Ford’s New $20K Maverick: Compact, Capable. A Full Hybrid ‘Urban Pickup’

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Will Ford Score With A Tough, Ultra-Compact Pickup? 

Size may not be everything. The new Ford Maverick series makes superb use of a smaller footprint design, and loads up on technology. One note here: It’s interesting that Ford would reassign the “Maverick” name to a full hybrid compact SUV in 2021 — a name  originally given to a sedan from the 1970s — the Pinto’s homely cousin.

Oh, how the times have changed. The Ford Maverick is now the name of a tough, savvy little pickup truck, a full hybrid design with an array of ingenious features. And it’s not a smaller version of the F-150 or Ranger, the Maverick has been uniquely imagined and built. This is a compact pickup (see comparison chart, below), for light duty and specifically designed to be what we’ve called the “urban pickup truck.” That means its smaller size is more convenient in the urban jungle. The Maverick is 199.7 inches long, 72.6 inches wide, and 68.7 inches tall. That’s about 13 inches narrower and 11 inches shorter bumper-to-bumper than the already compact Ford Ranger.

The basics: The base model features a 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 engine, generating 250 hp @ 5500 rpm with 277 lb-ft of torque @ 3000 rpm. Includes an 8-Speed Automatic tranny and all-wheel drive performance.

An Advanced Compact Pickup For A Low Price. Imagine that.

If available, half-tons regularly list for $50,000 (or more) and even mid-sized trucks, like Toyota’s Tacoma or Chevy’s Colorado base models run upwards of $30,000. In response, truck drivers look to the used market.

So it seems a perfect time for the Maverick XL  — coming in under $20,000 and available at many dealerships across the U.S. now. While the XLT and Lariat models include upgraded features (MSRPs up to $25,400), the $20K base XL is very well techo-equipped — including a user-friendly infotainment system with a touchscreen command center, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and USB inputs. Safety gear includes pre-collision warning and a rearview camera, with optional blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert. The interior design is spartan, clean and the cockpit is unexpectedly roomy. For knows how to build pickups.

Economy and price vs. towing and off-road

As noted earlier, the Maverick is a much smaller pickup truck. And in reality, when we first saw a Maverick, it has the feel a small SUV with the added feature of a truck bed. Very useful, but it’s not a Bronco. With a maximum load of 2,000 pounds (two jet skis), it’s not a hauler and it just doesn’t have the power, clearance, or articulation needed for heavy off-roading. The regenerative braking system, however, assists the brakes as it captures energy during stops which is a great performance feature. Ford’s betting that Maverick’s combination of exceptional fuel economy and a low price tag will win with an emerging market.

Ingenious design and clever use of space

Cargo space is maximized by taking advantage of under-seat storage and a few clever design tricks — the tailgate can be positioned part-way open to match the height of the wheel wells. That creates a level surface big enough for a sheet of plywood. Hooks on the side of the tailgate make securing the extended load easy, and a newly-designed hinge keeps the tailgate from coming free like a traditional tailgate. Features that help you make the most of the Maverick’s space. In the end, Ford has made this vehicle affordable, and the base trim level is better than its competition. And in today’s climate, a brand-new vehicle with an MSRP under $20,000 is golden.

Ford’s designers have created a utilitarian, yet comfortable interior. They utilized plastic interior panels, exposed fasteners, steel wheels — and it works. With a fuel economy average of 52 miles per gallon and an estimated range of 396 miles.

We couldn’t let this go

Only a very few of the staff at MiamiCars.com ever saw a Ford Maverick from back in the day. When reminded of this historical Ford automobile, they have fond memories.

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