Compact Truck, Big Utility: 2024 Ford Maverick
The new 2024 Ford Maverick pickup may be compact in size, but it offers the utility of a bigger truck – and there’s even a hybrid version for great fuel economy, all at an affordable price.
What is the Ford Maverick?
Ford leads the industry in the race for pickup truck sales. While it is known for having America’s best-selling truck in the F-150, it also has an excellent compact truck in its stable. The original Ford Maverick was actually a two-door compact sedan produced from 1970 to 1977. Named after free-willed unbranded range animals, such as the Longhorn cattle seen on the car’s nameplate, the Maverick was an affordable little car with a price of about $1,995 in 1970 dollars (about $15,000 today). The name was retired when the sedan went out of production in 1977 – after over two million were sold.
In the early 2020s, Ford brought the famous nameplate back in the form of an all-new compact pickup truck – this time based on the platform of the popular Escape. Smaller than the mid-size Ranger, the new Maverick originally offered as a compact hybrid truck, which came with an impressive 42 mpg city EPA rating. With standard front-wheel drive, the Maverick offered all-wheel drive as an option, as well as a larger turbocharged 2.0-liter engine for more performance and a 4,000-pound towing capacity.
Ford Maverick: What’s New For 2024?
Ford has changed a few things about the Maverick for the 2024 model year.
The biggest change is that the hybrid drivetrain is now a $1,500 option, with the base model coming standard with the turbocharged four-cylinder and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is still an available option. There are still three trim levels – base XL, XLT, and Lariat. The XL is a no-frills work truck, but includes a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, and lumbar supports for the seats. The XLT ups the ante with 17-inch aluminum wheels, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, a power locking tailgate, and more. The top-of-the-line Lariat includes a luxurious interior that includes power seats upholstered in faux leather. A towing package brings a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds – in addition to 1,500 pounds of payload in the bed. Finally, there’s a Tremor package that gives makes the Maverick the look of an off-road rock climber, with more aggressive wheels and tires and some underbody protection.
2024 Maverick: Performance and Power
The base 2024 Maverick’s a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder produces 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. The optional hybrid powertrain uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine without a turbo, and an electric motor. Power is a combined 191 hp, and the hybrid version comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). While the base engine offers available all-wheel drive, the hybrid is front-wheel drive only.
The turbocharged gasoline engine is quick, bringing you from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The Maverick hybrid is a bit slower, doing the same sprint in a still-acceptable 7.7 seconds. Both engines give you 1,500 pounds of payload capacity and 2,000 pounds of standard towing capacity. The Maverick hybrid has an EPA estimated rating of 42 mpg city and 33 mpg highway; the turbo gas-engine Maverick with front-wheel drive has an estiated 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway; and the all-wheel drive version gets 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway.
Inside the Maverick’s Cabin
No matter which engine or trim level you choose, all versions of the Maverick are four-door crew cabs with a roomy back seat that can accommodate five passengers. There are a number of useful storage bins throughout the cabin, including a pair of very useful cubbies under the rear seat. An 8-inch infotainment touchscreen sits in the dash of all Maverick models, and includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wi-fi hot spot as standard.
Overall, the Maverick’s cabin feels more upscale than the its low price might suggest. The dash is laid out in a practical, logical manner, even in the base level. There’s plenty of room in front, and a surprising amount of room in the back. The Maverick’s short 4.5-foot bed will fit 18 sheets of four-by-eight plywood with the tailgate down, and comes with a 12-volt power outlet. A 110-volt electric outlet is optional.
When it comes to safety, the Maverick is loaded with useful features. Automated emergency braking is standard on all trim levels and lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control is available in higher trim levels.
On the Road
The Maverick offers drivers a choice of drive modes, including normal, tow/haul, slippery, eco, and sport. A tight 40-foot turning circle makes it easy to maneuver in the city, and the truck handles quite well on winding country roads, feeling more like a car than a truck. Its steering is tight, and the handling is predictable. The Maverick handles highway onramps with the greatest of ease and you’ll feel right at home behind the wheel. On longer drives, the cabin is very quiet, even at highway speeds.
The turbo four-cylinder has plenty of power and the hybrid gives you incredible fuel economy. The choice is yours.
2024 Maverick: Final Thoughts
Thanks to Ford, the small pickup truck segment is back – and the compact Maverick is leading the way. It offers great versatility, ample payload, and impressive towing capability – and we like the choice of engines.
Starting MSRP for the base Maverick XL is just $23,400. The XLT goes for $26,315, with the top tier Lariat listing at $34,855. The only other similar compact pickup truck on the market as of this writing is the larger Hyundai Santa Cruz – which has a starting MSRP of $26,650.
The Maverick is a good-looking, practical, and economical compact truck from America’s favorite purveyor of pickups. What more could you want?