Let me stipulate a few things right off the bat, as pickup trucks have become somewhat controversial:
There are people who need full-size 3/4-ton pickup trucks like the Ford F-250 Super Duty.
And there are certainly people who need the 1/2-ton king of American pickup trucks, the Ford F-150.
There is a proven market for midsize pickups like the Ford Ranger.
All I'm saying is that some of the people who are buying all the trucks above, truth be told, really only need the Ford Maverick.
Too many big pickups are bought "in case". "In case I need to move our house by myself". "In case I need to tow a boat I don't own." "In case I need to invade a small country."
The Ford Maverick provides room for five people and 1,500 pounds of payload capacity. That's impressive, given that the gold standard for midsize trucks---the Toyota Tacoma---only has a payload range (depending on equipment) of between 1,050 and 1,685 pounds.
Perhaps the best thing about the Maverick is that it can be had as a hybrid---a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor. Total system output is 191 horsepower---more than adequate.
Even more impressive is the fuel savings---the EPA fuel economy estimate for the 2023 Ford Maverick Hybrid is 37 mpg combined city/highway.
Our tester was the Maverick Hybrid Lariat FWD. Base price, including destination, $29,450. That brings a solid list of standard equipment including an acoustic-laminated windshield, enclosed bed storage as well as Ford's Flexibed storage system, auto high-beam LED headlamps, a power sliding rear window and power tailgate lock, under-seat storage for the second row, ambient lighting, dual USBs in the rear, dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power locks and windows, an eight-inch touchscreen, pushbutton start, remote keyless entry and remote start.
There were extra-cost options as well. Floor liners added $135, the Lariat Luxury Package $2,610, the black appearance package $1,645, Ford's Co-Pilot360 active safety suite $560, and a spray-in bedliner $495. The sheet we got from Ford shows an additional $20 for the removal of the 4G WiFi hotspot. I would think that would be a credit, but that 20 bucks shows up on the bottom line of the window sticker, which reads $35,005.
You don't see Mavericks everywhere yet, but the sales numbers are pretty solid. And Car and Driver is reporting that the Maverick and the other small truck on the market, the Hyundai Santa Cruz, may be nudging Toyota to enter the fray with a Corolla-based pickup.
If true, the small-truck space could become a very hot segment.