Ford’s smallest pickup has been revealed packing a hybrid powertrain with its sights set on a whole new market.
The 2022 Ford Maverick is absolutely dwarfed by American pickup trucks like the F-150 and boasts an eco-friendly hybrid engine.
Yet, Ford has no plans to bring the Maverick ute to Australia. Like the Bronco off-roader, the American marque only has plans in place for left-hand drive production.
Ford claims that the Maverick is tiny, but it measures up pretty big compared to Australian traffic – this is no Subaru Brumby.
The Maverick is 5,072mm long, 1,745mm tall with a wheelbase of 3,075mm. Compared to the Aussie-staple Ranger dual-cab, the Maverick shorter by 372mm. However, the Maverick is still longer than a 200 Series Toyota Landcruiser (4,990mm).
So it’s not a replacement for the Brumby then, but its 1,839mm width will be more city-friendly than a Ranger.
Also more urban-friendly are its powertrains, Ford pairs a 2.5-litre petrol motor with electric motors for 142kW of power and 210Nm of torque. According to Ford, this is enough for a 900kg braked towing capacity, or roughly two Jetskis.
It’s also frugal – and not just for a dual cab ute – with a claimed consumption rating of 5.9L/100km (40MPG). The hybrid powertrain will drastically cut CO2 emissions compared to the default turbo diesel arrangement.
The only other engine offered in the Maverick is an EcoBoost two-litre turbo petrol engine which cranks out more grunt with outputs of 186kW and 375Nm.
The EcoBoost powered Maverick is also the only all-wheel-drive option as the hybrid is front-wheel drive only, quite a departure from Australian ute standards.
The entry-point into the Maverick range is the XLT hybrid priced at US$19,990, equivalent to around $25,800 Australian at the current conversion rate. That makes it one of the most affordable hybrids in the US, with a Toyota Corolla starting from US$23,600 (AU$30,450).
The Maverick looks like a bargain on the surface, though the most affordable model does miss features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist that Australians have come to expect in the most basic versions of dual-cab utes like the Isuzu D-Max SX.
The Maverick hits back with some clever touches like the ‘Flexbed’, which Ford has developed with lifestyle use-cases in mind. Two twelve-volt sources are run to the bed for aftermarket accessories. There are also 12 tie-down points, a bottle opener and further options like hidden storage cubbies.
Inside, the Ford Maverick’s cabin is positively up-to-date. Ford has included a tablet-style eight-inch touchscreen and spacious design – the range-topping Lariat even gets classy contrasting cabin inserts in bronze.
However, with Ranger sales as strong as they are, Ford Australia has no plans to introduce the Maverick to our market.
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