The Maverick has all the capability that most owners will ever need, and it gets 40 mpg with next to no effort. But car and gas prices are reaching the stratosphere, while ever-embiggening trucks swallow up entire lanes and feel like office buildings on wheels. Given all that, there's no better time for the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid to come out, packing capability and frugality in equal doses, wrapped up in a shell that feels like anything but a bargain-basement punishment.
Even in its midtier XLT trim, the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid's design speaks to the point of the truck: simplicity. Gray plastic adorns the bed, grille, door handles, mirror caps and lower part of the body, giving the truck a bit of a two-tone vibe.
The Maverick's bed measures 4.5 feet long, which is half a foot more than its closest competitor, the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Overall, the Maverick can handle 1,500 pounds of payload, which is enough for half a cubic yard of dirt, sand or gravel, or three dozen bags of mulch. Hybrid Mavericks are capable of towing up to 2,000 pounds, which covers a flatbed and a riding mower, or a couple of jet-skis, and should be more than most people need. It's possible to double that tow rating, letting you tow a small trailer or some ATVs, but you have to upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine ($1,085), all-wheel drive ($3,305) and add the 4K Tow Package ($745) to make that happen.
While the Maverick's exterior may pack more function than form, the interior turns up the dial on both. Everything is hard to the touch, but relying on unique shapes and colors gives the Maverick's interior a heapin' helpin' of character. The XLT trim features standard two-tone cloth seats that feel nice and are quite supportive on longer drives. The rear seats offer ample headroom, and legroom is ample even when a 6-foot-tall passenger is seated behind a 6-foot-tall driver. I wish my XLT tester had rear USB ports, but alas, that's locked behind a $2,500 XLT Luxury package.
Infotainment tech is really the only thing I feel is lacking in the 2022 Maverick. Lariat models are able to upgrade to the Sync 3 infotainment system with better voice recognition, active noise cancellation and satellite radio, but it's part of a $3,750 Lariat Luxury package that adds several other fripperies.
On the safety front, every Maverick comes standard with automatic emergency braking and automatic headlights. The only way to get anything beefier is to again return to the $3,750 Lariat Luxury package, which adds rear parking sensors, lane centering and full-speed adaptive cruise control.
All-wheel drive is only available with the Maverick's optional 2.0-liter turbo I4, which produces a decent 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. My tester, however, sticks with the base gas-electric hybrid powertrain, which utilizes a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I4 and sends its 191 net hp to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission.
I know what you're thinking — a tiny hybrid pickup truck with front-wheel drive? — but hear me out, because the Maverick's base powertrain is utterly impressive. A power gauge in the cluster helps me keep my footwork light, although I wish it displayed the point where it crosses over to hybrid operation from electricity alone. The EPA rates the Maverick Hybrid at 42 mpg city, 33 highway and 37 combined, figures I am able to trounce with ease. But the Maverick's unibody construction gives it a whole bunch of on-road confidence.
The biggest drawback of the Maverick Hybrid is its complement of options. Hybrids are stuck with front-wheel drive and the 2,000-pound towing maximum, although that combination should still be more than enough for most first-time truck buyers. The $800 FX4 Off-Road Package, which adds beefier tires, front tow hooks, hill descent control, skid plates, a hitch receiver and heavy-duty cooling components, is also limited to EcoBoost models. Hell, even some of the wheel designs on Ford's consumer site are limited to the more expensive powertrain. That's a little silly, especially when hybrids offer more effective future-proofing in the face of uncertain gas prices.
Even though it seems like Ford cut very few (or no) corners with the 2022 Maverick, its price tag feels almost nonsensically low. A base Maverick Hybrid XL will set you back $21,490, including $1,495 in destination charges. A fully loaded Hybrid Lariat rings in at $31,755, which is still a screamin' deal when the average new-car transaction price is pushing $50,000.
The Maverick's chief competitor, the Hyundai Santa Cruz, is another value-laden unibody pickup, but there are a few key differences. The Ford leans a little harder on value, while the Hyundai feels a little more upmarket. The Santa Cruz can also haul and tow a bit more, and its optional engine upgrade is a little peppier. Thus, if you really want to prioritize price and efficiency, it's hard to deny just how good the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid is.
John Ravenporton is a writer for many popular online publications. John is now our chief editor at DailyTechFeed. John specializes in Crypto, Software, Computer and Tech related articles.