The Cat Fish

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Ford is having some trouble with its names.

Or its memory.

It named a five-door crossover SUV a “Mustang” Mach-E. And now it has bestowed the Maverick name on something that isn’t a truck – sorry, Charlie – though it’s meant to look like one.

And which the  original Maverick never was.

It was a car – available with two or four doors, made from 1970-1977. It didn’t offer four wheel drive and was strictly for on-road use, mostly as an economy car – though Ford did offer Grabber versions that were available with a 302 (5 liter) V8 that had some performance car potential.

Base price in 1970 was $1,995 – equivalent to just over $14,000 devalued dollars in 2021.

The 2022 Maverick is front-wheel-drive and four doors only. It looks like a small crew cab/short-bed pickup but it isn’t really.

A truck – regardless of size – is rear-wheel-drive, with four-wheel-drive available. Not all-wheel-drive, which is something cars and crossovers based on car-type layouts sometimes offer.

As the “Maverick” does.

It is basically Ford’s smaller-scale interpretation of the Honda Ridgeline – or a similar-sized re-imagining of the Subaru Baja.

Both of these being basically cars under their skins – skinned to look kind of like trucks and be capable of doing more things on and off road than most cars can do, such as carry stuff in a small open bed in the back and – by dint of their higher-than-a-car’s ground clearance and available (or standard, in the case of the Soobie) all-wheel-drive – be more capable than most cars of being driven off-road and more capable of dealing with snow and such on-road.

There is nothing wrong with any of this and much that’s laudable. Not everyone needs a truck – and some want more than a car.

But why call a fish a cat?

Or rather, catfish buyers?

Both the Pilot and the Baja (and the also-pending 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz) are interesting as alternatives to trucks. They weigh less, ride better, use less gas. The small bed is handy, good for hauling dogs and bicycles. But they aren’t trucks anymore than a five-door crossover with batteries and no engine is a Mustang.

And neither is the “Maverick.”

It also betrays a certain lack of imagination, in addition to confusion. Why not come up with a new name rather than rehashing an old one? It seems that almost everyone – it’s not just Ford and not just cars (and trucks) – is resurrecting old stuff rather than imagining new stuff. TV “reboots” practically every classic TV show; movies serially recycle as well. But the A-Team  without Mr. T isn’t the A-Team. It is something else, trying to be the same thing.

Just as this “Maverick” isn’t a Maverick – or even a truck.

Perhaps everyone is just . . . tired.

Ranchero would have been better.

Ford apparently wanted to associate the original Maverick’s low price with the new “Maverick’s” also-low price. Reportedly, it will sticker for $19,995.

Get it?

And that is good – relative to price of actual trucks like the Ford Ranger, which stickers for $24,820 to start. It will also use much less gas – by dint of coming standard with a hybrid gas-electric powertrain (and FWD, with AWD available optionally). Ford says it should be capable of achieving 40 MPG in city driving, which is also very good.

What would be even better is a small truck that actually was one of those now-extinct creatures – which no one sells (here) anymore. Without the price-increasing hybrid drivetrain that applies the modern logic of spending money on the vehicle in order to spend less on gasoline. What would the “Maverick” cost if it didn’t have a motor and battery pack in addition to an engine?

Probably several thousand dollars less than $19,995.

Perhaps even around $14,000 – like the original Maverick.

Not to mention costing nothing ten or twelve years hence, when the battery pack it didn’t come with – in our imaginings – loses its capacity to hold charge and so doesn’t cost you both gas mileage (which will go down, a lot, when the hybrid side stops hybriding) and gas money, which you would not have to spend on a new battery pack.

Trucks are supposed to last much longer than hybrid cars. This one won’t – because it is a hybrid car made to look like a truck.

The battery will wilt – because batteries always wilt. But a hybrid battery pack costs a lot more to swap out for a new one than the 12 volt starter battery that comes in non-hybrid trucks like the Ranger. 

The good news is that Ford will apparently also offer the “Maverick” without the hybrid drivetrain and with a much more powerful 2.0 liter, 250 horsepower turbocharged gas engine. That’s much more power than the original Maverick’s optional V8 engine.

But that one isn’t going to cost $19,995.

