Coming up on its one-year anniversary of production, the Ford Maverick remains in a class on its own, even with the pricer Hyundai Santa Cruz lurking around the corner. As trucks continue to get bigger, so does the check that needs to be written every month to the bank. Its trucks like the Ford Maverick that put this whole truck thing back into perspective, that not every household need 15,000 pounds of towing, a V-8 full-size $80,000 pickup in their driveway.
Despite the best efforts of manufacturers offering a mid-size truck like the Ford Ranger, those too are starting to gain in size, performance, and most of all, price. That leaves plenty of room for the Ford Maverick to pull out additional tricks, and offer up ruggedly cool packages, like the new-for-2023 Tremor off-road package.
Ford is no stranger to the Tremor off-road series as it is offered already on the mid-size Ranger, the F-150 and even the Super Duty. And as we saw on the Ford Ranger, it’s a package that far exceeds the FX4 Off-Road Package. At a mere $2995, the Tremor off-road package is reserved for just the Maverick XLT and Lariat models.
The Tremor package itself adds in a healthy dose of attractive appearance applications like bedside graphics, smoked headlights & taillights, orange body accents on the front grille, front tow hooks and even an orange stripe on the 17-inch dark painted wheels. But the package just doesn’t end there, the Tremor actually adds in useful, off-road gear. The Tremor adds a 1-inch lifts for a total of 9.4-inches of ground clearance. Ford also redesigned the front chin and incorporated a steel skid plate that allows for a better approach angle. It also adds in beefier all-terrain treads.
Just when you think the Tremor doesn’t have much more to offer, you’d be wrong. Taking it a step further, the Tremor advances the Mavericks all-wheel drive system with a torque-vectoring rear differential, Trail Control that is more ideally used when coming down a steep hill. And of course, what’s an off-road vehicle without the multitude of selectable off-road terrain drive modes that allows you to select between Mud & Ruts, Rock Crawl, & Sand to assist through treacherous terrains.
But lets face the hard reality, while the Maverick Tremor has the fundamentals of an off-road capable vehicle, it certainly is no Raptor, or to bring it closer to home, a Ranger Tremor. The Tremor can strut its stuff down a dicey trail that a standard Maverick wouldn’t dare take on, but at the end of the day even the Maverick Tremor has some major limitations. Luckily the retuned suspension with exclusive dampers make the day-to-driving much more tolerable. And just because we may not have touched dirt during our test doesn’t mean we still didn’t drive over some rough city roads.
To get the Tremor, one must forfeit the standard hybrid powertrain for the more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost, turbocharged engine. Unlike the hybrid, the EcoBoost, isn’t exact well-hushed. At idle it buzzes vigorously and at medium applied acceleration, there is a coarse unfiltered sound that saturates the cabin giving it a less than refine acknowledgement. However, with 250-horsepower and 277lb-ft of torque pipped through an 8-speed automatic, it carries a gratifying thrust of acceleration as it sees 60-mph in about 6.0-seconds.
Around town, the Maverick is a comfortable city cruiser. Unlike a body-on-frame structure, it is based on the same unibody platform as the Bronco Sport. This gives a more car like feel that doesn’t bounce around in the back and provides a more explicit, controllable steering application with nimble responsiveness from the chassis.
Inside, the Maverick is a comfortable setting for all passengers. While the back seat may appear to be small, it carries a comfortable setting for most adults. If there are no backseat passengers and you need additional storage, lift up the rear seats to reveal several divider bins. The Tremor package adds in a tasteful display of cloth seats with orange contrast stitching and “Tremor” spelled across the back. Its budget-friendly approached interior aesthetics don’t necessarily feel as cheap as it should. The blue plastic panel & dash accents and exposed screws makes it unique and shows you don’t need soft touch materials and leather to have a nice vehicle.
Unfortunately, there are a few quirks to the Maverick. While the upside to the EcoBoost engine is quicker acceleration, the downside is fuel economy. As if it’s trying to drink like its daddy F-150, the Maverick Tremor during our city driving managed to average 23-mpg’s. One would also think that the larger engine would be able to tow more. However, since the 4K Towing Package is not offered on the Tremor, it is limited to only towing 2000lbs.
Despite some negative qualms, one can look beyond some of its tenacious attributes and look closer to the overall package. At a testing price of $34,247, the Maverick Tremor is an attractive package with a powerful punch to boot. The closest competitor, the Hyundai Santa Cruz with its turbocharged engine is closer to $40,000 and makes the Maverick look like a steal.
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