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New Ford Maverick Sports Utility

Tue, 01 May 2001
Today sees the UK launch of Fords new small sports utility 4x4, the Maverick. Whereas the old Maverick was developed jointly with Nissan and built in Spain, this is an all new Ford/Mazda co-production built at Mazda's Hofu plant in Japan and a much more refined, road-friendly vehicle with a unitary body rather than separate chassis.

Ford makes bold claims about refinement and drivability, achieved from fully independent suspension front and rear rather than solid axles, rack and pinion steering, MacPherson strut front suspension, Control-Trac II automatic 4x4 system and ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. The vehicle is already well proven, having been launched as the Ford Escape in the USA in August 2000 and selling 75,000 units in its first three months.

Towing weights are 1,500kg for the 2.0 litre manual and 1,700kg for the 3.0 V6 automatic, enough to pull a sizeable trailer, twin horse-box or caravan.

Dimensions are: length 4,415mm; width including mirrors 2,018mm; width (mirrors folded) 1,825mm; height (without roof bars) 1,626 mm (including roof bars) 1,755mm. Loading capacity rear seats up and to sill height is 490 litres; rear seats folded and to roof: 1,830 litres. Maximum cargo height is 991mm and maximum width between rear wheel arches is 1,032mm.

Performance specs are: 2.0 litre Zetec 124bhp @ 5,300rpm and 129 lb ft (175Nm) torque @ 4,500rpm. 0 to 60 comes up in 11.8 seconds, top speed is 103mph, combined fuel consumption 28.8mpg and CO2 emissions 234 grams per km. The 3.0 litre V6 develops 197bhp @ 6,000rpm and 195 lb ft (265Nm) torque @ 4,750rpm. 0 to 60 takes 9.8 seconds, top speed is 112mph, combined fuel consumption 22.1mpg and CO2 emissions 305 grams per km (which could mean expensive VED in years to come).

Launch on-the-road prices are £17,995 for the 2.0 Zetec and £20,995 for the 3.0 V6 automatic. Air-conditioning, alloy wheels, adjustable roof rack, dual front airbags and side airbags are standard on all models while the 3.0V6 also comes with standard cruise control, CD player and leather seat trim.

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