It will probably cost closer to what a base trim Ranger costs. And no matter what it costs, it will cost you capability vs. a real truck like the Ranger, which offers four-wheel-drive and the capability to go seriously off-roading.

What  might the “Maverick” cost if Ford offered it the way trucks were once offered – without standard AC but with wing vent windows? Without a standard automatic (CVT) transmission?

With just two rather than four doors? And a six foot (rather than a 4.5 foot) bed? How about a  manual transmission driving the rear wheels, with manual four-wheel-drive optionally available?

It would probably be closer to the cost of a real Maverick – in adjusted-for-inflation devaluated dollars.

And that would make it  more like what the original Maverick was – even if it wasn’t a truck, either.

. . . 

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  1. Ford’s new “little” truck is getting a lot of pre-production press. If you take it for what it is instead of trying to compare it to other trucks, it starts looking pretty good. I think I want one.

    • Hi ft,

      I actually like the thing; I just dislike the name! And I wish it were more practical (e.g., forget the hybrid; a diesel would have been much better and give it a six foot bed, please)!

      • You guys might like the Ford, but, man, a real Beverly Hillbillies 1921 Oldsmobile Model 43-A touring car drove past my house the other day, it was dressed out exactly like the show car.
        … Hoo doggie, it looked pretty danged good to me, I tell ya. And, I imagine it’s a wee bit more affordable, too?

        For some reason, I’m suddenly wondering about the benefits of a crank starter on the front end … no battery$. And, what crackhead would want to carjack it?

  2. My 1982 VW Rabbit pickup is front wheel drive and it has functioned as a truck for the last 20 years for me. I haul all sorts of shit, tow a jet ski, it’s been a great “truck” for me. It might have something to do with it being GTI powered, but anyway…

  3. My son just told me that one of the guys at his work ordered one because

    drum roll

    it is cheap & he can put stuff in the back

    he opted for the ICE

  4. I find this vehicle very interesting. I think it will sell well and if it does, will go a long way towards making hybrids mainstream. I have to wonder if they’ll be making any money on the hybrid version selling it for $19,995. If I were to configure one, I’d go with the XLT turbo 2WD with the tow package. Seems like it would be a very useful vehicle. I don’t need a truck, but would like the utility this would provide – decent towing, good payload and a lot of flexibility for storage. I like that you can carry 4 x 8 plywood even though it has a 4.5 foot bed. I don’t like the jiggly ride that most trucks have so I do like the fact that it’s car based. I was thinking about a Honda Ridgeline, but this would be almost as useful for a lot less money.

    • I agree. It’s about time we get the option of a light pickup after all these years of gigantic trucks. The fact that the base model could deliver the fuel economy of a hybrid crossover like the rav4 while providing even more utility with the same passenger capacity is outstanding. Having the option of a single or extended cab and longer bed would have put this thing over the top. A missed opportunity is the lack of a trunk under the bed though I would assume that’s where ford crammed the batteries. Another miss is they should offer a plug-in hybrid like the chevy volt. Ford could tout huge mpg numbers to entice buyers and keep CAFE at bay. All things considered I think this is all the truck the average homeowner needs and if they keep to their 20k price these things will be wildly popular. Heres hoping it’ll take a large bite out of the crossover dominance we’ve seen over the last decade. Considering hyundai is offering a similar ute I think all manufacturers are going to jump on the bandwagon.

    • Hi R,

      I like Courier as a viable name for this not-really-a-truck. As for Maverick and Mach-E: The Maverick was the successor to the Falcon and meant to be Ford’s affordable, practical small car. The Mach E stands in opposition to all of that. I’d like to use one for gunnery practice – ideally using an Iowa class battleship as the delivery system.

      • Eric, the Falcon name survived in Australia until 2017. The Falcon became Ford’s big family car in competition with the Holden Commodore. There was a small Ford Courier pickup sold here in Oz during the 80s and 90s. It was made overseas.

  5. I think I’d rather have one of those little Chinese electric dump-trucks for $2k. I mean, if you’re going to have a 4.5 ft bed, why not just complete the miniaturization?

