Tested: 2022 Ford Maverick

I have been the proud owner of a third generation Ford Ranger for more than a decade. That model was discontinued after 2011. Several years passed before it was replaced. The 2019 Ranger, based on an Australian platform, was indeed smaller than current full-size pickups – but it was huge compared to my old Ranger.

 

2020 Ford Ranger (R) pictured here with your author’s third-gen Ranger.

 

The new Ranger is about the same size as a 20-year-old full size F150.

 

2022 Ford Maverick has truck functionality but without battleship-like proportions of full-size pickups

Finally, a true compact pickup has come along to meet the needs and wants of folks like me who don’t need a big truck, but occasionally have use for an open bed. In my case, occasional is the operating word.

After a dozen years, my ‘little one’ has less than 40,000 km on the clock. Like most babies, it has been spoiled – waxed, garaged, serviced regularly. But until now, there has never been anything on the market I would consider as a replacement.

The 2022 Ford Maverick is that truck.

 

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat
Photo: LISA CALVI

 

Driving the 2022 Ford Maverick and the 2010 Ford Ranger back-to-back is a lesson in evolution.

The Maverick has more power, yet gets vastly better fuel mileage. It rides like a limo compared to my rigid Ranger. The rear accommodations of my truck consists of a pair of folding ‘seats’ that, when down, face each other.

 

2022 Ford Maverick and 2008 Ford Ranger

 

Access is through a narrow opening and comfort a mere dream. The Maverick, on the other hand, has a pair of conventional rear doors allowing access to a roomy conventional seat with room for two in comfort, three in a pinch.

 

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat
Photo: FORD CANADA

 

My truck – loaded for the time – had the best available sound system, AC, cruise control, power windows and locks, tilt wheel etc.

 

The Maverick tester had all that and more – a lot more.

All the modern conveniences from infotainment and navigation systems to power seats and great LED headlights. Of course, the new truck has all the conventional safety features. Mine has a pair of airbags, both of which have been replaced through recalls.

 

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat
Photo: FORD CANADA

 

My Ranger has a 4.0-litre V6 under the hood mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The big six produces 148 horsepower and 180 lb. ft. of torque The Maverick engine is literally half that size at 2.0 litres, and the automatic transmission has three more gears.

The difference is startling.

Thanks to a turbocharger and modern tech, the little engine in the Maverick puts out 250 horsepower and 277 lb. ft .of torque. It is no contest whether accelerating from rest or pulling out to pass on a hill.

 

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat
Photo: FORD CANADA

 

The Maverick also wins at the pump, using approximately half as much fuel for a given distance!

My truck has a four-wheel-drive system with a transfer case and high and low ranges. The Maverick also can send power to all four wheels. But here, an electronic system activates the all-wheel drive system according to need and conditions.

 

“This feels like a car, I could actually enjoy driving this,” she said.

Other than the vastly superior interior accommodations, and performance, the biggest difference between the two trucks is ride quality.

Both wear identical FX-4 Off Road decals on their rear flanks. In my Ranger that means hefty springs /shocks and an absolutely brutal ride on less-than-perfect surfaces, which is most of Nova Scotia off the 100-series highways.

Should you come across a bump mid-corner at speed, the sold rear axle will hop up and come back down a couple of feet off the line. Bumps and other road blemishes are teeth-jarring experiences. Travel the same road at the same speed in the Maverick and you’d think you are in a car.

That’s exactly what my considerably better half said after only a few minutes in the Maverick. “This feels like a car, I could actually enjoy driving this,” she said. The lady is not a fan of the Ranger!

Not everything is better in the new trucklet. The two are pretty close in overall size – length, width and height. But park the two side-by-side and the difference is quickly evident.

 

2022 Ford Maverick and 2010 Ford Ranger

 

The Maverick gives preferential treatment to people. The old Ranger put the box first with people a secondary consideration.

I have watched with interest as manufacturers attempted to produce “small” or “compact” pickups.

The new Ford Maverick is just that, finally.

 

FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat AWD

 

PRICE

Base: $34,450

As tested: $46,045 including freight

 

INFOTAINMENT

20-cm screen

 

SAFETY

LED headlights, automatic high beams, pre-collision system with automatic emergency braking

 

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Power windows, locks, mirrors and tailgate lock, power mirrors, sliding rear window, remote keyless entry, dual zone automatic climate control, tilt/telescope steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, six-way power passenger seat.

 

OPTIONS

Alto blue metallic paint, floor liners with carpet mats, $250; FX-4 offroad package, unique alloy wheels and tires, suspension upgrade, five drive modes, front tow hooks, skid plates) $1,120; power moonroof, $1,150; 4K tow package, (hitch, 7-pin connector, transmission oil cooler, bigger radiator, upgraded cooling fan, lower final drive ratio, trailer brake controller) $750; Lariat luxury package, (Blind spot system with cross traffic alert, lane departures and keep system, adaptive cruise control, 110-volt outlet, spray-in bed liner, eight-speaker B&O audio system, wireless charging pad, heated mirrors, seats, steering wheel, and wiper park, LED box lighting, rear park sensors, satellite radio, enhanced voice recognition infotainment system)    $4,700; 17-in alloy wheels, $1,115

 

MECHANICAL

Turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder, 250-horsepower, 277 lb.ft. of torque. eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive, NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway):10.7/8.1

 

DIMENSIONS

Length, 5,073-mm; wheelbase, 3,076-mm, width, 2,122-mm; weight, 1,692-kg

 

COMPETITION

Hyundai Santa Cruz

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