South Dakotans love their pick-up trucks. There are plenty of them roaming around the Sioux Falls area, but out in the country, it's the number one mode of transportation. There was a time when a pick-up was strictly utilitarian, a beast of burden meant only for work.

Families had a "Sunday car" that was used when "comfortable" travel was required. Today's trucks can get dirty working while at the same time being more luxurious and pampering than luxury cars were 25 years ago.

One thing that pick-up trucks aren't is fuel-efficient. For the most part, trucks are gas hogs, though there have been many improvements in the economy over the years. Ford is taking a huge leap in the MPG front with the introduction of the new Maverick compact pick-up featuring a standard full-hybrid engine.

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Ford says the upcoming Maverick will be the first standard full-hybrid pickup on the market with industry best estimated 40 mpg in the *city*. That's impressive for a sedan but for a pick-up that is unheard of.

One thing that is important to South Dakota truck buyers is the payload. Ford says the Maverick will carry 1,500 pounds in the bed and tow up to 2,000 with the standard 191 horsepower hybrid engine. For more pulling power, a 250 horsepower EcoBoost turbo engine will be available that can tow up to 4,000 pounds.

If the Maverick name sounds familiar, that's because Ford used the name on a coupe that was sold in the 70s. The name definitely fits better for a truck. As far as size for the Maverick truck, it is similar in dimensions to the Ranger pick-up from the 90s.

Ford is positioning the Maverick as a light-duty, city truck. It will feature unibody construction, meaning it won't be like a traditional truck that has a separate body and frame. Unibody saves weight but at the cost of some pulling power and payload. In other words, you won't be ripping up any tree stumps with the Maverick, but you can haul a bed full of 40-pound bags of mulch from the Lewis garden center. The Honda Ridgeline is currently the only unibody truck on the market at this time.

Ford says the 2022 Maverick will go on sale later this fall. Hopefully, the computer chip shortage will be sorted out by then so Ford can build this truck.

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