Can the Maverick Shake Up the Midsize Truck Marketplace?

The Ford Maverick is slated to arrive for the 2022 model year. This new invention shares some DNA with the Ranger and F150.  It’s smaller than the Ranger, but not by too much.   It’s also quite a bit more affordable than the budget-friendly Ranger, making it competitive in the crowded truck marketplace.

However, that’s not really what sets it apart. The new Ford Maverick is unique because it is the first hybrid truck offered by Ford as a base trim.  In fact, no other truck manufacturer has gotten to this point.

Midsize Hybrid Capability is Surprisingly Good

The first question we always ask about a truck is: can it work?  Well, it has a 191-horsepower combined powertrain.  With a built-in tow hitch, it is capable of pulling up to 2,000 pounds.  

The 4.5-foot bed is smaller than the five-footers offered on a typical midsize truck.  The bed can hold 33 cubic feet of materials and is slated to handle up to 1,500 pounds. 

Fuel economy can’t match hybrids like the Prius, but then this is a truck.  So it is still remarkable that fuel economy is projected to be around 40 miles per gallon combined.   

Let’s Look at the Competition

The Ford Maverick enters a very crowded marketplace.  Its strengths will definitely lie with the low entry level pricing and the more affordable fuel economy.  There are very few trucks at or  near its initial asking price.  In a sense, it is a vacancy, and the Maverick has come to fill  it.

Hyundai Santa Cruz

Hyundai is introducing a Santa Cruz small truck.  It is actually smaller than the Maverick.   The bed is four-feet long, for instance.  At 191 horsepower, the Santa Crus gas engine produces the same amount as the Maverick hybrid powertrain. 

If you have read that the Santa Cruz payload is higher than the Maverick Hybrid, keep in mind that those higher numbers belong to its pricier turbo edition.

Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet has retained its four-cylinder Colorado, making it the one competitor closest in price to the Maverick.  The Colorado’s efficient 200-horsepower engine can pull up to 3,500 pounds, beating the Maverick hybrid truck by quite a bit.  

However, the Colorado four-cylinder truck payload is actually around 1, 400 pounds, falling behind the Maverick by 100 pounds. Of course, the Colorado bed is six inches longer with more cubic feet as a result.  One note, however, is that Chevy doesn’t offer much driver assistance compared to most rivals. This gives the Maverick a big edge.  

Nissan Frontier

Until recently, the Nissan Frontier was offered as a four-cylinder model that would have matched up with the Maverick’s entry level pricing.  However, it looks like the 2022 Frontier will be offered only at the higher pricetag required for a V6 midsize truck.  This Frontier claims best in class with 310 horsepower.  

Toyota Tacoma

Also, the Toyota Tacoma may be dropping its four-cylinder alternative for 2022. That’s another truck that could have competed more directly with the Maverick on price.  In terms of safety features, the Tacoma and the Maverick are similar, since Ford is offering its suite of driver assistance as standard on the Maverick in its introductory year. 

Ford Ranger

Mavericks also must compete against Ford Rangers.  The Ranger’s bed capacity is as much as 51.8 cubic feet with a 1,860 payload capacity.  Regardless of the model chosen, it can tow 7,500 pounds, making it best in class for 2021.  

Ford F150 Hybrid

Although it is much more expensive, another rival for the Maverick hybrid is the Ford F-150 hybrid.  This edition hasn’t been marketed as widely as the Maverick, and it isn’t as affordable.  Still, it does have good fuel economy and F-150-worthy payload and towing stats.

Ford F150 Lightning

Coming soon, the all-electric F-150 Lightning will take over the top spot as the most efficient Ford truck almost as quickly as that spot is claimed by the Maverick.  The Lightning will be 100 percent electric, requiring a plug-in rather than a fill up.  The price will be substantially higher than the Maverick, although the Lightning’s entry level price is set to attract buyers away from the regular F-150, especially since the U.S. tax credit does apply to a new electric truck.

Ford Maverick Ecoboost

The last big rival for this hybrid truck is the Maverick’s own turbo four alternative engine.  A Maverick Ecoboost edition can pull up to 4,000 pounds. The regular powertrain generates 250 horsepower and a 277-lb.ft. rate of torque.  Of course it will cost more than the hybrid, and the fuel economy won’t be as good.  Still, Ecoboost engines are generally more efficient than typical V6 rivals. 

Conclusion

While the Maverick isn’t for everyone, it is definitely a contender in its class. The low carbon footprint and low ownership costs are just the first two reasons to put it on a test drive list. 


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