We at The Drive enjoy a proper no-frills vehicle. Now, sure, a fully loaded luxury machine has its place, but there's something about buying a base-spec model—with the right vehicle—that just feels *chef's kiss*.
On Tuesday, Ford announced its all-new compact pickup, the 2022 Maverick. As it turns out, much like the upcoming Bronco, the base-spec Maverick XL is arguably the best bang for your buck, especially given its low price point and extremely utilitarian nature.
The base Maverick is offered at an admittedly solid $21,490 (inclusive of a $1,495 destination fee). For that, buyers get a 191-horsepower, 2.5-liter hybrid mated to a continuously variable transmission. Power is sent only to the front wheels, in that case.
The idea of a hybrid or front-wheel-drive CVT can be off-putting for some, especially in a truck. If you're included in that group, prepare to pony up another $1,085 for the more robust 250-hp, 2.0-liter EcoBoost. This solves another problem by swapping in the eight-speed automatic as well, but it still powers the front wheels only. For an additional $3,305, you can get an all-wheel-drive variant that makes the Maverick more traditionally truck-like. All-in, this only brings the cost of the truck up to $24,795 and that's not so bad, chief.
Price and powertrain aside, the base-spec Maverick just looks good. It's been a long time since the world had a properly small pickup from Ford, and this is a nice break from the new car bloat that most modern vehicles have experienced over the past decade.
The exterior is fitted with LED headlights and steel wheels—polar opposites that somehow work with one another in this case. A modest grille and blacked-out mirror caps also make an appearance; there's no chrome, no overly loud design language, and the truck itself is available in seven colors, from the crisp Oxford White to its hero hue of Velocity Blue. As an added bonus, a sliding rear window can be equipped for $155 extra.
The base trim, like every other one, is equipped with Ford's 4.5-foot Flexbed, which is intended to be ultra-versatile so you can make the most of that limited space. This keystone of practicality handles up to 1,500 pounds of payload and with the tailgate down, you gain an extra 1.5 feet. The box also does a nifty trick with the tailgate to lock it in a half-open position which can angle large loads that hang past the edge of the bed. There's also plenty of tie-down points, short bedsides, and 110-volt as well as 12-volt power power sources.
As for the interior, it's about as no-frills as you can get nowadays. The Maverick comes standard with Ford's SuperCrew cab, meaning it can seat five thanks to the flip-up rear bench. It features cloth seats, analog gauges (though there is a small digital display in the center), and an eight-inch center screen that can run both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For an extra $540, Ford will equip the truck with Co-Pilot360, the automaker's safety suite which supports lane-keeping, blind spot monitoring, and cross-traffic alerting. Confusingly, this option also provides a full-size spare tire.
Every single feature we've mentioned above brings the total price of the truck to $25,490, which is a pretty damn good deal. Unfortunately, Ford holds SecuriCode for the XLT and Lariat trims, which is the only option that's missing from the XL that everyone should really have.
And while you can move up through the trims to gain luxury features like push-button start, ambient lighting, and a power sliding rear window—do you need those? If the answer is yes, it's an additional $4,800. But choose wisely because sometimes, modesty really is the best policy.
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