In the classic 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” comes the iconic quote, “If you build it, they will come”. Now, technically the quote is “If you build it, he will come” but we won’t delve into semantics as the accepted (if wrong) quote works far too well in so many situations. One of those situations seems to have been in a board room at Ford, when they were discussing whether or not they should try to cram in yet another pickup truck in an already saturated market. And while most companies would probably opt out of that idea, it seems Ford execs were doing their best Kevin Costner impersonation, bringing us the 2022 Ford Maverick.
It’s worth noting that the 2022 Ford Maverick isn’t something Ford built from scratch. They had the resurrected Ford Bronco chassis to work with, which cuts down on costs immensely. This now makes the Ford Ranger go from being the baby of the pickup lineup to the middle child of the group. Along with the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz, the Maverick will be one of the first models to usher in a new breed of tiny trucks.
All trim levels for the 2022 Ford Maverick will be had in the four-door crew cab body style and also have the same 4.5 foot bed. Standard power comes from a Duratec 2.5-liter inline four cylinder engine augmented by a hybrid electric motor to make a combined 191-horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. In an unusual change of pace, power is sent to the front wheels via an e-CVT gearbox by default as opposed to the traditional rear-wheel bias most pickups have favored throughout history.
For those that want a bit more Mighty Mouse feel to their miniature pickup, buyers can opt for the excitable 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four cylinder that produces a very lively 250-horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. That power is then funneled through an more conventional 8-speed automatic transmission that sends force to all four wheels for a much more surefooted (and truck-like) on-and off-road feel. There are five drive modes you can choose from — Normal, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Eco and Sport, or if you opt for the FX4 package, you will also get Mud & Ruts as well as Sand modes. The FX4 package also adds a heavy duty radiator and engine fan, front tow hooks, skid plates, bigger tires, tuned shocks and Hill Descent Control.
The base setup sports a max payload capacity of 1500 pounds and towing capacity of 2000 pounds, while the optional EcoBoost motor (combined with the Towing Package) raises that tow capacity to a healthy 4000 pounds. As you might expect, the hybrid powertrain is extremely frugal when it comes to fuel economy. Only having to move 3,674 pounds, the hybrid motor posts 42/33 city/highway mpg, while the turbocharged setup still manages to get a respectable 23/30/26 city/highway/combined mpg.
Despite its diminutive size, the 2022 Ford Maverick offers up a roomy environment for passengers, as well as tons of hidden storage around the cabin. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system powered by Ford’s Sync 3 programming sits front and center, utilizing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as sporting wireless charging and an onboard WiFI hotspot.
As with most modern cars and trucks, the 2022 Ford Maverick comes replete with a litany of safety tech to help you get where you are going in one piece. Things like automatic high-beam headlamps, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go lane centering, as well as a rear view camera all help keep everyone safe on those long, and short, jaunts around town or cross-country.
The three trims — XL, XLT, and Lariat come with pricing commensurate with their available features as you might expect. The base XL starts at a very affordable $19,995, while the XLT chimes in at $22,280 and the top end Lariat will only run you a base of just $25,490. So even though there are plenty of options in a very competitive pickup truck market, the 2022 Ford Maverick combination of versatile features and low entry price point make us think that maybe, just maybe, when Ford builds it, they really will come.