Ford Maverick's 'Flexbed' packs big-truck functionality into a small package

The 2022 Ford Maverick clearly undercuts the existing pickup segment, especially in terms of size. This new compact offers potential buyers a low-cost entry into truck ownership, and Ford hopes those customers who otherwise wouldn't consider an open-top vehicle will give the Maverick a look because of its size, fuel economy, and refinement advantages over a traditional vehicle could offer body-on-frame.
But Ford wants some "real" truck buyers too, and that is where skill is the name of the game. In the months ahead, there will no doubt be another debate about what makes a "real" pickup truck, but instead of thinking about what the new Maverick can't, let's take a look at what it can do.
While Ford clearly went to the trouble of naming the Maverick's bed system, its utility is actually pretty typical of a low-cost freight solution. The bed itself is on the short side (only 4.5 feet) for obvious reasons, but Ford wanted to make sure Maverick customers could still use it for "trucking things" like building goods or landscaping, hence the 1,500 pound payload capacity and standard bedding available.
At the factory, Ford shaped the Maverick's bed to allow owners to create DIY solutions to complement its standard utility and cargo functions, some of which are suggested in the diagram above. These grooves and channels are a canvas for creative owners who can then assemble their own mounting or racking systems to suit their needs, whether using standard wood sizes (for which they are designed) or through other DIY methods such as 3D printing. The sky is the limit.
As you can see here (or in the video above), the Maverick's bed is wide enough to hold a sheet of 4x8 plywood, although it won't fit between the wheel arches. The bed has molded-in supports so owners can load it horizontally, and the tailgate can be locked 45 ° with its height aligned with the above supports to keep your plywood flat. In this position, the tailgate can support up to 400 pounds. If you need length at the expense of width, the loading area is extended to 6 ’when the tailgate is fully extended.
The Maverick has two pre-wired 12-volt pickups behind grommets on the back of the bed for those looking to add aftermarket powered accessories, and there's an optional 400-watt 110-volt socket in the bed for those who are basic Need to power tools or tailgate accessories. It's not nearly as rugged as the F-150's Pro Power Onboard system, but for a small truck with a small price tag, it's a decent utility. While there is no under-bed storage space like the Hyundai Santa Cruz or the larger Honda Ridgeline, there is under-seat storage under the second row for items that are too valuable for the bed but too dirty for the cabin floor.
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