity: … Wasn’t $22K when I bought. Was more like $32K. Then again, I didn’t buy a base model when I did buy and have been reasonably satisfied with it, despite its size.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    If this has Japanese levels of reliability and durability, they’ll have a new F150-level hit on their hands. If it turns out to be junk with a dozen recalls, they’ll kill the category before it gets legs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Most all the bits contained within are all known to be tried and truly reliable. The biggest problem as always with a new Ford will be quality control issues for the first 1-2 years

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        That’s the old tried and true adage related for any “Big 3 domestic”, don’t buy 1st year of any new model run. My 2010 F150 was the last year of the 5.4 and towards the end of the body design. It has been very reliable.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          With such little power out of the boat anchor 5.4 you could it not be?

          But you have been lucky, I have a few friends with trucks from that generation and they are nightmares

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            @EBFlex- I’ve got TWO 2003 date coded 2004 5.4 3V trucks. Both around 200k miles. Neither has had timing issues. Both have had plugs changed (and yes they all broke except four of the 16) at around 120k, and they’ve both never had anything other than Motorcraft 5w30 and a Motorcraft filter in the entire 100k+ that I’ve owned them. I switched from 5w20 to 5w30 at around 150k in both. If you take care of them like Ford tells you to (literally down to the oil specified in the manual), they’ll be fine. I run F150forum. The data and accounts there can prove that assertion. Its when people do the “Well hell, I run Pennzoil/ Quaker State/ Valvoline (even Mobil1 sometimes) in everything else….” that things start to go down hill.

            I love them. I’ll buy another tomorrow if it has a good service history and documentation to go with it.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @coastie:

            “I run F150forum.”

            That ain’t gonna make any difference to EBTroll.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @CoastieLenn – My truck is now 11 years old and after all those Great White North winters, I have some mild cab corner rust but it’s way less than what I see throughout my neighbour’s Ram 1500 of the same vintage. His box, door sills and doors are rotting away.
            The only problems with mine has been 1 coil pack and a problem with the solenoid in the transfer case. The plugs were no longer an issue in 2010. I’m on my 4th set of tires and brakes. I’ve had some front axle seals replaced but that’s typical of any truck that sees winter and off-road use. I’ve replaced the rear shocks.
            I’ve driven Chevy’s of the same vintage and wasn’t a fan of the 5.3. It’s a torqueless wonder.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “literally down to the oil specified in the manual”

            I think it’s a rather large error for Ford to have given their high-volume truck engine such strict oil needs.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “ If this has Japanese levels of reliability and durability, they’ll have a new F150-level hit on their hands. If it turns out to be junk with a dozen recalls, they’ll kill the category before it gets legs.”

      This may have Yugo or British-Leyland levels of reliability if we’re lucky. It’s an Escape pickup and the Escape has been problematic since it was introduced in 2001.

      Of course, since people are stupid, it remained a strong seller. This will follow the same path.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Ok, we get it, you’re a know-nothing troll. Give it a rest. The Escape has been one of Ford’s biggest success stories. Right, people like to buy garbage, sure. I’m on my 3rd Escape and each one has been better then the one before

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          Lets look at the recalls of the first generation Escape. A vehicle that remained largly unchanged for 10 years:

          2001 – 15 1051 complaints and 172 manufacturer communications

          2002 – 10 1072 complaints and 134 manufacturer communications

          2003 – 09 592 complaints and 75 manufacturer communications

          2004 – 08 490 complaints and 46 manufacturer communications

          2005 – 05 1159 complaints and 71 manufacturer communications

          2006 – 06 697 complaints abd 37 manufacturer communications

          2007 – 04 373 complaints and 25 manufacturer communications

          2008 – 06 2256 complaints and 43 manufacturer communications

          2009 – 05 1475 complaints (144 for hybrid) and 41 manufacturer communications (5 for hybrid)

          2010 – 05 1946 complaints and 47 manufacturer communications

          2011 – 03 1090 complaints (1121 for hybrid) and 46 manufacturer communications

          2012 – 02 489 complaints and 38 manufacturer communications

          So by 2011 they finally got most of the kinks worked out. Just in time to scrap it. 2nd generation came out in 2013.

