When buying a truck, you have three segments to choose from: compact, midsize, and full-size. The midsize and full-size segments have been mainstays in the industry for decades, but the compact truck segment has come and gone over the years.
Recently, the compact truck segment started a resurgence with models like the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick bursting onto the scene. Interestingly, the latter added a little something to the segment with its fuel-efficient hybrid variant.
Is the Ford Maverick the right pickup truck for you and is the hybrid version a good fit for your needs? Continue reading to find out.
The Ford Maverick is rather unassuming from the outside, featuring a relatively timid look that features a pickup truck's upright and rugged silhouette but also blends in a few softer styling cues. These softer bits include rounded corners, a short bed, and a small grille. Its design almost rivals the SUV-meets-truck look of the Honda Ridgeline.
On the outside, the Ford Maverick starts things off with a relatively simple XL base trim level. The Maverick XL’s base exterior features include just the basics, such as 17-inch steel wheels with Sparkle Silver paint, a black mesh grille, black door handles, black mirrors, bed tie-down locking rails with two locking brackets, the Flexbed tailgate system, manual mirror, LED headlights, and more.
Moving into higher trims adds more upscale features, such as various 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels, a gray or silver grille bar, body-colour door handles and mirrors, cubby storage in bed, power mirrors, power-sliding rear glass window, LED signature lighting, and more.
The Maverick is also rather versatile with its options equipment, which includes 12-volt in-bed power outlets, 400-watt 110-volt in-bed household power outlets, LED bed lighting, and more.
The Ford Maverick is a compact pickup, so it’s relatively small compared to most trucks, like the full-size Ford F-150 or even the mid-size Ford Ranger.
It’s 5,072 mm long, up to 1,745 mm tall, and 1,844 mm wide. It rides atop a 3,076-mm wheelbase.
Inside, the Ford Maverick continues its unassuming design, forgoing the chance to get flashy as an electrified pickup. Instead, it looks like a normal, entry-level pickup in the base XL trim and ranges up to a relatively posh family truck in the XLT and Lariat trim levels.
There is very little to write home about the Maverick’s interior except that it’s functional and offers lots of standard and optional storage space. This makes it a great work and family pickup.
The Maverick XL’s standard features inside are basic but very functional for the average buyer. They include five-passenger seating, manual-adjust front seats, full-bench rear seats with under-seat storage, single-zone manual climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.2-inch instrument panel screen, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows and door locks, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two front USB ports, keyless entry, and more.
In higher trim levels, the Maverick has more upscale interior features, such as unique cloth seats or synthetic leather seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a rear armrest with cupholder, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6.5-inch instrument panel screen, dual rear USB ports, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, push-button start, ambient lighting, acoustic windshield, an eight-speaker B&O premium sound system, a wireless charging pad, and more.
For a small pickup built for five passengers, the Ford Maverick is relatively roomy. The front seats offer up to 1,024 mm of headroom, 1,087 mm of legroom, 1,407 mm of hip room, and 1,455 mm of shoulder room. The rear seats have up to 1,006 mm of headroom, 912 mm of legroom, 866 mm of hip room, and 1,412 mm of shoulder room.
The Ford Maverick has a pair of powertrain options, but the one that sets it apart from others in its class is the base 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain. This setup pairs a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with a permanent magnetic electric traction motor. The gasoline engine delivers 162 horsepower (hp) and 155 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque, while the electric motor offers up to 94 kW (126 hp) and 173 lb-ft of torque.
This setup delivers a total system output of 191 hp that flows through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and out to the front wheels. The hybrid model has no option for all-wheel drive (AWD).
This hybrid powertrain is standard on all three trim levels: XL, XLT, and Lariat.
Optional across the lineup is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. This setup comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard AWD — there’s no front-wheel drive (FWD) model available with this engine.
For those looking to head off the beaten path, the 2.0-litre-powered Maverick also has a pair of off-road packages available:
Across the entire lineup, the Ford Maverick has a bed that measures 54.4 mm long, 42.6 mm wide (between the wheel wells), and 53.3 mm wide (from sidewall to sidewall). This bed can carry up to 33.3 litres of cargo, making it slightly limited compared to other pickups but respectable for its small size.
