The Ford F-series pickup is America’s truck. At least, that’s what the numbers inform us.
It’s been America’s top-selling car for near half a century. While the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram’s collection of pickups are worthy opponents, Ford nonetheless sells tens of 1000’s extra items than both one.
If you spend any time with one, you may acknowledge the enchantment. The massive, highly effective truck can perform as each a cell workplace and workbench; it may possibly deal with nearly any job in addition to most terrains. And but, Ford acknowledges this all-in-one utility car isn’t for everybody.
For the detractors, the F-series is too massive, cumbersome and wasteful. It might even come off as a little obnoxious. Ford wanted a truck for these useless set in opposition to Ford’s No. 1 vendor — a car that might go in opposition to the norm and stray from the everyday expectations of what a pickup can and must be.
Enter the Ford Maverick.
The Maverick is Ford’s return to the North American compact pickup truck market after abandoning it for the higher half of a decade. Its earlier mannequin, the Ranger, has lately returned with an improve to a midsize truck, whereas the all-new Maverick picks up (heh) the place it left off. Fittingly, the “Maverick” nameplate was first utilized by Ford within the Nineteen Seventies for a collection of compact sedans.
Nuts and bolts
This all-new truck is a unibody development with one configuration on provide, a four-door “SuperCrew” cabin that seats 5 and a truck mattress that’s about 54.4 inches or simply a smidge over 4.5 ft lengthy. For comparability, that’s half a foot shorter than the Ranger field with a SuperCrew cab.
The Maverick, which TechCrunch had a chance to check, comes normal with a hybridized 2.5-liter 4 cylinder engine that produces 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. It’s married to a constantly variable transmission and sends energy to the entrance wheels.
In this normal configuration, the tiny truck is meant to ship massive on gasoline financial system, with an estimated 40 mpg of metropolis miles and 500 miles of vary on a single tank. It’s succesful of carrying 1,500 kilos of cargo and towing 2,000 kilos of no matter you need behind it.
Anyone searching for a bit extra grunt can improve to an non-compulsory 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that gives 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. This engine is linked to a extra conventional 8-speed automated gearbox and can drive both the entrance or all 4 wheels. In phrases of capability, its payload numbers keep the identical however it tows 2,000 kilos of cargo on its personal, or twice that quantity with the non-compulsory 4K Tow Package (AWD-models solely).
An EcoBoost-powered Maverick with AWD is eligible for the FX4 bundle, which provides underbody safety for off-road actions, in addition to changes to the suspension tuning and extra, off-road centered drive modes.
The XL, XLT and Lariat trim ranges are acquainted Ford household fare. On the Maverick, the XL and XLT don’t differ drastically, with the latter merely unlocking a handful of neat equipment. Both have material seats and include whichever powertrain configuration appeals to you.
The Lariat trim has a few extra bells and whistles, together with an “activeX” artificial materials to offer the cabin a barely extra premium really feel. In its base hybrid configuration, the Maverick’s beginning worth is under $20,000, with the remainder of the trims being within the $20,000 to $30,000 vary. Fully loaded, the Maverick’s backside line maxes out within the $35,500 vary.
Like its bigger siblings, the compact truck is fitted with most fashionable security and comfort applied sciences, although the extra spectacular stuff is largely non-compulsory. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and collision warning is normal, however drivers who need adaptive cruise management, lane-keep help and even hill descent management, plus a handful of different useful driving aids must add them on as half of an additional expertise bundle.
Inside the cabin, passengers might be handled to an 8-inch touchscreen that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto suitable. A built-in WiFi hotspot offers as much as 10 gadgets web entry via FordGo Connect, which has a three-month free trial earlier than a subscription is required.
Other FordGo conveniences, nevertheless, are complementary, similar to entry to the automotive by way of a smartphone app. From right here, drivers can connect with their automotive remotely for beginning it up, unlocking the doorways and car standing updates.
The Maverick’s true social gathering trick is its “Flexbed,” a normal truck mattress constructed to fulfill a multitude of completely different wants. It does this with a few nuanced tweaks like having a multiposition tailgate, an integrated storage cubby, slots for false load flooring and a number of attachment factors to tie down rear cargo.
Flexibility is the title of the sport for Maverick as a complete, as each side of the automotive was designed to maximise utility all through. For occasion, the unibody development allowed for the gasoline tank to be shifted to the again sufficient to permit for a substantial quantity of storage beneath the rear seats. Doors have been designed with the now-popular multiuse ingesting bottles in thoughts and each free cavity of area has been transformed into some kind of storage perform.
The DIY spirit of Ford’s truck homeowners was high of thoughts when it got here to designing the Maverick.
After observing the distinctive options customers got here up with to get essentially the most out of their truck, Maverick was laid out to make issues simpler, saving prospects having to hack into back lights for wiring options or drill into the truck mattress for mounting brackets. QR codes all through the Maverick will lead helpful Maverick homeowners to a website full of a number of video how-tos, plus CAD information of sure elements will finally be uploaded to permit 3D printers to give you their very own equipment.
