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2024 Ford Maverick Review: Little truck still without peer and easy to love


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Pros: Affordable for a truck; easy to drive; hybrid is efficient; clever design and storage throughout

Cons: Hard to find in certain markets; no all-wheel-drive hybrid; no shortage of hard plastics

We quite like the 2024 Ford Maverick, and not just because it’s the only compact pickup truck you can buy that actually looks like a truck. It’s just an excellent all-around package. The Maverick is attractive, clever, practical, affordable, easy-to-drive and efficient. We love that you can choose a fuel-sipping hybrid or trailblazing Tremor off-roader. We love how Ford managed to keep costs of materials down without leaving it dull and uncomfortable. We love that the bed, though small, was designed with DIY culture in mind, allowing you to create your own cargo solutions or wire up your own electronics.

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And, yes, there’s nothing really like it on the market right now. There’s the Hyundai Santa Cruz, but that’s ultimately more like a compact crossover with a bed, and doesn’t offer an economical hybrid powertrain. We’re hoping Ram brings its Rampage to the U.S. soon, as has been suggested, but if you’re not one to hold your breath (or just want a good, small truck) the Maverick is a smart buy. Despite its diminutive size, it can tow up to 4,000 pounds, packs in a lot of utility, and is a lot more wallet-friendly than its bigger siblings.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it's like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's new for 2024?

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is now the standard powertrain for the Maverick, while the formerly standard 2.5-liter Hybrid powertrain takes its place as the optional powertrain across all trims (and the Hybrid now costs more than the EcoBoost). Some exterior paint colors are no longer available, while new ones have been added, and some of the option packages have been reconfigured for 2024. The wireless charger and blind-spot warning and lane-keeping assist are now standard in the Lariat trim.

2023 Ford Maverick Tremor dashboard
2023 Ford Maverick Tremor dashboard

What are the Maverick interior and in-car technology like?

The Maverick interior is an interesting place. Cost-saving measures dictate the inclusion of a lot of hard plastics, but one can see and feel interesting shapes, textures and colors. The plastic across the top of the dash has a grain reminiscent of canvas. There are interesting colors from the inclusion of ground carbon fiber byproduct in other hard plastics. The door panels are molded to provide storage for a multitude of water bottles of various shapes and sizes. The door armrest is cut out, leaving a cantilevered grab point complete with exposed fasteners for a rugged, utilitarian look. There are storage cubbies below the center stack, next to the infotainment screen and on top of the dash behind the screen. You got stuff? The Maverick can store it somewhere.

An 8-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard across the lineup that runs Ford's Sync 3 tech interface. It's technically not as advanced as the Sync 4 system in F-150 and Bronco, but the last-gen is still perfectly functional and feature-rich. There are two USB ports up front (one of which is USB-C format), and two more can be had in the rear of the center console in the Lariat. A six-speaker sound system is standard (as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), but can be upgraded to an eight-speaker B&O sound system with subwoofer and HD Radio. SiriusXM satellite radio is also available, as are 110-volt outlets in the rear and in the bed. You can also opt for a wireless phone charging pad.

How big is the Maverick?

It’s pretty small. It’s a compact pickup, a step below the Ford Ranger. Every Maverick is a SuperCrew configuration with four side doors and a 4.5-foot bed. Despite its diminutive stature, it uses its available space brilliantly. There are plenty of cutouts in the door panels to accommodate bottles of various sizes. The storage bin below the rear bench seat is generous, and a great place to store tools. You can read more in our Maverick XLT interior review.

Although the bed is 7 inches shorter than that of the Ranger SuperCrew, it's still much longer than the cargo areas of even the biggest compact SUVs. Plus, while small for a pickup, the bed is still big enough to accommodate a shipping pallet when closed, or full 4x8 sheets of plywood in a flat, level position with the tailgate opened in its mid-position. As many as 10 bed tie-downs and a cargo management system allow you to secure your load. A pair of tailgate tie-downs double as bottle openers. There are two pre-wired 12-volt outlets for wiring in your own accessories, and an available 120-volt outlet allows you to plug in tools or appliances. Cubbies in the side of the bed allow for further storage, and a false floor in those cubbies can be removed to accommodate something like a two-liter bottle. So, yeah, it’s not the biggest bed around, but it’s one of the smartest. Read more in our cargo test. (The Hyundai Santa Cruz has its own set of unique bed features as well, including an in-bed trunk and clever bed cover.)

What are the Maverick fuel economy and performance specs?

The Maverick is available with two powertrains. The standard powertrain is now the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine making 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission. With front-wheel drive, it gets 23 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive, it’s rated at 22/29/25 mpg. Get the Tremor off-road package, and those EPA ratings slip to 20/24/21 mpg.

The hybrid is the optional powertrain now, with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motor putting 191 horsepower to the front wheels via an electronic continuously variable transmission. There isn’t an all-wheel-drive Maverick Hybrid. While it sacrifices some power and capability, it makes up for it with excellent fuel economy: 42 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined. We found it pretty easy to meet or beat those figures in real-world driving.

What's the Maverick like to drive?

As the Maverick’s size would suggest, it’s an easy vehicle to drive, whether navigating the traffic and parking lots of downtown, cruising scenic highways or rambling down rural gravel roads. The hybrid’s instantaneous torque makes it eager to get underway, and its 191 horsepower is ample to help it carry speed uphill. With a half-ton of mulch in the bed and using the Tow/Haul mode, the hybrid-powered Maverick (pictured above) still drives just as easily, though not as efficiently. The one quibble to find with the hybrid is the brake feel — slightly touchy at first, but a little gummy as you dig deeper into the pedal. We found it easy to get used to and forget about, though.

