I Don’t Understand the Ford Maverick Hype

Is a truck bed really all it takes for online car enthusiasts to get thrilled about a cheap little crossover?

“I don’t really give a damn about the Ford Maverick,” I say, as I take a drag off an American spirit, poached up in my lime green Zara jacket. I’m just too cool for school. If you kids are going right, I’m going left.

Ford recently previewed its car replacement, I guess, a small trucklet based upon whatever small SUVs it sells — the Maverick. Car internet went wild; people have praised it for being compact in all the right ways, it is supposed to be some sort of game-changer, yay for small pickups, or whatever. It’s the de facto replacement for nearly all of Ford’s car lineup. The Focus, Fiesta, and Fusion have all been replaced… by a pickup truck. I don’t see why that’s universally accepted as great news.

The Maverick will likely be a capable enough truck. Its specifications seem competitive in whatever segment it’ll compete with.

I don’t care, though. It’s a truck. I don’t like trucks, and I don’t really like crossovers, either. Why on Earth would I be excited for a vehicle that blends the two?

I Don’t Understand the Ford Maverick Hype
Image: Ford

Let’s look at it — it’s the same C1 chassis that the Escape, Focus, Bronco Sport, and whatever else not-so-small crossover uses. At its core, the Maverick is really just an Escape with the back hacked off, given a blocky nose, and styled like a Need For Speed NPC traffic vehicle.

What was the shift that brought the Escape, from much-maligned, hated by auto enthusiasts, crossover, to darling? Apparently, all Ford needed to do was take a bandsaw to the Escape and hack the rear off to make us all forget about the utter ubiquity and uninspiring driving experience that crossover offers.

In this industry, plenty of conversations are had about the morality behind pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers. We talk about their environmental impact, their pedestrian safety impact, the idea that maybe everyone shouldn’t be driving around in two-ton, super long blocky utility vehicles. The Maverick is praised as being a “small truck,” but some of its dimensions are near identical to any number of full-sized crossovers, like the Kia Telluride or Chevy Traverse. Why are the Telluride and Traverse anti-enthusiast vehicles, but the Maverick isn’t? Why did the very rightful critiques of the big crossovers disappear when the Maverick came on the scene? Do we all really need a truck? Was Ford right in canceling all of its sedans, did we all want trucks this entire time?

Maybe I’m being mean. The Maverick is fine. The hybrid base model has impressive specifications on paper (never you mind that Ford Hybrids have historically been accused of underdelivering, and people are already complaining about fuel economy in the 2.0T Bronco Sport). The whole truck is probably a good choice for whatever buyer searching for this type of vehicle.  If you want a Maverick, go for it. Y’all ain’t personally asked me to make the payments on whatever theoretical Ford Maverick you’re planning to buy, so I really don’t have any opinion on how you spend your money. If you like it, I love it.

I just think people need to calm down about this thing. The Maverick seems to have gotten everyone on the car internet in an excited tizzy. Loads of people are speccing the truck out, imagining what they’d do with it, how it would work in their lives. I just wish that you’d stay consistent. The same problems that are leveled at crossovers also apply to the Maverick (and Hyundai Santa Cruz). OK?

Kevin Williams
Kevin Williams

Kevin's been into cars his entire life, anything from the tiny kei cars in Japan, to the maybe not-so-good American barges of the 1980s. He's flipped more than 25 cars, only lost money twice, and has known how to make his dollar stretch as far as it can. If he ain't talking about cars, he's probably snacking on something sweet and cakey. Contact the author here.