BLUF: The Swiss Army knife of trucks.
Hey everybody. This is not going to be a typical review with statistics and boilerplate. No, I’m going to talk about how this truck is to live with after about 1500 miles of operation, over the highway, rural roads, and city driving. Also, it must be mentioned that all of this driving was done in less than ideal winter weather using exclusively 87 octane winter mix gas.
What do I mean by less than ideal?
See below. A picture is worth a thousand words, I guess.
Or perhaps this…
Or this, which by the way was a heavy mix of ice and deep snow. Bad stuff.
The Maverick handled some of the worst Ohio weather I can remember, including a fourteen hour long ice storm. This truck reminded me why I ordered the AWD version, although I had some doubts afterward about the additional expense. Well, three weeks later I think getting All-wheel drive was a seriously smart move. These hills are unforgiving in inclement weather, and the Maverick handled them with aplomb.
Alright, the first point, I guess. It must be said that this truck has proven itself to be an all-weather beast. Almost immediately upon leaving the dealer’s lot there was the aforementioned ice storm. This was an inadvertent torture test, right off the bat.
The Maverick crawled as well as our Subaru Outback, a vehicle that is legendary for sure-footedness in bad weather. By no means did the Maverick act like an old-school truck- even in four wheel drive trucks are infamously squirelly on the ice due to their light rear ends. The Maverick does not handle like a traditional truck!
Which brings me to my next point. This vehicle handles like a beefy sedan, if that makes any sense. In fact, its ride is much more like an Outback than a traditional truck. This, in my opinion, is a very good thing. I’ve operated a lifetime’s worth of trucks, and while they definitely have their uses, their ride usually sucks.
Not the Maverick. It didn’t handle like a tactical vehicle (which my previous truck, the Jeep Gladiator, did). It didn’t feel top-heavy around curves, or like the rear end was going to break free. No, the best I can say is that it felt sure-footed. Comfortable.
Yes, a comfortable economy truck. Seriously. And you really can fit three adult men in the backseat, although this is really a four-adult vehicle. But in a pinch, it will do for five. Just don’t plan on driving to Kansas like that.
Something I need to mention is this truck’s economy and efficiency.
See below, and please note the MPG readout, which according to my manual calculations is .6 US GAL low.
If you know anything about trucks, 28.9 mpg indicated and 29.5 real world is astonishing mileage. This on 87 gas, mixed highway/rural/hauling/city driving while breaking in a brand-new engine.
Note: 3500 miles on truck. Mileage is now 30.5 mpg indicated, which is pretty close to accurate. I did the math. A non-hybrid truck that gets over 30 mpg? Seriously.
Now let me tell you my options, and you will see why I am so surprised.
My friends, due to the uses and circumstances this truck will be used for, unfortunately I bought the least efficient Maverick.
I needed the extra towing capacity, so this has the “4k tow option.” Also, it is AWD, which unfortunately precluded my purchase of the hybrid version, which is what I really wanted.
But how can I argue nearly 30mpg? I’m shaking my head about this, and I haven’t babied this truck or even put it into its special “eco” mode. No, most of the time it was in “Normal” or “Slippery.” Also, we need to talk about the economy of the purchase. My other options were the bed extender (which gives you nearly seven usable feet of bed space), a 110v inverter in the cab, and rubber mats.
So, let’s get this straight. An AWD truck that gets over 29mpg with a ton of bells and whistles for LESS than 30k? It’s true. (Actual MSRP 27,005, which Team Ford of Steubenville, OH honored. By the way, a professional and excellent buying experience by the people at Team, and I was a new customer!) I took a base model and loaded it up, and so far I have used each option.
A few features that took me by surprise?
Power locks, power windows, a WiFi hotspot (that works well), remote start! See below, the app on my phone.
However, there is no cruise control on the XL. Whatever; I’ve found that at speed (about seventy MPH) you barely need to feather the gas anyway. For a base model work truck, this thing is loaded. Seriously.
Also, I’ve decided to include a “scale” image of the truck so it can be compared at a glance to a real full size Silverado. See below.
So, we’ve touched on the price point (amazing), the efficiency, the size, and the creature comforts and ergonomics (excellent!). Note: After 3500 miles, this is by no means a cramped-feeling economy vehicle. On the contrary. The cabin feel is much like a Subaru Outback, which is a good thing. Even the backseat is roomy, comfortable. This was a real surprise! I’m still looking for compromises, and I haven’t found one yet.
Another experience that might be helpful for urban readers. Observe.
Let’s show a few pictures of what this thing can actually do, what it is really capable of.
Yes, you can haul a family’s worth of bicycles.
Also, no problem with a few eight-foot kayaks.
Can it haul a heavy load? At this point I must mention that this particular truck is rated at 1420 lbs of cargo, or about 750kg. Well, see below as I approached that with a load of frozen, soaked mulch.
As you can see, the Maverick wasn’t really tested by 15 bags of mulch, 1 bag of diatomaceous earth, and three bales of wood chips. Also, I drove home in a snow squall under occasional white-out conditions. When I arrived, I swung onto my frozen yard and went on the dirt back to the barn. 3500 mile note: Truck is good to go for mild off roading with factory tires, and a good bad-weather vehicle.
BS the Maverick “isn’t a truck.” If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it’s a duck. Or, in this case, a truck.
Now, I haven’t hauled hay yet, but I decided I’d get this review out there for you all. At this point I am very confident that the little Mav can haul either 16 or 18 square bales no problem at all.
Note: I did haul some hay at 3400, I started conservatively at 16 bales. Wow. This thing is a hay-hauling monster! Easy to load, and after doing sixteen bales I know I could have done 22, no problem. This ties with my old Silverado! No power/squat issues, feathered pedal, like usual, to get up to highway speeds. See below.
After several weeks with the grey beast, it is no wonder at all to me that the entire production run of the 22 Mavericks is sold-the-hell-out by the middle of January.
This truck lives up to its hype.
It is solid as a rock, and it is efficient as hell, both in dollar terms and energy usage.
I’d say go and get one, but good luck with that. Your best bet to own a Maverick would be to special order a ’23 from a dealer in August. Ford guarantees that special orders will charge MSRP only, a small miracle in 2022/23, and the people at Team fulfilled Ford’s promise to the letter.
Bottom line: This truck was worth the eight month wait.