NASHVILLE, Tenn.—If you’ve got ever bemoaned the growing measurement and price of a new pickup truck—and Ars’ remark threads are bursting with such like-minded people—then immediately’s truck would possibly pique your curiosity. The new Ford Maverick comes with a extremely environment friendly hybrid powertrain able to greater than 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km), a easy however trendy inside with a can-do angle, and a beginning value of simply $19,995.
Unlike the remainder of Ford’s pickup truck lineup—all of which use body-on-frame development—the Maverick shares its unibody platform with the Escape and Bronco Sport crossovers. It’s compact for a pickup: at 199.7 inches (5,072 mm), it is greater than 10 inches shorter than a Ford Ranger and almost Three ft shorter than an F-150. However, meaning the Maverick makes do with a 4.5-foot (1,372 mm) mattress. Although, as we’ll see, mattress measurement hardly impedes this truck’s utility.
The Maverick bucks the big-truck development beneath its hood, too: there is no V8 and even V6 choice. Instead, the default powertrain is a hybrid that mixes a 162 hp (120 kW), 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) 2.5 L four-cylinder engine that runs the Atkinson cycle and a 126 hp (94 kW), 173 lb-ft (234 Nm) electrical traction motor, with a mixed output of 191 hp (142 kW) through a repeatedly variable transmission (CVT) to the entrance wheels.
A front-wheel-drive hybrid pickup truck won’t rating effectively on the toxic-masculinity chart, nevertheless it is extremely environment friendly. Although Ford is nonetheless ready on an official EPA ranking for this powertrain, I averaged 40 mpg on the primary day driving a mixture of metropolis streets, nation roads, and a few highways. I additionally clocked 45 mpg (5.2 L/100 km) on rural roads on day two regardless of carrying 1,000 lbs of mulch within the mattress. The Maverick’s whole payload is 1,500 lbs (680 kg), with a tow ranking of two,000 lbs (907 kg).
AWD is an choice
A extra highly effective engine is additionally an choice. It makes use of a turbocharged 250 hp (186 kW), 277 lb-ft (375 Nm) 2.zero L four-cylinder engine (coupled to an eight-speed automated), with the choice of both FWD ($1,085) or all-wheel drive ($3,074). The latter largely drives the entrance wheels however may even ship energy to the rear as required by drive mode and obtainable traction. For an additional $800, you may add the FX4 off-road bundle as effectively. It’s a less-efficient powertrain, rated at 26 mpg (9 L/100 km) mixed, or 25 mpg mixed (9.Four L/100 km) for AWD. In sport mode on a twisty street, you would possibly solely get 20 mpg, however driving it sedately allowed me to common 33.Three mpg (7 L/100 km).
Ford helpfully arrange some Mavericks with trailers so we may see how hauling a heavy load affected issues. I selected an AWD Maverick fitted with the $745, 4,000 lb (1,814 lb) towing bundle and hitched to the heaviest trailer. Loaded with a pair of ATVs, it tipped the scales at 3,650 lbs (1,656 kg). Although I used to be acutely aware of the additional mass hanging off the again of the truck, it was no chore to drive, though gasoline effectivity did drop by about 50 %.
Simple, not plain
I knew I’d just like the Maverick’s effectivity; I wasn’t anticipating to be fairly so smitten with its cabin, which feels low cost and cheerful in one of the best ways. Ford’s designers have been unapologetic with their use of powerful plastics that feel and look like plastic, giving the cabin an trustworthy allure. For me, the candy spot is the $22,280 XLT trim, since I’m a sucker for vivid orange accents. But you get the identical array of cubbies and nooks no matter whether or not it is the most affordable XL or the most costly $25,490 Lariat trim.
Even the most affordable XL hybrid Maverick will get a suite of superior driver-assistance programs as commonplace. They embody automated headlights and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. For an additional $540, you may add adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping, blind-spot displays and cross-traffic alerts, emergency steering help, and hill-descent management.
There’s solely a single infotainment choice. An eight-inch touchscreen has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with USB-A and USB-C ports for connecting your units, and a 4G LTE hotspot.
Everywhere you look, you discover proof that Ford’s design group paid consideration to how individuals would use their Mavericks. The forward-most a part of the middle console has locations to place each the driving force’s and passenger’s telephones, together with a recess that enables the telephone to be plugged in. The door playing cards can retailer 1 L water bottles, massive insulated mugs, and even laptops and tablets. Lift the rear seat and you will find extra storage bins.
Forget shopping for equipment; simply make them your self
Ford is clearly focusing on the maker crowd with the Maverick. There are eight mounting slots (one on the rear of the middle console, the opposite seven within the underseat bin) that Ford is calling the Ford Integrated Tether System. You’ll be capable to purchase equipment that use these slots, however you may as well scan a QR code within the mattress that takes you to CAD recordsdata and movies that let you know the best way to 3D-print your personal mods like storage dividers, cup holders, and bins.
Ford has taken the identical method with the Maverick’s mattress. Although the mattress is simply 4.5 ft lengthy, you may nonetheless load it with 4×8-foot sheets of plywood by placing the tailgate into an intermediate place and utilizing the offered tie-downs. There’s a storage cubby behind one of many rear wheels, and slots constructed into the edges help you make your personal mattress dividers.
The XLT and Lariat trims include a mattress liner, in addition to a 110 V AC energy outlet and built-in mattress lighting. But the XL accommodates all of the wiring to put in your personal energy and lights, with useful video directions simply a QR code away. Ford may even present you the best way to construct your personal bike rack for $40, with new DIY movies displaying up often.
Those needing a hardcore work truck would possibly nonetheless desire the bigger F-150 hybrid, which might energy 240 V instruments and comes with a bigger mattress. But the whole payload ranking on the massive F-150 is not truly that a lot larger, and you are going to should pay two to a few occasions as a lot as a Maverick would price. For drivers who do not want a big mattress and seven.2 kW of AC energy, or who need Prius-rivaling gasoline effectivity in a pickup truck, or who simply need a low cost truck that they’ll customise themselves, the Maverick is well worth the time.
Listing picture by Jonathan Gitlin