Full-sized pick-up trucks like the Ford F-150 are unrelentingly popular with private buyers in North America, not to mention a highly profitable cash cow for companies that are piling billions into EV development.
In 2019, the best-selling F-150 was joined in US and Canadian markets by the mid-sized Ford Ranger. Now Ford has launched a third light-duty pick-up with the new Maverick, a unibody truck built off the same platform as the Escape (sold in Europe as the Ford Kuga) and Bronco Sport SUVs. It won’t be coming to the UK, where Ford says it has customers covered with the 20cm-longer, body-on-frame Ranger.
The four-door crew-cab Maverick follows the US introduction last year of Hyundai’s Tucson-based Santa Cruz and marks a rejuvenation of the long-dormant compact pick-up truck segment. Ford is targeting “people who never knew they wanted a truck” but it will also find favour with young, city-dwelling truck lovers who want something smaller and less thirsty than the alternatives.
A 2.5-litre hybrid is the entry-level powertrain, making the Mexico-built Maverick North America’s most fuel-efficient truck. As with the Kuga, the hybrid is front-wheel drive only, but Ford has temporarily halted orders for the hybrid pick-up after the global chip shortage left it unable to meet demand. We drove a range-topping Lariat-trim model with all-wheel drive, the FX4 off-road package and 2.0-litre Ecoboost power, which doubles the hybrid Maverick’s tow rating to 1816kg.