Driving the EcoBoost with all-wheel drive provides what most drivers will find to be a more familiar, if slightly noisier, drive experience. It’s definitely quicker to make passing maneuvers and a bit more surefooted in corners and on loose surfaces. Plus, it’s the Maverick to get if towing is on the menu given its maximum 4,000 pounds. Its eight-speed automatic transmission will be more palatable to certain buyers, though the hybrid’s e-CVT behaves admirably. Either way, there’s no option to shift on your own, which may be particularly frustrating on grades.

When equipped with the FX4 package, the monotube suspension, we’re told, better dissipates the heat for a more consistent viscosity and a ride that holds up under more activity. The underbody protection does its job, deflecting some of those bigger rocks from the mechanicals underneath the vehicle. The FX4’s Mud/Rut and Sand modes help provide confidence, while hill descent control makes descending those steep grades a lot less fraught. It seemed fine for most of the types of driving one might need to get to a campsite, across a farm or to a hunting blind.

We haven’t yet reviewed a Maverick with the even more rugged Tremor off-road package, but we like what it offers. In short, it gets a revised suspension with an inch more ground clearance, revised bumpers for improved approach and departure angles, upgraded underbody protection and a trick new rear differential borrowed from the Badlands model of the Maverick's close cousin, the Bronco Sport. It’s available on XLT and Lariat trims equipped with the EcoBoost engine. You can also get a look at what you get in our walkaround video, below.

What other Ford Maverick reviews can I read?

5 thoughts about the 2023 Ford Maverick Hybrid: What real-world gas mileage does it get?

Some musings about this efficient truck that's easy to drive but hard to find — especially the Hybrid.

 

2022 Ford Maverick Interior Review | Doing a lot with a little

Useful space, features and fun colors and textures make the interior cheery.

 

2022 Ford Maverick XLT cargo test | Truck enough?

The thing that defines a pickup is its bed. This one's small; can it get the job done?

 

Hyundai Santa Cruz vs. Ford Maverick Back Seat Review

We pop rear-facing car seats in the back, too.

 

2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid MPG and Suspension Deep Dive | 39 mpg and 1 twist beam

The hybrid doesn't just get vastly better fuel economy, it has a different rear suspension, too.

 

2022 Ford Maverick First Drive Review | Little truck is a big deal

Ford's newest pickup is clever, inexpensive and easy to drive.

 

What is the 2024 Maverick price?

The base 2024 Maverick is the XL trim with the EcoBoost engine and front-wheel drive, and it starts at $24,995, including the $1,595 destination fee. All-wheel drive adds $2,220, while selecting the Hybrid (FWD-only) adds $1,500. The XL trim includes manual seats with cloth upholstery, single-zone manual air conditioning, an 8-inch LCD touchscreen infotainment display, 4.2-inch instrument cluster screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry (but a keyed ignition), cruise control, auto LED headlights and high beams, front USB-A and USB-C port, and front and rear 12-volt outlets.

The XLT and Lariat trim levels slather on extra equipment, and at present, there are no special trim levels that change its capability or character. Technically. Instead, the Maverick offers a pair of off-road-oriented package, both for the EcoBoost engine with AWD. The $800 FX4 off-road package is available on XLT and Lariat trims, and includes all-terrain tires, exposed front tow hooks, performance suspension, hill descent control, off-road drive modes, skid plates, trailer hitch receiver, an upgraded cooling fan and higher-capacity radiator, along with some appearance upgrades. The $3,495 Tremor package takes things a step further with a more advanced 4WD system (includes a twin-clutch rear drive unit and locking rear differential), unique off-road suspension with an increased ride height, Trail Control off-road cruise control, heavy-duty transmission cooler, a full-size spare tire and a number of unique appearance upgrades outside and in.

Prices for the 2024 Ford Maverick, including destination, are as follows:

  • XL EcoBoost w/FWD: $24,995

  • XL EcoBoost w/AWD: $27,195

  • XL Hybrid (FWD only): $26,495

 

  • XLT EcoBoost w/FWD: $27,910

  • XLT EcoBoost w/AWD: $30,110

  • XLT Hybrid (FWD only): $29,410

 

  • Lariat EcoBoost (comes with AWD): $36,450

  • Lariat Hybrid (FWD only): $35,730

What are the Maverick safety ratings and driver assistance features?

In addition to the standard airbags, restraints, rear-view camera and automatic emergency braking, the Maverick offers the optional Ford Co-Pilot360 package (standard in Lariat) that adds blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assist and driver inattention warning system. The Lariat also gets the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist package with adaptive cruise control, lane-centering steering assist, evasive steering assist and rear parking sensors.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t updated its ratings for the 2024 Maverick, but we expect them to remain unchanged from 2023. The 2023 Maverick earned a second-best rating of “Acceptable” for the updated moderate overlap front crash test (many new cars have not been subjected to this test yet), and the best “Good” rating for side impact. It earned the best “Superior” rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention, a second-best “Advanced” rating for daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian prevention, and a “Basic” rating for nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian prevention. It also earned a “Good” rating for seat belt reminders, and “Acceptable” for LATCH ease of use.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the 2024 Maverick a four-star (out of five) overall safety rating, with five stars for frontal crash testing (but just four stars in the front passenger side subcategory), five stars for all side impact ratings, and four stars for rollover.

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