2022-ford-maverick-could-be-a-true-compact-truck

Illustration by Ben Summerell-Youde/Fox SyndicationCar and Driver

The Ford Maverick will be a new compact pickup truck arriving for the 2022 model year.It will have a unibody construction and share components with the Bronco Sport crossover.Look for the Maverick to debut in the second half of 2021.Pickup trucks have been getting bigger, heavier, better equipped, more capable, and more expensive for years, but Ford may soon disrupt the trend. The long-rumored compact Ford truck to slot in below the mid-size Ranger is getting closer to reality, and the signs are pointing to it arriving sometime in 2021 wearing a Maverick badge. Here we’ve illustrated what the 2022 Ford Maverick could look like based on various spy photos and leaked images.Rather than a body-on-frame construction, this new model will share its unibody, transverse-engine architecture with crossover models such as the Bronco Sport and Escape. Recent Maverick prototypes have been spotted with four doors, suggesting that it will be a crew-cab pickup looking somewhat like a Bronco Sport with a bed, though with a different front-end design. In other words, the relationship between the two will be akin to the Honda Ridgeline pickup and closely related Pilot SUV.

Because the Bronco Sport is significantly smaller than the Pilot, it stands to reason that the Maverick will have a smaller footprint than the Ridgeline and other mid-size trucks, including the Ranger. It will also reportedly be cheaper than the Ranger, which starts just above $26,000, as Ford told dealerships early in 2019 that its new compact pickup would have a sub-$20,000 sticker price. We’re now dubious of that. Unless the base-model Maverick is significantly decontented compared with its crossover sibling, we struggle to see how it could cost so much less than the least expensive Bronco Sport, which stickers for $28,155.Powertrain offerings will depend on how committed Ford is to a low-cost variant of the Maverick. The cheapest version of the Escape, for instance, has front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder with 181 horsepower; the base Bronco Sport has this same engine paired with standard all-wheel drive. We think that the more powerful 245-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter and the Bronco Sport’s more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system would be better suited for the Maverick, given expectations for hauling and capability. Both of these engines are likely, along with an eventual hybrid version. While some small-pickup purists may want a manual transmission in a vehicle like this, we doubt Ford is considering it.The Maverick’s interior will likely share components with the Escape and Bronco Sport’s cabins. Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system should be on hand, along with the Bronco Sport’s clever underseat storage cubbies. We’re not sure what size the Maverick’s bed will be, but for reference, the Ridgeline offers a 5’4” bed and the Ranger offers a 6′ bed with the extended cab and a 5′ bed with the crew-cab configuration.While Ford has yet to confirm the Maverick’s existence, we think it’s getting close to production and will likely be revealed in the second half of this year. It could go on sale in the U.S. as soon as late 2021 as a 2022 model, although we think arrival in dealerships early next year is more likely.
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