Ford Says The Maverick Is Cheaper Than The Model T Was, But That's Not Exactly True

It is cheaper than at least ONE Model T, but how does it stack up against other cheap cars?

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Image for article titled Ford Says The Maverick Is Cheaper Than The Model T Was, But That's Not Exactly True
Image: Ford

Ford’s clearly excited about their upcoming small pickup truck, the Maverick, and I’ll be honest— I am, too. A big part of what I find exciting is that it’s cheap, at least by modern car standards, starting at under $20,000. I’m sick of everything being so expensive. Ford seems to understand this sentiment as well, since they sent us a press release reminding us that, adjusted for inflation, the Maverick is actually cheaper than a Model T. That’s amazing! And, even better, it’s even sort of true!

Yes, it absolutely is true if you look at the price of the first Ford Model T that came out in 1908, which had a price of $850, which would be about $25,223 in today’s money. That’s a solid five grand more than the Maverick, so great job getting those prices down over the past century or so, Ford!

Image for article titled Ford Says The Maverick Is Cheaper Than The Model T Was, But That's Not Exactly True
Image: Ford
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Plus, I think the Maverick’s infotainment system is way better than the 1908 Model T’s which, if I recall, didn’t even offer an option for CarPlay.

Things do fall apart a bit if we look at the progression of the Model T, though, which got dramatically cheaper over time, going down to a low of $260 for a Runabout model in 1925. Even adjusted for inflation, the price of that car is staggeringly cheap, coming to $4,056 in today’s money.

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All of this got me wondering how the Maverick stacks up against some of the legendary cheap-ass cars built over the past century, so I whipped up a quick chart showing the cars’ price at the time they were new, and their prices adjusted for inflation:

Image for article titled Ford Says The Maverick Is Cheaper Than The Model T Was, But That's Not Exactly True
Image: Ford, VW, Yugo, GM, Tata, Jason Torchinsky
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Man, those were some cheap cars. The Maverick’s price is actually pretty good, especially considering what you’re getting; compared to, say a ‘95 Geo Metro, you’re getting a car that gets about as good gas mileage, but is significantly bigger, more practical, and vastly safer, for about $6,000 more, which, in context, is pretty damn good.

This chart also really reminded me of what a stellar achievement the Tata Nano was, even if it did turn out to be something of a failure. It was a real engineering triumph, that thing.

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I also just realized that, if we just count the Model Ts as one entry, I’ve driven every car on this chart except for the Maverick! And I’m pretty sure I was quite fond of them all.

Man, I have garbage tastes.