Prepare your comments, defenders of the ladder frame chassis.
The Ford Maverick is proving to be a big hit in the US, though we could have told you that months ago when we first drove the compact pickup. We named it our People's Car of The Year, prices start at just under $20,000, and the hybrid model offers over 40 mpg in the city. Go for the EcoBoost, and you can tow 4,000 pounds.
Still, some dismiss the Maverick because it's not a "real truck." Why? Because it uses a monocoque platform borrowed from the Ford Bronco and not a traditional ladder-frame chassis. Well, we checked both the dictionary and legal definitions of the term, and nowhere does it state a vehicle has to have a ladder frame to count as a truck. Plus, you can't argue with the sales figures and how much people are willing to spend on a Maverick. We expect it to be even more successful thanks to word of mouth and the fact that it can actually work hard, as proven by The Fast Lane Truck on YouTube.
To see if the Maverick works as a truck, the channel took a Maverick to a ranch to see if it could be helpful. And to convince the owner of the ranch. Tough mission.
Obviously, the first test was to see if it could haul a 4x8 piece of plywood. Spoiler alert, it can. The bed can also haul up to 1,471 lbs (in the hybrid model) of whatever, and to test that, it had to be filled with firewood. Unfortunately, the firewood was at the top of a mountain, and the hybrid Maverick is only available in front-wheel-drive. The standard tires were not suited to the task to make the situation even more complex.
As you can imagine, the Maverick kicked up quite a large dust cloud, but the traction control system in Slipper Mode was smart enough to transfer the power where it was needed. Job done.
Getting the firewood was essentially hitting two birds with one stone. The Maverick first had to clear the wood from a narrow path and then carry it down the mountain. This is where it hits a bit of a snag. The more weight you put on the back, the less grip it has at the front. It doesn't stop the Maverick, however. Slippery Mode again swoops in and saves the day. The ground clearance was reduced slightly, but the suspension did not bottom out. It did hit a small rock, but that's what skidplates are for. The path had to be cleared a little, to be fair.
The guys took the Maverick above its gross legal weight, at which point the handling started getting a bit dodgy. If you work on a ranch, the 4WD FX4 model is a much better option, but that's not the point of the video.
Is the Maverick a real truck? Yes, it is. End of discussion.