Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we’ll let you know. If not, we’ll recommend one – or the required options – that earns a passing grade.
For all the people who’ve been whining into their Carhartt overalls about the lack of a truly small pickup in today’s market, Ford has come up with something of an answer for you. Called the Maverick, it’s a compact truck with a 4.5-foot bed and a hybrid powertrain.
Wait, what? That’s right; in entry-level XL trim, the 2022 Ford Maverick comes standard with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine working in tandem with an electric motor to heave out 191 horsepower. In this guise, it shows up for work with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission. When equipped with this power team, it’s rated to haul 1,500 lbs of payload and a maximum trailer weight of 2,000 lbs.
Because this is a truck, some of its owners will expect it to work for a living. There are up to eight different tie-down points in a bed which, by the way, is wide enough to carry a 4×8 sheet of plywood on top of its wheel wells. The tailgate can be lowered into one of two positions, so building materials or longer items that’ll jut out of its short bed can rest on the ‘gate’s upper lip. Ford knows people are likely to add accessories like lighting or kit that’ll require 12V juice, so they’ve thoughtfully provided a place into which owners can tap for power without hacking into the truck’s wiring system.
Ford’s pretty good when it comes to offering interesting colours on its base vehicles, and the $25,900 Maverick upholds this tradition, shown here in no-charge Velocity Blue. Plain steel wheels will be right up the alley of frugal folks in the audience, as will the flat black front bumper area and side mirror caps. Sensors pepper the exterior for features like pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking.
Since the Maverick shares much of its structure with the Escape and Bronco Sport, it’s no surprise its interior is also very familiar. Customers of XL trimmed Maverick trucks will find themselves in charge of an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, smartphone integration, and a wi-fi hotspot for their devices. Nifty rear under-seat storage bins keep valuable away from prying eyes and a couple of USB ports will reduce the amount of squabbling over who gets to plug in.
What We’d Choose
If you plan to tow much more than a utility trailer or a small ATV, it’ll be a good idea to splash out the extra money for Maverick’s available 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine and optional towing package. This will bring the total price to $29,150 in XL trim, but boosts power to 250 horses and towing capacity to 4000 pounds. Payload remains at 1,500 lbs, however.
But if that activity isn’t in the cards, simply opt for the $220 sliding rear window on the base XL. As a lifelong pickup owner, this author can confidently say this option adds a dose of ventilation while also increasing the truck’s versatility for a mere couple of hundred bones.