It has been been spied and leaked all over the internet too many times to mention, but now the long-awaited Ford Maverick compact bakkie has been officially revealed to the world.
Let’s get the bad news out the way first – Ford South Africa has told us that the Maverick is not coming to our shores, confirming rumours that it is a left-hand drive only product.
Built around a unibody architecture that it shares with the Bronco Sport, the Ford Maverick is being offered as a double cab only in the countries where it will be sold.
The standard engine in North America is a hybrid set-up that pairs a 2,5-litre normally aspirated petrol unit to an electric motor for a system output of 142 kW. However, those seeking a little turbo boost in their lives can opt for a force-fed 2,0-litre petrol that produces 186 kW. The latter, while mimicking its hybrid sibling’s front-wheel drive configuration as standard, is also available with an all-wheel drive system.
Despite it having a unibody architecture, rather than a ladder frame construction like the Ranger, Ford insists that the Maverick is still built to “tough” standards, having been subjected to “vicious” on-road and off-road and customer-use tests throughout its development cycle.
The Ford Maverick has a payload of 680 kg, and it also aims to make life easier with a ‘Flexbed’ system that allows people to create segmented storage spaces, elevated floors as well as bike and kayak racks. Ford says its design team spent time observing people at home improvement stores, as well as college kids moving into dorms, to get an idea of what peoples’ utility requirements are. Furthermore, a 12-volt electrical power outlet comes as standard to assist with DIY tasks, and customers can order 110-volt outlets for both the load bin and interior.
The cabin, on that note, is not the epitome of luxury but remember this is Ford’s new entry-level vehicle for North America and it does come with all the basic modern amenities including a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices.
“This customer wants simple, but not basic, and Maverick is all about thoughtful details executed well,” said Ford interior designer Barb Whalen.
“We want this to have a straightforward, durable, honest, well-built feel.”
Ford hasn’t skimped on the active safety features, with Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking being fitted as standard, while customers can opt for Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go traffic assist as well as Cross-Traffic Alert and Evasive Steering Assist.
Ford’s marketing manager Todd Eckert described the Maverick as a product like nothing else out there, and also revealed that it has a US starting price of $20 000, which equated to R271 000 at the time of writing. This makes it somewhat more affordable than the Ford Ranger, which starts at $27 000 in double cab guise.