With a starting price just under $20,000, unveiled today is the all-new 2022 Ford Maverick crossover pickup, answering the many who have been asking for the return of a a true compact truck. The all-new Maverick brings many of the expected Ford Tough truck attributes we expected but also a few surprises we didn’t

Available in only on a five-passenger four-door cab with a 4.5-foot bed, the uni-body crossover based Maverick shares its underlying architecture with the Ford Bronco Sport in which it shares the same assembly line in Hermosillo, Mexico.

If the two vehicles were parked alongside one another you would definitely see a family resemblance though the Maverick has its own distinct sheet-metal from top to bottom. Its styling is decidedly conservative with unmistakable Ford pickup design DNA throughout.

Wheel sizes range from 17 to 18-inches. The grille design and silhouette is similar to the Bronco Sport but it has a standard hood line more akin to the F-150 instead of the wrap-over clamshell. LED headlamps are standard equipement.

Measuring in with a 121-inch wheelbase and a length just shy of 200-inches, the Maverick is 5-inches shorter in wheelbase and 10-inches shorter in length than the Ford Ranger. And to prove its compact size bonafides, its measures are nearly identical to that of the first generation Toyota Tacoma Double-Cab which was still a true compact pickup.

The bed sides appear to flow solidly into the cab without a gap though there is a small panel break at the bottom of the C-Pillar to allow a small level of body flex under load. A continuous piece of black plastic capping finishes off the bed walls and flows up around the rear window quite cleanly.

A 4.5-foot steel cargo box a FLEXBED system of design elements like slots in the bed walls, multiple anchor points, and a multi-position tailgate than support up to 500 pounds. There are also two 12-volt 20-amp prewired power sources and available are 110-volt outlets.

The interior shares a number of bones with the Bronco Sport but gets a unique dash top-out and door panel package that gear it more toward truck duty. The look is fresh and features a lot of storage and nooks for gear.

The door panels for instance look cut up at first glance but that form follows function. The armrest splits allow for a one-liter water bottle to sit vertical. Deep door pockets allow for a large notebooks to be stowed upright.

The second row offers the same versatile door panel design and up to 36-inches of leg room. Under the fold-up rear seat of EcoBoost models is a well laid out storage area for even more gear.

The surprise we didn’t expect was the standard powertrain which is 2.5-liter Hybrid that will offer some 40 mpg city. Offered only in FWD, the standard hybrid powertrain offers 191 combined system horsepower with its electrified continuously variable transmission (CVT). Maximum towing for the Hybrid is 2,000 pounds.

For those wanting more conventional power you can option Ford’s venerable 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Available in either FWD or AWD, maximum towing for the EcoBoost is 4,000 pounds.

Payload capacity is 1,500 pounds regardless of which powertrain you choose. Suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front. At the rear is a standard torsion-beam rear axle for FWD models with an independent rear suspension for AWD models.

The Maverick will come in a base grade XL for those wanting a plain ol work truck. Following that is XLT and Lariat trim grades with an available FX4 package for AWD XLT and Lariat that adds all-terrain tires, upgraded suspension, more underbody protection, and additional drive modes Mud/Rut and Sand, as well as Hill Descent Control.

Arriving this fall, there will be a Maverick First Edition package available based on the Lariat trim. It gets special graphics on the hood doors, a two-tone paint treatment with black roof, a soft tonneau cover, and lots of gloss black trim accents including its wheels. It will be available Carbonized Gray, Area 51 an exclusive shade Rapid Red.