    Also, if you view the videos, they make a version which says “Jeep” on the side, and “Explorer” on the grill, on the same truck! If you’re going to erroneously name things, why not go all the way?


    • Note how even this has a practical option of a petrol powered range extender !! Something none of the electric cars in the west offer !

      • Nasir,

        Yeah, we’re so very limited here. Diversity and inclusion, indeed!

        Yesterday I read this article Eric wrote 10 years ago:

        Apparently that Aptera was a hybrid, and they claimed it would still get 100MPGs with the batteries dead. AND it performed well.

        The company’s new website doesn’t feature that version, though. Only the solar-electric version, the most expensive of which claims a 1,000 mile range. ($44k) AND the car will recharge itself, if left in the sunlight.

        The big question: Why haven’t they gone into mass production of ANYTHING over the last decade or more?? Saaafety again? A scam? WTF?

        • ‘AND the car will recharge itself, if left in the sunlight.’ — BaDnOn

          The cruel laws of physics are difficult to overcome: high noon sunlight intensity of 1.36 kW per square meter, times PV solar panel efficiency of (say) 20%, equals a piddling 0.27 kW (0.36 horsepower).

          Store that power up for several midday hours, and it’s still barely enough to mow the front lawn (if you live back East, where they have ‘grass’). But it gets worse … MUCH worse:

          ‘Solar power generation is expected to dip between 0920 GMT and 1140 GMT on Thursday as a solar eclipse occurs. During this period, Germany’s four high-voltage grid operators, or TSOs, will have to draw from alternative energy sources such as coal, gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric energy to keep the grid balanced.’ — ZH

          Like primitive tribes in loincloths and face paint, good green carbon-free Germans cry out in fear when their soothsayers foresee a dimming of the sun. The gods are angry!

    • Dude,

      Yeah, I saw one of those the other day as well. It made me double-take, because it just looked like someone had tacked the Mustang symbol to a random Joe-Shmoe crossover.

      • BaDnOn –
        Wow – not seen one in the wild yet here in the UK, but I can imagine id be similarly depressed…. I would imagine it would be like how someone would put a Ferrari badge on their Taxi back in Pakistan….

        • Yeah, it looks about that egregious. Makes you wonder why the hell they didn’t just style it like a Mustang, at least. Maybe saaaaafety? Just doesn’t make sense.

          • “why the hell they didn’t just style it like a Mustang, at least.”

            Probably because of the size and number of batteries required to give the mach virtuE its limited range made it impossible to fit into a mustang body. They needed something bigger.

            • Bigger, and higher – which is I think why most cars today are crossovers (despite actual utility for few) – so later when they switch you can easily sneak the batteries down there….

  6. ‘Ranchero would have been better.’ — EP

    Indeed. Sexy as it may be, the 1957 T-bird’s cockpit is just too tight for me. But a ’57 Ranchero … oh, my … despite its brutally squared-off cab, it sets my heart a-flutter like the girls of summer.

    Ford’s highly convincing pickup look on a crossover-like chassis serves notice on upstart EV makers: Ford has got the chops to do this with ease, while they are still messing around trying to produce their first pickup, the ‘must have’ body config for drugstore truck-drivin’ Americans (yee haw).

    Take Lordstown Motors (please):

    ‘Electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors said Tuesday it does not have enough money to start commercial production and runs the risk of failing as a business, sending its stock tumbling.

    ‘The company on Tuesday amended its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission to say in one year it may no longer function as “a going concern.”

    ‘Lordstown said that with its current cash and cash equivalents of $587 million as of the end of the first quarter, it did not have enough funding to launch the Endurance, an electric pickup truck geared toward commercial operators.’

    Shame about all the punters who put up a $1,000 deposit on an Endurance. In BK lawyers’ terminology, they are ‘unsecured creditors.’

    EV makers who actually have a technological edge should supply or team up with incumbent auto makers. Trying to master the arcane art of coachbuilding is a costly exercise in futility.

    • If it turns out that they put Tesla out of business and then kill off the electric programs due to unprofitability, then scream to the regulators, I will LMFAO.

      I could see this as a possible “win” opportunity for the auto industry, if they play it right.

