Buyers Guide Ford Maverick
Capable new pick-up takes the Kuga platform and tops it with F150-inspired styling.
Ford’s new Maverick expands the brand’s US and Canadian light-duty pick-up range to three. Slotting in below the bodyon- frame F-150 and Ranger, this unibody truck is built on the same platform as the Escape/Kuga SUV. Less thirsty than the often-huge alternatives, the four-door crew-cab Maverick won’t come to the UK, where Ford says it has buyers covered with the 20cm-longer Ranger. A 2.5-litre hybrid is the entry-level powertrain, but Ford has temporarily halted orders after the global chip shortage left it unable to meet demand. We drove a range-topping Lariat trim with AWD, the FX4 off-road package and a 250bhp 2.0-litre Ecoboost motor, which doubles the hybrid variant’s tow rating to 1816kg.
The Maverick’s squared-off styling deliberately evokes the iconic F-150.where the dashboard design is fresh and distinctive and the infotainment bang up to date. Clever touches include hollowing out the door liners to store a tablet and a one-litre water bottle. Ford has even released CAD files so that customers can 3D-print their own interior accessories. Ford’s designers also went to town on the pick-up bed.
Owners can customise the so-called ‘Flexbed’ by placing lengths of timber into pre-made slots to divide the 1381mm-long load space, bolting racks into the standard threaded holes or plugging bespoke lighting or accessories into the 12V system. On city streets, the FX4 test truck with all-terrain rubber and off-roadtuned suspension was firmer than we’d have preferred but otherwise drove a lot like other members of the Escape/Kuga family, and noticeably better than the Ranger, which will be replaced next year. As trucks go, the Maverick is as car-like as they come.
The Ecoboost motor is buzzy at low revs but provides all the torque you’ll need for hauling. With a 29.0mpg official combined consumption, it uses 50% more fuel than the hybrid, but we didn’t better 24mpg in city use during a sub-zero test week. It’s easier to carry kids and luggage in a regular car or SUV than in the Maverick. But for anyone who wants the flexibility of a pick-up bed for weekend biking or other adventures, this well-executed Ford is compelling.