When the Ford Ranger was revived back in 2019 many purists were upset at its supersize-me dimensions. While the nameplate was back, the pint sized pickup of the past continued to live exclusively in history. While the new Ranger may never shrink, the 2022 Ford Maverick appears to be picking up where the original Ranger left off.
There’s really two forces at play to craft the Maverick. The first is the fact that unibody (car) architectures have gotten stronger with better packaging over the last two decades since the original Ranger was on Ford lots. This industry-wide trend is allowing for more “white space” products like the Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz. It’s also allowing automakers to produce vehicles that historically would require a more expensive, less efficient body-on-frame chassis more cheaply.
The other factor at play here is Ford’s big bet three years ago to ditch the sedan market. At the time the company received some scrutiny for scrapping multiple nameplates, including the Ford Focus, Fusion and Taurus. In hindsight, it appears the big bet may have paid off. Ford now has the freedom to craft unique truck and SUV offerings, like Maverick, without the cannibalization risk to its sedan lineup. Not to mention, fewer nameplates means fewer mouths to feed with finite R&D dollars.
With those two merging forces, Ford has ended up reviving the original Ranger when it comes to dimensions, but with a very modern approach. The Maverick and 2011 Ranger are only a handful of inches from each other when it comes to length and wheelbase. Maverick has a few inches on the old Ranger when it comes to width and height; two areas that have been ballooning across all segments since the 1990’s when the Ranger was engineered.
Despite the similar dimensions between the two, the Maverick will be a far more useful pickup. This fact stems from the modern unibody architecture that underpins Maverick. It’s more efficient packaging is allowing for far more interior and cargo space. Throw in all of the clever features Ford has layered into the Maverick and it is clear there is no comparison beyond the dimensions.
In fact, those purists who wanted a new Ranger more in line with the original should be thrilled with Maverick. It’s a modern interpretation of the OG Ranger’s size with similar capabilities. It can haul up to 1,500 pounds in the bed (the original Ranger had a max payload of 1,750 pounds). Maverick can also tow up to 2,000 pounds. While the Ranger offered a max towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, performance was nowhere near what it will be with the new Maverick.
So those wanting a revived, compact Ford Ranger…you got your wish. It’s the 2022 Ford Maverick. Why did it take this long? Well, because technology had to catch up to allow for a unibody pickup that is just as capable as a body-on-frame pickup from 20 years ago. There’s simply no need for a framed chassis on a truck this size in 2021.
|2022 Maverick||2011 Ranger SuperCab||2021 Ranger SuperCrew||2021 F-150 SuperCrew||2021 F-250 SuperCrew|
|Width (w/o mirrors)||77.9″||69.4″||73.3″||79.9″||80.0″|
|Cargo (cu. ft)||33.3||N/A||43.3||62.3||65.4|