Want the Cheapest Ford Maverick? You Get a Basic Touchscreen

No Sync3 here, but you’ll still have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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Want the Cheapest Ford Maverick? You Get a Basic Touchscreen © Want the Cheapest Ford Maverick? You Get a Basic Touchscreen

There's something special about a no-frills base model that just gets back to basics. Ford in particular has been killing it with entry-level variants of the Bronco, but most notably, the upcoming 2022 Ford Maverick, which has an affordable starting price and the right blend of technology. And our favorite, of course, steel wheels.

Lately, potential buyers of Ford's esteemed simple pickup have been on the fence over whether or not the automaker's infotainment system is up-to-snuff in 2021, and online documentation wasn't really clear on what the standard 8-inch screen would deliver. But now, thanks to a bit of digging by Ford Authority, we now know what will and won't work with a tap of the glass.

If you have your eye on a Maverick XL, you probably know what you're getting into. At $21,490 (inclusive of a $1,495 destination fee), there's a hell of a lot of utility to be had, but it's admittedly a bit light on the luxuries. Even the slightly pricier XLT is a convincing value proposition without being too flashy. But that low price means that some sacrifices are made in the name of the almighty dollar, including at the infotainment system.

Both the XL and XLT trims come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen display, however, the unit isn't Ford's Sync platform (which some people might be happy about), but instead, the slimmed-down "Connected Touch Radio."

The unit uses an occupant's phone connected to Bluetooth as its primary means of connectivity. This provides the ability to use Ford AppLink and 911 Assist, which dials 911 in the event that the vehicle's airbags are deployed.

Most importantly, the unit supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, albeit not wireless versions of either. This alone sparked quite the debate on Maverick Truck Club, where some folks were upset over the lack of wireless integration and others laughed the feature off as laggy or egregious for the truck's price point. It's worth noting that even the top-tier Maverick Lariat—which uses the more feature-rich Sync 3—doesn't offer wireless CarPlay or Android Auto either, but there are some aftermarket solutions that provide the integrations should they be a necessity.

The lower-end infotainment system also lacks the ability to use a number of voice commands to control things like climate settings, read text messages, or change radio stations.

Sadly, Ford doesn't offer an upgrade to the Sync system in its lower trims, nor does it offer the more premium eight-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system unless you move all the way up the Lariat. Admittedly though, the Lariat only increases the Maverick's starting price by $5,495. Adding on more premium components like the heartier 2.0-liter turbo, all-wheel-drive, and the Lariat luxury package will move the needle higher than $36,000.

Many people buying a new car today are taking advantage of their phone to handle features like music streaming and navigation, so a basic infotainment system (as long as it's responsive) aligns with Ford's utilitarian approach to the Maverick. Those looking for a bit more luxury will simply have to make the jump to higher trims—at least for now. If you want to stick with the cheapest, hybrid model with the Connected Touch Radio, you will need to special-order it at your earliest convenience.

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