          2013 – 16 (new record!) 1975 complaints and manufacturer communications

          2014 – 14 1209 complaints and 124 manufacturer communications

          2015 – 05 420 complaints and 109 manufacturer communications

          2016 – 01 340 complaints and 151 manufacturer communications

          2017 – 01 435 complaints and 216 manufacturer communications

          2018 – 02 154 complaints and 140 manufacturer communications

          2019 – 01 68 complaints and 94 manufacturer communications

          Ford finally got their poop in a group but that does not take into account the high rate of engine failures of the 1.6/1.5 and 2.0 engines. So by ignoring problems, recalls went down. It’s like crime rates in liberal cities. If we just stop responding to crime, crime rates go down.

          Anyway 2020 brought us a new Escape:

          2020 – 06 104 complaints 105 manufacturer communications

          2021 – 01 05 complaints and 26 manufacturer communications

          My point stands.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Every car gets recalled, Ford is no exception. I had my Escapes in for a lot of those recalls, each time the issue was corrected no charge and I was on my merry way.

            Let me add this, that out of my 3 Escapes I never once had them into a dealer for anything other then a no charge recall. Not even a single repair under warranty

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Lie2me – my 2010 F150 has never had a recall.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Lou…

            Recall date
            2011-01-28
            Recall no.
            11V049000
            FORD IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009 AND 2010 F-150 VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JANUARY 18, 2008, THROUGH NOVEMBER 30, 2009. THE INTERIOR DOOR HANDLE HOUSING EMBOSSMENT RETAINING THE INTERIOR DOOR HANDLE SPRING MAY FRACTURE DURING NORMAL USAGE RESULTING IN INSUFFICIENT SPRING FORCE TO RETURN THE HANDLE TO THE FULLY STOWED POSITION.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Lie2me – mine wasn’t affected.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The Escape was so problematic that the Hybrid accumulated a good record, much better than the traditional Panthers, serving as a New York City cab.

        Yeah, you’ll need to try harder than just feeding us raw numbers without context.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “they’ll kill the category before it gets legs.”

      I doubt it, the newer Colorado was a hit on introduction because it only competed with then dated Frontier and the Tacoma.

  • avatar
    jrocco001

    The base model like a good first vehicle for a teenager or someone off to college, especially with resale on used vehicles being so high. My perspective is less “it’s barely a capable pickup” and more “it’s a Civic with a truck bed.”

    There’s some utility in that.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    It is not just the price, but the smaller size, not as tall making ingress and egress into the cab and being able to reach in the bed without a ladder makes it easier for those of us that are older, and the hybrid powertrain for better mpgs especially for city driving. I would like a longer bed but at least it is an open bed and all the above mentioned outweigh the bed length of me.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I know Ford is targeting this truck to millennials and Gen Z, but younger people tend to put a higher value on style and badge prestige, of which this Ford has little, so in the end Ford is going to end up with a middle-aged buyer group for the Maverick. And while Ford put in a big effort to make a “real” truck, actual “real truck” buyers won’t consider the Maverick to be a real truck – hence the early tilt dramatically towards the hybrid version vs the 2.0T AWD version.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      That may be Ford’s target, but once again it’s a lot easier to sell a young man’s car to an old man then to sell an old man’s car to a young man.

