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2023 Ford Maverick Review By Larry Nutson

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2023 Ford Maverick
Urban pickup

By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau

The Ford Maverick compact pickup truck is Ford’s lowest priced model. There is no longer a subcompact “econobox” sedan that will get you in the door and driving a Ford. Prices for the 2023 Maverick start at $22,595 plus, of course, the delivery fee of $1,595.

When I first saw the Maverick and then learned its price I said, “Oh, this will sell.” One of my first thoughts, having helped raise two daughters, is the Maverick just might be THE vehicle to have for high school upperclassmen.

Conversely, some auto critics voiced that pickup buyers need big and brawny trucks. The Maverick would not cut it. What?

I was around when Ford made the Courier and Ranger compact pickups back in the 1970s and 1980s. I thought the new Maverick would similarly be bought by younger folk along with the commercial users who need an open bed yet smaller vehicle. It looks like I was right.

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Ford has shared that Maverick customers are younger, with more than a third of them under 44 years old, and more diverse. Interestingly, 60% of Maverick buyers are new to Ford and 80% of Maverick buyers are new to the truck segment.

Maverick customers are looking for versatility, efficiency and affordability traditionally found in compact cars, like Honda Civic, but now available in Maverick with much more capability to tow and haul stuff.

Along with the low price the Maverick is equipped, unexpectedly as standard, with a hybrid powertrain that is EPA-rated at 40 city mpg. Maverick is the first standard hybrid pickup in America.

Maverick is a unibody design built on its own version of the architecture also used for Ford’s Escape and Bronco Sport. Ford has done a wonderful job of building three very distinctly different vehicles from one basic platform.

Maverick rides on a 121 inch wheelbase and is 199.7 inches long. That’s about 10 inches shorter than the midsize Ford Ranger pickup. The only body style is a 5-passenger, four-door “SuperCrew” crew-cab. Maverick is offered in front-wheel or all-wheel drive (AWD). The standard hybrid engine is only offered with front-wheel drive.

The hybrid powertrain uses a 162-HP 2.5-L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder combined with a 94kW electric motor delivering a total of 191-HP and 155 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) driving the front wheels. 

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Maverick Hybrid payload is 1,500 lbs. and can tow 2,000 lbs. A standard ATV will fit in the truck bed or you can tow a pair of personal watercraft or a good-sized pop-up camper trailer. EPA fuel economy ratings for the Maverick Hybrid are 40 city mpg and 33 highway mpg, with a combined rating of 37 mpg.

The optional engine, and the engine required if you want AWD, is a 250-HP 2.0-L turbo mated to an 8-speed automatic. Equipped with the optional 4K Tow Package, conventional towing doubles to 4,000 pounds – enough for an average 21-foot boat.

EPA fuel economy ratings for 2.0-L front-drive models are 23 city mpg and 30 highway mpg, with a combined rating of 25 mpg. All-wheel drive models are one mpg lower in city and two lower in highway ratings.

Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Tow/Haul drive modes can be selected to enhance performance and confidence in various driving conditions.

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Maverick is offered in XL, XLT, and Lariat trim levels. Standard is an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto projection compatibility. FordPass Connect with embedded modem and Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies offer collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance features.

The Maverick pickup bed is 54.4 inches long and 42.6 inches wide between wheelhouses. A FLEXBED system provides organization and cargo solutions to fit owners’ lifestyles, with a multi-position tailgate, slots to use lumber to subdivide the bed, 12 available anchor points, two 12-volt 20-amp prewired sources at the back enabling DIY electrical solutions, plus two available 110-volt outlets for powering a laptop or tailgate party.

My recent drive experience in the Maverick was with the XLT Tremor model equipped with the 2.0-L engine and all-wheel drive. Base price is $24,855 and AWD adds $2,200.

Maverick Tremor Off-Road Package costs $2,995 and Tremor Appearance Package costs $1,495. All-terrain tires, off-road tuned suspension with a one-inch lift, steel skid plates, trail control, twin clutch rear drive unit, 4WD lock, plus more, as well as exterior and interior design features are equipped. The Tremor package takes a hit on EPA ratings, bringing them down to 20 city mpg and 24 highway mpg.

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I would have liked to do a bit of overlanding in the Maverick Tremor but that wasn’t in the cards. Instead, I was limited to the streets and highways around my Chicago home. I did make use of the pickup bed to take my bike as well as my wife’s to the shop for a tune-up. Overall, the Maverick is very much a truck. Its ride is a bit firm; steering feedback is moderate. Seats are firm and supportive.

There’s plenty of response from the 250-HP engine, with smooth operation of the transmission throughout its eight gears.

Ford says Maverick is made for people who never knew they needed a truck. Go to for more information and details.

This unique truck with its low base prices, decent fuel consumption, and versatility to carry or tow your stuff makes it quite appealing.

Happy motoring!

© 2023 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy