The 2023 Ford Maverick, despite its unassuming exterior, is a workhorse pickup that justifies its position next to the Ranger and the F-150 with a unique design and unexpected functionality. Front-wheel drive and a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain are the usual configurations, although all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder are both available. A weekend’s worth of home improvement supplies may easily fit in the Maverick’s payload capacity, which is more than adequate. The Maverick is also capable of towing up to 4000 pounds.
What’s New for 2023?
A new Tremor Off-Road model joins the Maverick lineup for 2023. It wears more rugged exterior styling and is based on either the XLT or Lariat trim. It is only available on models with the non-hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain. A revised suspension gives the Maverick Tremor a one-inch lift over the standard truck, and Ford has upgraded its transmission cooler and half shafts so it can tackle more demanding conditions. The all-wheel-drive system also sees some tweaks, with a twin-clutch rear differential that enables the diff to be open or locked based on traction needs. The Maverick Tremor comes with Ford’s Trail Control system too, which acts as a low-speed cruise control for trails. Although the Tremor Off-Road model already comes with styling upgrades, the optional Tremor Appearance package adds even more in the form of gray-painted roof-and-mirror caps and black body-side graphics.
Towing and Payload Capacity
Even with the base hybrid powertrain, the Maverick offers 1500 pounds of payload capacity and 2000 pounds of towing capacity. With the turbocharged four-cylinder and the optional Towing Package, the Maverick can tow up to 4000 pounds. Looking to tow even more with a small pickup? The Santa Cruz is rated to tow up to 5000 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that hybrid variants of the Maverick are good for 42 mpg city and 33 mpg highway; the nonhybrid is rated for 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy route, our all-wheel-drive XLT FX4 model with the nonhybrid powertrain matched its 29 mpg EPA rating, but the hybrid was off the EPA’s mark with only a 30 mpg result. For more information about the Maverick’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Rather than start with the Bronco Sport’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine as the standard powertrain, Ford has gone hybrid with the Maverick’s base powertrain. All trims come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s assisted by an electric motor for a combined 191 hp. This setup only comes with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission. A nonhybrid powertrain is available as well, which swaps in a spunky 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive is optional with this powertrain. On the road, the Maverick feels downright peppy with the optional turbo four. At our test track, it reached 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The hybrid powertrain is less perky and needed 7.7 seconds to reach 60 mph in our testing, but it nonetheless gets the job done. To provide its impressive payload capacity, the Maverick’s suspension is fairly stiff which leads to a somewhat rough ride over broken pavement. Once we get a chance to test the Maverick at our test track, we’ll update this story with results.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
All Mavericks are crew cabs, which means four full-sized doors and a fairly roomy back seat. Ford has incorporated many storage cubbies and bins throughout the cabin, including some large areas under the rear seat. Base models are far from plush, but do offer standard niceties such as a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, and adjustable lumbar support for the front seats. More features are offered as standard or part of option packages on the XLT and Lariat trims, and include dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient interior lighting, and power front seats. Ford says the Maverick’s 4.5-foot bed can fit up to 18 sheets of 4×8-foot three-quarter-inch plywood without having to load them at an angle. The bed also features a 12-volt power point, with a 110-volt outlet offered as an option.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on all Maverick trims. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard features and even the base model comes with an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot. Options include SiriusXM satellite radio, an upgraded B&O Play stereo system, and wireless smartphone charging capability.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Maverick offers several driver-assistance features but many of the most sought after items will require an option package or springing for a more expensive trim. For more information about the Maverick’s crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Maverick offers the same standard warranty package of other new Fords, which is fairly basic and offers no complimentary scheduled maintenance program.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Hybrid component warranty covers 8 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance