If you remember the oil shortage of the 70’s when gas was $.50 a gallon in 1973 and by May of 1974 gas was over $4.00 a gallon. OPEC was formed and gave us an oil embargo in 1973 Then the Alaskan Pipeline was suppose to save us with oil pumping in 1977. So along came 4 cylinder turbo engines in cars, replacing V-8’s. Mini-trucks became popular with 4 bangers and diesels. Ford Courier by Mazda, Chevy LUV from Isuzu, Dodge D-50 from Mitsubishi and of course Toyota gave us the “truck” and Datsun, the 620-720. Those were the good ole days. I called them motorized wheel barrows. You could seat 2 people, reach over the bed to get tools and got over 20 mpg.
Now we have midsize, Ranger, Colorado, Canyon, Tacoma, Frontier but bigger than mini’s almost as big as full size trucks in the 90’s. Now with $3.00 gas, the mini’s are coming, they want to be called “compact”. Yes we have the Honda Ridgeline which is a mini, and Hyundai Santa Cruz is coming. The Ford Courier is not coming back, it has been transformed to a “Maverick” a car in it’s previous life. Kind of fitting now for a mini truck to have a sex change. And it’s so COOL! Like Ridgeline, a front wheel drive uni-body and the only standard hybrid truck. Rated to get 40 mpg, highway, 40 mpg, city, 40 mpg, combined. A truck that gets 40 mpg in the city? WOW, seats five, 8 speed automatic all very similar to my Ford Fusion hybrid. 4 cylinder gas engine.
4.5 ft bed with the tailgate down is usable, the tailgate hooks 1/2 way up for hauling longer cargo. I can reach over the bed rail and grab tools, rakes, hoses, etc. Now here is the really cool spec, MSRP $19,999 and can tow 2000 lb. trailer like my Jeep Wrangler. What’s that $100 a month? I can afford that. Just have to quit cigars and ice cream. And then there is the other model with a 3.0L Ecoboost turbo, all-wheel drive and tows 4000 lbs. like my boat. Surprised how roomy the cab, all similar to the Bronco Sport. Sure it’s a youth, city truck but I want one. 4-wheel independent suspension for a car-like ride. It would be a great parts truck, now part stores are still using 20 year old Rangers. I knew this would happen with full size trucks reaching $80-90,000 list price. Hybrids are the future with electric motors producing 100% torque, gas engines keep you rolling and charging batteries, help from regenerative braking. Just go down a hill and your batteries charge up. Maverick will be buyable this fall. I’ve got to save some money, sell some old trucks and get a second job as a greeter at Walmart. Watch the video review for more!