We never thought the words “fuel efficient” and “pickup” would ever come together and be harmonious. Despite all the advancements with fully electrified rides and hybrid systems, it just didn’t seem possible. Until now.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: I adore a small pickup. I know, I know, they can be less than practical when it comes to bed size and towing capabilities, BUT they are so much more practical in terms of drivability, and, well, I fit them better. So I like them.
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We’ve driven our fair share of small pickups over the years from the Chevy Colorado, to the Ford Ranger to the more recent Hyundai Santa Cruze, and somehow each of them fell a little flat (especially the odd duck out, the non-American). However, Ford’s somehow managed to not only package the Ford Maverick with all the right bits and bobs, but they’ve also engineered it to be ridiculously efficient and perform well, too.
Enter the Top Gun of Hybrid Pickups
Come on, you knew that joke had to land somewhere in this article given the vehicle’s name and that the movie just came out … joking aside: the Ford Maverick Hybrid is indeed a winner in many ways. Let’s start with some figures, shall we?
Most importantly, the Maverick Hybrid, with all its bells and whistles (mind you, there aren’t TOO many on the model) as it stands in this review, comes in at just over $35k. That’s impressive in itself before we even get into the other numbers. With a starting price nicely under the $30k mark, the Maverick is definitely affordable. Even down the road.
In terms of performance, the Maverick Hybrid is on par with the smaller pickups out there, but has that extra battery boost that helps with power as well as keeping the gas bill lowered. Equipped with a smaller 2.5L engine, coupled with an Atkinson cycle I-4, the Maverick produces just 191 horsepower. For some, this may seem like a shockingly low number for a truck. However, it managed to not feel underpowered at all throughout our week behind the wheel. Not even when the bed was loaded with wood for an upcoming camping trip.
Now, one of the downsides to the Maverick Hybrid (and yes, there are a few) is that the hybrid engine can only be mated with a FWD version of the pickup. This seems a little counterintuitive as a FWD pickup isn’t always the most practical, especially if you want to make it to pickup-y things in the dirt, mud and in the fields. However, the Maverick Hybrid held its own while we had it, and travelled some muddy, uneven terrain without trouble.
In terms of payload and towing, the Maverick Hybrid can carry up to 2,000lbs in the pack and with a Tow Package from Ford, can even tow up to 4,000lbs. That’s plenty for your weekend adventures and/or boating excursions.
Simple is Best
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love a simple interior. All the buttons and gadgets and technological bits can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with a work vehicle like a pickup. It’s unnecessary. So, the absolute bare-bones look of the Maverick Hybrid is a welcome sight. Now, the only gripe we have with the interior is the cheapness of the materials. However, that also serves a purpose: they are easily wiped down and cleaned. And we loved the look of the exposed rivets on the door handles and the rugged integrated phone mount in the dash beside the 8” touchscreen.
Same can be said for the exterior: There really is nothing to write home about in terms of the overall look of the Maverick Hybrid. It’s simple, but in a good way. And we absolutely adored the steely rims our tester was sporting.
Better Gas Mileage than a Diesel
We were absolutely shocked that by the end of the week that involved a solid combination of both city and highway driving, that the Ford Maverick Hybrid was averaging 5.8L/100km. Like, my jaw absolutely dropped when I saw that. And with a small-ish gas tank at just over 60L, this is not the kind of pickup that will break the bank every time you have to fill it up. Now, granted, we did not town heavy things during the week and that would indeed effect the gas mileage, but we did load the bed and weren’t gentle on the throttle either.
Honestly, the Ford Maverick Hybrid is a solid little pickup that checks all the necessary “pickup” boxes, while also being a viable and well-performing hybrid that’s as happy in the city as it is in the country.