Well…yes…Ford’s return of the “minitruck” has proven its worth. The low buy-in price was just the start.
“OK, we get it. The Ford Maverick is the small truck we need…”
Well…yes…Ford’s return of the “minitruck” has proven its worth. The low buy-in price was just the start. The standard hybrid driveline is a great way to attract consumers looking for higher value in terms of initial buy-in and long-term fuel expense.
Last year, we had two Mavericks to work with. Both were front-wheel drive XLT models in the same color. One was the highly touted hybrid driveline, while the other was the EcoBoost turbocharged engine. We made a video on a Maverick with the former driveline.
Which means that I have not has the opportunity to work with an all-wheel drive model. It would make sense to test out a Maverick with the all-wheel drive system since we live in a place where consumers would prefer it over just front-drive. The thought process of these consumers is simple: How can one manage snow, ice, heavy rainstorms, and gravel roads with just two wheels driving your pickup truck?
The good news is that V&R received an all-wheel drive Maverick to work with. There is a plot twist, however. This was no mere 2023 Ford Maverick XLT with all-wheel drive and the EcoBoost 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
This came with the Tremor package.
Ford has been touting its Tremor package across the pickup truck lineup to give consumers off-road capability beyond the FX4 package. The extra lift in ground clearance is just one thing you receive as part of the Tremor package, along with beefier tires, improved shock absorbers and suspension components.
In the case of the Maverick, the Tremor package comes with all-terrain tires, an off-road tuned suspension with a lift of just an inch, darkened appearance features with some bronze/orange trim, and steel skid plates. The angle of approach is increased with a more off-road-designed bumper, and you will find decals on the hood, along with a black roof paint job. The result is a Maverick that appeals to the consumer that wants something fun to play with.
Still, it is a Maverick. The unibody small pickup truck that won’t break the bank. A pickup truck with a small 54.4-inch bed, and four doors opening into a decently-sized cabin.
One could say that the Tremor package elevates the Maverick – and, we’re not just talking about ground clearance. This is exactly what consumers have been looking for – to meet the trend of off-road warriors of any pickup size.
Trends aside, my XLT tester is very straightforward. No fancy digital instrument clusters here – a just two analog dials and a center information screen. No large touchscreen that dominates the interior – just an eight-inch one driven by Ford’s SYNC 3 that does the job decently. Don’t forget about the rotary dial that operates the transmission, the buttons and controls that are good to the touch, and all of the simple things you get in the Maverick’s middle trim.
You can seat five inside the Maverick’s SuperCrew cab. I found the manually adjustable driver’s seat very comfortable. The multi-tone gray seats have the Tremor name on the seatbacks up front. There was that bluish trim on plenty of the plastic parts – I thought they were gray for some reason.
As I mentioned before, the only driveline required for the Tremor package to added to your Maverick XLT or Lariat is the 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with the standard eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. That driveline can haul 1,500 pounds of payload in the small bed, while capable of towing up to 4,000 pounds with the optional 4K package. My tester did not come with that option, so I was limited to a maximum rating of 2,000 pounds.
The driveline was just fine. It wasn’t majorly refined but it did the job of commuting from dry to icy surfaces. The Slippery mode came in handy to increase traction on the latter surfaces.
Fuel economy-wise, I averaged 22.8 MPG. I won’t make any excuses due to the weather and so forth.
Ride quality was solid overall. A few lumpy roads tested the Maverick Tremor’s ability to absorb them up. I found the handling to be quite good. Part if it is due to the unibody construction of this truck, adding stability in managing evasive and routing maneuvers.
The Maverick’s tight steering radius translates well with all-wheel drive. Response to the wheels is quite good and does not require a lot of turning to get to a tight spot. On-center feel is a but soft, yet I felt some minimal play at the steering wheel. Brake pedal feel is also good. I experienced solid stops in normal, panic, and winter situations.
The Tremor package is available on the Ford Maverick XLT and Lariat trim levels. My XLT Tremor tester came with a sticker price of $33,305. There are still three Maverick trims to choose from, starting from $22,195.
In a segment where there are only two competitors, the Ford Maverick appeals to a more truck-based consumer. The bed is more useful, as is the cabin and driving experience. Offering a more efficient hybrid driveline standard is another advantage for the Ford.
By adding the Tremor package to the mix will help customer lean more towards the Ford. That is, if you can find one. Rather, if you have placed an order for one and is waiting for it to show up at your local dealership.
Once things get back to normal, I would expect the Tremor package to become popular among Maverick customers. The benefits are worth considering. Including the benefit of having a Ford Maverick that can cover more terrain and conditions than the original specification.
After all, you want something like this to play with when the time calls for it.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by the Ford Motor Company
All photos by Randy Stern