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A nice short article from Car and Driver about making the case why Ford is bringing back the Maverick.


Have you checked the prices of Subaru Bajas lately? A few years ago, you could pick up a Baja—Subaru’s underappreciated latter-day BRAT pickup—for $5000, and that was for a turbocharged five-speed. Now a cherry Baja can cost $20,000. Why? Because there’s no longer anything like it.

Nobody makes a compact, car-based pickup, but that’s a thing that plenty of people want. The Baja existed during an early-2000s inflection point for trucks, back when the small body-on-frame pickups were actually still small—a 2001 Ford Ranger in its beefiest guise barely weighed 4000 pounds. And they were inexpensive. Now, half-ton trucks can cost $75,000 and tow more than 10,000 pounds, and the Rangers of the world occupy the space that used to belong to the F-150. Which means there’s a vacuum at the bottom of the truck market, and Subaru isn’t bringing back the Baja (as far as we know). But Ford is about to rekindle compact-truck fever with the soon to be unveiled Maverick.

The business case is simple: A lot of people have messy stuff to carry and things to tow, but the aforementioned messy stuff and trailers don’t always weigh a whole lot. A compact, inexpensive unibody truck would be just the thing for those of us who aren’t dragging horse trailers or filling the bed with depleted uranium. Say there was a truck that could tow maybe half the max rating for the Ranger (which tops out at 7500 pounds) and cost significantly less than the Ranger’s roughly $27,000 base price. Some variation of half-a-Ranger capability would still accommodate plenty of our nation’s utility trailers and boats and the bags of mulch that need to go from here to there. Dump runs, Lowes runs, tailgating—you could do all that with a Baja. Or an El Camino. Or any of the bygone compact pickups that once roamed the land, before the Chevy Luv gave way to the love of one-upmanship in the name of ever-increasing capability.

The Maverick promises to be enough truck for enough people. It won’t be macho, because unibody pickups just aren’t (sorry, Honda Ridgeline HPD) but it’ll be useful. And, assuming it's related to the Bronco Sport, it'll presumably be pretty good to drive. Did we mention inexpensive? There’s a purity of purpose in a cheap truck, because you don’t feel bad about using it like a truck. Throw your tools in the back and scratch up the bed. Get it muddy. Put an ATV in the back and tow a couple more. Find someplace to catch some air. These are the kind of activities you enjoy a little bit more in a cheap truck.

The Maverick promises to be something like the BMW 1-series, back when that debuted: a hard reset to an era when vehicles were simply smaller, and most of us were just fine with that. As the 135i slid into the bracket once occupied by the 3-series, so does the Maverick turn back the clock to the days when a four-banger Chevy S10, or an Isuzu, or a Ranger, could take care of your small-scale landscapers and fishermen and college kids who wanted a truck but not a Truck Payment. Ford seems to believe that this thing will be a hit, and we’re inclined to agree, given that it’ll belong to a class of one.

That is, until the Hyundai Santa Cruz arrives. You paying attention, Subaru?
 

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Yup, just found it


Small pickups aren’t so small anymore. The trucks we today consider mid-size have dimensions that aren’t far off the smallest full-size trucks from the 1990s.
Enter Ford. And soon, Hyundai.

While the Santa Cruz may be the star of the moment, thanks to finally being shown in the flesh after a long tease, the Ford Maverick may actually be the driving force (pun very much intended) behind any future growth in small trucks.
At least in part. The Maverick is an important product to be sure, and its impending arrival probably has forced other automakers to take notice. But it all starts with the growth of full-size trucks, in both size and price.
In other words, if the F-150s of the world hadn’t gotten so big and expensive, the Maverick might not have an opportunity.
We don’t know a lot, in terms of specs, about the Maverick so far, though we know it might have an FX4 trim (usually meant to signify off-road performance) and that it will be narrower, lower, and smaller than the Ranger.
It may also have front-wheel drive and a coil-spring, twist-beam rear suspension that bears similarity to what’s on offer in Ford’s Transit Connect van. All-wheel-drive is a likely possibility.
Size-wise, it may be comparable to the Bronco Sport. Look for unibody construction and a crew-cab configuration.
Although Hyundai took the wraps off the Santa Cruz this week, the Maverick is expected to also be on sale for the 2022 model year. Which means we could see it before the end of 2021.

