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Should Ram Enter The Small Compact Truck Market Again?

North Americans Want Small Trucks Again...

Today, Ford Motor Company rolled out their all-new Maverick compact pickup. In what appears to be an appealing package, the Maverick is the answer for those who are looking for a more affordable option without sacrificing capability and good fuel economy that can fit in most garages. North Americans from the United States and Canada, have been asking for a true compact for years and it appears Ford has delivered. 

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat FX4. (Ford).

So what about Ram? Could Stellantis’ pickup brand offer such a vehicle? The answer is, they already do!

The South American Fiat Toro (which is also known as the Ram 1000), fits the profile of the new Ford Maverick. Just like how the Maverick is based on Ford’s C2 unibody architecture (which underpins the Ford Bronco Sport & Escape), the Toro is based on a stretched version of the Small Wide 4×4 architecture from the popular Jeep® Compass.

2022 Fiat Toro Ranch TurboDiesel AT9 4×4. (Marlos Ney Vidal from AutosSegredos.com.br).

Besides being based on competing vehicle architectures, both compact pickups feature a four-door cab configuration and offer the choice of front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) capability. Surprisingly, on paper, the Fiat Toro has a 3.4 inch shorter wheelbase and is 6.2 inches shorter in overall length. This means that the Maverick does have a longer box than the Toro. But when it comes to height and width, both are identical to each other.

2022 Fiat Toro (Ram 1000) vs 2022 Ford Maverick
Dimensions (Inches) 2022 Fiat Toro (Ram 1000) 2022 Ford Maverick
Wheelbase 117.7 121.1
Vehicle Length 193.5 199.7
Vehicle Width 72.6 72.6
Vehicle Height 68.7 68.7

The much heavier Toro tips the scales at 3,900 to 4,100 lbs, depending on options and powertrain choices. The new Maverick according to Ford comes in a 3,563 to 3,731 lbs, again depending on the customer’s desired spec.

Where the two trucks couldn’t be any more different is in the powertrain department. Now, you have to remember that Ford’s new Maverick is based on its engine applications for the North American market, while the Fiat Toro’s engine options are aimed at its targeted market of South America. 

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat FX4. (Ford).

Let’s start with the Ford. The Maverick features two available engine choices. There is a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, which delivers 191 horsepower when combined with the electric motor and 155 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2.5-liter is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and only drives the front wheels. The hybrid powertrain also features an in-house-designed and manufactured electric traction motor, which offers 94 kW of output. The 2.5-liter offers the capability to tow up to 2,000 lbs.

For those looking for more power or optional AWD, Maverick offers 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four-cylinder making 250 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain can be optioned with FWD or AWD, and even has the ability to tow up to 4,000 lbs. with the optional 4K Tow Package.

2022 Fiat Toro Ranch TurboDiesel AT9 4×4. (Marlos Ney Vidal from AutosSegredos.com.br).

When it comes to the Fiat (Ram), there are three different powertrains available. The standard 1.8-liter 1.8-liter E.torQ inline-four-cylinder returns to the lineup, however, it’s limited to the entry-level Endurance trim. The 1.8-liter is flex-fuel capable and produces 139 horsepower and 19.2 kgfm (139 ft.-lbs.) of torque on ethanol and 135 horsepower and 18.7 kgfm (135 ft.-lbs.) on gasoline. the E.torQ offering can be paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The biggest change to the 2022 Fiat Toro for performance, is the addition of the turbocharged 1.3-liter ‘Firefly’ inline-four-cylinder, which is from the Global Small Engine (GSE) family and is available in the Renegade, Compass, and 500X crossover, all of which share the same Small Wide 4×4 architecture as the Toro. The new turbo engine also has flex-fuel capability and produces 185 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 270 Nm (200 ft.-lbs.) of torque on ethanol. The engine loses about 5 horsepower when ran with gasoline.

The turbocharged 1.3-liter comes mated to a 6-speed automatic from Aisin, which has some updates with a new “neutral function”, which automatically puts the transmission in the Neutral (N) position when the vehicle stops in Drive (D) according to our friends at Autos Segredos. This new function reduces engine vibrations, as well as increases fuel economy.

There is also an optional 2.0-liter Multijet II turbo-diesel four-cylinder mated to a ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic. The diesel models AWD, hill descent control (HDC), a crankcase protector, and an integrated front bumper skid plate. The 2.0-liter delivers 170 horsepower and 35.7 kgfm (258 ft.-lbs) of torque. The 2.0-liter turbo-diesel is available across the lineup for 2022.

The biggest disappointment about the Toro is its 882 lbs. of towing capacity. Fiat/Ram designed the Toro/1000 for more urban areas and improved ride for harsh the rough roads in South America. There is no doubt that with a few changes to the suspension, the Toro could tow equally to the 2,000 lbs. capacity of its architecture sibling the Compass.

