Meet the Ford Maverick, the compact truck for pandemic gardeners, at-home DIYers, suburban moms, and working women alike.
It’s rare that one vehicle can suit so many needs, but the 2022 Ford Maverick is a jack of all trades. If you need to park in a cramped parking garage to head to your city office job, the Maverick has your back. If you just brought the kids back from the beach but know you’re not going to be motivated enough to clean up all those sandy clothes until morning, that’s fine; the Maverick has you covered. If you discovered your love of upcycling small pieces of furniture during the pandemic, you can’t go wrong with a Maverick as your vehicle of choice. And hell, if you’ve just always wanted a pickup but could never see over the steering wheel because you live that short girl life, then you’re going to adore the Maverick’s short-girl-friendly stature.
But best of all? It’s not going to cost you a fortune — at its cheapest, you can buy a Maverick for just over $21,000, but if you’re a luxury kind of girl, you can get a fully-loaded model for well under $30,000. That means more money in your pocket to keep pursuing whatever passion is calling your name.
A Truck for the Indecisive
Are you in the market for a car but don’t know if you need a used compact SUV or a new sedan? Are you looking for great fuel mileage but don’t know how, exactly, you want to achieve it? Do you know if you want a hybrid or a conventional gasoline engine? Do you know how you’ll want to use the truck bed? It can be hard to decide — but the great part about the Ford Maverick is that it actually applies to any and all of those categories.
The Maverick comes with two engine options — hybrid or conventional gasoline — and three trims at different price points, so you’re sure to find something that works for you. But because Ford knows your needs might change over time, it has also provided a ton of options and accessories for anyone who wants, say, the base-model truck but with added cruise control.
Storage, Storage, and More Storage
According to our Ford reps at the press event, the company wanted to build a truck around how people use their vehicles. So, it laid out a whole table full of the stuff that ends up making its way into our cars — phones, water bottles, purses, hair scrunchies, emergency kits, and more — and asked people where they would ideally like to place those things in their vehicle. Then, using that feedback, Ford designed the Maverick’s interior to ensure it would be functional for real life use.
That means that, in the front, there’s a wireless phone charger that lets you rest your phone on its back — but there’s also a second one that props your phone up in case you need to see the screen. There’s also another storage slot for flatter objects or your scrunchies just behind that propped-up space. There are also two cup holders in between the seats, and one smaller divot for other objects. The center console has enough space to fit a small purse. And behind the infotainment screen is another little divot to put things like sunglasses.
There are also two to three water bottle holders in each door. Instead of having an armrest and door handle that runs across the entire length of the door, Ford cut out a space that enables you to stick even your tallest Yeti bottle into the door and pull it out with ease. That move also means that the rear speakers have moved from the inside of the door to the pillar behind the passengers’ heads — which makes for a great music experience.
The rear seat flips up with the pull of a tether, revealing a long, open storage space under all three seats. In the trunk bed, there are one or two storage cubbies, depending on the trim level you buy. Also in the bed are divots and humps that make it easy to pop a few pieces of wood into place and create a double-layer storage system.
But that’s not it. The Maverick also comes with something called the FITS tether system. Basically, this system uses standardized measurements and different slots around the interior and exterior to offer plenty of optional storage. For example, there’s a little hook behind the center console in the rear of the truck. You can use it to add a trash bin, a cup holder, a cord tether, and more. Under the rear seats, there are cubbies and dividers that enable you to divvy up that space how you see fit.
The best part is, Ford offers multiple ways for you to acquire the FITS accessories. If you have access to a 3D printer, Ford will give you all the data you need to make these accessories at home. If not, you can buy some of the options from Ford.
Get Your DIY On
Ford knows that we’re practical people on a budget. Ford understands that we might not be able to buy a truck kitted out with all the bells and whistles and can be way more expensive than a Mercedes-Benz luxury car. That’s why Ford designed the Maverick to be DIY-friendly.