As for weight capacities, this varies by engine and package. The base hybrid powertrain can handle up to 680 kg of payload and 907 kg of towing. The 2.0-litre turbocharged powertrain has the same payload capacity but has up to a 1,814-kg towing capacity with the optional 4K Tow Package and AWD. The Tremor package drops the payload capacity to 544 kg and towing sits at 907 kg at most.
While the Ford Maverick may not be the most capable pickup on the market, it will suffice for most families that only need a truck for light hauling and towing. Where it excels is its fuel economy, as the Ford Maverick Hybrid has fuel-consumption ratings of 5.8 L/100 km city, 7.1 L/100 km highway, and 6.4 L/100 km combined.
The 2.0-litre turbo Ecoboost engine is understandably less fuel efficient, as it loses the hybrid setup and comes standard with AWD. This model has fuel-consumption ratings of 10.9 L/100 km city, 8.4 L/100 km highway, and 9.8 L/100 km combined.
The Ford Maverick Tremor is even thirstier at 11.9 L/100 km city, 9.9 L/100 km highway, and 11 L/100 km combined.
In this day and age, safety and fatigue-reducing driver-assist features are just as important in pickups as their towing and payload capacities. The Ford Maverick pickup has plenty of these features to go around.
Standard on every Maverick model are the more basic safety and driver-assist features, such as:
You can, however, add the Ford Co-Pilot360 package to this compact pickup truck, which includes:
In the range-topping Ford Maverick Lariat, you can opt for a more comprehensive Co-Pilot360 Assist package, which adds:
The Ford Maverick is available now and is in its second model year. The 2023 Ford Maverick is available in three basic trim levels, XL, XLT, and Lariat. Their manufacturer-suggested retail prices (MSRPs) are as follows:
Being just into its second model year, the Maverick’s pre-owned inventory is still growing, but there are some available.
According to Kelley Blue Book, you can expect to pay about $25,830 for a used 2022 Ford Maverick XL, while a used Maverick XLT with the 2.5-litre engine will start around $28,300. Moving into the Maverick Lariat, you can expect a used model to start around $33,953.
While the midsize pickup segment boomed a few years back, the compact pickup segment is just starting its resurgence. This leaves Maverick with only a few direct competitors. Let’s have a look at them and their specs.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz, like the Maverick, is a tiny pickup that delicately blends the functionality of a truck with the family friendliness and comfort of a crossover.
The Santa Cruz is by far the most stylish of the compact pickup, drawing many of its design cues from its crossover source material. This includes the unique headlight setup and sharp body lines. It is a real eye-grabber.
The Santa Cruz also has no shortage of available technology, including a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, and much more. Safety is also top-notch with available adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and more.
The Santa Cruz comes with a 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder engine that delivers a potent 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque, but it is nowhere near as fuel efficient as the Maverick Hybrid. The trade-off, though, is a 2,268-kg towing capacity, The payload capacity falls short, though, at just 300 kg.
Interior space is greater than in the Maverick, but only slightly.
The big downside to the Hyundai Santa Cruz is its pricing, which starts from just under $43,000 new.
Like the Santa Cruz and Maverick, the Honda Ridgeline is more a combination of crossover and pickup truck than pure truck. This delicately balances comfort and utility. However, the Ridgeline falls closer to the midsize truck segment than the compact, but it’s still a close competitor.
The Ridgeline, which is based on the Honda Pilot, sits between the Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick in terms of looks, as it’s more trunk-like than the Hyundai yet more crossover-like than the Maverick. Under its hood, the Honda Ridgeline features a 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. This power routes through a nine-speed automatic transmission and out to all four wheels via standard AWD.
Payload capacity checks in at 674 to 694 kg, depending on the trim, and the towing capacity is up to 2,268 kg, making it the most capable of the three trucks.
The Honda Ridgeline is also loaded with driver-assist and safety technology, including standard automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, road-departure mitigation, hill-start assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic monitoring.
It also has all the tech that most buyers could ever need, including a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 225-watt audio system, and more.
The Honda Ridgeline has the same downside as the Santa Cruz, however: pricing. New, it ranges from $47,435 to $56,435.
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