On September 6, a member of the Maverick Truck Club forum started a thread asking what people planned to tow with their new compact Ford pickups. It’s a short thread, just three pages. On the last page, a member who goes by “coolhip33” posted that he or she had ordered a Maverick with the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost in front-wheel drive with the 4K Tow package that doubles the pickup’s tow rating to 4,000 pounds. The poster then crossed out “FWD” and left a note, “Updated: Just notified we have to buy AWD.” A few posts later, coolhip33 informs members that “Ford is going to pay for the AWD upgrade on our order,” saving coolhip33 the usual $2,220 price to drive the rear axle.
On September 22, coolhip33 started another thread that began with the text of a dealer bulletin Ford sent to its retailers with info on the free upgrade. According to Ford, “approximately 500 customers” ordered Mavericks with FWD and the 4K Tow Package that adds bits like a higher-capacity radiator, upgraded drive ratio, and a hitch with a seven-pin connector. It’s not clear what happened when behind the scenes at Ford, but engineers decided the combo wouldn’t deliver satisfactory results. The bulletin told dealers, “Due to recent engineering and performance evaluations, it has been determined to remove the FWD Gas (999/448) & 4K Towing Package (53Q) combination from the 22MY Maverick offering, across all series.” The bulletin says the pairing was removed from the internal ordering system as of mid-August. Dealers could re-order affected vehicles with FWD and without the tow package, re-order with AWD and the tow package, or cancel the order. The FWD Maverick is rated to tow 2,000 pounds, and can be optioned with a hitch receiver and four-pin connector for $100.
The good news is that Maverick buyers who ordered front-wheel drive and the 4K Tow Package before that option exited Ford’s ordering system will get AWD free. The other news is that Maverick buyers who paid for AWD and the 4K Tow Package spent $2,200 more than a few hundred other buyers. As another forum poster noted, it happens, and while there will be a minority who feel a touch jaded, it’s commendable that Ford’s doing the right thing for that first group.