2022 Ford Maverick Driving Notes: Details Matter
The Ford Maverick has been one of the Blue Oval’s biggest debuts in recent history – ironic, given the pickup’s compact size. Further adding to Ford’s truck portfolio, the combination of crossover-like driving characteristics, an available hybrid engine, and some truck-like qualities make the Maverick an instant hit.
We love the Ford Maverick so much, in fact, that we’ve made it a point to spend time in nearly every version. Our testers have ranged from the base XL model to the top-end Lariat trim, with both the optional hybrid and standard gas powertrains on display. And spoiler alert: each and every one of them is fantastic.
Seyth Miersma, Editor-In-Chief
- Favorite Thing: Thoughtful Door Handles
- Least Favorite Thing: Reality Vs. Expectations
Listen, the Maverick is a cute, right-sized, fuel efficient pickup truck with a nice blend of utility and technology. It’s affordable and I have no doubt sales will go great guns when the various microchip and supply chain issues have been wrestled into submission. I’m impressed with the total package.
But I was really impressed with the interior door handles, the first time I got into the truck on a cold, January morning.
To be very clear, I’m not talking about the very normal door pulls that unlatch the door. I’m talking about the kind of floating extension on the door-mounted armrest, just behind where you’ll find the window switch. This small extrusion of plastic – vaguely diamond-shaped with four bolts – doesn’t have to exist at all. In many vehicles the armrest would either end three inches earlier or extend across the width of the door.
Positioned where it is, it gives Maverick drivers or passengers a bit of subtly brilliant UX. For one, it’s very handy to grab hold of, even while wearing a bulky glove (and if there’s one thing truckmakers like, it’s catering to people wearing gloves). But because it doesn’t span the door, it still leaves room for something tall and/or awkwardly shaped to be stashed in the door pocket below.
A tiny thing. I’m not sure I can even call it a “feature.” But it’s an expression of attention to detail that makes me feel great about the truck as a whole.
I was late to the Maverick game. The first drives, reviews, video shakedowns, and social media takes had all moved to the day-old bin by the time I drove the truck.
Having consumed a lot of that content, I expected the Maverick to be pretty revolutionary. To split the difference, I suppose, between the driving experience of a car and the practicality of a truck. Instead, I think the Maverick is just a nice little truck.
A good little truck is a great thing to have. In a week I got to haul a big load of cardboard to the recycling center. I bought a snow shovel and 50 pounds of ice melt. I took my kids to daycare. Through it all, I never forgot that I was driving a small pickup.
Things like NVH, ride quality and handling are all well managed for this segment, but they’re also not segment-busting. Even the EcoBoost powertrain, which I expected to make the truck rather sprightly, was less punchy than I’d hoped.
None of that is elementally bad if you’re in the market to drive a truck on the daily. However, if you thought that perhaps the Maverick was a more perfect blend of car/SUV/pickup DNA, as I did, consider this a course correction.