  7. I used to be a “car guy”. I’ve accepted that I can no longer claim that moniker, because I’ve never been LESS interested in vehicles. Between the utter garbage the SJW [non]car companies have been making for the last nearly two decades, and how people with more money than brains have ruined the old-car hobby by turning every rusting hulk into a sacred shrine to Detroit to be ogled and worshiped and trailered to religious conventions where other idolators can worship….there’s really nothing left to enjoy, other than the vehicles we drive- and perish the thought anything should happen to them, because they are becoming irreplaceable, even if ya’d be willing to pay the utterly absurd prices we are seeing older common vehicles.

    • Hi Nunz,

      I feel much the same. The handful of interesting new cars that remain available are almost all cost-prohibitive and even the very few that are not (like the Mazda Miata) are rendered so by the additional costs of taxes, including (in my state) an annual “property tax” on the thing, plus the outrageous cost to insure any new car – even if its driver can point to a decades-long record of never having filed a claim nor had one filed against him. I’m still paying $300 annually to “cover” my almost 20-year-old truck – which over the past years has cost me $3,000 to “cover” – which cost amounts to nearly half what I paid for the truck, itself. How much does it cost to “cover” a new $26,000 car? Probably at least three times as much. Plus the property taxes – also at least three times as much. Which amounts to more than I paid for my truck when I bought it – used – some 12 years ago for $7,500.

      Cars were fun when you could buy a running “hooptie” for $1,500 or less (and this was not in the ’50s, the ’60s or even the ’70s but well into the ’90s) and “get away” with not “covering” it (because the panopticon didn’t exist yet) and you could easily and inexpensively wrench on it yourself.

      • Mornin’ Eric!
        Yes, the costs are bad enough- but even disregarding that, the vehicles just aren’t interesting; they have no character. They are all the same. They may have 700 horsepower…but they’re computerized plastic-clad overly complex non-durable made-of-100%-proprietory-parts wifi-mobiles.
        No swappig engines or trannies or major (or even minor) parts, or making it do what you want it to do, because the computer [car company ->government) is the boss, and not you.

          • Hi Anon,

            I’m a libertarian, so – much as it disgusts me – I concede that a person who owns, say, a ’66 GTO has every right to replace the 389 with stinkin’ (and whirrin’) electric motor. But I hope the ghost of John DeLorean haunts them for the rest of their vulgarian lives.

          • its just another way to show how much money you can piss away. like the guy who bought the invisible statue recently

      • Consider yourself lucky, Eric.
        I just wrote out a check for $880 this AM for 6 months insurance on my 1989 F150, which I drive about 10,000 miles per year.
        And that is with all the “good guy” discounts, which amount to $1425.
        Of course, I do carry significantly more than statutory.
        Paid ~$7000 brand new in ’89.
        Fixin’ to spend ~$6000 to cherry it out.

        • Morning, Turtle!

          That is obscene. I would not pay it – and just “ride dirty.” I have been considering doing that regardless. I tire of being forced by threats to literally throw away money I need for other things – like food. Money that is taken from me and conduited to the insurance mafia, which rolls around like the Baron Harkonnen – naked – in billions of other people’s money, forcibly extracted from them.

          Normally, I’d play along. And have, to date. But it’s obvious the wheels are coming off – of America – and why play by the rules anymore?

          It is time to raise the black flag…

          • >and just “ride dirty.”
            At your peril.
            I carry $100,000 medical on my auto policy, which is the maximum State Farm will write. I do not carry otherwise so-called “health” insurance, which really is not, but that is another rant.

            Seven years ago (2014) I had the misfortune of a relatively minor auto accident, which totaled my car but left me unscathed, except I was rendered unconscious. Woke up in the hospital with no complaints. Duly signed the authorization to treat, figuring I was well “covered.” Wrong.

            Eighteen hours at Riverside (CA) Criminal Hospital charges were >$100,000. Charged $34,000 to roll me through the door. Obscene markups on everything. Charged $9000 for routine lab tests which would cost <$300 @ your local medical lab. Five CT scans @ $10,000 with bogus "justifications" which *directly* contradicted the notes of the attending physician.

            $100,000/(18*60) = $92.59 per minute.
            I expect RCH rates have most likely increased since 2014.
            Truly, "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here."

