MAVERICK XLT (FWD, 4X2) — Tires: P225/60R18; wheelbase: 121.1 inches; length: 199.7 inches; width: 72.6 inches; height: 68.7 inches; weight: 3,674 pounds; fuel capacity: 13.8 gallons; city: 42 mpg; highway: 33 mpg; base price: $24,170; website:

Last year, the then-newly launched Ford Maverick sold 74,370 units in the United States. And in 2023, the compact pickup, also offered in hybrid, has already surpassed that figure and could well approach close to 100,000 sales.

Of course, this should come as no surprise since most vehicles (pickups for sure) on the road cannot beat the Maverick in value, price and fuel economy. The first full-hybrid compact pickup in the United States starts around $23K, seats five comfortably in a spacious cabin and, best of all, touts 42 mpg in city. The only problem? Well, Ford cannot produce enough Mavericks since the demand, understandably so, is relentless.

The hybrid version is equipped with a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that puts out 162 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 155 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Add a 94-kW electric motor to the mix for a boost in hp by 29. The impressive pickup is coupled with an immaculate electronic continuously variable transmission. An independent MacPherson strut front and a twist-beam rear suspension isolates occupants from road noise and rough bumps. The electric power steering is razor sharp with a consistent on-center feel. You can effectively go well over 500 miles in the Maverick, which offers normal, eco, sport, slippery and tow/haul modes. Its tow capacity is good at 2,000 miles with a standard payload of 1,500 pounds, affording 37 bags of 40-pound mulch.

Boxy appears to be the theme with squarish LED headlights flanking a black mesh grille with dark surround/gray bars, door and tailgate handles — and yes, boxlike windows for excellent outward vision. Ten tie-down hooks in the 4.5-foot-long bed can be useful. The 8-inch touch infotainment screen sits atop the dashboard with simple knobs, cleverly separated from temp controls by AC vents. A huge bin under the flip-up rear bench is a wise use of space. Other standard amenities include single-way AC, manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel, six-way manual driver and four-way front-passenger cloth seats, cruise control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a rotary dial.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, electronic stability and AdvanceTrac controls, regenerative braking, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights. Opt for the Co-Pilot 360 package, which will fetch you pre-collision assist with auto emergency brakes, a blind-spot monitor with cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, a rearview camera and auto high-beam headlamps.

Slotted under the Ranger, the Maverick is amazing value for the money. With gas prices still hovering over $3, it will lighten the burden on your wallet. And for a hybrid, the truck moves quickly and quietly down the road with excellent ride and adequate handling.

So, the next time you are at the Ford dealership and happen to come across this renegade, snap it ASAP.

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