Now that Ford has stopped making sedans and soon will bid its smallest SUV, the EcoSport, goodbye, the new 2022 Ford Maverick compact pickup truck is poised to replace them at the bottom of the automaker’s lineup. A small crew-cab pickup truck based on the same platform as the Bronco Sport SUV, the Maverick is available with a hybrid powertrain or a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), and a choice between three trim levels.
What’s New for the 2022 Ford Maverick?
Everything about the 2022 Maverick is new except for its name. Last used on a forgettable compact car, Ford dusts off the Maverick nameplate for duty on this new small truck that helps revive a segment that hasn’t existed in America for a long time. The Maverick, and the new-for-2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, are the only small trucks available in U.S. because models such as the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma have all grown into what is now called a midsize pickup.
2022 Ford Maverick Price and Configurations
When it first went on sale, 2022 Ford Maverick starting prices ranged from the low $20,000s to the high $20,000s. Three trim levels are available:
- Maverick XL — To keep the base price low, the Maverick XL is basic but is not entirely without comfort and convenience features. You can spot one by the 17-inch silver steel wheels and black exterior details, but the XL does include LED headlights with automatic high-beam operation. Inside, the Maverick XL features cloth seats, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, air conditioning, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power windows, and power door locks with remote keyless entry. The infotainment system includes an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and FordPass Connect services, including access to a Wi-Fi connection and remote engine starting. Maverick XL safety features include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking
- Maverick XLT — With XLT trim, the Maverick includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a gray grille, wiper-activated headlights, and power exterior mirrors. The cargo bed adds more tie-down locations, an in-bed storage cubby, and a power tailgate lock. Cruise control is standard, along with upgraded seat fabric, a rear center armrest with cupholders, and an anti-theft system
- Maverick Lariat — The Maverick Lariat has 18-inch alloy wheels, LED signature lighting, silver grille trim, body-color door handles and mirror caps, and a power sliding and dark-tinted rear window. Hands-free keyless entry with push-button engine starting is also standard, along with upgraded interior materials, ambient interior lighting, ActiveX simulated leather upholstery, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a manually height-adjustable front passenger’s seat, and dual-zone automatic climate control
2022 Ford Maverick Review and Test Drive
Born in Japan and adopted by youthful Californians, the original crop of small pickup trucks arrived in the U.S. in the 1960s and found widespread acceptance in the 1970s. In the decades that followed, small trucks grew wider, longer, taller, and more powerful, their prices ballooning with their size and capability. This trend created the midsize truck segment that currently includes the Ford Ranger and its direct competitors.
Now, for the 2022 model year, Ford and Hyundai press the rewind button and debut two new genuinely small pickups. The 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz take distinctly different paths to appeal to the same group of youthful, lifestyle-oriented customers. Between the two, the Maverick takes a more traditional approach to the segment.
The Maverick might be small, but it serves a big role in the Ford lineup. First, its low price entices young people to buy their first Ford truck, the automaker hoping they will upgrade to the midsize Ranger and full-size F-150 in the years to come. Second, it effectively replaces Ford’s now-discontinued Fiesta and Focus car models, and soon its departing EcoSport SUV. Third, its standard hybrid powertrain promises to help Ford meet ever more stringent fuel-economy standards.
Considering how important the new Maverick is to Ford, a complete evaluation was necessary. For this 2022 Ford Maverick review, we test-drove the XLT hybrid in Southern California. Options included the XLT Luxury package, Ford Co-Pilot360 safety package, all-weather floor liners, and a manual sliding rear window, bringing the price to $27,295, including the $1,495 destination charge. Ford provided the vehicle for this Maverick review.
2022 Ford Maverick Review: The Design
Featuring a three-box design with a clearly defined hood, cab, and bed, the Maverick is unmistakable for anything but a pickup truck. The XLT test truck’s Area 51 paint (a flat blue-gray color) nicely complemented the gray grille, wheels, and other trim, and aside from slightly oversized lighting elements and an odd offset rear license plate mounting location, nothing about the Maverick’s design is remotely controversial. The same cannot be said for its primary rival from Hyundai.
Inside, hard plastic and rubber surfaces are the rules rather than the exceptions, Ford apparently concluding that the truck will see significant wear and tear over time. With XLT trim, Ford goes overboard with orange accents, but the two-tone blue and gray fabric is appealing.