            Besides which, when you are pulled over by an AGW, heshe will demand proof of insurance. $$ if you have none. They can also impound your vehicle, in California.

            BTW, the "insurance Mafia," as you call them, once based auto rates, in part, on miles driven, *if* you chose to *voluntarily* self report mileage. The *bureaucratic* *Mafia* in Sacramento put a stop to that.
            God only knows why.

            • RCH is owned By Hospital Corporation of America, who own their very own U.S. Senator. When you own the right politician(s), many things become possible. A $2 billion fine for defrauding Medicare is just a routine business cost, for these lizards.

              I now wear a metal “dog tag” with the Snake People’s totem on one side (“Attention Paramedic”). The reverse reads:
              “Wearer refuses all medical treatment. Wearer repudiates all medical expenses. Do not transport to any hospital, on pain of your death.”

              They euthanize horses, don’t they?

            • However, State Farm is a mutual insurance company, and I did just get a $112 rebate check, because their losses (claims) were lower than expected this cycle. Probably because many people have been driving less, due to the scamdemic.

              A small bright spot.

            • In addition to what Turtle says (I’d never even thought of that- suppose one is unable to refuse treatment?!) -but what ya also have to worry about, living under this tyranny, is that someone may hit you…and then sue YOU….and could even win; but even if they don’t win, just the cost of defending yourself (Which if you don’t do with a competent lawyer, they WILL win) can destroy you- and for those of us who own what we own free and clear, we are most at risk.

              Insurance means that the ins. co. will have to provide a legal defense for you. And don’t just carry a the minimum- 10/50K or whatever, because if sued for anything more than a few grand, the ins. co. will just “throw in the policy” rather than spend a fortune defending you, the innocent party. I carry 100/300K and it only costs like $20 a year more than the minimum.

              These are things one has to think about, living under tyranny, because we are subject to a very unjust system under which the innocent often get the shaft while the guilty are richly rewarded.

              Also, the day you get stopped and the overlords get involved…and you’re hit with tickets, license suspension, and post de-facto fees for ‘coverage’ for every day your insurance ‘lapsed’ (Even though the state didn’t provide any insurance for you nor incur any cost…)- and if you don’t pay your master, you end up enslaved in jail and with your property being liened/confiscated.

              I used to see this crap happen to people in NY (It happens everywhere…I was just in position to see it more in NY)- Some poor slob drives his beater for 6 months or a year with no insurance…being responsible and ‘careful’ and all- but as luck would have it, maybe through no fault of his own, he has an encounter with one of Uncle’s armed goons….and even if the poor bastard hasn’t harmed anyone nor caused anyonje a problem….WHAM! He gets pelted with fees and fines…..and his car is impounded…and thus he can no loinger get to work…or has to keep driving “illegally” to do so…and before you know it, the guy is in jail for a couple of years for non-payment and repeat offenses…. while rapists and robbers go free!

              Pick your battles carefully while in this gulag. The reward vs. risks is not advantageous in this scenario. To save a ferw hundred dollars a year could end up financially ruining you and taking much more of your actual liberty. For me, this is not the battle I want to fight, ’cause I’d carry the insurance anyway.(It would just be cheaper if Uncle didn’t mandate it!)

              • Hi, Nunzio,
                Well said, and thanks for backing me up.
                I’ve always carried ($500 deductible) collision, as well as U/M, on Old Blue, even though I paid cash & never owed a dime on the vehicle.

                Reason? No matter what happens I get paid, by *my* insurance company, which can then pay their attorneys to recover from whoever. IANAL, and I doubt I could afford to pay one, based on what I have heard, but insurance companies have $$$ on the line, which they cannot afford *not* to protect.

                Case in point:
                My ’85 Ranger got totaled by an AGW. I carried collision, even though I owed zero against the pickup. My insurer, Allstate, settled promptly with me, then did whatever they had to in order to recover from the government agency, whose employee was at fault.

                God alone knows how long it might have taken, or hoe much it might have cost , for me to *attempt* to recover from the County.

                I pay $78.12 per 6 months for $500 deductible collision on my ’89 here in Commiefornia. That small premium is well worth it to me, for the piece of mind. Jedem das seine.

