Ford is making headlines this week after unveiling a new dual-cab hybrid ute/pickup, called the Maverick, promising exceptional fuel economy and an extremely affordable sticker price. Unfortunately, it is not for Australia at this point.
The 2022 Ford Maverick is set to be priced in the US at $19,995 (just over AU$25,000), and looks set to revolutionise economy figures for the ‘compact pickup’ segment thanks to a new hybrid powertrain. The base model is powered by a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol delivering 121kW and 210Nm, combined with a 21kW electric motor, bringing its combined output to 142kW.
Power is sent to the front wheels via a CVT, with the hybrid offered solely as a front-wheel drive proposition. The most impressive aspect of the Maverick hybrid, however, is Ford’s claim about its economy, with the company providing EPA estimates of 5.9L/100km on the urban cycle, 6.4L/100km on the combined cycle, and more than 800km of range between fill-ups.
Ford is also offering a more powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost variant, which pushes out 186kW and 376Nm, powering the wheels via an eight-speed automatic, with the choice of front- or all-wheel drive configurations.
The Maverick rides on Ford’s C2 platform, which underpins models such as the Focus and Escape, as well as the new Bronco Sport. It’s 5072mm long, 1844mm wide, 1745mm tall, and has a 3076mm wheelbase, which means it’s slightly more compact than traditional dual-cab utes offered in Australia.
Being based on a front-wheel drive platform, the Maverick hybrid has a maximum towing capacity of just 907kg, with a payload capacity of 680kg. The towing and payload capacity remain the same on the more powerful variant, however, Ford offers an optional tow package that increases the braked towing capacity to 1814kg. Ford’s FlexBed tray also comes in with similar but more compact dimensions than the Ranger, offering a 1372mm length and 1219mm width.
Inside, there’s an 8.0-inch touch-screen media unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, and an embedded Wi-Fi modem that can support up to ten devices. There’s also a digital instrument cluster available for the driver, and plenty of innovative cubby holes and practicality design features.
Sadly, Ford has designed the Maverick exclusively for left-hand drive markets at this stage. The good news, however, is that Ford’s C2 platform can be easily tweaked to accommodate a right-hand drive configuration. So while Australia might not be a priority for Ford right now, we may well see the Maverick on local shores in the future.
When it does hit the US market, the 2022 Ford Maverick will be one of the most affordable hybrids that customers can buy. It will join the likes of the Hyundai Santa Cruz in the emerging FWD-based compact ute segment in the US.