A manual seat-height adjuster and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel help drivers get comfortable in the Maverick, and our test truck’s optional XLT Luxury package added an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (including lumbar) and heated front seats. However, despite the wide range of adjustments, you may feel as though you’re sitting on the seat cushion rather than nestled into it. Taller drivers may also wish for additional fore/aft seat travel.
The rear-seat room is unexpectedly accommodating, providing adequate legroom for adults. Plus, the softly padded front seatbacks are kind to knees and shins. Ford does not supply rear air conditioning vents, but the XLT test truck came with rear USB-A and USB-C ports and a household-style power outlet. An available power-sliding rear window offers a small opening to the cargo bed.
The Maverick is a simple truck featuring an uncluttered control layout and plenty of knobs and buttons. The exceptions to tradition are the rotary-style transmission gear selector on the center console and the electronic parking brake switch, but you get used to those in a hurry.
Ford also carves plenty of storage nooks and crannies into the Maverick’s cabin, including water-bottle storage in the door panels and generously sized bins underneath the back seat cushions. So everywhere you look, there’s a place to stash something.
Functionality continues with the truck bed. The 4.5-ft bed comes with tie-down loops and adjustable cleats. Our XLT test truck had bed lighting, a spray-in bedliner, a covered cubby in the right bed wall, and a 120-volt/400-watt power outlet. In addition, Ford says the Maverick has a Flexbed system that accommodates a wide range of dividers, cargo racks, and other accessories, all of which are available at extra cost through your Ford dealership.
2022 Ford Maverick Review: The Technology
Every new 2022 Maverick has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and integration. FordPass Connect is also standard, and through it, you can access Wi-Fi connectivity, remote engine starting, and other features. Ford’s Sync 3 voice recognition system is optional, making it easier to control the system using voice commands. You can also get an eight-speaker premium sound system in the Maverick, but only with Lariat trim.
Like so many things about the Maverick, the XLT’s touchscreen infotainment system provides everything you need and nothing you don’t. Connect your Apple or Android smartphone to stream music, run navigation, and speak to your device’s digital assistant. A power and volume knob and a tuning knob simplify using the stereo, while large on-screen menu tiles and reasonably quick response to inputs make the touchscreen easier to navigate.
As far as driving assistance and collision avoidance technologies go, the Maverick includes standard forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The Ford Co-Pilot360 option package is available on all three trim levels and adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and a driver monitoring system. Additionally, the Lariat Luxury package installs adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, pairing it with a lane-centering assistance system to provide Level 2, hands-on semi-autonomous driving assistance on the highway. This upgrade also adds evasive steering assistance to the Maverick.
The test truck had Co-Pilot360 but, since it was the XLT, it lacked the adaptive cruise and other safety feature upgrades. During the evaluation, the test truck’s driving aids worked as expected and did not cause irritation in the driver.
As this review is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had performed crash tests on the new Maverick.
2022 Ford Maverick Review: The Drive
Ford equips the Maverick with two completely different powertrains. The standard setup is a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain based on a 2.5L four-cylinder engine. It develops a combined 191 hp and sends it to the truck’s front wheels through an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Ford says the Maverick Hybrid will return 37 mpg in combined driving, but as this review is written, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hasn’t published official ratings for the hybrid.
An "EcoBoost" turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine is optional. It generates 250 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of torque, delivered to the front or all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This EcoBoost engine is significantly less fuel-efficient, with fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg (AWD) or 26 mpg (FWD) in combined driving. However, this is the version of the Maverick that’s capable of towing up to 4,000 lbs.
Our test truck had the standard hybrid powertrain, and it returned 38.8 mpg on the testing loop. We drove most of the miles in Normal mode, but used Eco mode in the city and Sport mode in the mountains, each to predictable effect. Additional drive modes include Tow/Haul and Slippery.
When driven in Normal mode, the Maverick’s performance is unremarkable aside from its effortless efficiency. Choose Eco mode, and the Maverick feels dull and sluggish. Sport mode adds spirit to the truck’s performance. Notably, the CVT rarely makes itself known to the driver, and in Sport mode, it adopts artificial shift mapping for a more natural sound and feel.
You can activate an Auto Hold system for the brakes, which holds the Maverick in place without requiring the driver’s foot on the brake pedal. When using it, you’ll need to push a little harder on the accelerator to disengage the system. At that point, the hybrid engine’s electric motor delivers a sudden burst of torque that can produce more immediate response than you’re expecting, so be careful in traffic and drive-thru lines.