                • Same here, Turtle. I carry comp & collision on my 20 year-old Excursion, ’cause regardless of whose fault it is, if it gets seriously damaged or stolen or totaled, it would be hard to replace. I’m even thinking of reinstating C&C on my ratty F250 which I had cancelled many years ago…as even it’s value/replacement cost is getting ridiculous!
                  Even though, like yourself, I’ve always paid cash for my vehicles, I used to drive cheaper vehicles, so never felt the need to carry C&C….but the value of these 4×4 HD Fords is getting so ridiculous, it just seems foolish not to carry it.
                  Hell, insuring my two vehicles is the only dealings I have with insurance companies….and I get really cheap rates, so it seems like a no-brainer to me. Your post about your experience with the medical bills makes it even more-so. Yours is a scenario I had never considered before…but something everyone should seriously think about. (Imagine if you had actually gotten hurt!)

                  I like your dog-tag idea too!

              • Another thing to keep in mind is that, with today’s increasingly high auto prices, as well as high cost of repair, even $100,000 PD will not cover much, and *YOU* are vulnerable for anything over policy limit.

                “Going naked” does not seem like a viable option, to me. S/W a neighbor yesterday whose wife’s Nissan Murano was totaled by her insurance co after she hit a box (type unspecified) on freeway. She walked away, but all the air bags deployed, and that, together with whatever body damage there was, made the vehicle uneconomical to repair.

                Probably in her best interest, as she gets a brand new vehicle instead of a patched up used one. But, once again, cars are becoming more like the cheap electronics which comprise them. When they break, you don’t fix them. you throw them away.

          • As in many instances, the bank does the enforcement. If you take out a loan, you may be required to buy such insurance. At least collision, comprehensive and UIM.
            In Missouri, the courts have declared that the counties have no authority to inflict either a building code or to require inspections. But they do have a code, and the bank or insurance may require that the structure must be built “per local building codes”.

      • Speaking of property tax. I remember years ago that a certain Virginia governor (Jim Gilmor ?) got elected on abolishing the car property tax. For a couple of years after it passed, no annual tax was charged on autos. Then for some reason, it got deep sixed and the tax returned with a vengence. What used to be “reasonable” rates then were replaced by the “bend over and grab your ankles” rates now!

        • Hi Allen,

          Yup! I’ve been a Virginia resident most of my life and like most Virginians who dare to own a car, have been relieved of a great deal of money over the years via this tax. My girlfriend got a bill for her late-model van to the tune of nearly $700.

          I’m still paying about $100 annually on my 2002 Nissan Frontier pickup! Some will say that’s “not much.” Well, add it up – over the 12 years I’ve owned the truck. It’s about $1,500 – a pretty heft sum in proportion to the $7,500 I paid for the truck (used) itself.

          I wonder that anyone buys a new car and registers it in this state.

          There is a dodge. You can avoid being mulcted annually by getting “antique” tags – but this comes with its own set of issues.

  8. Nostalgia is like sugar. Correction: high fructose corn syrup. It’s a cheap trick to make a marginal product palatable. Everyone knows HFCS is bad stuff, yet everyone continues to put it in everything. Why? Because it is easier than actually working. Uncle declared war on “fat” in the 1980s, so to make mass produced food edible they amped up the sugar. But Uncle keeps cheap sucrose out of the country so food manufacturers turned to HFCS, which has the added benefit of being a liquid, and factory engineers are great at moving liquids around.

    Imagine having to come up with a new name for a new vehicle. Everyone has squatted on every domain name out there that might possibly be useful. You can take the route that Kia and Hyundai (and Harbor Freight) took and name all your vehicles after Western US cities. Or just use a jumble of letters and numbers like the Germans. Or try to come up with a word that hasn’t been used before. Except that Ford’s been around for a long time and already has a bunch of names they’ve used, so why not just reuse one of them? I think it might have made sense to call the Focus the Fairlane and the Escape the Galaxie, where the target buyer is likely to remember the names from their youth, and save the new names for vehicles like this one (a small sporty pickup called the Escape seems like a no-brainer). But short of using ‘l33t h4x0r speak for brand names they’re going to have to continue on this path.

