Actually compact. Every year, vehicles get bigger and bigger. This is especially true with pickup trucks. Modern midsize pickups are nearly as big as full-size options from a few years ago. Luckily, Ford has seen a large gap in the market and decided to fill it with the 2022 Ford Maverick.

The Maverick doesn’t just look small, it is small. Measuring in at 199.7 inches long, 72.6 inches wide, and 68.7 inches tall, the Maverick sits at the very bottom of Ford’s truck line. It’s roughly 11 inches smaller in length than the Ranger and 28 inches smaller compared to the F-150. For consumers that want the versatility of a pickup truck in a package that’s easy to drive, the Maverick is the clear option in Ford’s lineup.

Performance unlike a typical truck. Most pickup trucks come with stout V6 or V8 engines that are all about towing. Unfortunately, for consumers that don’t need to tow 10,000 pounds, these massive engines are a pain in the butt to fill up and costly to maintain. With a standard hybrid powertrain, the Maverick bucks the trend of a pickup truck having a massive engine.

The Maverick comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 191 horsepower. Official fuel economy figures from the EPA aren’t available yet for the hybrid powertrain, but Ford claims the engine can get up to 37 mpg combined. That’s incredible for a pickup truck. The available turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The turbo engine is available with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive and can get up to 26 mpg combined.

With the standard hybrid engine, the Maverick can tow up to 2,000 pounds. The available turbocharged engine is rated at up to 4,000 pounds. Payload capacity is 1,500 pounds throughout the entire lineup. The Maverick isn’t the most capable pickup on the market, but it’s plenty for consumers that plan to use the truck to go to Home Depot.

Traditional pickup truck design. Despite being a tiny truck, the Maverick looks every bit as truck-like as Ford’s larger options. Refreshingly plain and boxy, the Maverick is an honest pickup. The large grille is placed high up on the front end, helping the Maverick look bigger than it is.

Ford’s designers have maintained the same minimalist design for the cabin. It's not attractive but is easy to use. The controls are easy to use, there are plenty of nifty storage areas, and Ford even lets owners 3D print their own add-ons that can be used in the vehicle. Ford has really thought about all of the ways consumers will use a pickup truck on a daily basis and have incorporated those things into the Maverick.

All Mavericks are available in crew cab body styles, which results in an interior that’s spacious enough for up to four people. Thanks to the truck’s boxy design, there’s a large amount of headroom in both rows of seats. Legroom is a different story, as the Maverick offers a tight 35.9 inches of rear legroom. Additionally, the pickup truck comes with sturdy plastics that are rough to the touch and look low quality.

Barebones standard trim. There isn’t much to write home about with the base XL trim. It comes with an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, two USB ports, and six audio speakers, but little in the way of convenience features. Ford does offer quite a few available packages on the base trim, but we think it’s best to move up to a higher trim instead of tacking on a lot of options to the XL.

The XLT is the sweet spot in the lineup. It adds cruise control, upgraded upholstery, a power-locking tailgate, alloy wheels, and a rear center armrest. The XLT trim is also offered with the XLT Luxury Package that brings niceties that are worth the extra money. The Maverick may be a small, affordable work truck, but heated seats, bed lighting, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a heated steering wheel, and remote start are still nice to have.

Ford offers the Maverick with a few advanced driver-assist features, but major things are optional. Forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera are standard. Other features like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring are available.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Ford Maverick helps usher in a new era of pickup trucks. For years, urbanites and shoppers have had to deal with the negative aspects of large trucks if they wanted a versatile pickup. Now, thanks to the Maverick, consumers can get a capable truck that’s easy to drive, efficient, and affordable. As long as the 4,000-pound towing capacity works for you, the Maverick is a lot of truck for a lot of people.

There’s really only one competitor to the Maverick: the Hyundai Santa Cruz. It has a more daring design than the Maverick, more powerful engines, a comfortable ride, and loads of technology. The Santa Cruz can tow up to 3,500 pounds and has a highly versatile bed. Compared to the Maverick, the Santa Cruz is a pricier truck.

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