Historically speaking, pickup trucks have been a bit of a niche market. Drivers have typically been divided into categories of “those who need a truck every day” and “those who have really generous friends who have trucks.” At some point—some experts point to the 1980s, while others claim it’s a more recent trend—people started realizing that trucks could be fun, fast, and take them past the pavement into the great wide open. Manufacturers took note and started updating their smaller trucks, and the 2023 Ford Maverick is the product of this legacy.
Today, SUVs and pickup trucks are edging sedans out of the automotive market, largely thanks to their many practical applications. In fact, it seems more and more manufacturers are blurring the lines between the two, with pickup trucks losing their utilitarian cabins and becoming something of a moving oasis. Some even argue that pickup trucks are just SUVs with a bed in the back half.
The 2023 Ford Maverick is an impressive argument for choosing a truck over an SUV. Whether you’re interested in having a little more flexibility in what you can do with your vehicle or you enjoy testing the limits of what any vehicle can do, the Ford Maverick is a small truck that can do much more than you’d expect.
Take a look at how the 2023 Ford Maverick encourages drivers to reconsider their stance on trucks…
For Those Who Believe Trucks Are Sluggish Gas Guzzlers…
There is some truth behind this assumption. An economical truck was once something of a unicorn simply due to the physics of creating enough momentum to move trailers and other large loads. Today, however, Ford is challenging that notion with the F-150 Lightning and the Maverick.
The standard powerplant in the Maverick is a hybrid 2.5L four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for a total maximum of 191 hp. Even better, this combination yields 40 MPG on the city streets and 33 MPG on the highway.
Since that engine can only be paired with front-wheel drive, those looking for all-wheel drive (or a little more power) can select the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine. As a Ford truck, the customization experience doesn’t end there, as those who prefer a strictly gasoline-powered engine can select this engine with front-wheel drive, as well.
The result is a boosted 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. This engine can also tow up to 4,000 lbs and handles a maximum payload of 1,500 lbs. While that’s nothing compared to the limits of a surly F-350 Dually, it’s not really fair to compare these two trucks in the first place; it has a similar shape, yes, but they are entirely different trucks otherwise, made for entirely different portions of the population.
The Maverick’s gasoline engine consumes a more truck-like amount of fuel but still stays within the realms of modesty with a combined economy of 25 MPG for front-wheel drive trucks and 24 MPG for all-wheel drive models. The Ford Bronco Sport, for example, uses a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and consumes 23 MPG combined; a 2023 Ford Escape with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine offers a combined fuel economy of 26 MPG but lacks the same towing capacity as the Maverick.
So, to argue that an SUV is more economical than a similarly sized truck is simply untrue, especially when you’re looking for a versatile vehicle that can perform a number of reputable tasks.
For Those Who Believe Trucks Are Small, Cramped, and Basic…
Granted, there are many two-door bench-seated trucks on the market, even today. For some drivers, that’s the ideal amount of space. And while Ford certainly respects that perspective with the Ranger and F-150, the Maverick is a four-door truck with seating for five passengers.
The Maverick is what’s considered “unibody” construction—that is, the bed is part of the body and not a separate attached piece. Therefore, there are no bed length choices. However, its 4.5-foot long bed offers a lower load height of 30 inches, making it more accessible to a wider range of drivers—especially those who don’t want to hoist heavy objects above their heads!
The front bucket and rear bench seats are covered in trim-exclusive cloth in the XL and XLT trims and ActiveX easy-care synthetic leather upholstery in the top Lariat trim. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard, along with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The Ford Co-Pilot360 package of driver safety technology is also aboard the Maverick, in the form of automatic high beams, a rear-view camera, and sensor tools like Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking. Further driver assistance features—like the Blind Spot Information System—can be had through Ford Co-Pilot360 optional packages.
For Those Who Believe Trucks Are Single-Purpose and Boring…
We all tend to forget how helpful trucks can be. While we generally associate them with towing and other heavy, dirty jobs, the Maverick reminds us that a truck can do so much more.
For example, this pickup truck’s penchant for splashing through mud is easily translated into off-road capability. The Maverick includes five standard driving modes: Normal, Tow Haul, Slippery, Eco, and Sport. Selecting the FX4 or Tremor Off-Road packages adds Sand and Mud/Ruts modes to the equation.
So, how does an off-road-inclined driver choose between the FX4 Off-Road Package and the Maverick Tremor Off-Road Package? The first possesses the necessities for any off-roader, including skid plates, all-terrain tires, Hill Descent Control, and a tow hook, in addition to the extra drive modes. Its radiator and engine fan are specifically chosen to handle hotter and harder drives, too.
The Maverick Tremor Off-Road Package adds a custom suspension tuning for rougher terrain, along with a one-inch lift for greater clearance. Ford has provided an advanced all-wheel drive system to Mavericks with the Tremor package and Trail Control off-road driving assistance as well. Essentially, this package is for those who plan to spend more time exploring than cruising.
It’s hard to say that a truck is “boring” when it’s climbing, fording, and splashing its way through life. If you prefer the pavement and you’re looking for a high-end audio system, heated power seats, and all the other comfort extras Ford can throw your way, there are packages for that, too.
The 2023 Ford Maverick Bucks Convention and Disproves Misconceptions
Though they are not as prolific as SUVs and crossovers, the auto world has accepted the fact that “pickup truck” no longer has one stringent definition. Some haul massive loads, while others carry modest ones; some are more economical than others; some are faster, some are bigger, and others are more luxurious.
Ford is particularly skilled at making pickup trucks, and they manage to produce trucks that can fit the needs of nearly every kind of driver. Between varying models, trims, and engines that match drive style and load requirements, Ford also offers multiple packages that allow drivers to customize their vehicles to match their lifestyles as well.
The Maverick is no exception. Drivers can pick the features and packages that best meet their needs, just as they would with an Explorer or Expedition.
Sometimes, it really just boils down to the shape of the vehicle and how much wind the cargo area can get.