      • Yeah, forgot about the Ranchero. Either way, it’s going to sell well.
        My grandma had a Maverick and that thing was very fast, don’t remember the engine but I think it was a strait 6? For sure RWD.

        • Hi Chris,

          Back in the late ’90s, I helped a good friend hop up a chocolate brown (with vinyl) roof Maverick with a 302. We put duals on it, swapped in a 4 BBL intake and carb, added a bang plate to the automatic… it wasn’t especially fast but it felt and sounded like it was!

          • Eric,

            My friend also had a chocolate brown Maverick. Didn’t have a vinyl roof, though. This was mid-late 90s. It had the straight-6. I thought it was an awesome little car. He eventually blew it up somehow. I wish we had suped it a little first, but it was teenage survival time back then.

      • I like that. At least it is a little bit closer to the nostalgic name than Maverick. Maverick doesn’t really bring back any memories other than the malaise-era rust buckets.

      • Eric,

        That would be cultural appropriation. Can’t have that!

        Calling it a maverick is only potentially offensive to John McCain, who was white and even the Republicans don’t care about him anyway.

        • Hey, Poob,
          I think I’ll start my own politically-correct “woke” car company. The cars will be made entirely of recycled trash, and have mix and match body parts of various non-matching colors. My first model will be the ‘Mulatto’. There will be a special Kamala Harris edition available, complete with fogger that releases the scent of halvah and matzoh ball soup within a 20′ radius when the driver presses a button, and a yellow diamond-shaped sign that says “Shiksa onboard”.

          • Nunz,

            I think somewhere you went from “politically correct” to “politically incorrect.” I think the concept needs a little work before it’ll sell.

          • I never liked him, but that might be going a bit far. I only ever wished him a long and happy retirement somewhere far away from me.

          • I thought it was brain cancer? Oh…wait, no…he’d have to have had a brain for that…… Good riddance to that evil piece of shit! How many millions deaths is he responsible for?

            • Amen, Nunz…

              Some say it is in poor taste to celebrate any death. I disagree. Some deaths are worth a kegger – and McCain’s was among those. He was a murderous, grasping opportunist of the worst sort. I wish HST had been around to eulogize him.

              • >Some deaths are worth a kegger
                Jesus, Eric, you might just have invented a new unit of measurement.

                As in, “How many kegs is P.O.S.’s death worth?

                Personally, I would rate Hillary Clitler @ 3 kegs, her husband Billy Jeff @ 2, and BillG(e) @ 5 or 6, but opinions will definitely vary.

                  • Man, if I am in the neighborhood, I promise to stop by, and bring enough “traffic thinner” to keep the party gong for quite awhile. I expect to see a large crowd. 🙂

                    Here’s hoping your neighbors are far enough away to keep the AGWs at bay RE: “noise violation.” It promises to be quite a party. 🙂

    • That’s where the dissonance smacks me upside the head. Now that the younger generations of beta-music-loving soy boys are the target market, why aren’t marketing departments coming up with names like “Ford Avocado Toast” or “Dodge Skinny Mocha Latte”?

      • Hi Anon,

        The under-30 crowd is the least interested-in-cars cohort, according to every marketing demographic I’ve seen. A large percentage of them haven’t even got a driver’s license. They’d rather Uber. I believe there are several factors accounting for this, including aversion conditioning since childhood, which began in the ’90s with mandatory saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seats. Now add in the endless and heavy fees/fines/taxes associated with car ownership and driving. I understand why many would rather Uber.

  9. Looks like a smaller version of the honda Ridgeline. What will be its towing capacity? How big is the bed? And how big is that backseat? My 12yr old at 5’3″ felt a little cramped in the Ranger back seat and this is smaller than the Ranger.

    Interesting story about the ridgeline, my B-I-L is a honda mechanic and has a ridgeline. Since i got the Tacoma he loves to tell me how superior the ridgeline is. Well he joined us camping last weekend and showed up around the same time i had driven out to the entrance. He asked to follow me to the camp site. When we get to the camp site i throw it into 4wheel and already have pulled in and parked while he is still trying to pull into the site. I had to help him navigate some rocks and tree branches. When he gets out he says wow, you took those rocks like they weren’t even there, i kept bottoming out. I retort with that’s what happens when you buy a real truck not some suv/truck hybrid.

