Back in the 70’s, the Ford Maverick used to be a small 2-door car. In the modern times, the Maverick is a far departure from what it used to be. The 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid is a compact truck based on the Ford Escape platform. However, this is one highly anticipated little truck. So does it live up to the hype?
Engine – The 2022 Ford Maverick is available with two engine options. A 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder that can produce 250 hp (186 kW) or a 2.5L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder hybrid. This particular truck is the latter and the powertrain can produce 191 net hp and 155 lb-ft of torque (142 kW & 210 Nm). The torque number is for the engine only. Ford won’t say how much net torque is but the electric motor can produce 173 lb-ft (235 Nm) at its peak. While this hybrid powertrain is quite a bit less powerful than the 2.0L turbo option, it is an adequate amount of power. The little truck doesn’t feel like it’s huffing and puffing to get up to speed or go up a hill. Better yet, with a nearly fully charged battery, it can accelerate to about 70 or so km/h just on electricity alone. And it’ll do it at a faster pace than some other hybrids like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
Fuel Economy – However, the main reason why you may pick this engine over the 2.0L turbo is the fuel efficiency it can return. Officially it is rated for 5.6 L/100km (42 MPG) in a city and 7.1 L/100km (33.1 MPG) on a highway. During my time with the truck, I actually managed to get better than advertised fuel economy. I averaged 5.3 L/100km (44.4 MPG) with mostly city driving but it did also involve about 100 km of highway driving.
Transmission – The hybrid engine is paired with an eCVT automatic. There is nothing too spectacular about this transmission as it just does its job of reacting to your inputs of the throttle when you need power but keeping the engine’s rpms low, or off, when cruising. There is a Sport drive mode but the eCVT doesn’t provide virtual gears. In fact, there is no traditional tachometer to let you know of the engine’s rpms.
Braking – The brakes on the Ford Maverick Hybrid are strong, perhaps a little too strong or overly assisted. Those that have a heavy foot will have a tough time, initially, to bring the little truck to a smooth stop. The brakes provide a large chunk of regenerative braking with the engine providing the rest of the energy for the battery. There is no discernable difference in regenerative braking to using the physical brakes. When going down hills, the truck senses that and will automatically adjust the regen braking accordingly. You can also put the transmission to an “L” mode which will provide max regen braking when lifting your foot off the throttle pedal. It’s not one-pedal driving but it comes close to it.
Handling – To my surprise, the Ford Maverick’s steering is heavier than I was expecting it to be. It’s nicely weighted when driving at high speeds as this will keep the little truck straight and true but when parking, it doesn’t become as light as I was expecting it to be. It’s not as heavy as the Nissan Frontier’s steering but some might find it a bit straining to park the truck.
Beyond that, the Maverick feels stable through corners with minimal body roll. The Hybrid version of the Maverick is not available with AWD, only the 2.0L Turbo is. However, unless you live in a part of the world that gets proper snow storms with over half a foot of snow every few days, AWD isn’t really that necessary. A good set of snow tires and smooth throttle inputs is more than enough to get you through a light dusting of the white stuff.
Capability – Both the hybrid and turbo powertrains of the Ford Maverick have a 1,500 lbs payload rating. The difference is with the tow ratings between the powertrains. This hybrid can tow up to 2,000 lbs while the 2.0L turbo can tow twice that amount, 4,000 lbs, with the tow package. The bed of the Maverick is 4.5 feet long and has LED bed lights, a 12-volt plug and can be equipped with a 110-volt plug as well.
Ride Comfort – The 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid has a firmer ride than its competitors like the Hyundai Santa Cruz. The FWD variants of the Maverick have torsion beam rear suspension which is designed to be cost effective but not so good when it comes to performance or comfort. The AWD variants of the Ford Maverick have multilink rear suspension which not only improves performance but also a little bit of the ride comfort. I have yet to test an AWD Maverick but if you’re looking for a very smooth ride, the Hyundai Santa Cruz does it better than this Maverick Hybrid.
Interior Space – In the front seats, the Ford Maverick Hybrid is just as spacious as other crossover SUVs. Legroom and headroom is plentiful even for tall adults like myself at 6’4”. The back seats are tighter not only compared to the front seats but also compared to the Santa Cruz or Honda Ridgeline. For someone like me, I don’t want to be stuck back there for very long. The rear bench lifts up to reveal a little bit of storage but it’s not a split bench.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The cabin of the Maverick Hybrid is a pretty quiet place. While cruising on a highway, the engine is quiet, wind noise is minimal and road noise from the tires is acceptable. When accelerating from a stop in a city, the engine is more noticeable but it’s not overly intrusive into the cab.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – Not only is the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid one of the least expensive trucks on the market but it’s also one of the least expensive vehicles on sale right now. It starts at $26,900 CAD ($19,995 USD) with this XLT Hybrid costing $34,975 CAD ($26,075 USD).
Gadgets – The base XL trim of the Maverick Hybrid doesn’t get a whole lot in terms of gadgets & gizmos. It’s basically a fleet type of vehicle with just an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto integration, Bluetooth, power windows and mirrors, LED headlights, a backup camera, and that’s about it. Move up to this XLT trim with the convenience package and as equipped, this Ford Maverick has heated seats, heated steering wheel, cruise control, an optional sunroof, automatic climate control, and power driver’s seat.
Interior Design – The interior is very straightforward in its function. Every button is a physical button and is logically placed. There are little spaces for small item storage throughout the cabin for change, parking tickets, cell phones, etc. The materials are Ok for the cost of the truck and there are a few funky designs with orange contrast on the center console and along the door panels. My one complaint with the interior is the half door handle. I always find myself instinctually reaching for the part of the door handle that is missing.
Exterior Design – The Maverick looks like a proper truck despite its crossover SUV size. It has a somewhat boxy design just like its F-150 big brother. The front and rear fascias are unique to the Maverick with neither the Ranger or F-150 sharing any similarities.
Safety – The 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid comes standard with 7 airbags, auto high beam, automatic emergency braking, and a backup camera. Opt for the Ford Co-Pilot 360 package and it’ll add on blind spot sensors with rear cross traffic alert and lane departure warning with lane keep.
Warranty – The 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid comes with a 3 year / 60,000 km basic new vehicle warranty and a 5 year / 100,000 KM powertrain warranty. However, the hybrid components are covered by an 8 year / 160,000 km warranty. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For USA warranty, click here.
Conclusion – Ford hit a home run with the Maverick Hybrid. It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s efficient, and it’s practical. It’s not meant for everyone though. If you want more towing or a more luxurious interior, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is the truck you should be looking at. The Ford Maverick though is a welcome change from ever growing crossovers and ever more expensive vehicles. Hard part now is finding one.
Thank you to Ford Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Ford.ca