Anthony on Autos: 2022 Ford Maverick XLT

by Anthony Fongaro - 01/22/2021 (this story was originally published on

Wow, the Ford F-150 is a big truck. It’s just so difficult to drive, park, and maneuver. Wait, none of that is true. The F-150 may be the best-selling truck in the United States, but Ford needed to go smaller. After all, some people don’t want to drive an F-150 in the city or on narrow streets. Although there is the Ford Ranger, it could still be too big for people and it feels like it’s made out of tin. Ford had to think about how they could create a small truck, and the Maverick was born.

No pressure, but the Maverick is extremely important for Ford. First off, the base engine is a hybrid with front-wheel-drive, for maximum efficiency. Ford has also created the least-expensive truck with the XL trim starting at a fiver under $20,000. Ever since the last-generation Ranger went out to pasture, Ford didn’t have anything to replace it which is a little odd. Still, they took their time and gave us the Maverick. Was my excitement of driving the Maverick worth it, or was it just a silly little truck?

It isn’t a silly truck, but I have one word to describe the Maverick. I apologize in advance, but I think it’s an adorable little truck because of its size. I had it parked next to my 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI and it didn’t look too much bigger. The Maverick is only available as a Supercrew and has influences on its bigger siblings. The front end looks like a regular Ford front end with a large grill but has a unique design element with a bar that connects the lights with a Ford badge. When I say this is a small truck, look at it from the side.

Anthony on Autos: 2022 Ford Maverick XLT

It does look small, but it doesn’t have odd design elements that its competitor, the Hyundai Santa Cruz has. This Maverick XLT sported Hot Pepper Red for $390 and standard 17-inch wheels. Maverick is proudly stamped on the tailgate along with a large Ford logo and a slightly oddly designed bumper. Since this is the XLT, the door mirrors and door handles are black instead of being body-colored. This isn’t a big deal since all-in-all, the Maverick looks like a great small truck.

If the exterior looks like a traditional truck, the interior has a feeling of being a little quirky and traditional. Before we get to looking ahead in the driver’s seat, I have to mention the grab handle on the doors. They’re way too small, but I do appreciate the design and orange accents, which continue throughout the cabin. These orange elements are also on the vents and under the USB-C port. Now that we look ahead, you will see a cheap-feeling steering wheel with standard media controls, but this Maverick didn’t have adaptive-cruise control or push-button to start the car. You use a key, but at this price point, that wasn’t a big deal.

That sort of continues throughout the cabin. This is under $25,000, and you can feel it. Ahead are analog dials with speed and hybrid dial for charging and power. There is a small display that you can use to look at various functions including speed. Next to you is a decent infotainment system that can run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I don’t get the gap next to the infotainment system because I don’t know what you would put there. This Maverick had climate control, a twist knob for the transmission, and what Ford calls Unique Cloth Bucket Front-Seats. That’s a fancy name to say it has cloth seats with no heating feature.

Anthony on Autos: 2022 Ford Maverick XLT

Let’s take a drive with this front-wheel-drive hybrid truck. The engine under the hood is a 2.5-liter inline-four producing 199-horsepower and 155 lb-ft. Using a CVT, this gets the Maverick from 0-60 mph in 7.8-seconds, but it doesn’t seem that slow with stop-and-go traffic or lower speeds. Since this is a hybrid, you get some good pickup when you accelerate but start to struggle a little on the highway. Still, there wasn’t too much body roll or understeer with this being front-wheel-drive. I also didn’t notice any wheel skipping when I pushed it hard. The Maverick also has a few drive modes with Sport, Normal, Eco, and a snow-like setting. Keep it in normal since eco dulls the throttle too much and sport is fun but mainly for those that need to overtake.

Driving didn’t show too many problems, but they're still were some. The ride isn’t the most comfortable, as are the seats. They seemed a little flat and didn’t have enough side bolster support. Also, the backseats, not a surprise, were very cramped and also didn’t offer the best support. This isn’t a problem as much as a question: what would you put in the back of the Maverick? Its bed is only 4.5 feet long. If you know what you would put in the back of the Maverick, please let me know! The Hyundai Santa Cruz has the same problem, but I’m guessing that these will carry smaller pieces of lumber or possibly small landscaping equipment?

Speaking of equipment, this Maverick XLT didn’t have too many. Mavericks XLTs start at $22,000 and mine was $25,540. The options were the paint and Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 which gave me blind-spot monitoring. The heart of the hybrid Maverick is the fuel economy, and oh boy did it do a great job. I got an incredible 38 mpg. Depending on the market, this model is the pick of the litter. If you do want leather seats and heated seats, you’ll have to pony up $2,500 for the XLT Luxury Package. This package brings an XLT Maverick to $28,000. Although I did miss heated seats in 15-degree weather, I’m not sure I would add the XLT Luxury package.

Anthony on Autos: 2022 Ford Maverick XLT

That’s because I liked the Maverick that I tested. It has everything you need in a basic truck. The styling both inside and out looks like an average truck. Some people like the more traditional styling, including myself. Ford was very smart making the default powertrain a hybrid with front-wheel drive. There is an optional 2.0-liter inline-four that comes with an optional all-wheel-drive, but that adds over $3,000 to the base price before any options! At the end of the day, I was surprised by how well the Maverick XLT was. It’s a great little truck for $25,000.