It was a bit of a shock when it became clear that Ford was going to make the standard powertrain on the 2022 Ford Maverick a hybrid arrangement, pairing a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated I-4 with a permanent-magnet electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. Ford also promised 40 mpg in the city, a “big if true” sort of claim for a pickup, however tiny. Looking at the fuel economy figures fresh from EPA testing, however, the shock is giving way to admiration. This little front-wheel-drive pickup is plucky, utilitarian—and stunningly efficient.
How does 42 mpg city sound? If it sounds like it’ll be the most fuel-efficient pickup on sale, bar none, it is. (If you don’t count the EV pickups starting to trickle out to customers, like the Rivian R1T. ) The best any other pickup on sale right now can muster is 24 mpg in the city, and that’s the two-sizes-bigger Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid. Most other relatively efficient trucks are in the 22-23 mpg range in the city, per EPA estimates.
The Maverick’s freeway rating is 33 mpg, a disparity typical for hybrids, which have fewer opportunities to recuperate energy via regenerative braking out on the open road. The combined rating is an impressive 37 mpg. Taken together, this little pickup sips fuel through a subcompact-car-sized straw. And more impressively, this remarkable fuel economy means the Maverick has an EPA-rated cruising range of more than 500 miles.
And all this without really giving up any capability. These figures aren’t limited to some stripped-down fuel economy special, although the base XL model does lack some features buyers might otherwise expect, like cruise control. Rather, all Maverick Hybrids are front-wheel drive (AWD isn’t available) yet can tow 2,000 lbs and have a generous 1,500 lbs payload rating. (Remember, the 2.0-liter turbo variants can be optioned to tow 4,000 lbs, but are much less efficient—in front-drive guise, the 2.0 manages 23 city/30 hwy/26 combined). Of course, loading up a Maverick will likely reduce its real-world fuel economy a fair bit, but there’s no denying that this is a remarkably thrifty little pickup.
Ford says demand for the Maverick Hybrid is high, and supply is relatively limited. It’s expected to sell out for the 2022 model year by early November. The trucks will start shipping to dealers in December, with initial deliveries expected by January.
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