I think this Maverick is pretty brilliant, and I bet Ford will sell a ton of them in places like the PNW and outdoorsy towns in the intermountain west. It's not going to take sales from traditional truck buyers -- as the article notes, if you need to tow a 28-ft boat or a $100K+ apartment-sized camper, the automakers have you covered already, and spending another $50K+ on one of those Truckasauruses to do it probably isn't a big deal to you. But there are a lot of people who will never tow anything, and wouldn't know what to do with 6" of suspension lift, 33" mudders, and a low-speed transfer case. Or simply aren't able or willing to spend $40K+ plus on any vehicle no matter what size it is. The automaker who should be worried about this is Subaru. All of the people who bought Crosstreks, Foresters, and Outbacks may come to realize that having an external bed to stash lightweight but bulky and often filthy sports gear is often preferable to squashing it inside the cabin. Ever share a Forester cabin with three ultrarunners who just finished a 24-hr event? Well I have, and I'm not sure my sense of smell has fully recovered. Same thing with bike events. Bikes aren't particularly heavy, so the payload capacity of a full-size pickup isn't needed to haul them, but fitting both bikes and passengers inside a car can be a dirty and annoying hassle. Provided the aftermarket comes up with a cheap fork mount for the bed, this seems like a good vehicle for carrying a couple of bikes plus passengers without resorting to annoyances like roof racks or hitches. AWD is all you need to drive on the asphalt or nicely graded gravel roads that access a lot of trailheads and outdoor areas in the West. I bet the majority of trucks here with a low-range transfer case spend their entire lives without ever shifting into 4L, or tackling anything more rugged than a damp grassy parking lot at the kids' soccer practice. (You don't actually need AWD with the right tires and if you know where you're going -- but explaining what the "right tires" are to most people is an exercise in futility I don't want to repeat.) Subaru tried this concept back in the 00's with the Baja (and the BRAT before that). It failed, because Subaru being Subaru at the time, it was styled weirdly, and they marketed it as a "multiple-choice vehicle." That was simply too many choices for Americans to handle. Ford is smart in calling the Maverick a "truck" and styling it as such, rather than a X-Road-Multi-Trekka-Combo-Treme-Sport or something. Also, not everyone lives on the King Ranch, a copper mine, or a powerboat factory/steel mill like truck ads suggest. Some people live in places with garages where a full-size truck simply won't fit. Like my neighbors in my 90's-vintage condoplex. There are plenty of fancy luxo behemo-trucks around, but not one of them fits inside a garage. For example, my neighbor's gorgeous burgundy Ram 1500 Ultra-Lariat Platinum Diamond Quadro-Cab Edition with an interior to rival an S-class is forced to endure an existence of constant bombardment with rain, hail, crow feces, moss, pollen, lichen, and pine sap. Sad. The comments about the CVT are funny. The type of customer who would buy the Maverick hybrid with a CVT cares most about mileage, and probably thinks a CVT is a new kind of cable that plugs into their iPads. The whiny, rubbery CVT in the Crosstrek didn't stop Subaru from selling a truckload (ha!) of them. Their customers don't even know it's there. The PNW is lousy with those things, they're everywhere.
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