This week I was test driving the 2022 Ford Maverick, which I would best describe as an economically fuelled, mini pick-up truck.
Currently sporting a 2008 vehicle as my daily driver, I am use to a turn-key starter, but did not expect to see it in a 2022 vehicle model. And little did I know, such a small gesture would be a very telling foreshadow of my time with the Ford Maverick. Be advised, if you open the car with the key instead of the push button unlock, the alarm sounds until you insert the key into the starter.
Sadly, the seats were some of the most uncomfortable I have been on, and each drive kept me tense. With no lumbar support and the limited ability to fine tune and adjust the driver’s seat, based on my body’s portions, I found myself sitting much lower to the ground than I am use to and would conceive of from a truck; even for a compact one such as this. On the same vein, you cannot adjust the height of the steering wheel, only how far is you can extend it forward, therefore I could never get fully situated as the driver. At least the seat itself was wide and spacious for a medium build individual such as myself, and the armrests were set at a lower height to match the low riding stance, which proved adequately comfortable.
The front cabin is fairly spacious and there is plenty of room to seat 3 grown adults in the second row at the back. Although these seats are harder and much stiffer, so that you may not want to contemplate a longer drive in the Maverick. Although there is plenty of room to store and haul cargo from the back seats to the flatbed out back.
It felt like a cost cutting measure, as many conveniences that you now have learned to expect from all new base model vehicles were missing here, and the materials used were not what you expect from a Ford. Starting with the most noticeable, the condensed infotainment screen. Where they could have used an LCD screen that fit the dimensions of the frame set at the centre dash, they cut it a quarter short and as a result, needed to fill this negative space. The manufacturers did this with an orange 3D printed geometric design that served no purpose. It was not large enough to store keys, and not practical for storing coins that you would later have to struggle to fish out. Nor was this indent deep enough as a caddy for pens and pencils. It was purely cosmetic and did not do well to build the vibe of the interior.
At least the colour matched the other highlights within the cabin. More orange detailing can be found on the air conditioning vents, on the door handle and its special handle (more on that below), within the coin compartment and as one of the centre console trays. And more 3D printing could be found in the backseat as the cupholder prongs. They jut out of the central arm rest and cannot be retracted, so really end up making the middle back seat moot with no leg room.
I did like the Maverick’s door handle, a new squeeze and push design that I have yet to see and try. It felt more ergonomic, as it was designed with the shape of a hand and its grip in mind. Ironically this was in contrast to the majority of the functions that are by the turn of a dial. It felt more like you were turning on an oven, which is somewhat fitting as I found that the seat and wheel heating functions warmed up quick, but I was unable to find a happy medium between hot and none at all. There is not much to the dash and not many features to explore otherwise.
The curious bit was how the engine symbol is constantly lit on the dash with the word “ready” bright underneath. This was confusing as you are ingrained to believe that the check engine light is a bad thing. So with the 2022 Ford Maverick you end up thinking something is wrong when it is merely telling you that everything is fine. Although that might not be the case, as when I got the truck it only had 860km on it, yet it already needed an oil change. I am not quite sure if that is commonplace for a Ford truck, but it seemed sudden for a new vehicle.
Very minimal, but I found myself going technical into the details and really nitpicking, as I had already found so much I was unhappy with, so easily. Like how the windshield wipers do not swipe from end to end, but cuts short, leaving a line of residue behind. Not an issue for a week, but one that could annoy if persisted in your daily ride.
As for the way the 2022 Ford Maverick handled, it had a stiffer steering. There was plenty of body rolling and you could feel every thud and every rough catch over every speed bump. Driving within, even with windows drawn, you can hear a constant spinning coupled with a wheezing and churning sound as you drive, it became more noticeable on the highway. It felt like I was driving a shell of a vehicle. There are no safety beeps or alarms to warn of potential close quarter connections or a reverse camera to help you park. None of what is now deemed common conveniences, much like the turn style ignition. Although the Maverick did not roll on sloped ground and the truck stood firm when it came to a full stop.
I did catch myself trying to let the truck cruise a lot more than I normally would in any vehicle, in accordance to its battery life. The 2022 Maverick had a large gauge covering the left portion of the dash, the goal was to get the needle pointed in the green “battery zone” so not you are consuming any fuel. It allows you to monitor when you are using the truck’s electric battery as a posed to petrol. Although truth be told, I did not find this any more helpful in reserving fuel consumption.
In conclusion, I have been spoiled with the diversity and range of vehicles that I have been able to drive thus far, and this one just did not keep up with the other, more higher end luxury models, or even what I consider standard base range. But for those looking for a budget-friendly, low rider truck with some unique characteristics all its own, the 2022 Ford Maverick might be for you.