Ford have always had a knack for following the market closely and identifying the important trends. Here’s the appositely-named Maverick.
This careful watching meant that after the compact SUV craze had been very well-established in the late 1990’s Ford finally pounced and introduced the remarkable Maverick in 2001. While it was one of the latecomers the Maverick stole a march on the Mazda Tribute which was all but identical and it also offered some competition to Land Rover’s Freelander which appeared in 1997. While the Freelander was riddled with iffy electronics and had build of dubious quality, the Maverick was cheaper, bigger and more efficient. It thus provided competition to one of Ford’s own nameplates too, making for an interesting situation in terms of brand management.
The Maverick had distinctive styling inside and out which is why Ford enthusiasts with a jones for 4×4 driving rate it as they do. The style is a throwback to the carefree 90s, all rave clubs, Cool Britannia and cheerful suburbia. There was a choice of a 2.0 or 3.0 litre engine, which gave the Freelander a run for its money. The Freelander’s V6 had a monstrous appetite for petrol and the Ford didn’t.
This is what the RAC have to say: “Whilst the Maverick isn’t perfect, it’s the sheer honesty of the thing that generates a feeling of partiality towards it. How many times have we heard manufacturers of 4x4s claim that their offering drives like a car, only to find that the car they were using as a reference point would probably have failed an MoT on collapsed shocks? The Maverick is a refreshing exception to this rule, and the V6 in particular gives the Ford a level of on-road utility that few rivals could ever dream of.”