As for payload, the Maverick has a standard rating of 1,500 lbs, while the Toro with its smaller bed offers 1,433 lbs.

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat FX4. (Ford).

Inside, the Maverick looks as if it’s a car trying to play as a pickup. With bright and bold color themes, there is a new composite material that replaces the cheap plastics of earlier years. There is a 5-passenger seating arrangement, which allows for a center console between the driver and front passenger to hold the rotary-dial electronic shifter, two cupholders, electronic parking brake, and drive mode buttons. Materials are pretty good for the price class, and a squared-off instrument panel features exposed bolts, to give a more “truck-like” feel.

Ford was clever, making use of every inch of the cab to place storage or small bins to store loose items. There are even areas in the doors designed to hold most 1-liter drink bottles. 

Ford’s new FITS system (Ford Integrated Tether System) reminds us of the ideas Fiat used in the award-winning Centoventi Concept and allows a cleverly designed slot at the back of the front console that accommodates different accessories for endless personalization. An available accessory package includes cupholders, a storage or trash bin, a cord organizer, a double hook for grocery bags and purses, and under-seat storage dividers. Ford will even publish the slot geometry in the near future so customers can 3D-print their own DIY ideas.

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat FX4. (Ford).

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 technology includes standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Automatic High Beam Headlamps. Available options include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Centering, and Evasive Steering Assist. Five standard drive modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Tow/Haul to enhance performance and confidence over various driving conditions.

Maverick has a standard 8-inch center touch screen that features Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® compatibility so customers can have the experience they’re used to with their phones. The SYNC 3 system has a basic, budget layout in the Maverick, and does not allow for much customization, unfortunately. However, FordPass Connect with an embedded modem allows WiFi for up to 10 devices, while standard FordPass makes it easy to find the truck, check the fuel level, lock and unlock the doors, and start or turn off the vehicle with an app on your smartphone or tablet.

2022 Fiat Toro Ranch TurboDiesel AT9 4×4. (Marlos Ney Vidal from AutosSegredos.com.br).

Now looking at the Toro/1000, the interior looks more like a scale down version of the Ram 1500. A new 7-inch full-digital cluster screen is standard across the lineup and there is a ton of customization. The digital cluster offers three different viewing profiles and makes it possible to display various vehicle information such as vehicle status, instructions, alerts, Trip settings, performance settings (for those models with the new turbocharged 1.3-liter engine) that includes horsepower, torque, boost, and G-force information, as well as information on the new Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). There are also exclusive screens with specific colors and unique fonts for 4×4 and Sport functions.

The addition of a new 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen is available on Ranch and Ultra models. The 10.1-inch Uconnect system is displayed vertically, similar to the Ram 1500’s 12-inch display. The new information system joins the standard 8.4-inch Uconnect 5 system that made its debut this past year on the Toro. There is also now in-vehicle WiFi available on the Toro/1000 for the 2022 model year.

2022 Fiat Toro Ultra TurboDiesel AT9 4×4. (FIAT Brazil).

Unlike the playful spirit of the Maverick’s interior, the Toro/1000 interior features similar quality materials you would find in the Ram 1500 lineup. There are several different interior themes, all coordinating with each different trim level.

Using a similar layout as the Maverick, there is a center console between the driver and the front passenger. Instead of featuring a rotary-dial knob like the Maverick and the Ram 1500, the Toro sticks with either a manual gear-shifter or a console-mounted shifter. There is no fancy electronic emergency brake either, instead, you have the old mechanical parking brake handle next to the cupholders. 

2022 Fiat Toro Ranch TurboDiesel AT9 4×4. (Marlos Ney Vidal from AutosSegredos.com.br).

As for trims, the Maverick is offering three different trim levels for customers. There is the budget-friendly entry-level XL, the well-equipped XLT, and the, even more, well-equipped Lariat model. There is a limited-edition First Edition model which adds a more exclusive appearance package to the Lariat trim at launch.

For the Toro/1000, the choice of trims is very different. The Ram 1000 usually gets one trim level (Big Horn) for the markets it’s in, due to the economic structure of most of the countries it’s available in. The Toro, on the other hand, follows a trim structure similar to the Ram 1500 here in North America. There are five different models available for the 2022 Fiat Toro (Endurance, Freedom, Volcano, Ranch, and Ultra).

Our friends at Autos Segredos recently got some time with the new 2022 Fiat Toro Ranch Turbodiesel AT9 4×4 (shown in this article). You can read their in-depth impression on their site. The Ranch theme reminds us of the Limited Longhorn trim on the bigger Ram Truck offerings.

