This week on The EV Impact Show we’re going remote, because the good folks over at Ford have invited us out to Detroit to take a look at their brand-new hybrid pickup truck offering: The 2022 Ford Maverick.
Now, Ford says the Maverick is the first standard full-hybrid pickup truck in America, and the company is calling this “the truck for people who never knew they wanted a truck,” and as I go through the features, I think that is going to start making a lot of sense or ringing true for a lot of people. For starters, the Maverick comes standard as a five-passenger, four-door pickup, but that full-hybrid powertrain offers a projected EPA-estimated rating of 40 miles per gallon in the city, as well as 500 miles of range on a single tank of gas.
When I got to the motor city, Ford had two models on display for me to get up close and personal with: A middle-end XLT model and its high-end Lariat model. And, Ford’s Maverick and Ranger marketing manager, Trevor Scott, was right there with me for me to pepper with all sorts of questions.
Trevor told me that Ford’s primary target customer for the Maverick is one who is coming out of owning a sedan or maybe a small utility vehicle, and you can really see that reflected in the price tag, which comes in at just under $20,000 for the base model. But, take a closer look, and Trevor gets more specific with how Ford hopes to capture that customer.
“We envision a lot of customers coming out of small cars and sedans out of small utilities and knowing that fuel efficiency is really important to them,” Trevor said. “Obviously, we wanted to make sure that that was really a prominent part of how we were positioning an offering Maverick. So with the standard hybrid, with it being sort of the most fuel-efficient pickup on the market, with it being the first pickup hybrid in America, stronger fuel economy than a Honda civic… we felt like that really would resonate with that target audience that you wanted sort of the balance of cargo space, fuel efficiency, affordability. And so that was really a key part of why we chose to go the standard hybrid route.”
This is also why Ford went the hybrid route with the Maverick rather than fully electric, like with the company’s F-150 Lightning. Fully electric would drive up the price, and from Ford’s point of view, affordability is really sort of paramount for this target audience they have for the Maverick.
So, in addition to that 40 MPG in the city and up to 500 miles of range on a single tank, Ford says the Maverick’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain is going to deliver 191 horsepower when combined with the electric motor, and 155 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a continuously variable transmission driving the front wheels. This hybrid truck is also capable of towing up to 2,000 lbs.
The Maverick is also being released with an optional 2-liter EcoBoost gas engine for those customers that need a bit more power. So, the gas engine is going to boost the Maverick’s output to 250 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. From here, drivers can pair this truck with the optional 4K Tow Package, which will double conventional towing capability to 4,000 lbs.
I asked about service intervals, and Ford says it’s actually going to be about the same in principle for the gas and hybrid variants, but the hybrid vehicle should achieve longer distances between oil changes. The brake pads are also expected to last longer on the hybrid thanks to regenerative braking.
The bed itself is only 4-and-a-half feet long, but you can get a lot more out of it by extending that to six feet of space if you take advantage of the multi-position tailgate. And, that might seem small for a truck bed, but it’s due to the truck’s overall size; the Maverick is one of the most compact pickups you’ll find on the market at only 199.7 in. long, and that’s about 10 in. shorter than the Ford Ranger. Trevor says this bed was built with the thought that customers could customize the space to their liking.
“You can actually see in our bed here we’ve got a couple of example 2×4 and 2x6s. It does a great job at showing the versatility of the truck,” Trevor said. “Knowing the affordability we’re after with this customer, we wanted to create more affordable or accessible solutions for bed dividers, creating your own bike rack or creating your own flexible storage. So, lots of great ways that you can use the flex bed beyond just the available cargo rails. We’ve got additional cubbies located in the bed itself. We’ve got a storage cubby that you can use for just about anything that you can carry with you, and over here we’ve got a 120V outlet for charging a small TV, or if you’re tailgating, a laptop, whatever it is that you might need to charge. We’ve got one of those inside of the cabin as well.”
And, as Ford makes sure to point out in their press materials, there’s a bottle cap opener built into the bed as well. How cool is that?
Inside in the back, you’ll find seating for five, as well as a few fairly unique design decisions.
“Bringing you around to the interior of the vehicle, lots of great things to point out there. In our Lariat model we have our Active X vinyl material, a really high-grade vinyl material,” Trevor said. “You can see a lot of creative design went into the interior of the vehicle, like the cantilever door handles here; these are great, you can fit 1-liter water bottles in there, a laptop, an iPad… really store just about anything in there.”
“For those customers who are constantly on the go, you lift up the second row here and you’ve got storage bins underneath for soccer balls, volleyballs, you name it, you can store just about anything underneath here. Lots of great storage space. And, 120V outlet here in the rear, so anything that you need to be charged you can do so inside the cabin as well.”
Trevor was also excited to show me what Ford is referring to as the truck’s Ford Integrated Tether slots, or FIT slots. These are made to fit accessories like cupholders or a storage bin.
“We’re looking to generate a 3D blueprint that we can provide to the customer, so those customers who are familiar with 3D printing and are looking to potentially customize the vehicle can create their own solutions, both in the second-row under seat storage area as well as in the back of the first-row console,” Trevor said.
Up front, you’ll find the Maverick has a ton of options for both built-in and brought-in technology, including standard FordPass Connect with an embedded modem and Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices.
“Up in the first row here you can see the rotary shifter there in the middle of the console, so five standard drive modes for Maverick. You also have our 8-in. touchscreen which is standard across all models,” Trevor said. “Our Lariat series is equipped with Sync 3 connectivity. We also have a 6.5-in. instrument cluster there just above the steering wheel as well. Lots of great tech in this vehicle. Standard LED headlamps, Apple Carplay and Android Auto is standard across all Mavericks. This particular Lariat model with our luxury package has additional features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. So, lots of great technology that you’ll find throughout all of Maverick’s line-up.”
So, that is Ford’s new hybrid light-duty pickup truck, the 2022 Maverick. It’s going on sale this fall, let us know what you think. My name’s David Sickels, and this is The EV Impact Show. See you next time.