There are some big differences between the two: The engine and transmission.
“Wait…is that another Ford Maverick?”
Yes, it is.
“Why are you reviewing another Ford Maverick?”
OK, you asked the questions. I have the answers.
It was by accident – literally, but not by my hand. In the automotive media business, some things never go quite by schedule. The vehicle originally scheduled for this review sustained some damage. Therefore, it was replaced by this 2022 Ford Maverick XLT.
“Yeah, but that looks like the same Maverick you had back in April.”
Well, yes, it looks the same. It is in Hot Pepper Red Metallic and has the same interior color scheme than the one back in April. There are some big differences between the two: The engine and transmission.
The Maverick I reviewed in April had the standard Hybrid driveline. This one has the 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
As to why review another Ford Maverick, think about how much of an impact it already made in the automotive marketplace. The original price point and standard hybrid driveline drew a chunk of new consumers to this segment-busting vehicle. Through July of this year, a total of over 58,000 units have been delivered to customers since the vehicle first appeared at showrooms. In calendar year 2022 alone, the Maverick has outsold the large mid-size Ranger pickup truck and its main competitor in the segment – the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
While the Maverick achieved sales success, it dealt with plenty of challenges. The entire automotive industry still had to navigate through supply chain issues, the laws of supply and demand, cancelled reservations, and undelivered orders in dealer stocks. It got to the point where sales of the 2022 model year Maverick had to be halted to fulfill any back orders.
Even in a challenging industry environment, the Maverick is one of the bright spots in the automotive business. Without repeating what has been said on this site – and in YouTube – I should concentrate on the big difference between the two Mavericks I worked with.
Let’s talk about the 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine. The 250-horsepower engine is found in other Ford products; therefore, its performance should be familiar to those of us who drive these vehicles on a regular basis.
Even with a torque rating of 277 pound-feet, I found it surprising that Ford did not increase the towing rating of 2,000 pounds and payload of 1,500 pounds – the same as in the standard hybrid driveline. Perhaps because this tester has only front-wheel drive, instead of the available all-wheel drive system. If you select the latter, you can also add the towing upgrade package bringing the maximum rating to 4,000 pounds. The only transmission available for the EcoBoost engine is an eight-speed automatic.
This specific front-drive driveline was not as exciting as I hoped. The power was there, but I had to reach deep to get it all out on occasion. Once you get to it, it does a decent job when you need it. However, the EcoBoost driveline is great around the city. Although, the hybrid driveline is smoother for the urban grind.
Another difference with the EcoBoost driveline is fuel economy. I observed an average of 26.1 MPG – much less than in the hybrid, but a better number than any gasoline-fueled pickup truck. Comparing the driving experience of the Maverick in both the hybrid and EcoBoost powerplant is tough, because – try as you may – you do not want to favor one driveline over the other.
Regardless of which driveline you choose, the Maverick still exhibited a very stable and smooth ride, along with solid handling. You can corner the Maverick quite well without feeling any flex in the unibody. There is never a feeling of a lack of stability and rigidity in the Maverick.
The steering system is just fine. It exhibited a tighter steering radius than most trucks, but it does seem a bit soft overall. On-center feel is alright. Where the EcoBoosted Maverick differentiates itself from the hybrid model is the brakes. Pedal feel is good, giving me the power to turn solid normal and panic stops. Wheel response is much better overall.
If there was a huge advantage for the Maverick would be on price. This XLT front-drive EcoBoost tester came with a sticker price of $26,420. It worth noting that pricing did jump on the base XL hybrid model to $20,995. If you’re lucky, you might fine one – new or in the Blue Advantage certified pre-owned inventory.
Given everything that has been written about and said on video, the Maverick could be the right solution for your transportation needs.
Think about it, Americans love pickup trucks. It can go to work, take you on vacation, even a date night out. It is a timeless vehicle that has been a part of our landscape for over a century.
Yet, not all pickup trucks fit in every lifestyle. The Maverick makes sense in various scenarios. Its size is perfect for working in and around a city or town.
Oh, there was one more question…
“Didn’t you do a video on a Maverick?”
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by the Ford Motor Company
All photos by Randy Stern