From the June 2022 difficulty of Automotive and Driver.
Individuals personal a whole lot of crap. A lot, the truth is, that there is a entire TV trade dedicated to our bottomless urge for food for acquisition. Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Storage Wars, Hoarders—these reveals revolve round our possessions, how we accrue and eliminate them, how they arrive to rule our lives. For many people, our mountainous quantity of belongings outstrips the dimensions of our properties (think about that building of private storage items elevated 584 % between 2015 and 2020). And if the junk has to go someplace, it additionally has to get there. Which is why the most well liked new economic system automobile is a pickup: the 2022 Ford Maverick.
The Maverick’s earnest usefulness appears to demand few sacrifices. Unibody with a strut entrance and torsion-beam rear suspension, it drives extra like a Bronco Sport than a Ranger. The usual mannequin is a hybrid with an EPA fuel-economy estimate of 37 mpg mixed. Its base worth is $21,490, and the truck can tow 2000 kilos and haul 1500 kilos in its mattress. The Maverick presents 191 horsepower in hybrid type and 250 horses with a turbo 2.0-liter 4. So what is the catch? Why would not you simply purchase considered one of these as a substitute of, say, a Honda Civic? We have been asking ourselves the identical factor, so we determined to seize a $26,645 Maverick XLT hybrid and a $26,183 Civic Sport sedan and discover out for ourselves whether or not Ford’s small truck might make the small automobile out of date.
Redesigned for 2022 and simply off a latest comparison-test win, the Civic is a lodestar for small-car excellence. It appears to be like, drives, and feels costly, but its base worth is $23,365. You possibly can inform that Honda has been on this recreation for a very long time. Most automobiles round this worth try for nothing greater than cheerful chintz inside, however the Civic Sport desires you to note the metallic honeycomb spanning the sprint, the softness of the leather-based wrapping the steering wheel, and the truth that the trunk-release button lights up, so you’ll be able to depend on sight, not really feel, to search out it. The Civic, as all the time, nails the small print. The query is whether or not the Maverick delivers a broadly related expertise together with the power to haul that impossible to resist Craigslist dinette set to the native U-Stor-It.
On a winding again highway, it would not take lengthy for the Civic to ascertain that “carlike,” as utilized to the Maverick, is relative. Fitted with 18-inch wheels and 235/40R-18 Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season tires, the Civic pulls 0.87 g on the skidpad and feels keen to enterprise close to that quantity each time an acceptable nook presents itself. Even fragged-out Michigan pavement cannot knock it off its line as soon as it takes a set; the suspension is stiff sufficient to maintain physique motions in verify but supple sufficient to take in massive hits. The Civic feels gentle and lithe, and it’s, weighing in at 2906 kilos—814 kilos lower than the Maverick.
The Maverick, in contrast, is sort of a massive goofy canine attempting to maintain up with a greyhound, bounding and leaning and customarily feeling distinctly sad at being hustled. In contrast with the Civic, its 17-inch wheels are smaller and its 225/65R-17 sidewalls are taller, which helps make for a limber journey however provides one other layer of squish in corners. The Maverick manages a not-terrible 0.81 g on the skidpad, however attaining that quantity requires torturing the entrance tires with drastic understeer. Even its plastic steering wheel discourages spirited driving, drawing one remark that learn, “I’ve felt extra luxurious steering wheels on a municipal golf course.”
When the highway straightens, nonetheless, the Maverick regains some floor. Whereas each Honda and Ford use a repeatedly variable computerized transmission (CVT), the Maverick’s 173 pound-feet of electric-motor torque helps get issues shifting whereas the two.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-four climbs towards its 5600-rpm energy peak. The Maverick’s 7.7-second dash to 60 mph trounces the Civic’s 8.8-second run, and the chunky Ford beats the Honda in each different acceleration check too. From 50 to 70 mph, the Maverick is a full second faster (4.7 seconds to five.7 seconds), a margin that additionally applies to the quarter-mile (15.9 seconds at 90 mph versus 16.9 seconds at 86 mph). Do you have to maintain the pedal pinned, the Maverick would require 27.3 seconds to succeed in 110 mph; the Civic, 32.0. As these numbers recommend, the Civic Sport’s sportiness doesn’t prolong to its powertrain.