That also means that there may be more mini-trucks on the way — trucks that are smaller than the current crop of mid-sizers.
We could spend all day speculating on what other brands might do. There are the realistic guesses — could Volkswagen bring the Tarok here? Then there are wilder guesses — what if Subaru brought back the Baja?
Indeed, one analyst we spoke to thought the small-truck market could follow the lead of the crossovers.
“The pickup market has gone haywire in terms of both size and pricing. Small trucks became mid-size trucks while full-size trucks have gotten bigger than ever. In step with that, new pickups in general have become much less affordable as their size and content have increased,” Ed Kim, vice president, industry analysis at AutoPacific, told us.

“I strongly believe there is a significant market for true compact pickups, especially new unit-body models like Santa Cruz and Maverick that blend good capability with a refined CUV-like drive character. These trucks will be more affordable than today’s mid-size models and will also no doubt bring advantages in drive refinement and fuel economy. Their unit-body construction also means they will likely have interiors that are at least as spacious as larger body-on-frame mid-size pickups. Considering that most retail pickup buyers actually use their trucks just like cars, smaller unit-body trucks could really find an audience in the same way unit-body crossover SUVs found an audience over two decades ago, and now represent the vast majority of SUVs today,” Kim said.

Only time will tell, but we tend to agree. After all, small trucks like the Maverick or Santa Cruz could prove to be a good solution for homeowners who rarely tow or use their bed, but do so juuuust enough that they decide they need a truck.

Say hello to the newest class of the automotive market. Leave it to a Maverick to start a trend.
 

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I think it will definitely be a trend. If ford does sell even 50,000 units a year and Hyundai sells 20,000 units. (First year sales will be high, the next few will test the market) then I think you will see say GM and Stelantis will jump on.
Chevy Trailblazer Truck and Jeep Renegade Truck.
 

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As a long time pick up owner who's fed up with the size of today's trucks and the price. I welcome small trucks back. However if it doesn't have at least a 6-ft bed it's not a truck
 

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I think you guys beginning all these "Positive" posts for a FWD unibody Half-Truck must work Ford. This might be a fine little vehicle for some folks & I don't have an issue with it. Matter of fact I hope it looks good and sells well as I want America to beat the foreign competition: But focus on and bring out a REAL little truck out FIRST. Why is Ford ( and everyone else ) so reluctant to give us THAT?

I know... Following the money will lead to the answer. But it it really because there is no demand or is it a strategy to ensure good money is made off anyone wanting a real truck and the original Rangers marketing strategy let the price fall too low.
 

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I think you guys beginning all these "Positive" posts for a FWD unibody Half-Truck must work Ford. This might be a fine little vehicle for some folks & I don't have an issue with it. Matter of fact I hope it looks good and sells well as I want America to beat the foreign competition: But focus on and bring out a REAL little truck out FIRST. Why is Ford ( and everyone else ) so reluctant to give us THAT?

I know... Following the money will lead to the answer. But it it really because there is no demand or is it a strategy to ensure good money is made off anyone wanting a real truck and the original Rangers marketing strategy let the price fall too low.
Mostly due to safety and second. What’s the point? The scale from Maverick to super duty is very well done.
403

The closest thing you will probably get is ford is working on a single cab long bed ranger for the next generation due out next year
 

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1970 Mercury Montego, 2018 Dodge Challenger, 2017 F-150
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As a long time pick up owner who's fed up with the size of today's trucks and the price. I welcome small trucks back. However if it doesn't have at least a 6-ft bed it's not a truck
I'm fed up with the size and price as well. The Maverich bed length is fine for me. hey it will haul a washer or dryer. be tuff for jet ski's or motor bikes? I think...
 

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I love the fact that a Maverick will fit in my GARAGE!!!!!!!!
 

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My 2018 V-6 Challenger weighs 3894 lbs. vehicles have gotten heavy!
 

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My 1970 Montego 351 Cleveland weighs 3549 lbs.....amazing to compare.......
 
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