Living with the Ford Maverick

Morning, readers.

I thought to do a final segment on the 2022 Ford Maverick, the Swiss Army knife of American-style pickup trucks.

First, let me refresh your memories of exactly what specifications this truck has.

It is a base XL Maverick, meaning the lowest available trim level. Steel wheels, plain black fabric interior. No frills, but IMO still plenty of creature comforts. There is a WiFi hotspot, which gets used quite a bit, a standard eight-inch info-backup screen, seating for five (although better at four), an eight-speed automatic transmission, and Ford’s EcoBoost 2.1L engine. Also, I chose the optional “4k Tow Package” which bumped up my tow rating and gave me an HD transmission and cooling system. Nice to have. Another factory option I chose was the bed extender, a must-have accessory. In addition, I added the bed cubbies, which are great for additional storage, and the tech wizards at the local garage added factory cruise control as well. Standard XL 22 Mavericks don’t have cruise, but it’s easily modded using a new switch and code. I also opted for the factory spray-in bed liner, which turned out to be a very good decision. No scratches yet, pretty tough stuff.

Almost ten months into my ownership and operation of this vehicle, I have yet to find a significant flaw.

Guys, the Maverick has done absolutely everything I have asked of it. Everything. And I’ve used it just like my old half-ton Chevy, with very similar results (except for WAY better fuel economy and parking).

Half ton, you may say, with such a little, unassuming truck?

Yes. This falls within its design parameters. The Maverick can handle well over half of a ton (1000 pounds, or approx 500kg) of cargo. Observe.

This little guy was designed by the factory to hold 1422 pounds, or 645 Kg without exceeding its load restrictions. With two adults and their random crap on board, you have an effective capacity of about 1000 pounds/500 Kg.

I have put this to the test a number of times. Sometimes I’ve pushed it a bit, but I don’t think I’ve ever overdone it. Observe.

This is the day that I needed to haul the necessary supplies to build my woodshed. I had doubts as to whether the Maverick could handle twelve footers (3.65M), but it did. In fact, it hauled the load for about twenty miles along a local highway and rural roads. This was possible because with the tailgate down you have six feet and about seven inches of flat, supported storage. It’s just enough to be able to safely haul twelve-foot lumber. However, I do recommend that you place some shorter weight over the long boards like I did with my roofing materials and ratchet strap the cargo in very carefully. See above.

That’s a lot of weight aft of the rear axle. Not something I’d do every day, but it worked in a pinch. In terms of driving, you could definitely feel it. The front end didn’t hunt, and it wasn’t squirrely, but I knew the weight was there. I kind of pushed it, but it turned out alright with careful driving.

Yeah, I went through a McDonald’s drive-through, too. Maybe not a good idea, but I managed. I really needed that apple fritter.

I’ve also hauled firewood in this monster. I’ve found that the best technique is to NOT use the bed extender (too much weight aft of the axle) but to leave the tailgate up and heap the wood. It drives better for the same amount of weight (about 1000 pounds of logs).

Geez, what have I hauled? So much. A bed full of corn stalks. Mulch. I moved my daughter’s apartment junk. Cat supplies. Feed. Jugs of diesel. Recycling stuff. The list goes on. My lifestyle requires a truck, and the Maverick fits the bill.

Speaking of which, I’d like to devote a whole paragraph to hauling square bales of hay.

The Maverick with bed extender (or just the tailgate down) can definitely fit twenty-two bales of hay without a problem. This matches my old full-sized Chevy! I knew that the Mav could do it in theory, but when I did it in practice it was astonishing, frankly. Six bales per layer, four layers high (for safety I only put four bales on the top layer). I never would have thought when I bought the little truck that it would handle so much hay, but it does. If you do the math (and I did before I loaded it), I never came close to the truck’s weight capacity. 22 bales equals about 880 pounds plus me for a little over 1000 pounds. Too easy, and the Maverick proved it that day. See the first picture.

With all that work, though, wouldn’t the fuel economy suffer?

LOL not so much. The EcoBoost Maverick’s economy is astonishing. Over thousands of miles of rural/city/highway, I averaged a true 33.2 MPG. Highway miles? See below.

34.4 MPG after the Ford garage guys reset my mileage after an oil change (I am a big believer in regularly scheduled maintenance). Immediately thereafter, I went on an eight-hour driving beatdown for my daughter’s cat. Long story. But it was all highway miles, so the mileage shown above is a true reflection of what the Mav gets tooling around highways in Ohio on 87 gas at 70 mph/113 kph.

Pretty damn impressive.

My friend with the hybrid version reports average mileage in the forties. For a truck, this is truly amazing. Many sedans never approach this level of efficiency, let alone a truck, which for good reasons are well-known gas-guzzlers. Not the Mav, it just snores along.

Speaking of which. I don’t think I’ve ever been past quarter pedal in this truck. There is just no need. It has plenty of power as-is, even in these hills carrying close to its rated weight capacity. There simply hasn’t been the need to floor it.

This is a great truck by every single measure. Comfort. Economy. Utility. Power. Adaptability. Handling. Reliability. It’s all there, for far less than 30K USD.

A note on reliability. My truck has had zero issues. None. However, my friend with the hybrid version has had a couple of glitches. Once the vehicle died for no apparent reason (it restarted when he cycled the key), and another time the radio wouldn’t turn off (he did manage to shut it off with some effort). It was pretty minor stuff that didn’t repeat, and maybe a hybrid thing, but I thought to mention it here. Modern cars are half computer, and the Maverick is no exception. This goes doubly so for the hybrid version.

I have 20,000 miles on the clock and I can still highly recommend this truck for the everyday Joe or Jane. This is the truck to get for those who are eco or budget conscious.

Why spend 40K plus on a truck that does less? I can’t see it.

2 thoughts on “Living with the Ford Maverick

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