The Cars.com Best of the Year award winner is the 2022 Ford Maverick. This compact pickup truck impressed our team of expert reviewers with its full hybrid or turbo four-cylinder powertrains and 4,000-pound towing capacity.
<v Jenni>Introducing the winner of the Cars.com Best of the Year award for 2022, the Ford Maverick.
With the size and price of mid-size and full-size trucks constantly increasing, simply being an affordable compact pickup was enough to make the Maverick a contender. But with a healthy helping of the requirements for this award, quality, innovation and value, the Maverick goes well beyond simply filling an unoccupied slot. <v Joe>When average new-car prices are hovering in the $40,000 range, the Maverick's roughly $20,000 price could be mistaken for a typo. Base propulsion comes from a hybrid powertrain good for an EPA-estimated 37 mpg combined, making the Maverick the most affordable full hybrid on the market, as well as the most efficient pickup. <v Aaron>Affordable doesn't mean boring. The interior makes the hard plastic materials look interesting with various textures, and it showcases exposed bolt heads and a fun color palette. Adding to its appeal are normal multimedia and climate controls, meaning mechanical buttons instead of touch-sensitive panels that infuriate us in other new cars and trucks. The Maverick has a carlike unibody architecture, but with a maximum 1,500-pound payload rating and up to 4,000 pounds for towing, it's perfectly usable as a pickup. It offers available all-wheel drive and a more powerful 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. In our initial experiences towing and hauling with a heavy payload, both powertrains proved quite capable. The bed has endless possibilities for do-it-yourselfers thanks to built-in slots for two-by-four or two-by-six lumber that can divide areas or form the beginning of a custom mount. There are also prewired 12-volt access points for do-it-yourself projects including LED bed lighting. A backseat storage system includes slots that can mount Ford accessories including cupholder, trash can or grocery bag hook, and Ford will provide the 3D printer geometry so owners can create their own accessories. Not merely an affordable truck option, the Maverick is an exceptionally thoughtful, broadly appealing model that is significant enough among 2022's new vehicles that for the second year in a row, we've named a pickup truck Cars.com's Best of the Year.