Spend some time with the Maverick Hybrid, and you’ll discover that it’s a fascinating little truck. With its battery pack and electric assist motor adding extra weight low in the chassis, plus its longer wheelbase compared to the Bronco Sport that shares this unibody platform, the Maverick is the better vehicle to drive. It never feels top-heavy, choppy, or wobbly like a Bronco Sport can. Instead, its low center of gravity, firm suspension, and excellent roll control allow you to zip around corners and curves with more enthusiasm than you might expect. At the same time, its long wheelbase supplies a smoother ride.
Furthermore, since it doesn’t employ traditional body-on-frame truck construction, the Maverick feels solid and planted on imperfect pavement without any of the jitters or skittishness common in a typical pickup. Blast over speed bumps, and the impacts don’t reverberate throughout the Maverick’s structure like they would in a Ranger.
On the highway, the Maverick is unexpectedly quiet. There is virtually no powertrain noise, and wind and road noise are only faintly evident (depending on the road surface). Overall, this spunky little Ford truck demonstrates remarkable competence. If there’s anything to complain about, it’s that the regenerative brakes can feel a little sticky and uneven in stop-and-go traffic and city driving.
Is the 2022 Ford Maverick a Good Truck?
Americans love pickup trucks, and Ford is wise to introduce a smaller, more affordable one. By doing so, the automaker almost single-handedly revives the small truck segment and will most likely dominate it for years to come. As such, it almost doesn’t matter if the Maverick is a good small truck. Except for the more expensive Hyundai Santa Cruz, the Maverick is the only small truck.
However, based on our experience driving and living with the new Maverick, we would say this is a good truck for anybody who doesn’t need significant payload and towing capacity. Attractive prices, appealing design, effortless efficiency, and modern technology come together to create a worthy successor to those popular small trucks of the 1970s — even if the Maverick is much larger than those originals were.
Ford Maverick Competitors for 2022
The only other small truck available to Americans is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Based on the Hyundai Tucson crossover SUV, the Santa Cruz is more expensive and lifestyle-oriented than the Maverick and is less traditional in design and layout. If you’re seeking maximum fuel economy, the Maverick is the way to go, thanks to its standard hybrid powertrain. However, the Santa Cruz is built in the U.S., while the Maverick is shipped north from a factory in Mexico.
Ford Maverick Features
Small, affordable pickups are back, and the new 2022 Ford Maverick should appeal to people seeking up to 1,500 lbs of payload capacity and a 4.5-ft cargo bed at a low price. For light off-roading, you’ll want the optional FX4 package, while the available 4K Tow package doubles the Ford Maverick turbo’s towing capacity to 4,000 lbs.
2022 Ford Maverick Safety Features
- Pre-Collision Assist — Standard feature warns the driver if a collision may occur
- Automatic Emergency Braking — Standard feature automatically applies the brakes to avoid a collision or to slow the Maverick before impact
- Blind Spot Information System — Available feature warns the driver when other vehicles are in the Maverick’s blind spots*
- Cross-Traffic Alert — Available feature warns the driver when other vehicles are approaching from the sides as the Maverick reverses*
- Lane Centering — Available feature helps to center the Maverick in the intended lane of travel while using the adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go*
2022 Ford Maverick Technology
- Infotainment system — Standard 8-inch touchscreen display
- Smartphone integration — Standard support for Apple and Android devices
- FordPass Connect — Standard modem to activate connected services
- Wi-Fi hotspot — Available via subscription through FordPass Connect*
- Remote engine starting — Available with active FordPass Connect system*
2022 Ford Maverick Specs
- 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine, electric motor, battery; 191 hp
- 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine, 250 hp*
- Electronic continuously variable transmission, FWD (hybrid)
- 8-speed automatic transmission, FWD or AWD (gas turbo)
- 37 mpg in combined driving (Ford estimate for hybrid); 25 mpg to 26 mpg ( gas turbo)
2022 Ford Maverick Interior
- Ambient interior lighting — Available feature*
- ActiveX — Available simulated leather upholstery*
- Dual-zone automatic climate control — Available feature*
- Power sunroof — Available feature*
- Premium sound system — Available feature with eight speakers*
*Availability is subject to specific trim level selections