Seriously. Ford paid attention to the way people were using their cars and came up with some videos on how to help you build your own bike rack, bed lighting, or anything else — and those videos are easily accessible through a QR code on the bed of the truck. Scan the code with your phone, and Ford will tell you everything you need to know, including the parts to buy and the step-by-step process for how to build whatever project you’re working on. This is seriously such a cool option for anyone who might have big dreams for their truck but who can’t shell out the money for all those upgrades right off the bat.
Of course, if you’re not interested in getting crafty, Ford also offers tons of accessories for the Maverick that you can buy from your dealer or order online. You can nab one of those instead of hitting the hardware store and trying to do it yourself!
But How’s the Drive?
The Ford Maverick isn’t a big truck. It’s not a replacement for your F-150 or your SuperDuty if you’ve bought one of those to haul massive loads. But for all your less-intense needs, the Maverick is incredible.
It handles well on the road, with the kind of ease you’d normally find in a more upscale SUV. I took the Maverick on highways, back roads, and even over piles of dirt and rock with ease. This isn’t the truck you’ll take mudding, but it’s the one you can use to get that coveted lakeside space for your pop-up camper without having to worry about a little light off-roading damaging your vehicle.
Ford also provided journalists with an opportunity to test the payload and towing capacities. I’ll admit that I didn’t go for the heaviest tow load because I’m not an experienced hauler, but the hybrid engine capably handled a 1,600 pound trailer-and-lawnmower combo. Similarly, adding 18 sheets of plywood in the back to max out the payload didn’t make the truck harder to drive; it did make the Maverick a little heavier, but the truck was still nimble enough to negotiate sharp turns and highway merging.
No, the Maverick isn’t a big truck. It’s not going to be your first choice as a heavy-duty work truck, and it’s not going to be the first vehicle you choose if you want to ride in total luxury. But if you work in an urban office or need to negotiate tight school drop-off zones as frequently as you need to drive over a few bumpy roads or stow sandy clothes from the beach, then the Maverick is the girl for you.
Can it Tow?
Ford stressed several times how important it was that the Maverick be able to do a whole host of Truck Stuff, but perhaps on a lesser scale than what a Ford F-150 or SuperDuty driver would need. It still needed to tow. It needed to have a functional payload. And it needed to have light off-roading capabilities for people who live out in rural areas.
So, yes: The Ford Maverick can tow.
Both engines provide 1,500 lbs of payload capacity, which is how much weight you can stow in the truck bed. That’s a pretty significant amount: if the average bag of mulch weighs about 20 lbs, you could stow a whopping 75 bags of mulch in the truck bed before you’d overload the Maverick. But if you’re buying that much mulch all at once, you’ll probably have a problem.
The towing capacity differs based on which engine you buy. So, if you want the hybrid engine — which combines an electric battery with a gasoline engine to optimize your fuel economy — you’ll only have 1,500 pounds of towing capacity, which is good for a small boat or a pop-up camper.
If you need a little more towing capability, you might consider the gasoline engine, which provides 4,000 pounds of towing capacity. That’s perfect for a 21-foot boat.
If you plan on towing, make sure you let your dealer know so they can ensure your truck is outfitted with a tow hitch.
How Much Does the Ford Maverick Cost?
The best part of the Ford Maverick is its affordability. Ford initially marketed it as having a sub-$20,000 starting price (though that doesn’t take into account mandatory destination fees that bring the price tag just above $20k). And it remains an affordable truck that doesn’t feel like there were any compromises when it came to setting a low price tag.
