September 28, 2023

Compact Maverick Tremor is big on capability

Ford pickup is off-road capable, offers impressive options

The 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor may be small in stature but it has big capability if you get off the pavement.

The Ford Maverick is a compact truck that’s gotten a lot of attention from a segment of buyers who may not have considered a pickup before. Though it may be diminutive in size, the 2023 Maverick Tremor is an off-road-capable truck with a big attitude.

With a starting price of $26,450, the Maverick Tremor gets a lot of attention for the value it offers. The Tremor name typically adds a lot of capability to the full-size F-150 and the Bronco – and a lot of cost. This Tremor adds some big off-road possibilities, but it feels like it is not the same additional cost as its bigger siblings.

Make Mine a Tremor

The Maverick is only available as a four-door, but it looks like the boxy pickup one can fall in love with. The Tremor variant adds some visual candy with a trim-specific grille, headlights and taillights, blacked-out Ford badges, orange tow hooks, Tremor graphics and big 17-inch wheels with orange accents.

I like the attitude and impact the Tremor package brings to this compact pickup. Even better than many “off-road” packages on crossover and SUVs, this Maverick Tremor can bring the goods if you choose to get off the pavement.


The Maverick Tremor is offered with two four-cylinder engines: a 2.5-liter hybrid and a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo. The hybrid only supports front-wheel drive, while the EcoBoost will get you all-wheel drive.

The 2.0-liter turbo I tested delivers 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. While the hybrid offers more fuel efficiency, the 2.0 provides a nice punch for a truck that calls itself Tremor. Payload capacity is expected light at 1,200 pounds and towing is OK at 2,000 pounds.

Fuel economy is possibly one of the only downsides I can point to for the Tremor variant. At 20 City/24 Highway/21 Combined, where the Mav Tremor falls short on fuel economy due to its off-road package, it is offset by where it elevates the truck in overall capability.

Close quarters

The Maverick has a smaller cabin than its larger sibling Ranger, but it does a great job of using all of its space very efficiently. Given the entry point for the Maverick, most of what you get in the cabin is straightforward and has no frills. Materials are not cheap-feeling, but there’s no real personality there – just functionality – which is perfect for this vehicle.

The front-row seating is pretty good, though the second row is a bit tighter. Tall passengers will need to stay up front. The headroom is good in both rows, and I had no issues getting behind the wheel and finding a very comfortable driving position. The second row had a flip-up feature that provided additional storage options. My tester featured the cloth upholstery, which was quite nice and seemed to fit the rugged attitude of the Tremor.

Below the center stack there are two charging ports, a USB-A and another USB-C, as well as a rotary shifter and Tremor-specific 4WD controls beside the two cupholders. An 8-inch infotainment screen tops off the center console and an abundance of physical controls made it quite easy to jump right in and operate basic functions. The gauge cluster features a tachometer and speedometer with a digital screen in the middle.

The bed is what you might expect in this size truck – highly adaptable for awkward items, but after they get to be 5 feet in length, there’s a need to be adaptable. My tester featured what I believe to be an essential option for any pickup – the spray-in bedliner ($495).

Drive quality

As you might expect, the Tremor’s off-road-tuned suspension is a bit soft, designed to absorb aggressive off-road obstacles and it features a 1-inch lift. The 17-inch Mach Dark aluminum rims are very cool looking and paired with the Falken Wildpeak A/T tires, they deliver excellent grip.

Overall, I found my Maverick Tremor tester to be quite fun to drive around town. The brakes are quite responsive, and the suspension made for a very confident and comfortable ride.

The Tremor appearance package added the most at $4,490, and the Ford Co-Pilot 360 safety feature package added another $650. My tester had several options like a keyless fob and splash guards that added to the appeal (and the final price).

At the end of my test week, I could not help but feel the Maverick XLT Tremor with AWD is a steal at its base price of $24,455. Get the extra attitude and interior comfort, and it only landed at $34,207. Compare that to the next best competitor and you’re saving $10K to $12K. Easy decision in my book.

John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years of experience driving, testing and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations and vehicles.