Three models years into its production run, the Ford Maverick is still one of the hottest vehicles on the road. With a choice of hybrid power or turbocharged torque, a reasonable starting price, crew cab comfort, and pickup truck versatility, it’s a total segment-buster that’s all things to all people. However, what if you’re the ruts-and-mud type? What if you’re willing to trade a little bit of capability regarding typical truck stuff for a bunch of off-road goodies? Well, step right up, because the Ford Maverick Tremor might just be the pickup truck for you.
[Full disclosure: Ford loaned me this Maverick Tremor for a week and let me put hundreds of miles on it so long as I returned it with a full tank of gas, and wrote a review on it.]
Price: Starting from $34,275, or $42,395 CAD
Engine: Two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, 250 horsepower, 277 lb.-ft. of torque.
Transmission: Eight-speed conventional automatic.
Fuel economy: EPA 20 MPG city, 24 MPG highway, 21 MPG combined. 25 MPG observed.
Body style: Crew cab unibody pickup truck.
Why Does It Exist?
Just as on Ford’s bigger trucks, the Tremor package for the Maverick adds all sorts of off-road goodies without being as hardcore as a Raptor. Additional equipment includes an electronically-controlled limited-slip rear differential with a one-touch locking button, a locker button for the power transfer unit, beefy tires, a 0.8-inch bump in ride height, a high-clearance front bumper, exposed recovery points, and a big skid plate covering the engine, transmission, and steering rack. If you want to read more about the off road hardware and capability on the Maverick Tremor, I suggest giving David’s deep-dive a good look. Like the regular Maverick, this is a truck for hobbyists, but for hobbies more like bungee jumping and freeclimbing than thrifting furniture and building pergolas. Need to get reasonably out there on the weekends but still fit in an underground car park on the weekdays? The Maverick Tremor has you covered.
How Does It Look?
The Ford Maverick is already a handsome, honest truck, and the Tremor add-ons don’t detract from this truck’s approachable styling. While I’m not entirely sold on the high-clearance front fascia, the new tow hooks do look awesome, and the Y-spoke alloy wheels with yellow inserts are particularly bitchin’. The yellow stickers and grille add strategic pops of color, while the upgraded headlights of our Lariat Tremor test truck have a fantastic daytime running light signature. On the outside, the Maverick Tremor is everything we love about the regular Maverick with a little more verve, which is exactly what the doctor ordered.
How About The Inside?
The interior is one place where the Ford Maverick Tremor is a step back from the regular Maverick, eschewing rich colorways for a predominantly greyscale appearance. The blue cloth and orange flourishes of the Maverick XLT or the rich saddle facings of the Maverick Lariat get ditched for black cloth or leather. While plenty of navy blue interior plastics are still present, a larger pop of color would better suit this truck’s personality. However, once you get over the Hot Topic upholstery, the Tremor, like every Maverick, is an exercise in doing cheap cars well. The plastics are hardwearing but feature a matte finish and interesting, tactile braille-like texturing. The dash insert is wonderfully complex, and the console tray lifts out for easy cleaning. Headroom, legroom, and seat comfort in both rows are excellent, so don’t be fooled by this small truck’s footprint — it has a comfortable, rugged cabin ready to rack up some miles. It even survived muddy footprints, David and I suddenly rapping along to Eminem, and several dozen farts. If that’s not thorough testing, I don’t know what is.
How Does It Drive?
All-terrain tires, a length of 200.7 inches, and suspension meant to haul serious loads should put a dent in the Maverick Tremor’s fun factor, right? Not so fast, From behind the wheel, this crew cab crap-hauler drives like an oversized Focus, with agility you wouldn’t expect from its appearance. Not only is the steering brilliantly weighted, it’s fast, accurate, and even provides a little bit of feedback. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine doesn’t just hurl this truck down the road with unexpected pace, but it also feels remarkably linear and gets fantastic highway fuel economy. Oh, and that eight-speed automatic is relatively unobtrusive, with great low-speed response and crisp shifts. Think of it as a furniture-hauling accomplice with the soul of a hot hatch. However, where many hot hatches never quite settle down, the Maverick will do all the boring adult stuff with aplomb. Not only is the Ford Maverick Tremor flat-out fun, it’s also a perfectly livable everyday commuter with the ride quality of a midsize sedan and a reasonably quiet cabin. There’s a whole lot to love about how this little trucklet goes down the road.
Does It Have The Electronic Crap I Want?
For the most part, yes. Although the Ford Maverick Tremor doesn’t offer wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, its Sync 3 infotainment system supports the wired versions of both phone mirroring technologies. Speaking of digital stuff, the LCD display in between conventional gauges is a nice blend of modern tech and tradition, while the expected luxuries of automatic climate control and an in-bed household power socket are also on deck. The Tremor package even comes bundled with Ford’s full suite of advanced driver assistance systems, including reasonably deft adaptive cruise control that eased stress on our road trip. However, a few comfort and convenience toys like heated seats are optional, so spec your Maverick Tremor wisely.
Three Things To Know About The 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor:
- The rear differential uses the same variable-locking technology as the Ford Focus RS.
- The Tremor package reduces towing capacity to 2,000 pounds and payload to 1,200 pounds.
- Its softened off-road suspension is remarkably comfortable on potholed highways.
Does It Fulfil Its Purpose?
The Ford Maverick Tremor is definitely a more off-road capable Maverick, but the goodies meant to tackle the rough stuff do come at a cost. With a 300-pound reduction in payload and a 2,000-pound reduction in maximum towing capacity compared to the standard Ecoboost AWD truck with the 4K Tow Package, you have to be okay with a few sacrifices to tick the Tremor box. Most Maverick buyers will be perfectly happy with just the FX4 package, but for a handful of intrepid adventurers, the Maverick Tremor is one sweet do-it-all vehicle that’s still sized for the city.
What’s The Punctum Of The 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor?
The ultimate compact pickup truck for weekend warriors is here, and it’s pretty much as awesome as you’d expect.
(Photo credits: Thomas Hundal)
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