Since the Maverick is so close to launch, I had the chance to drive every trim, from the base-model to the top-of-the-line Lariat. Here’s how those pricing schemes break down and what you can expect from each trim level:
- Maverick XL: Standard hybrid powertrain, front-wheel drive, steel wheels, automatic headlights, forward collision warning, emergency braking, power windows and locks, keyless entry, air conditioning, 8-inch touchscreen, USB and USB-C ports in the front, cloth seats, a six-speaker sound system: $21,490
- Maverick XLT: Add 17-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, FlexBed cubby storage, power tailgate lock, keypad access for front door, cruise control, upgraded exterior, and a rear seat center armrest: $23,775
- Maverick Lariat: Add power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-sliding rear window, simulated leather upholstery, a larger instrument panel, dual-zone climate control, six-way power passenger seat: $26,085
There are also several packages that you can add to certain trims to enhance your driving experience:
- XLT Luxury Package: Add bed tie-down rails, a spray-in bedliner, LED bed lighting, a trailer hitch with a four-pin wiring harness, heated mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 400-watt outlets in the rear seat and bed, and two rear USB ports; add $2,345
- Lariat Luxury Package: Add the XLT Luxury package items plus adaptive cruise control, lane centering, evasive steering assist, rear parking sensors, upgraded 8-inch touchscreen, wireless charging, upgraded USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, eight-speaker B&O sound system; add $3,340
- First Edition Package: All the luxury equipment plus a black-painted roof and mirror caps, a sunroof, unique wheels, and a first edition decal; add $1,495
- FX4 Off-Road Package (for XLT and Lariat only): Add 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, front tow hooks, skid plates, four-pin wiring harness and decals; add $800
- 4K Tow Package (for gas engines only): Add tire upgrades, a trailer brake controller, four-pin wiring harness, transmission oil cooler, higher-capacity radiator, upgraded cooling fan, upgraded drive radio, all-wheel drive, 4,000 pounds towing capacity: add $745
- Ford Co-Pilot 360: Add blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, lane-keep assist, and a full-size spare tire; add $540
There are also a handful of options that you can purchase:
- Replace the hybrid engine with a 2.0-liter gas-only turbo engine: $1,085
- All-wheel drive: $3,305
- Tonneau cover: $1,160
- Up to 50 different options for all trims that include things like bed liners, console storage, and more.
While the Lariat trim is great for anyone who likes a little extra luxury in their lives, there’s no reason to be afraid of the base model. It remains an incredible option for anyone who wants functionality and capability but may not have the biggest budget.
Specs to Know
- Tethered Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Bluetooth capabilities
- 8-inch touchscreen
- Seats 5 but more comfortable for 4
- Remote keyless entry
- 4G WiFi Hotspot
- Standard 2.5-liter hybrid engine that makes 191 horsepower, 151 lb-ft of torque, 1,500 pounds of payload, and 2,000 pounds towing capacity
- Available conventional gasoline 2.0-liter Ecoboost Engine that makes 250 horsepower, 277 lb-ft of torque, 1,500 pounds of payload, and 4,000 pounds towing capacity
- 40 mpg in the city for the hybrid engine
- A 4.5-foot long bed that can fit 18 sheets of 4×8 plywood
- A 12-volt power point in the truck bed, with an optional 110-volt outlet or two power points on the Lariat trim
- Safety features: collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear view camera, lane-keep assist (optional), hill descent control (optional)
What We Loved
- Great hip height, so it was super easy to climb in and out
- The truck bed that I could reach into
- Tons of storage options and solutions
- The DIY aesthetic of the truck, where it encourages you to have fun and take on challenges yourself
- The adjustable tailgate and notched bed, which makes it easy to load up the back of the truck
- Surprisingly spacious interior
- The low, bench-seat feel of the front seats
- The price!
Who Is the Maverick For?
- Short girls who have never felt like they belonged in a truck
- Urbanites who need a smaller vehicle but still want the flexibility of a truck bed
- Pandemic gardeners or DIYers who realized their current car just doesn’t have space to haul things like mulch or plywood
- Small families — especially mom-driven families, or families who care for older relatives
- Rural families that just don’t need a massive truck but still want something that can meet their daily needs
- People who never thought they needed a truck before!
Rock out with Us!
With our drive in Nashville, I found myself listening to a great playlist of female-fronted country music. If that’s your jam, you can also rock out to our Ford Maverick playlist:
Disclosure: Ford invited me to Nashville to test drive the Maverick. All opinions are my own.