Ford Maverick vs Ford Ranger: The Better Small EcoBoost Pickup Choice?
We don't need to tell you that the Ford Maverick has been a big hit after being announced last year. Demand for Ford's new small pickup has far overwhelmed supply, and unless you want to pay massive dealer markup the chances of getting yourself a new Maverick anytime soon are slim to none.
But with all the hype around the Maverick, one might forget that Ford has another pickup choice in between the entry-level Maverick and the much larger, much more expensive F-150.
That would be the Ranger of course, of which the current version is a relative newcomer to the American market having only been on sale here since the 2019 model year.
Obviously the smaller, car-based Maverick is going to be the less expensive choice when compared to the traditional body-on-frame Ranger. But how big of a difference is there? Let's take a look.
If you are looking at the FWD-only hybrid Maverick, you likely won't be interested in the much more expensive and much less efficient Ranger, so For comparison's sake we'll be looking at the 2.0L EcoBoost-powered Maverick equipped with AWD vs a 4x4 Ranger powered by the standard 2.3L EcoBoost engine.
When looking at MSRP alone, the Maverick naturally has a clear advantage. In its most basic XL trim with the 2.0 EcoBoost and AWD as its only option, the Maverick has an MSRP just under $25,000.
The Ranger on the other hand, in the same basic XL Supercrew trim with 4x4 as its only option, carries an MSRP just under $35,000.
And while you can go up on trim level and packages for both the Ranger and Maverick, the $10,000 delta between the two remains about the same. So what does that extra $10,000 get you?
Performance & Capability
When it comes to acceleration and on-road performance the two pickups are fairly well matched. The Ranger's larger 2.3L engine makes more power and torque, but also has more truck to move around.
With a smaller engine and lighter overall weight, the Maverick gets the win in fuel economy with an average around five miles per gallon better than a 4x4 equipped Ranger.
The body-on-frame Ranger makes up for this with greater available tow rating (7,500 lbs vs 4,500 lbs). It also comes with a "real" 4x4 system with a two-speed transfer case and an optional locking rear differential.
If you're getting one of these trucks as a daily driver, plenty of other factors besides the aforementioned fuel economy will also come into play. The crossover-based Maverick will naturally have a smoother ride, and it's also smaller and easier to park, with a lower height.
As far as cabin space, the two trucks are actually pretty close, with the Maverick having a slight edge in legroom for rear passengers.
The larger Ranger, meanwhile, has a larger bed and is capable of carrying more payload if you plan to use the truck for work or hauling a lot of gear.
Ford Maverick vs Ford Ranger: Verdict
Ford has done a great job adding the Maverick to its pickup lineup while keeping a fair amount of distance from the Ranger. But with that said, a buyer who considers both trucks certainly isn't abnormal.
To put it simply, the Maverick is cheaper to buy and run, but won't be good as good at doing "real" truck stuff like towing or off-roading. Which you choose will depend on both your budget and needs.
It's also important to note that the current 2022 Ranger is actually at the end of its life cycle and the next-generation model (already unveiled for overseas markets) should begin hitting dealer lots sometime in the next 12 months or so. If you are set on the Ranger you might want to wait around for the new model.
Additionally, given the hype, long wait times and dealer markup associated with the Maverick, it's likely that the less hyped Ranger might actually be easier to find and that some of Maverick's value will be erased by dealer markup.
Above all though, it's great that Ford now has not one, but two very competitive pickup offerings both aimed at different types of buyers who don't have the need for a full-size half-ton pickup.
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