      All new vehicles are targeting young buyers because of exactly that. Judging by the comments I suspect a large number of buyers will be middle-aged guys and up

    • 0 avatar
      Lightspeed

      I think they will do well with that intended target market. Ford has absolutely nailed the styling with this, it simply looks fun and functional in a clever way. I’d even say for a modern design it’s got a timeless quality. A surprise was how good the base steel wheels look, I can see owners buying a set of those and painting them in wild colours. I also think this has the potential to capture a lot of younger female buyers without the vehicle being branded a “chick-car.” This could be a big deal for Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        It will be interesting to see if women go for it. I rarely see women driving trucks that don’t look to be their husband’s/boyfriend’s truck, but any woman that needs a light hauling capable vehicle should find this attractive if for no other reason then the easy access of the bed

    • 0 avatar
      John

      Remember the Honda Element? Honda targeted young people with it, but in this country its major market was the boomer generation. I can see the same thing here, especially with the hybrid version. I’m going to be in the market for a hybrid based smaller vehicle in a couple of years and this might fill the bill.

  • avatar

    Average new car buyer is well into their 50’s New car buyers under 40 are pretty rare. Last I saw less then 20% of new car buyers are under 40.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “That may be Ford’s target, but once again it’s a lot easier to sell a young man’s car to an old man then to sell an old man’s car to a young man.”

    True for this old man. I would like to know out of the percentage of people age 50 and above ordered this truck. It would not surprise me if it was at least 50. Perfect retirement truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Jeff S: Haven’t ordered one yet. Really want to get inside and ‘feel it out’ before I make a decision. But I really do want something smaller than what I’m driving now. Even so, I’d be happier with a cab-and-a-half instead of two full rows.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Over three feet shorter than my existing Colorado while also having two full rows of seats instead of 1-½ and only losing 1 foot of bed length… I’d say that’s a win-win even if I go for the EcoBoost. Not only that, it’s MSRP is more than $10K less than my Colorado was new.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Vulpine–I ordered and XLT Maverick Hybrid in Area 51 with a spray in bed, floor trays, and a full size spare on July 25. I don’t tow so the hybrid is perfect for me as a retirement vehicle with 40 mpgs city. The size, the price, and the hybrid drivetrain were determining factors otherwise I would keep the 2008 Ranger I bought over a year ago. Have not gotten a notification yet on when it will be made. Total cost including tax, title, and licensing is just below 26k.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I will. It might be a long long time.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    TTAC take note…over 200 comments on an apolitical story.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    It seems to me that a front-wheel-drive pickup truck (1980s VW Rabbit and Dodge Rampage notwithstanding) is nigh-upon-worthless, but the low capacity of this one seems to nullify that opinion. This truck was obviously not intended for heavy work!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      That’s why Ford sells several other trucks suited for heavy work

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Nor it is being marketed as such. The Ranger and F-family can handle the heavy work.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “This truck was obviously not intended for heavy work!’

      Less than 1/2 of pickups sold end up in fleet or commercial hands. I see various HD pickups roaming around that get used once per month to tow a camper trailer or ATV trailer that’s 50 – 100% less than the tow rating for the truck.

      My truck rarely ever tows and most of the time has 500 – 600 lbs of gear in the box which is less than it’s full rating. I’m routinely on gravel roads which is one big reason why I prefer a truck.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Since no one asked, I just discovered this. It looks like the Maverick has passed the sheets of plywood test

    https://www.musclecarsandtrucks.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2022-Ford-Maverick-Max-Payload-Plywood.jpg

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lou_BC–Agree this is a good article and does a good job explaining how a Maverick compares with larger trucks. I like all trucks and have no problem with larger trucks but the Maverick is a perfect size for me at this stage of my life. When I lived in the country this would not have worked for me and actually I should have gotten a full size at the time because my Mitsubishi Mighty Max was used beyond its limits with what I hauled in it. Almost bought my lawn mower repairman’s low mileage 88 Chevy 1500 which was mint. He was a retired GM employee and bought a new truck every few years with the GM discount and he put low miles on his trucks. I am in the process of having a 1 story townhouse built outside of Tucson Arizona. I am getting rid of most of my stuff but I still want a truck and a hybrid Maverick is just perfect for my new lifestyle.

    I am glad to see Ford offer a truck in every size for every need and hope that GM, Toyota, and some of the other manufacturers follow and release smaller and more affordable trucks.

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