buying: Tested: 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid Is Affordable, Efficient, and Useful

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Our midrange XLT test truck weighed just 3800 pounds, a featherweight by pickup standards. Front-wheel drive is standard, and base versions are motivated by a hybrid powertrain featuring a 2.5-liter inline-four and two electric motors, an arrangement good for 191 horsepower and an impressive 37-mpg EPA The Maverick offers versatility, ease of use, a manageable size, and affordable pricing that will certainly appeal to entry-level shoppers. For many folks with modest funds and small jobs to do, it's all the truck they'll need. And for those of us who fondly remember the mini-truck craze of the 1980s and

Maverick XL and XLT trims have a 4.2-inch digital display in the instrument cluster, while the top of On pavement, the hybrid may be more fuel efficient that the official figures suggest. The Maverick Hybrid 's tow rating is 2,000 pounds. ( Ford ). Where it comes up short is in the towing department. 2022 Ford Maverick hybrid . Base price: ,490. Type: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-wheel-drive pickup.

Who knew that the secret to making a hybrid vehicle cool is to to add a pickup bed? Certainly not us. When Ford first revealed that the base Maverick is a front-wheel-drive hybrid, we treated the idea with some skepticism. Now though, amid rising gasoline prices and skyrocketing price tags, could the Maverick hybrid be just the right vehicle at just the right time?

The Maverick's $21,490 base price is low enough to qualify it as one of the cheapest vehicles on sale today. Even our nicely equipped midrange XLT model, which came with an optional sunroof, a spray-in bedliner, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, all-season floor mats, and Cyber Orange paint, rang in at a perfectly reasonable $26,645. That's about $20,000 less expensive than the average new car transaction price, which soared to more than $47,000 in December 2021.

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The 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid is bluer than the sky. In practice and over my week with the Maverick , though, it became rapidly apparent why this light-duty pickup is sold out until this summer. The Maverick melds the utility and driving experience of a pickup with the everyday suitability of a Ford Maverick Hybrid Features, Options, and Competition. There are three Maverick trim levels: The base XL, mid-level XLT (which is the trim the test car came in), and the top-tier Lariat. The XL Maverick may have manually adjusted seats and steel wheels, but it doesn't skimp on big-ticket items like Apple

That last bit is particularly important. The Maverick comes standard with a hybrid powertrain in all three trims (XL, XLT and Lariat), making it not only the first pickup with standard gas-electric motivation, but also America's cheapest full hybrid by a country mile. Combined with its 94-kW electric assist The key differences between this Maverick and other unibody pickups that have wilted in showrooms before it is that this Ford is outrageously affordable and fuel- efficient in its entry-level spec. Lower-end models ought to be an easy favorite for fleet buyers, from large-scale public utilities and municipalities

Adjust Your Expectations of Performance

Ford's hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter inline-four augmented by two electric motors. Net output is 191 horsepower and flooring the accelerator unleashes a crude grumble, but the naturally aspirated four becomes quiet and subdued when cruising. The powertrain switches from gas to electric mode seamlessly, with only the gas engine's low hum cluing you in when you're not running on electric power alone.

2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid © Michael Simari - Car and Driver 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid

But there's no hiding the hybrid's power deficit on the road: It is noticeably pokier than the turbocharged 2.0-liter nonhybrid we tested. That all-wheel-drive truck hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, while the hybrid—which is only available with front-wheel drive and a power-split CVT—needed 7.7 seconds. The electric boost gives the Maverick a playful feel at lower speeds, but it quickly runs out of steam during highway passing maneuvers.

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The Maverick hybrid is far more efficient than the Hyundai Santa Cruz’s thriftiest configuration, a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four with about 190 horsepower that gets 21 mpg city. The EcoBoost should also be a bit more parsimonious than the 22-mpg-combined Santa Cruz 2.5T, though the South Starting at ,995 plus an unspecified destination charge, the 2022 Ford Maverick XL looks like an excellent value given its standard safety, infotainment, and cargo features. The XLT adds cruise control, alloy wheels, power outside mirrors, and other niceties in exchange for its ,280 asking price, while

The 2022 Ford Maverick is an all-new compact pickup with a standard hybrid powertrain, a drivable nature Great things can come in small, efficient , affordable packages. Regardless of the powertrain, the Maverick can be had in one of three trim levels: XL, XLT or Lariat. As of this writing, the Ford Maverick has not yet been crash- tested by the National Highway Transportation Safety

Ride quality over Michigan's springtime potholes ranged from choppy to downright punishing at times. And although the Maverick never bottomed out, the impacts were impossible to ignore from inside the cabin. On smoother, twistier roads, the Maverick's handling felt stable and confident but not outright sporty. We expected as much from this platform, which is shared with the Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs, both of which served up similar driving demeanors.

