Among us professional auto reviewers, it is standard practice to group new vehicles into classes made up of similar models to help consumers understand everything. We bundle like-minded, like-minded family sedans together, and we also do the same with SUVs, minivans, sports cars, full-size pickup trucks, and luxury sedans. However, from time to time, while still useful, this type of ranking process does not really serve to put a vehicle’s attributes in the proper context, much less help determine who is likely to buy that vehicle. That may be the case with the newcompact truck, because it is wildly different.
Ford’s new compact unibody pickup truck has a very low manufacturer’s suggested retail price.($ 19,995 plus $ 1,495 delivery) and features a standard hybrid powertrain. That’s right, America’s least expensive full hybrid is actually America’s least expensive pickup truck as well. Put another way, that means the front-wheel drive Maverick is priced to break the rules, and at an estimated 40 mpg in the city, it’s also an absolute curve-breaker when it comes to truck efficiency metrics.
Unibody trucks have traditionally been a very hard sell in the US, and today the only other trucks on the market that aren’t traditional body-on-frame construction that are even vaguely similar to the 2022 Maverick are theand the biggest . Neither model features an electrified powertrain, and none lines up quite as cleanly in terms of size, capacity, and mission. We already know that the all-wheel-drive Honda Ridgeline is much more expensive and more powerful, starting at $ 37,665 ($ 36,490 plus $ 1,175 delivery), and while a price has yet to be set, the Santa Cruz is likely to have thousands more as well. You can see how these truckers fit and judge for yourself: this is not the F-150 against versus , these are very different vehicles.
I am here to offer an alternative way to view this truck. I think the 2022 Ford Maverick will actually end up cross-buying with econoboxes like theother by customers who never thought they would be interested in a truck in the first place. After all, the Maverick will really be less expensive and more more efficient to function in the city than any of those popular pacts. Additionally, lower-end FWD Mavericks are also likely to be cross-bought by people, especially youngsters and first-time buyers, who might otherwise be looking in the used vehicle market for a traditional passenger car that is just right. New enough to still be under warranty. .
More than most new car buyers, entry-level vehicle buyers tend to be much more pragmatic than consumers in other segments, often because their limited finances and credit status demand such practical and practical decision-making. focused. Rather than being inherently limited to a particular vehicle type, these buyers disproportionately consider factors such as monthly payment, fuel efficiency, and where they can get loan approval as key factors in earning a spot on their shopping lists.
I can relate.
When I was in college, the above scenario described me as a “t” as a fixed budget buyer looking for my first new vehicle. The peace of mind promised by an affordable new vehicle under warranty through a fixed low-interest monthly payment was preferable to buying a used car with a higher interest rate and the greater likelihood of variable monthly costs due to unscheduled repairs. Like many first-time new car buyers, I also found it easier to finance myself with a new car loan than a used one, and I didn’t have the cash to buy a decent used car anyway.
Although I was a budding car enthusiast, I wanted something entertaining as a Dodge Neon other Ford Escort LX. I found that I could only afford the basic models with standard features like an AM / FM stereo cassette and a map pocket. I’m not even sure the Neon offered dual side mirrors, and I don’t think any of the models included air conditioning.or a , my budget and an acute lack of credit dictated that I was destined to buy bargain basement appliance leases, like the
My purchases took a left to right turn when I realized that I could get a medium grade. 1999 Ford Ranger XLT, complete with an extended cab, V6 power, air conditioning and, hold your breath, a CD player. The truck’s significantly higher resale value helped keep the monthly lease price low, so even though its MSRP was thousands of dollars higher than an economy car, the Ranger was actually going to be cheaper to own. even with its higher fuel consumption. . Plus, with its useful bed, I thought the Ranger would be great for carrying mountain bikes and saving me on rental vans when it came time to vacate a dorm or apartment.
Even though I had never been interested in a truck before, my choice was clear. I became a truck driver and never looked back. All signs point to the 2022 Maverick having similar or even greater appeal 20 years later.
In fact, the Maverick should be a much easier truck-shaped pill to swallow for traditional passenger car buyers than my Ranger. For starters, Ford’s unibody build (there’s no heavy body on the frame) means the Maverick should drive a lot more like a normal passenger car in terms of ride, handling, and maneuverability, all of which should make this vehicle much easier to consider for buyers who have only driven things like a Civic or a Corolla. Just as important, the Mav’s 40 mpg city fuel economy rating actually outperforms significantly. Today’s standard Honda Civic in the city cycle. Same for Corolla. Ford has yet to release the base hybrid’s highway fuel economy number, but I’m guessing it will be significantly less impressive due to its aerodynamic drag at higher speeds.
Maverick 2022: Ford truck ruggedness in a smaller package
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Also, where my SuperCab Ranger managed with comically small, side-mounted second-row folding seats, the Maverick has four conventional hinged doors that allow easy access to a five-seat cabin that’s larger than many sedans and hatchbacks. compact. The low step height is even quite similar to that of a car.
Also, at 33 cubic feet, theAlthough you will need to get a good locking barrel to keep everything as secure as you would in a traditional trunk. Not to mention the truck’s towing capacity, which, while particularly modest on hybrid specs, is still a major benefit.
Now, it’s certainly possible for lower-end Maverick models, like the base XL, to have interiors whose features and materials leave something to be desired compared to one of today’s best compact budget cars (I’ve only dug into awith options), especially since cars like the Civic and Corolla can be surprisingly luxurious on the inside. But many people will find Ford’s added utility worth it, and even the mid-grade XLT Hybrid is worth a hefty $ 23,775 ($ 22,280 plus delivery), a price just below a 2021 Civic Sport.
It won’t just be ordinary individual consumers who are interested in the Maverick. I can see that the Maverick is becoming a favorite with fleet buyers, both government and private. Ford used to sell hundreds of thousands of Ford Rangers when that nameplate gave it an honest, basic compact truck. The year I bought mine, the Blue Oval switched to nearly 350,000 Rangers, and a large percentage of those models were sold to municipalities, utility companies, rental fleets, etc. Boasting essentially twice the urban fuel economy of today’s rangersFleet managers will love what the Maverick does for its bottom line.
None of this is to say that the 2022 Ford Maverick will be a particularly good choice for traditional small truck buyers planning to carry large numbers of ATVs and trailers. Ford will offer the all-wheel drive Maverick and even a modest FX4 off-road package, but if you like to climb rocks or travel overland, you may want to upgrade to the Ranger or F-150 if you need your truck to have one. Ford badge on the grill.
While those hardcore customers will probably be better off with something else, in the end, I think the 2022 Ford Maverick will be presented to a very wide and eager audience. If this truck is half as good to drive as first impressions, you might see sales overtake the Ranger to become one of Blue Oval’s hottest offerings in a couple of years.