Big news from Ford land: The configurator for the 2023 Maverick is now live. This genuinely compact pickup truck is an absolute peach, just the right combination of rugged and comfortable for most people who need to do light truck stuff occasionally. Let’s run down some of the changes for 2023 (including a base price jump of over 10 percent from the debut price) and build what I deem to be the perfect Maverick for me.
More Money But More Standard Features
Let’s start with the big yet entirely expected news: another price bump. While the Maverick launched with a very asterisk-y starting price of $19,995 before freight and other fees, it was quietly increased to $20,995 before freight mid-way through the 2022 model year. For 2023, starting MSRP jumps $1,200 to $22,195 and freight clocks in at $1,495. While a $23,690 hybrid truck is still very appealing, it’s not quite the screaming deal it once was. Aside from the base XL trim, the XLT model now starts at $25,950 including freight, while the range-topping Lariat now starts at $29,450.
However, that jump in base price comes with some additional kit. The Maverick XL gains standard cruise control, a notably absent feature on 2022 base models. While it doesn’t seem terribly difficult to add cruise control to a 2022 Maverick XL, gaining cruise control while maintaining a full factory warranty doesn’t seem to shabby.
For those who stay rugged, the Tremor package adds a ton of desirable kit for a reasonable price $2,990. Granted, it requires selecting the two-liter Ecoboost engine and all-wheel-drive, but it gets a locking rear differential, extra cooling, skid plates, unique suspension tuning, and a reshaped front bumper designed to boost approach angle. Our own David Tracy did an excellent write-up on this Tremor package that I urge you to check out. [Editor’s note: Let’s call it a “locking” differential, in quotes, since it’s clutch-based and thus could slip in certain conditions whereas a true mechanical locker can’t. -DT].
Other notable equipment changes include a new Atlas Blue color in place of the 2022 model’s bright Velocity Blue, a black appearance package that, um, adds more black to XLT and Lariat models, and a Tremor appearance package to stack on top of the Tremor package for when you really want to shout “Hey everyone, I camp super hard.”
While the Maverick XL is no longer the twenty-grand hybrid bargain it once was, David Tracy is still absolutely right that ordering a base Maverick XL Hybrid is likely the best choice in the range. It’s just so much vehicle for the money. However, I have slightly different priorities. Allow me to present how I’d build a 2023 Ford Maverick.
How I’d Build The 2023 Ford Maverick
Since the Maverick XL has a rather short options list, I’m starting with the mid-range XLT trim. In addition to a much funkier interior color scheme, it also gets an expanded color palette. Seriously, look at the base XL’s color options:
And see how the XLT expands that:
For paint, I’m going with the optional $495 Hot Pepper Red. Not only is it a decent match for the XLT’s orange interior accents, it’s pleasingly dynamic.
For power, I’m eschewing the hybrid option completely and going with the two-liter turbocharged Ecoboost engine. It makes good power, runs well on regular gas, and still gets pretty reasonable fuel economy. Oh, and I’d option all-wheel-drive to spit torque down in the snow. While the turbocharged engine doesn’t come with a surcharge [Editor’s Note: This is worth highlighting. The more powerful motor is now free. -DT], all-wheel-drive is an extra $2,220 well-spent. Plus, all-wheel-drive unlocks the $745 4K Tow package. Not only will this let a little Maverick tow a light car on a dolly, it comes with upgraded cooling and a shorter final drive ratio, useful performance upgrades for a rather reasonable price. You bet I’m ticking that box.
Speaking of performance upgrades, I’m stacking the FX4 package on top of the 4K Tow package. It adds a 6.5-inch screen in the gauge cluster, a tow/haul mode that sharpens up the gearbox, and a set of all-terrain tires along with the typical skid plates and uprated suspension. Think of it as an $800 set of all-terrain tires with all sorts of goodies thrown in for free. Unfortunately, it also comes with black alloy wheels. Black wheels are undeniably crap, but they’ll do for winter use.
When it comes to creature comforts, I’ll fully admit that I’m a bit soft. After all, why not work to experience the finer things in life like a potent heated steering wheel and a built-in power inverter? As the proverb goes, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, give a man a big-body Lexus with a fridge in the back and he’ll figure out how to use every single feature on the regular. The Maverick’s XLT Luxury package is an expensive way of gaining a power inverter, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, heated mirrors, and heated wiper wells, but I’m spending the $1,730 to be comfy. In addition, I’d spend $995 on the sunroof since I used sunroofs all the time, plus $155 for the sliding rear window to get a proper cross-breeze going.
Sure, this means that my ideal Maverick costs $33,090, but what’s $7,140 in options between friends? [Editor’s Note: A lot, that’s what. I’m still feeling the bare-bones $22,195+delivery Maverick, please. Even if I can’t have a fun color. Area 51 gray will do, I guess:
Also, the steel wheels are perfection. -DT].
Besides, it’s not like $33,090 including freight is hideously expensive anymore. That’s only $735 more than a base-model front-wheel-drive Honda CR-V and thousands of dollars cheaper than a specced-out poshed-up Lariat version of the Maverick. So, how would you spec your 2023 Ford Maverick?
Lead photo credit: Ford