Ford released the details on their new Maverick compact pickup truck today. Honestly, I barely remembered they were even working on it, honestly. I basically dismissed it after being a little disappointed with the way the reintroduced Ranger came about.

This was a huge mistake on my part.

40 mpg with the hybrid engine, under $20,000 starting price. Using the Ford vehicle builder, I spec’d out a fairly well outfitted Lariat trim and only hit about $33,000. Truck utility, sedan comfort and features. Having the ability to haul things every once in a while, but still having most of the properties of a sedan or crossover is going to make a huge dent. Ford has done a pretty good job of hitting the greatest common denominator of the options most would need.

Built on the C2 platform and using tried and true hybrid and EcoBoost options. They’ve most likely killed the Hyundai Santa Cruz before the pricing even got announced. Ford has been trying to make their platforms reusable since the days of the World Car, but seems they’ve finally landed on the right combination.

Sure, it’s not a full-sized truck, and many of the folks who have one of those probably don’t see the need for this. They’re hauling stuff regularly, or towing big trailers. But there’s a reason people liked Subaru Bajas and Chevy El Caminos. There’s a reason a lot of folks were excited about the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck rumors based on the Holden Commodore, up until GM killed Pontiac.

I hope to see an option added to select AWD with the hybrid engine. Not sure why this wasn’t an option out of the gate considering AWD is all the hotness. There’s a reason why more and more manufacturers are going this direction, especially for areas that get

But more importantly, if they add a plug-in hybrid option in the future to allow you to do a few miles all electric? Crazypants. And sure, the PHEV option could add cost, but if you couple that to electric vehicle incentives? Most folks who could use this vehicle are only hauling stuff every once in a while. Zipping around town for basic errands like it’s a Prius Prime? Sounds pretty compelling to me.

For almost the last 20 years, I’ve preferred sedans. I was worried when Ford accounced they were moving to only trucks and SUVs, but looks like there was method to their madness. Between the Maverick, their recently introduced F-150 Lightning electric truck, and even the new Bronco, they’re making some impressive moves.