The 40 MPG Pickup Truck is Back!

The 40 MPG pickup truck has returned, at long last, with the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid. For folks that need an affordable and fuel-efficient pickup, the wait is nearly over. 

When the news leaked out that the Maverick badge would land on Ford’s new compact pickup truck, some car nuts recoiled, myself included. Why would Ford choose that name when the Ranchero name seemed so much more appropriate? Once the press release hit the wires, it all made sense.

The Maverick's "FLEXBED" is tight, but versatile when the gate is lowered.

The Maverick is a Value Play with Heritage

The 1970 Ford Maverick hit the streets with an aggressive MSRP of $1,995. The 2022 Ford Maverick starts at $19,995. That may be 10X the original cost, but it’s a deal if you can find a stripped truck on the lot.

While America has immense love for pickup trucks, there’s a rising chorus of disdain. It boils down to two primary issues, as succinctly stated on the B-side of Dancing in the Dark. 
“Some folks say it’s too big and uses too much gas.” While written to spell out the shortcomings of a notorious rose-colored land yacht, the phrase is spot on to the current state of pickup trucks. When viewed through the lens of history, all is clear. Heritage is huge.

1972 Ford Maverick Grabber

40 MPG City in a Pickup Truck? Yep.

The base-model 2020 Ford Maverick uses a hybrid drivetrain to aim for a targeted 40 MPG city rating. The highway MPG rating drops, as expected. Every pickup truck ever built is as aerodynamic as a brick. The 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid pumps out a very respectable 191 horsepower (HP) combined and 155 pound-feet of torque via CVT to the front wheels.

Enthusiasts will likely opt for the 2.0L EcoBoost engine and available all-wheel drive. 250 HP and 277 pound-feet of torque provides plenty of ooomph out of the gate. The turbocharged and direct-injected engine bolts up with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Will Ford offer a manual with the EcoBoost engine? That’s a question for the Magic Eight Ball. The aftermarket has plenty of ways to coax more power out of the 2.0L four-banger. I’ll wager (with my fingers crossed) that the answer is YES.

You won't see 40 MPG while towing with the Maverick, of course.

You Won’t Get 40 MPG While Towing.

Ford promises 500 miles of range for the Maverick Hybrid. The payload is 1500 pounds, with a towing capacity of 2000 pounds. If your towing requirements exceed that, choose the EcoBoost engine and the 4K Tow Package option to crank capacity up to 4000 pounds. We’ll dive into the impressive interior and “FLEXBED” features in subsequent posts.

The Maverick's interior doesn't look like it came from the bargain basement.

America Needs More 40 MPG Pickup Trucks.

Although the 2022 Maverick will be the first standard full-hybrid pickup in America and the most fuel-efficient truck on the market when it arrives, we’ve seen a good number of high-MPG pickups in the past. The diesel-powered Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup is the most notable of the bunch. Could the trend return?

The Maverick is a tiny truck that offers enormous value with little competition. The term “game-changer” gets thrown around all too often, but this is that. The Maverick completes Ford’s forward-thinking pickup truck trifecta, joining the brilliant F-150 Lightning and F-150 PowerBoost. We hope to provide comprehensive Maverick and F-150 coverage in the coming months.

Stay tuned!

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