Yes, yes, Ford’s new Maverick pickup comes available as a hybrid. Fuel economy in the city is, well, not quite Toyota Prius-like, but at 5.9L/100 km, it’s still pretty amazing for a very useful truck.
The price is okay, the hybrid starting at $27,750, though be prepared to wait if you order one – six months, 10, a year, or more. When you get delivery, you’ll be looking at something smaller than a full-size rig like the Ford F-150, but not as small as a 2002 Ford Ranger.
The Maverick is garage-able in the ‘burbs and fits into big-city underground parkades just fine. The Maverick Hybrid will tow 907 kg (2,000 lbs) and the all-gas Ecoboost version will do twice that (1,815 kg or 4,000 lbs.). Payload in what Ford calls a “Flexbed”: 680 kg or 1,500 lbs – and there are hooks and D-rings of all sorts to tie down your load.
The seats in my tester XLT far exceeded expectation and that’s not damning with faint praise. Few mainstream cars or light trucks have seats as good, as supportive, as comfortable. But what stands out most for me is the smart thinking about in-cabin storage. Let me count the ways:
- A clever cord wrap to tidy up USB cables and such;
- A useful grocery hook to keep bags in place;
- Effective dividers for the massive space under the back seat;
- A welcome trash bin that can also be used for storage;
- And oh-so-flexible cupholders throughout, big enough for tall water bottles, even.
And you can fit a tablet in the door pockets; there’s a place for sunglasses just behind the 8-inch touchscreen; the centre console has a place for your smartphone and other cubbies for odds and ends and loose change; the rotary gear-changer is a knob that falls to hand perfectly in the console; there’s an available 110-V outlet in the back seat; and while the materials from seats to dash are not fancy, they are stylish in a rough-hewn sort of way.
For most folks, the Maverick is enough pickup for almost any hobby-farmer, weekend do-it-yourselfer and many, many working full-time in the trades. The fuel economy is eye-popping at a time when an F-Series fill-up is equal to a mortgage payment. I’d venture to say, the Maverick would cannibalize a lot of F-Series sales if only Ford would build enough to meet demand.
Alas, there is much, much more profit in a $50,000 or $90,0000 F-series than in a top-line Maverick Lariat at $35,400.
I priced out a Lariat with everything imaginable, from wi-fi hot spot to premium sound, moonroof, bed extender, all-wheel drive, off-road package, that 110V outlet and more, and the final tally came to $47,290. That’s about half what you’d pay for a comparably loaded F-Series.
Ford says it’s having trouble sourcing parts for the Maverick, that it’s constrained by supply-chain issues. But let’s be honest, whatever parts it can get, Ford will send them to the F-Series if that microchip or whatever will work in either truck.
It’s been about a decade since Ford killed the compact Ranger in North America. That was a tragic mistake for consumers, but it made Ford’s accountants and shareholders very happy. The Maverick is a winner, and it puts right what Ford made wrong by killing the Ranger.
This midsize pickup looks good, gets better fuel economy than a Honda Civic, rides like a somewhat heavy car (the hybrid, that is), and oozes creative thinking. The little things here reflect a thoughtful understanding of how people use their vehicles these days.
I could live with the Maverick and would find many uses for it. You might, too. If you’re willing to wait.