La Oferta

May 24, 2024

The 2023 Ford Maverick

The 2023 Ford Maverick is a compact pickup truck entering its second year after a successful debut. The compact pickup market — dead just a few years ago — has seen a recent resurgence. The Maverick offers reasonable utility, impressive fuel economy and a wide range of available features at a much lower price than Ford’s other trucks, the F-150 and Ranger. It’s not the most capable truck when it comes to towing, payload or off-road capability, but Ford’s larger trucks have you covered if you need more.

Fresh off the Maverick’s introduction last year, the core lineup isn’t changing much for 2023. That said, there is a new Tremor package available for XLT and Lariat models that beefs up the Maverick’s off-road capability. A heavy-duty transmission cooler, upgraded shocks and running gear, an extra inch of ground clearance, all-terrain tires and much more are added when you spec the Tremor model.

Currently, there’s only one other real option in this class: the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Like the Maverick, the Santa Cruz is a small four-door pickup, though the Hyundai feels much more like a crossover SUV than a truck from behind the wheel.

It’s a little more refined and comfortable, though it doesn’t offer a hybrid powertrain. If you need more space or capability than what the Maverick offers, there’s the Ranger, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. The GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado are also newly redesigned for 2023.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Rather than starting with the Bronco Sport’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine as standard, Ford has gone hybrid with the Maverick’s base powertrain. All trims come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder assisted by an electric motor for a combined 191 horsepower. This setup only comes with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission.

A nonhybrid powertrain is available as well, which swaps in a spunky 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive is optional with this powertrain. On the road, the Maverick feels downright peppy with the optional turbo four. At our test track, it reached 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The hybrid powertrain is less perky and needed 7.7 seconds to reach 60 mph in our testing, but it gets the job done nonetheless. To provide its impressive payload capacity, the Maverick’s suspension is fairly stiff which leads to a somewhat rough ride over broken pavement.

Comfort

How comfortable is the Maverick? When it comes to comfort, the Maverick embraces more of the truck vibe than its Hyundai Santa Cruz rival. Over broken or bumpy roads, it has a choppy ride quality that never seems to go away. The seats are firmly padded but supportive, and they hold up over long trips. But there are hard plastic door panels right next to your knees, and they’re uncomfortable to brace against when navigating down curvy roads.

There isn’t much noise from the engine on the highway, but it’s a bit unrefined at idle and under full-throttle acceleration. We also noticed a strikingly loud drivetrain noise coming from beneath the rear floor that we couldn’t identify. These traits are a bit of a harder pill to swallow on the top-trim Lariat.

Interior

How’s the interior? You’ll love the Maverick if you like your truck interiors simple. There aren’t a lot of frills or buttons, but finding the controls you need is very easy. Getting in and out requires some ducking of heads for most, but once you’re inside there’s a decent amount of headroom all around. The driving position is relatively upright, and the driver’s seat and steering wheel don’t offer much adjustability. Legroom is limited in the rear seat, as is the space under the front seats for feet.

The Maverick’s boxy cab, however, provides excellent visibility. Big, squarish windows mean that you can see well in every direction, and while they’re a bit on the small side, we like Ford’s useful integrated blind-spot mirrors.

Technology

How’s the tech? Without the optional Luxury package, there isn’t much tech to explore inside the Maverick. You do get an 8-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and it’s quick and easy to connect, but that’s about where it ends. The standard stereo is pretty underwhelming when it comes to output volume.

Spring for the Luxury package and you’ll receive adaptive cruise control, enhanced voice controls, an upgraded 8-inch screen, a wireless charging pad and lane keeping assist. A lot of these driver aids and options missing from our top-trim test vehicle come standard on the base Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Towing and Storage

How are the towing and storage? The Maverick’s party piece is the massive number of cubbies and interior storage areas. The doors can accommodate huge water bottles, the rear underseat storage is relatively large, and there are all sorts of useful dividers in the large center console. The Maverick has mastered small-item storage.

Loading in a large car seat will be a bit difficult because the top tethers are located behind the folding rear seats. Plus, the underseat storage is accessed by lifting up the entire rear seat bottom, so you’ll have to remove any child seats to get underneath. What a pain.

The Maverick’s maximum towing and payload capacities are impressive for such a small vehicle: 4,000 and 1,500 pounds, respectively. The Maverick also offers a four-pin and seven-pin connector and an integrated trailer brake controller, the latter of which is missing in the rival Hyundai Santa Cruz. So while the Santa Cruz ultimately has a higher overall towing capacity, the Maverick is better equipped to tow straight from the factory.

Fuel Economy

How’s the fuel economy? With the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and all-wheel drive, the Maverick gets an EPA rating of 25 mpg combined. That’s a respectable number that we were able to easily achieve in the real world. On our evaluation route, our test Maverick returned 27 mpg in mixed highway and city driving. On the same route, a Santa Cruz actually topped that by 2 mpg, but if fuel efficiency is a top concern, the real trump card here is the Maverick’s hybrid powertrain. The hybrid Maverick gets a segment-topping EPA estimate of 37 mpg combined. That beats most non-hybrid compact sedans. In the real world, we regularly saw over 40 mpg combined during testing, which is promising.

Value

Is the Maverick a good value? At its entry price, there’s no denying the Maverick’s appeal. An EPA estimate of 37 mpg combined with the hybrid engine and an as-new starting price in the low $20,000s are both very impressive. Our test Maverick with the hybrid powertrain lacked some advanced driver aids that come standard on other vehicles at this price, but it’s still one of the better values out there. Our other test truck with the upgraded engine came across like less of a bargain.

A three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty are pretty typical among trucks, and that’s what the Maverick gets. But the Santa Cruz blows it out of the water with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Wildcard

The Maverick is relatively nondescript. It accomplishes its mission of looking like a truck, and therefore it goes mostly unnoticed. The optional engine is peppy and it can be relatively fun to drive, but there is a more entertaining vehicle in the class.

We give it some credit for its efficient hybrid engine, along with its no-frills interior and low starting price. Pair that with a functional and easy-to-use bed, and you’ve got a unique offering, but not one with a ton of personality.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

View Crash Test Results

The Maverick offers several driver-assistance features, but many of the most sought-after items will require an option package or springing for a more expensive trim. For more information about the Maverick’s crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

Standard automated emergency braking

Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist

Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The Maverick offers the same standard warranty package of other new Fords, which is fairly basic and offers no complimentary scheduled maintenance program.

Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles

Hybrid component warranty covers 8 years or 100,000 miles

No complimentary scheduled maintenance