2023 Ford Maverick Tremor is Just a Little More Fun

When the Ford Maverick debuted, it was an instant hit amongst those looking for a compact pickup truck with no frills. Sales have been excellent, with backorders being the norm for this little truck.

Currently, there are only two compact truck options on the market right now. The other being the Hyundai Santa Cruz. While the Santa Cruz can promise a few off-road chops, until this new Tremor package was revealed, the Maverick was similarly mostly road-bound.

The Maverick’s Tremor package is available as an add-on to either the XLT or Lariat trim models. And they must have the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and all-wheel drive optioned. But the Tremor adds actual off-road gear rather than just some cosmetic goodies. Which is to its credit. As much as the Ford Maverick can go off-road, the Tremor package accommodates.

The Tremor package adds about an inch of ground clearance to the Maverick along with underbody skid plates, a locking rear differential, a beefier transmission cooler, the Maverick’s towing kit, and a full-sized spare tire. The all-wheel drive system for the Maverick, which is good for light off-road, dirt road, and all-weather use, is upgraded to include true four-wheel drive for better off-pavement performance. All-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels and Ford’s Trail Control low-speed cruise for off-road use also comes with the Tremor.

Like many smaller Ford vehicles with AWD or 4WD capability, the 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor does not come with 4×4 controls. Instead, control is through a terrain select system that Ford calls GOAT. In the Maverick Tremor, this system optimistically includes “rock” and “mud” modes. And like the Bronco Sport, which the Maverick is related to chassis-wise, these additions to the drive modes are extremely unlikely to be useful in the real world. These vehicles just don’t have the power or clearance to actually do those things.

But anyone looking at the Maverick should realize that this isn’t a Moab trail dominator or a Tennessee mud bogger. It is, however, an extremely useful little pickup truck with some credible off-pavement capability within its carriage height and powertrain limits. On par with the Jeep Renegade or the Subaru Crosstrek.

In any package, the Ford Maverick is a good little truck. It’s right-sized for the compact need and priced well below any competition.. Even compact cars. It’s base model hybrid powertrain is amazingly efficient and its turbocharged engines, including that in this Tremor package, is quick. Ride quality isn’t the best and the Maverick’s interior feels to have been designed on the cheap, but there’s always a price paid for the lower price being paid.

Most of the Maverick’s usefulness is in its everyday good qualities for daily use. And it’s cargo bed. Maximum towing is set at 4,000 pounds for any but the base model Maverick and cargo capacity is an impressive 1,500 pounds. The limits come with the restrictive size of the cargo bed more than anything else. But compact trucks, especially four-door models like the Maverick, are compact by design. There’s a lot one can do with the 54 x 53-inch bed it comes with. And most of the time, it’ll be empty anyway.

With the Tremor package added, the 2023 Ford Maverick becomes a little more capable and a little more fun. The off-road equipment, even if it doesn’t add a huge amount of capability off the pavement, does add a lot of peace of mind when going off-road. Plus it makes getting to the lake or finding that perfect camping spot just a little more possible.

And that’s what the Maverick is all about. It’s not a serious off-road beast or a powerfully capable full-sized pickup. It’s a useful compact option for those who need the versatility of a pickup but aren’t interested in the parking hassles and questionable fuel economy of a full- or mid-sized truck.

The 2023 Ford Maverick has a starting price of about $23,500 plus delivery. The Maverick Tremor has a starting price of about $29,000.

This review first appeared on CarNewsCafe.com.

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