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Car review: Ford Maverick XLT

2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid XLT. Preproduction vehicle with optional equipment shown. Available fall 2021.

By most metrics—design, fuel economy, ride quality, handling, utility, value—Ford nailed it with its all-new Maverick pickup, introduced in 2022.

Ford’s smallest pickup sports the slab sides, imposing front end, and other design cues of its larger sibling, the F-150. The 4-door crew-cab pickup is small only when compared to today’s F-Series.

The Maverick comes standard with a 191-hp hybrid powertrain; a turbocharged 250-hp engine is optional. Fuel economy is remarkable—as high as 37 mpg combined.

Based on the Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs, the Maverick’s ride is civilized, its steering is responsive, and outward visibility is good. It’s a cinch to step in or out of the cabin, and the truck fits easily in most parking spaces and garages. The Maverick’s cab is roomy for 4 and has plenty of storage compartments.

Despite the hard plastic trim, the interior textures and colors are pleasing. The bed is short but can carry 4-by-8 plywood sheets with the tailgate down. The payload is 1,500 pounds and, with the turbo engine and AWD, the Maverick can tow 4,000 pounds.

At a base price under $25,000, the Maverick’s value is stellar—if you can avoid some dealers’ extreme markups. Few pickup lovers need more truck than the Maverick.

Vehicle Layout: turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (250 hp), 8-speed automatic, AWD

MSRP, Base Model/As Tested: $26,450/$29,100

MPG, City/Highway/Combined: 23/30/25

Safety Ratings: NHTSA: 4 stars overall; IIHS: not yet rated

Basic Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles

Spare Tire: Tire-inflator kit (full-size spare optional)

Final Assembly: Hermosillo, Mexico

Takeaway: The lowest-priced vehicle in the Blue Oval fleet is a winner

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