The 2022 Ford Maverick is a cheap, cheerful, DIY-friendly pickup truck

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—If you have ever bemoaned the increasing size and cost of a new pickup truck—and Ars’ comment threads are bursting with such like-minded individuals—then today’s truck might pique your interest. The new Ford Maverick comes with a highly efficient hybrid powertrain capable of more than 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km), a simple but stylish interior with a can-do attitude, and a starting price of just $19,995.

Unlike the rest of Ford’s pickup truck lineup—which all use body-on-frame construction—the Maverick shares its unibody platform with the Escape and Bronco Sport crossovers. It’s compact for a pickup: at 199.7 inches (5,072 mm), it’s more than 10 inches shorter than a Ford Ranger and nearly 3 feet shorter than an F-150. However, that means the Maverick makes do with a 4.5-foot (1,372 mm) bed. Although, as we’ll see, bed size hardly impedes this truck’s utility.

The Maverick bucks the big-truck trend under its hood, too: there is no V8 or even a V6 option. Instead, the default powertrain is a hybrid that combines a 162 hp (120 kW), 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) 2.5 L four-cylinder engine that runs the Atkinson cycle and a 126 hp (94 kW), 173 lb-ft (234 Nm) electric traction motor, with a combined output of 191 hp (142 kW) via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to the front wheels.

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