Here’s How Ford Made a Very Cheap Ford Maverick Base at $22.490

The Ford Maverick has made waves in the truck space, there’s no denying it. The automaker seems to have long since abandoned the compact truck segment, and Ford’s decision to bring back its offerings with the Maverick has proved a success, especially with prices starting at $22,490.

It’s cheap—very cheap. In fact, it is the least expensive vehicle in the Ford lineup. So how exactly did Ford get the Maverick to such a low price point when every other truck on the market is selling for a relatively hefty price tag? Jordan Arocha, program manager at Munro & Associates, got the Maverick hybrid to answer and found out what cost-cutting measures Ford was implementing and where.

Arocha explains that Ford’s “very cheap” trucks achieve low costs primarily by making smart engineering choices while still equipping them with less expensive basics. While the truck looks significantly modernized on the inside, it’s actually built around older mechanical technology that helps keep costs down.

For starters, stamped steel is used in many places. While this is not uncommon, it is quite cost effective when building a new vehicle. This stamped part also extends to the subframe and rear suspension components. Meanwhile, the front suspension is built on MacPherson struts without an upper control arm, while the rear is a simple twist-beam setup. That means less hassle, fewer bushings and no rear anti-roll bar, which also aids in the weight savings that result in the Maverick’s fantastic fuel economy.

Modularity is another big point in cost savings. Maverick engines, for example, use ready made components that are compatible with a variety of other vehicles. In particular, the Arocha shows a notch in the pan which is temporary for other vehicle applications. The Ford section’s website shows that the Maverick oil tank is the same for the EcoBoost and Hybrid models, and has even been shared with other vehicles since 2012 such as the Escape, Edge, Explorer, Focus, Focus RS, Fusion, and Taurus, as well as some Lincoln models.

Arocha doesn’t believe the lower control arm was made specifically for the Maverick, although Ford’s parts site says the special part number only applies to the Maverick, at least in North America.

There were a few cost-cutting steps Arocha noted that caused a little unsightly under the truck. Some components, including the half axle shaft, are completely uncoated and are already showing surface rust. Other components, such as the tie rods and stamped steel assemblies, appear to be simply painted without an electrodeposition coating to protect the metal underneath. Arocha also alleged that the exhaust system was made of poor quality steel. The exhaust in this example was heavily corroded and he debated whether it would make it past the entire new vehicle warranty before failing.

Ford is also using some interesting mechanical solutions to solve the battery conditioning problem. Heavy duty belt driven water pumps are used instead of modern electric units. This may help with the combination of cost, longevity, and the need to pump large quantities of coolant into a battery pack mounted near the center of the truck. On the packaging, Ford intelligently uses the exhaust heat from the exhaust to heat the coolant and condition the battery. Heat is recovered using a mechanical exchanger mounted directly to the exhaust, allowing the Maverick to recover wasted heat instead of using expensive Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heaters.

Cost-cutting measures aside, it’s hard to deny that Maverick is a solid value for its MSRP. In fact, the truck is priced so well that Arocha suspects Ford may not be making a profit from the base XL model at all. Ford’s ability to offer the Maverick at a price point like this is a respectable achievement and no doubt welcomed by consumers, especially when the average vehicle transaction price is more than double the price of the Maverick with the base trim.

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