Ford and Hyundai both recently presented and revealed pricing for their upcoming new compact trucks, the Maverick and Santa Cruz respectively. This had the clarifying effect of showing consumers just where the two models stand on the market, in terms of pricing and equipment.
Thus we learned that while the Maverick is available to consumers starting at $25,900, the Santa Cruz is priced significantly higher, at $38,499. There is an asterisk there, in that while in the U.S. the Santa Cruz is priced more closely to its Ford rival, that is because it gets a base FWD model there. Here, all versions will be all-wheel drive, and so are more expensive out of the box.
In any event, it leaves the Maverick alone in the affordable compact truck segment, for now anyways. Last week we were able to go and shake hands with a pre-production hybrid model as it made a quick visit to Canada. This is always a worthwhile exercise as seeing a vehicle in the flesh gives a far clearer idea of a model’s scale and dimensions, and a better feel of the finish and overall quality of the interior, than photos can ever hope to.
Unfortunately the visit did not include a drive; that will be for another day.
Here’s what we determined from our quick show and tell:
1) This is indeed a human-scale truck. You won’t need to climb to get into the Maverick. I’ll call it a pocket pickup.
2) The bed of this compact truck is… compact, at 4.5 feet in length (full-size trucks give you 8-ft beds, so, yeah.) But anyone shopping in this particular segment knows that if they’re going to be lugging a piano around, it won’t be a Steinway grand.
3) On the other hand, access to the bed is made very easy thanks to a low threshold of entry. There’s also a neat accessory in the form of the gate that you can fold back and over to increase the usable space if you need to fit in larger/more items.
4) There’s no all-wheel drive with this affordable truck, at least not with the version presented. Will that dissuade Canadian consumers? There are plans to offer a variant with a 2.0L EcoBoost engine (not hybrid) and all-wheel drive, but expect to pay a good $10,000 more for that version when it arrives.
4) The interior looks and feels solid enough but this is no luxury pickup; it accurately reflects the Maverick’s price point. Anyone who knows Fords will find a lot of familiar-looking elements here, in terms of the layout, accents, buttons and such.
5) The cloth upholstery in the version shown to us gave us an impression of being in a… VW Jetta. The orange accents here and there on the console and doors gave some welcome sunshine to an otherwise sedate interior. The seating feels firm but comfortable, but the truer test of their quality will come when the truck is driven over a significant period of time.
The first Ford Mavericks are expected to hit dealerships in Canada this coming fall.