2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid © Michael Simari - Car and Driver 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid

While the Maverick posts respectable performance numbers, its real value lies in its fuel efficiency. The EPA estimates that the hybrid powertrain is good for 42 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, big boosts over the 23/30 city/highway figures earned by the front-wheel-drive nonhybrid variant. In our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, we recorded 30 mpg for the hybrid, which is only 1 mpg higher than the nonhybrid Maverick. However, during everyday driving, where the hybrid system can take advantage of regenerative braking and more heavily lean on the electric side of the powertrain, we recorded 32 mpg. Comparing our observed fuel economy opens the door to a lot of caveats, but if you compare that 32 mpg to the most efficient Ranger we've tested, an XL 4x2 model that averaged 19 mpg back in 2019, there's some eye-opening arithmetic. If you drive 12,000 miles annually and gas is $4 per gallon, the Maverick hybrid will save you more than $1,000 a year compared to the Ranger. If gas hits $5, then you're saving more than $1250.

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Just because the 2022 Ford Maverick XL Hybrid comes with a diminutive price tag doesn't mean it's sparsely appointed. All Maverick models, including the base XL, come fitted with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with standard Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. While the interior of the Maverick is mostly hard plastic, Ford 's designers worked tirelessly to ensure that every inch of the Maverick 's interior is useful . The best part is the fact that there's very little difference, aside from color, between the base XL and top-tier Lariat, though you can get leather seating on the Lariat.

Functional and Orderly Inside

Ford took great care to create a thoughtful cabin, dotting the Maverick's interior with storage cubbies and lining it with easy-to-clean plastics that have a surprising amount of personality. A textured plastic trim on the door panels and dashboard sports marbled coloring that contrasts nicely with the dark navy used elsewhere; orange accents provide a pop of color inside the center-console storage bins and on the backs of the door handles. The painted doorframes are visible in the interior, too, so our test truck brought a splash of Cyber Orange into the cabin as well.

2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid © Michael Simari - Car and Driver 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid

The front seats, which were covered in a two-tone gray cloth upholstery in our test XLT test vehicle, were comfortable and the upright driving position and wide-open outward visibility are appreciated. The view forward is blocked by just enough of the Maverick's hood to help trick you into thinking you're driving a much larger pickup truck. That is, until you pull up next to an F-150 in traffic.

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Rear-seat passengers will find enough room for short hauls, although the upright seatback and lack of legroom would exact a toll on long trips. With the back seat folded up, the Maverick can accommodate a bicycle inside its cabin. The utility of the bed is unquestionable, even given its stubby 4.5-foot length. Grocery runs mean using the rear seat as your trunk, something that traditional car or SUV buyers might find odd. For those not accustomed to this pickup-specific lifestyle challenge, we'd suggest a bed cover and perhaps a cargo organizer.

2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid © Michael Simari - Car and Driver 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid

While full-size pickup-truck drivers may scoff at the Maverick hybrid's paltry 2000-pound towing capacity and 1500-pound payload rating, those capabilities are still wildly unusual compared to pretty much everything else in this price range—the only direct competitor is the $25,385 Hyundai Santa Cruz SE, which has a 3500-pound tow rating and can carry 1753 pounds of payload. But even the Hyundai, which earns a 23-mpg EPA combined rating, can't touch the Maverick hybrid's efficiency.

Whatever the Maverick concedes to body-on-frame trucks in terms of size, power, and ruggedness, it compensates for with stellar fuel economy, composed on-road manners, and its bargain price. If your use case involves regularly towing large trailers or hauling heavy cargo, the Maverick hybrid won't replace a half-ton truck (or even a Tacoma-size one). But for the sizable cohort of drivers for whom pickups are little more than a signal of their outdoorsy lifestyle, the Maverick hybrid gets the message across just fine.

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