After leaving the U.S. market without any pickup options smaller than its F-150 for nearly a decade, Ford looks poised to offer four sizes of pickup for 2022. We’ve heard rumors of an Escape-based compact pickup for years, but this photo of a tailgate, posted on Motor1’s Twitter account, seems to confirm that the new ute will be called Maverick.
— Motor1 (@Motor1com) July 20, 2020
We’re not sure how the Maverick will be marketed. Sharing the platform that underpins the Escape and the Bronco Sport means that we could see anything from a city-friendly parts hauler, geared for runs to the home improvement store, to an off-road-oriented adventure vehicle, fitted with the same G.O.A.T terrain-select modes as the don’t-call-it-a-cute-ute Bronco Sport. The Maverick could even combine both of those job descriptions. Though there’s no data to confirm either theory, we think the Bronco Sport’s more truck-like fascia would look great with a bed. It can’t be just us, right? Either way, the 181-hp, 1.5-liter and 245-hp, 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine options found in the Bronco Sport seem like they’d do a fine job of providing pep for a mini-sized pickup.
Scores of minitruck enthusiasts have been mourning the loss of a true compact pickup since the Tacoma, Ranger, Colorado/Canyon, and Frontier all eventually grew to mid-size dimensions. Online forums are full of commenters promising that they’d buy a proper minitruck if one existed. Even if enthusiasts don’t flock to Ford’s compact hauler in large numbers—just like they don’t seem to buy new vehicles with manual transmissions—the Maverick might find a niche in small business fleets. Plenty of companies used to buy affordable, regular-cab pickups for local delivery duty, and this new mini mover could fit the bill.
Will the Maverick be the next Courier, or will it end up like the Subaru Baja?