2022 Ford Maverick XLT
Highs: Environment friendly, cheap, can carry manure way more elegantly than the Civic.
Lows: Nonetheless mildly truckish dealing with, cheapo inside, fun-killing CVT.
Verdict: An important little automobile that occurs to be a truck.
2022 Honda Civic Sport
Highs: Fantastically executed inside, playful dealing with, surprisingly capacious.
Lows: No guide transmission, HPD package deal guarantees pace that is not there, cannot tow your Sea-Doos.
Verdict: Purchase this and borrow your good friend’s Ridgeline generally.
In reality, the Civic Sport sedan comes solely with probably the most milquetoast of Civic powertrains: a 158-hp naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four paired with a CVT. With a mere 138 pound-feet of torque manifesting at 4200 rpm, the two.0-liter takes some time to generate significant ahead progress—the Sport’s off-the-line lethargy earned it the nickname Much less 2000. The Civic does have paddle shifters that allow you to select from six preset ratios, and Sport mode retains the two.0-liter spinning above 3000 when you’re on the transfer. In contrast with the Maverick, the Civic has the sportier CVT. And an Irish funeral might be extra enjoyable than most others, however you’d nonetheless fairly be at a Dave & Buster’s.
We must always be aware that this Civic Sport wore the Honda Efficiency Improvement beauty equipment, a $1418 package deal that brings lower-body appliqués, a rear decklid spoiler, and an all-important HPD badge. It doesn’t, so far as we might inform, make the automobile go sooner. Nonetheless, for $182 extra, you can improve to a Civic EX and its 180-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter 4, a powerplant that will get the Civic to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. Then once more, in case you spend an additional $1085 in your Maverick, you can have the 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4. Spend much more, and you can most likely have a 1000-hp Chevy El Camino with an airbrushed unicorn on the hood, so possibly let’s simply give up the what-ifs and transfer on to cargo.
To place it within the easiest phrases, the Civic is best at hauling individuals, and the Maverick is best at hauling stuff. However the Maverick’s cargo-schlepping superiority is not as dominating as anticipated. In a modified model of our standardized field check (we do not usually fill pickup beds with packing containers), the Maverick held 28 packing containers in its mattress (stuffed to the rail) and again seat. The Civic swallowed a shocking 20 packing containers with its rear seats folded. The Civic additionally has the benefit of its rear-located, lockable, out-of-sight, weatherproof storage compartment, which Honda calls a “trunk” and is sort of a novelty lately. Nonetheless, it is going to be way more tough, and definitely messier, to stuff a Yamaha YZ250 grime bike into the Honda—benefit Maverick right here. Ditto with towing, shifting grandfather clocks, and sitting on the tailgate and consuming a thermos of espresso whereas carrying a tough hat. We’re afraid you may want the truck for that.
But when your cargo, like Soylent Inexperienced, is individuals, the Civic is the machine you need. Its seats, each entrance and rear, are all-day comfy, whereas the Maverick’s entrance seats lack thigh help and the again one is overly upright. The Civic’s softer inside supplies appear to translate to raised sound high quality within the cabin, regardless of the decibel meter’s insistence that the Maverick is definitely quieter. And for that piece of cargo generally known as the motive force, the Civic desires to make life just a little smoother with keyless begin and adaptive cruise management, each of which our Maverick lacked.
We will not deny the Maverick’s utility, however after hours behind the wheel of each autos, we realized that the mini-truck is not fairly the no-brainer alternative it appears on paper. To realize that all-important mattress, you sacrifice consolation, refinement, and dealing with—to an extent that turns into apparent as soon as there is a Civic alongside. However these are variations of diploma, not of sort, and the Maverick can nonetheless perform as a automobile much more successfully than the Civic can perform as a truck. In case your life contains a whole lot of issues, then the Maverick is perhaps another factor you want.
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