    • Max towing with 2.0 turbo and towing package is 4000 lbs. The bed is 4.5 feet. In spite of it being a smaller truck, the back seat is bigger than the Ranger’s.

      • Hi Robbie,

        I like the thing – in principle. Here’s what I dislike – in practice:

        1. It’s not built for work or durability. A car engine and a (FWD) car layout. This is not likely to last as long as a truck like my ’02 Frontier – which I use regularly to haul a bedload of stuff, push and pull things, etc. It hasn’t got 270 horsepower. But it hasn’t got a turbo, either. I bet my truck is still running in ten years. I wonder whether the typical Maverick will be…

        • They claim it’s “Built Ford Tough” and was built to more rigorous requirements than their passenger cars. I guess we’ll see. Looking forward to your hands on review when you get one!

          • Me too, Robbie!

            I think had they built this on a RWD layout – and offered a small diesel – it’d have been a Babe Ruth-esque home run.

  10. I like the catfish. It’s not a bad looking “truck.” I just wish it was a truck. Catfish would be a cool name, too.

  11. It was only fairly recently that I saw a new Ranger, and I don’t like it. Comparing it to the old Ranger, the new one is like a smaller version of an F150. If I wanted an F150, I’d buy one. The old Ranger sat low to the ground, not jacked-up 4WD. I never owned one, but I liked it. Something small to haul small stuff and that my 89-year-old mom could actually climb into without using a stool to boost herself up, like she has to in my 2010 Escape (she’s quite short). Sitting lower to the ground makes it easier to load stuff into the bed, too. Does anyone still make a truck like the old Ranger?

    And I wouldn’t like the new “Mustang” or “Maverick” either (my dad owned an old Maverick in the 1970s, so I remember that car pretty well).

    • I still have an old ranger, easier to get in an out of than my wife’s crossover suv…. unless you are trying to climb into the back jump seat.

    • Yes Jim. Most of these new pickup trucks I would need a helicopter to check the oil. The copter needed to ascend over the tall hood.

  12. I would add to the qualifications of being a truck that it must also have a ladder frame under it. Unibody construction simply will not hold up to the stresses trucks are commonly subjected to. I would add to the list the Honda Ridgeline, simply named a “truck”, they tried to sell a few years ago.

    • The ridgeline has a frame built into the unibody. It’s not just a bunch of thin sheet metal stampings like a traditional car unibody. In fact the assembly is more ridgid than competing body on frame trucks that nowadays universally use c-channel for their frames. That being said the ridgeline does sacrifice ground clearance and towing capacity for extra interior space including a trunk as well as a much better ride and handling. If a manufacturer wanted to make a full size unibody rwd truck it would obsolete traditional rust magnet body on frame setups.

      • It may have a frame built into it. But In fact, that very rigidity will cause it to break. Ladder frame trucks do a lot of flexing under high stress conditions. Unbodies can’t, by design. A lesson learned long ago by friends. Don’t use running boards that attach to the cab AND the bed, because they will break something, the cab, the bed, or the running board. Something has to give under high stress. And unibodies don’t. My personal experience long ago with a Honda Del Sol, which was a great little car, unless you actually took the top off. Because the rest of the car wasn’t built to handle the added stress of NOT having a roof. Where the door latches on the body side were attached, the body side cracked. Not an easy fix, and even if “fixed” would likely do the same thing again if you drove without the top on. Unibodies are great, where stress is limited. Stress on a truck is often quite extreme.

        • Hi John,

          A story re body flex: I used to own a ’78 Camaro with T-tops, a long time ago. I got it partially airborne once – not on purpose – and after it came down (hard) the T-tops never fit quite right again!

          • There’s a reason pickups are made in two pieces, cab and bed. With a load in the bed, they would not stay sound otherwise. The flex between the two allows them to endure overall flex.

    • No doubt, which is confusing since 2WD trucks used to be cheaper than cars. Until the Urban Cowboy became a thing. Putting people in the truck market who who couldn’t bear the thought of scratching the paint in the bed.


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