It’s been a long time since Americans have been able to buy a new compact pickup truck, but as the 2022 Ford Maverick proves, it’s not the size of your truck that matters, but rather how you use it.
At first glance, the Ford Maverick probably wouldn’t have the makings of a Truck of the Year finalist. Instead of, ahem, “traditional” body-on-frame construction, a big V-8 engine, and four-wheel drive, the Maverick is a unibody crossover-based pickup. It’s built on the platform Ford uses for the Escape and Bronco Sport, and it’s powered by a standard 191-hp hybrid and e-CVT drivetrain that motivates the front wheels. An optional drivetrain upgrade exists: a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 making 250 hp, mated to an eight-speed auto, and available in both front- and all-wheel drive. Objectively speaking, all the above are specs we expect from a new Escape, not a pickup.