2022 Fiat Toro (Ram 1000) vs 2022 Ford Maverick
Capacities 2022 Fiat Toro (Ram 1000) 2022 Ford Maverick
Payload 1,433 lbs 1,500 lbs
Towing Capacity 822 lbs (for LATAM region) 2,000 lbs, 4,000 lbs with 4k Tow
Curb Weight 3,941 (with TurboDiesel) 3,563 lbs to 3,731 lbs
Cargo Volume 28.9 cu-ft 33.3 cu-ft.

When it comes to pricing, the Maverick has a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $19,995 for the XL model. XLT models will have an MSRP of $22,280, while the top trim Lariat models have a starting MSRP of $25,490 before destination charges, taxes, and other fees. That is a great price in today’s market.

Looking at the 2022 Fiat Toro lineup, if we convert the Brazilian Reel to the U.S. dollar, the entry-level Toro Endurance 1.8 AT6 starts at R $114,590 (or about $20,970 USD). So very close to the Maverick’s price. Endurance 1.3 Turbo AT6 comes in at R $ 119,590 (or about $21,885) with front-wheel-drive. Freedom TurboDiesel AT9 4×4 models, set customers back R $ 164,390 (or about $30,084 USD). The top-of-the-line luxury Ultra TurboDiesel AT9 4×4 features a hard tonneau cover, integrated sports bar, running boards, all-terrain tires, premium leather seats with red accents, and dark exterior touches, has an MSRP of R $ 187,490 (or about $34,311 USD).

2022 Fiat Toro Ranch TurboDiesel AT9 4×4. (Marlos Ney Vidal from AutosSegredos.com.br).

To compete with the Maverick’s turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, Stellantis does have its own GME-T4 engine that is already under the hood of several of the automaker’s most popular vehicles. The GME-T4 can be equipped with the eTorque mild-hybrid system and delivers 270 horsepower (20 more) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (18 more). 

But if you think the Toro is a good choice to compete, you may be right. However, Ram is working hard on a bigger offering for the LATAM region that will be specific to the Ram brand. We aren’t sure if that new larger model will make it to the North American market, but we think Ram should be looking at bringing a vehicle like the Toro/1000 to the American market, and not be the last player to the revitalized segment.

What do you think? Should Ram offer a truck like the Toro/1000 in North America? Could they make it be a pivotal player in the compact truck segment? Let us know in the comments below or in the MoparInsiders.com forums.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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Should they? Absolutely.
Midsize are no longer midsize compared to the past. Not everyone needs or wants a full-size pickup.
The so called midsized Gladiator is too big for my needs, so now there is no choice for me but to look at
other builders. Hyundai Santa Cruz is exactly what I am looking for and I predict it will sell quite well.
Perhaps with Stellantis being a global manufacturer they might entertain a true small pickup, as it is the North American
market that drives the bigger is better mindset. But, if it’s not built in NA, the 25% tax comes into play and ends any competitive
pricing. Ford has it figured out perhaps, hence the new Maverick trucklet.

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They should bring a small pickup on the compass platform but not a Toro unless restyled for N.A. The current exterior is not what we want. The front is ok but the back is hideous. Lower the bed height and change the doors to match the lines. If they bring the Toro unchanged it will fail. Ford really did their homework here and everyone else already has catching up to do. They even offer the 2.0 turbo, something FCA refused to give us in anything smaller than Cherokee.

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If Ford is offering the hybrid on the Maverick's base trim, Ram should also have something similar. Ram doesn't have an economical four to use with a hybrid system like Ford does. The 2.4 Tigershark with Multi-Air has been a big disappointment. RAM should take the old 2 liter Tigershark that the Dart used and tune it it to run the Atkinson cycle and use it with a hybrid system. Ram doesn't really have a high voltage hybrid system like Ford and Toyota use, in that the eFlite found in the Pacifica has plugin capability. The front drive based Jeep 4Xe hybrid system is also a plugin setup. PCA also has a front drive plugin hybrid which uses an Aisin automatic. I don't know who supplies the electric motors for the PSA hybrids.

In my opinion Stellantis should build the the Ram 1000 in Toluca along side of the Jeep Compass and sell it here. I don't know how far they are along on the next generation of 48V hybrid electric systems, but there should be a way to have an inexpensive practical setup. The mild hybrid in the Ram pickups isn't it.

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Should Ram Enter The Small Compact Truck Market Again?​

North Americans Want Small Trucks Again...​

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Today, Ford Motor Company rolled out their all-new Maverick compact pickup. In what appears to be an appealing package, the Maverick is the answer for those who are looking for a more affordable option without sacrificing capability and good fuel economy that can fit in most garages. North Americans from the United States and Canada, have been asking for a true compact for years and it appears Ford has delivered.

Most definitely. I don’t know why they stopped making the Dakota. That truck was perfect for someone who needs a truck but can’t afford the price the full size pick ups cost.

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Should they enter the mid-size segment or the compact-size segment?

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