CAR REVIEW

Quality Verified | Posted July 5, 2023

2023 AAA Car Guide Winner: Pickup Truck Under $35K

The 2022 Ford Maverick XLT FWD ranked 2nd for vehicles under $35K in the 2023 edition of the AAA Car Guide .
What is the AAA Car Guide?
The AAA Car Guide helps consumers navigate the evolving automotive marketplace by ranking and rating the newest vehicles, including EVs. The Guide provides consumers with reviews, based on testing by AAA Engineers, highlighting how many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are included in the vehicle, along with other criteria and information.
2022 Ford Maverick XLT FWD
VEHICLE TYPE
BASE PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED
Pickup Hybrid
$22,280
$24,945
Overall Observations

What a great idea – a low-priced small pickup with a standard hybrid drivetrain! Apparently, more than a few people agree: All 2022 Mavericks were sold out by December 2021.

 

Built on the Ford Escape/Bronco Sport platform, the Maverick has lots going for it. The base XL trim’s price comes in just under $21,000. The hybrid drivetrain provides a quiet ride, with seamless gas-electric transitions, and fuel economy is very good – 37 mpg in combined city/highway driving. (A 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine is a $435 option.) Ride quality and seat height are laudable, and front-row passengers have plenty of room. The Maverick’s payload limit is 1,500 pounds; the towing limit is 2,000 pounds. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is unavailable on the hybrid. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a multi-position tailgate, and a full-size spare tire are standard across trim levels.

 

The Maverick has some problem areas, however. Some are pricerelated, such as the low-frills nature and subpar fit and finish of its cabin. Available tech is limited, too – a power driver’s seat, automatic climate control, and proximity keyless entry and push-button start are standard only on the top-level Lariat trim. Perhaps most problematic, though, is the scarcity of standard and available ADAS features. Only automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and LED headlights with auto high beams are standard – all others are merely “available.” Other dings include grabby brakes and a cramped backseat that’s hard to get in and out of.

Strengths and Weaknesses

AAA’s Recommendation: Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.

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