Ford's new unibody Maverick is one of the smallest pickups out there. Somewhat similar in size to Hyundai's new Santa Cruz, many are considering it a return to the compact trucks of previous decades. It's tiny for a pickup, that's for sure. But how small is it really?
We've already compared the Maverick to its closest competitors, but a compact truck should be compact, period. Here's how the new Maverick stacks up against vehicles in and outside of its class.
To start, the Maverick's wheelbase is 121.1 inches and its overall length is a healthy 199.7 inches. Let's compare that to some crossovers, like the ultra-popular Kia Telluride. The Telluride's wheelbase is significantly shorter at 114.2 inches, but its 197-inch overall length is very similar. Just the same, the Telluride is only two tenths of an inch taller than the Maverick at 68.9 inches. The Kia is 5.4 inches wider, but that's only a few inches per side.
So the Maverick is one of the smallest trucks for sale, but it's dimensionally similar to a midsize SUV. Let's make one thing clear; this isn't a return to the previous generation Ranger pickup sold between 1998 and 2011 in the United States. Unlike the new Maverick, the old Ranger was available in a variety of length and cab configurations, the smallest of which carried only two people and had a wheelbase nearly 10 inches shorter. Its overall length was also more than 11 inches shorter despite the Ranger offering a full six-foot bed with the tailgate closed tight.
In extended cab configuration with a six-foot bed, the largest third-gen Ranger is actually longer than the Maverick in both overall length and wheelbase. What does this translate to? Well, the old third-gen Ranger was never actually that small. It seems pathetically tiny compare to today's full-size pickups, but consider the fact that even the Maverick is more than four feet shorter and nearly 10 inches lower than an F-250 Super Duty. So while it fills the footprint of a mid-size SUV, full-size trucks nowadays are truly massive and there's certainly a difference there.
Ford has also worked on at least one aspect of the Maverick to make it feel smaller than it is: the turning circle. At just 40 feet, it will turn around as tightly as a new BMW 3 Series despite having a wheelbase roughly nine inches longer. It may not be the size of a sedan like the Bimmer, but it's at least as maneuverable as one.
So if you were curious if the new Maverick was basically a Honda Civic with a bed on the back, it.. um... isn't. It's more or less a mid-sized SUV with space for five people and a workable space in the rear to call it a pickup. It's not quite as utilitarian as the old Ranger, but pickups have gradually transformed from something used just for work into something of a do-everything vehicle. It's nobody's fault alone, and it's what consumers seem to want.
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