Anyone turned off by the driving traits of bigger vans just like the F-150 would discover the Maverick refreshingly approachable. By design, its half-car/half-truck nature retains it from driving like its body-on-frame siblings and feels extra like a subcompact automotive with a raised seating place. The unibody development feels strong on its suspension, and the physique roll one would anticipate to really feel in a ponderous pickup merely isn’t there. It’s no sports activities automotive, however the journey is competent, and enjoyable roads don’t really feel wholly wasted on this truck.
The front-wheel drive hybrid pulls nicely in both regular or sport mode, the latter of which is there for many who may search a contact extra throttle response from the efficiency-oriented Atkinson-cycle engine. It pairs nicely with the CVT transmission, which is largely unremarkable, however in a optimistic means. This may really be one of the best ways to sum up the hybrid Maverick’s driving expertise — inoffensive. As a every day driver, the Maverick merely does its job and doesn’t disappoint however it’s additionally not significantly distinctive in that division, which, in a means, is a win in phrases of nailing expectations.
It carried out nicely sufficient that I used to be by no means eager for the additional energy that the EcoBoost-fitted Maverick offered, which was confirmed once I switched autos. Having a bit of additional energy on hand is good, however it didn’t change the dynamics on the highway so drastically that I might be compelled to decide on it over the hybrid. Off highway, it could be a completely different, if barely extra difficult story.
Ford’s language surrounding the off-road capabilities of the Maverick is rigorously chosen. While the truck is “built Ford tough,” it’s meant to get drivers to the beginning of their journey, not be the journey itself. This is a diplomatic means of stating that the Maverick is on the decrease finish of Ford’s off-road capability scale.
Go-anywhere adventurers ought to search the Bronco. Even informal overlanders could be higher served by the Bronco Sport. Even although it and the Maverick share the identical platform, the shorter wheelbase and clearance alone places it forward of the compact truck.
In follow, the added drive modes to regulate throttle and wheel slip, paired with extra succesful tires served the Maverick nicely for the off-road portion of the take a look at drive. The terrain was a combine of flat gravel and well-trodden paths via grassy nation land. None of it was significantly difficult save for a very boney hill climb made up of massive unfastened rocks.
The Maverick had no points surmounting the tough stuff, and although the trail itself could be thought-about light by skilled off-roaders, it was actually rocky sufficient to offer anybody a second of pause, significantly in the event that they have been in a automotive they weren’t assured in.
There was little doubt the AWD EcoBoost model of the Maverick would have the ability to deal with a few light obstacles. The hybrid was one other story. For now, Ford isn’t providing the hybrid as an AWD. And I wasn’t in a position to put the front-wheel model via off-road portion of the drive.
Mechanically talking, the delicate hybrid system is pretty low influence. In broad phrases, it’s a small motor built-in into the drivetrain partnered with a small battery for some light energy restoration, versus multimotored PHEVs laden with large energy packs. It appears there’s little stopping the hybrid Maverick from getting its personal AWD setup. Would it’s much less succesful than the EcoBoost off highway and damage the MPG numbers? Most actually, although the drop-off would presumably be inside a very affordable margin.
Let’s have a look at the mpg for an instance. Ford is more than happy to state that the hybrid FWD Maverick is succesful of 40 mpg. The heavier and extra energy demanding AWD system would very probably cut back that return, however to what? 30 mpg? 25? It’s not 40, however for a compact truck, that might nonetheless be fairly good.
As for off-road prowess, essentially the most rugged Maverick is nonetheless by Ford’s personal admission restricted, and whereas 277 pound-feet of torque — the quantity that issues most in off-roading — is undoubtedly higher than 150 pound-feet, it’s not nothing, and actually sufficient given the parameters the Maverick can work inside.
There’s no query the FX4-fitted EcoBoost AWD Maverick is higher at such issues, however on condition that the hybrid system is normal and essentially the most interesting, it stands to cause this is the model of the Maverick that can promote essentially the most, and thus the one drivers will need to take off the tarmac — or not less than attempt.
Ford has designed the Maverick to enchantment extra to automotive upgraders than truck downgraders, that means that whereas there could be some overlap in phrases of prospects between it and the midsize Ranger, they’re not strictly at odds with one another.
Meant for extra city and suburban settings, the Maverick’s closest rival pickup could be the Honda Ridgeline. It’s confirmed monitor document as an urbane, car-like midsize truck is at present unmatched, although the Maverick and all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz may shake its strong footing.
The Ford Maverick is an intriguing “blank slate” of a car bought extra on its potential slightly than what it really is.
On its personal, it’s both a cost-effective, fuel-efficient compact utility car or a modestly succesful off-roader. It will certainly catch the attention of consumers in search of the utility of a truck with out the premium worth and spatial calls for, the identical means these searching for a canine for companionship may go for a terrier slightly than a Saint Bernard.
Its car-like dealing with makes it accessible for brand new drivers in addition to anybody postpone by piloting hefty SUVs or full-sized pickups. What the Ford Maverick is, is “just fine,” however what it may be, is limitless.