Raise your hand if you’re of a certain age that makes you old enough to remember how the Ford Maverick started out. It was a basic, rear-drive compact – actually, a pretty decent-looking car – that Ford positioned against the Chevrolet Nova and Plymouth Valiant, et al, after the Falcon was briefly made into a stripper version of the Fairlane and Torino. More that 2 million were sold, beginning in 1970, before the Fox-platform Ford Fairmont elbowed it out of the Ford model lineup by 1979. Today, the Maverick is the ultimate Rodney Dangerfield ride, even though it was offered in luxury and sort-of performance versions, with an available 302 V-8. It’s therefore a little risky, but still highly interesting, that Ford is reviving a frequently undistinguished nameplate. The only thing the new Maverick has with the original one is that it’s definitely still a compact.
As re-envisioned by Ford, the 2022 Maverick is a subcompact pickup slotted beneath the revived Ranger, with a fully unitized body structure – meaning, in short, that it’s aimed squarely at the unibody Honda Ridgeline – and a standard full-hybrid powertrain, the only American pickup offering EV-ICE motivation as standard equipment. The base Maverick is front drive, with an Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 191 horsepower and linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission. “Atkinson cycle” is essentially a barometer of engine efficiency, with its expansion ratio being greater than its compression ratio due to the intake valves being held open longer than normal; a modern Atkinson-cycle engine forms part of the Toyota Prius hybrid driveline. The standard Maverick powertrain has an EPA economy rating of 40 MPG city, with 500 miles of standard fuel range and 2,000 pounds of towing capacity. A 250-horsepower EcoBoost engine and eight-speed automatic is optional, which raises the trailering number to 4,000 pounds. FLEXBED organization options will allow job-specific personalization of the cargo bed. Sales start in autumn and if you go here, you can place a Maverick reservation.