Ford Maverick AKA Nissan Terrano the case of the strange car with the strange name
Take one Nissan Terrano stick a new badge on it, and then give it a new name, and somewhere in the name indicate what the concept is all about
So what is this vehicle all about
FORD ~ as we all know means Fix Or Repair Daily, but this is a Nissan really so its never going to break, so that cant be it.
One of a kind
Odd one out
But this is a straight copy of a car which is no more than a bog standard off roader built strictly to the 4*4 formula. Its no rebel, nonconformist, eccentric or individual and certainly not one of a kind, So that cant be it either.
Aspen expensive, high brow, ski resort, Expensive ? not really , High Brow, hardly.
But hold on
Aspen, covered in twenty foot of snow becomes a lumpy, featureless, cold place. Ah ha !
Yep a Ford Maverick Aspen, a Cold lumpily shaped car, devoid of features perfect.
Strange car this style made more strange by the fact that two unrelated companies are selling the same thing. Made even stranger still by the fact that Fords US range is awash with 4*4s. Trouble was I guess that US 4*4 tend to be on a rather grander scale than our British roads are really comfortable with, and Ford USA dont seem to be interested in diesels.
It seems to be a market Ford desperately want to crack though. The new Ford Maverick is an all new Ford only device, and having developed it Ford have done the obvious thing and bought Land Rover. You can understand Ford not wanting to go cap in hand to Nissan, but they seem to covering all bases very late in the day, when the 4*4 seems to be on the wane as the ultimate statement of high automotive fashion.
Still if you cant afford new its going to be some time till you can afford a genuine Ford off-roader, so in the mean time if you must have the Blue Oval the Maverick remains your only choice.
First impression is that the Maverick is a bit of a greenhouse, check for the Air con, no can't find it. check for the electric sunroof control and cant find that either, or the manual winder, or the sunroof in fact.
So I look for the window switches. After a couple of minutes fumbling I realise the windows are controlled by a couple of floppy rotating levers. After a couple of `twirls my ears are assaulted by the screaming of wind blasted women. Back up with the windows and as a last resort I turn to the heater controls, flip it to cold , open the vents, turn the fan on. The difference is minimal, ventilation is marginal and without a sunroof , I would be reluctant to drive one of these in summer.
Never mind I'll just sweat a little whilst we jump on the motor way hopefully the flow through the vents will chill us out.
The Maverick grunts along the motorway, pushing its way into the outside lane with foot pressed hard down, the near side mirrors set to the right angle for me, luckily because there is no internal adjustment and my chance of reaching over from the drivers seat is diddly squat.
Its a week later its cold wet and miserable. Last week I discovered the heater fan that puts out only the most gentle of breezes. Now I cant get it to clear the screen with its pitiful air supply. 2 miles later and the awful dawning reality of a non functioning red half of the heater is beginning to sink in. Its not cold enough to hurt, but enough to keep my coat on and still be less than happy. Two days later its 2 coat and freezing finger time. I'm sure the heater can be fixed, but a still wouldn't be convinced the weedy fan would blow all that lovely hot air around the big tin box that passes for a passenger compartment, despite the slim Air tubes placed under the seats.
Does this car sound badly equipped, if you do, you would be right it hasn't got a single solitary thing. Its just about as basic a car as it is possible to get.
Either way it wobbles down the motorway pretty well 65mph seems to be the most comfortable cruising speed at 70 its getting a little noisy and by 75 its starting to struggle. It occasionally runs on past 80 on a slope, but if this will do the claimed 96 on the flat I would be amazed.
Off the motorway with a bit of time to experiment you can test the engine. It is many things big, quietish on the move, torquey when the turbo is spinning. Despite the fact it displaces a largish 2.7 litres of turbocharged smoke creator its power is fairly limited. In real terms it pulls best past 2000 rpm and runs into a brick wall around 3500rpm hardly a long power range.
The gear change helps cover up some of the defiencies, for an off roader shift its quite slick and quick, still not in saloon car league but good compared to its normally recalcitrant opposition.
The clutch pedal is light and easy to work, The brakes are not quite a match requiring a decent push and still not generating too much stopping force. The do pull you up okay but, They definitely lack a little bite and power.
The nearest I got to an off road test in the maverick was an excursion up a muddy, rutted, deep puddle strewn back entry deep in lost valleys of darkest wigan. Suffice to say the Maverick passed this test with flying colours . Whether it could really pass a More rigorous test I don't know. I was though very surprised to see wishbones at the front end, rather than the more classical live beam usually associated with 4*4s.
The wish bones probably help to explain why the Ride on the road is pretty good, even those in the back of the relatively short whee lbase Maverick had few complaints, which is unusual to say the least.
Steering is a mixed bag. Above 10mph the steering is reasonably sharp direct and nicely weighted. Below 10 mph it becomes rather hard work. It seems to have a sort of variable steering effect and goes from stiff to incredibly stiff as you wind the lock on. Parking is a pain in the butt, and just a couple of floors up the multistory test route were enough to convince me I couldn't cope with struggling up and down 5 storeys daily. The PAS seemed to have a slight problem in that it didn't work at tick over speed. So it required a quick blip and a few revs to get it pumping, not exactly the thing you want from big diesel, and the last thing you would want through some crawling tricky off road section. Other than at very low speeds the 3 door Mavericks actually quite nimble for an Offroader.
Interior space was just about right in the passenger compartments for it proposed 5 people. the seat belts are set some what noticeably in ward of the shell and probably pinch 6 inches of space from either side.
Whilst the rear compartment is slightly and usefully bigger than the SWB Landcruiser I once tried, its not a patch on the Discovery which I consider to be the most perfectly formed off roader on earth.
Now in the normal scheme of things we would save the best bit till last, But in this case we are left with the looks of the Ford Maverick. If it were designed by Volvo I would be surprised because its too damn ugly to be a Volvo. If it were designed by Lego I would be surprised , because it just doesn't look hard enough to be a Lego model. Nope its just a plain old Nissan in the Datsun cherry mould, an ugly ill proportioned effete off roader if I ever saw one. Imagine a Cherry Estate monster truck and you would be somewhere close. Why Ford choose to partner up with Nissan is really beyond comprehension.
In the normal scheme of things the Maverick is a pleasant enough vehicle if made very boring and lacking in toys. But a boring soft 4*4 defeats the object of having one totally. A van or an MPV would probably do a better job for most prospective Maverick owners.
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