Review: 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor adds some off-road quake
The Ford Maverick hit the market in 2022 and has proven to be very popular. We reviewed the hybrid upon the Maverick’s debut and our assessment of that model still stands. For the 2023 model year, Ford has added a Tremor off-road package to the Maverick. So we tried it. And it’s ... okay.
At a Glance
- New off-road Tremor package is mostly about looking the part
- Ride quality is even bumper and louder
- Still a solid little compact pickup truck
- Priced right, but you’ll probably have to wait for one
Most buyers of the Ford Maverick are on waiting lists for production. Ford seems to have severely underestimated the popularity of the Maverick and has been unable to allocate enough manufacturing to keep up with demand. For Ford, this is a good thing as the company currently makes three very in-demand models: this one, the F-150, and the full-sized Bronco. The little Bronco Sport isn’t doing too bad either.
Having high demand for product is never a bad thing, of course. In the forums I’ve scanned, Ford Maverick buyers seem content to wait for production to catch up to their orders. And owners are mostly happy with their truck when it does finally arrive.
The 2023 model year brings a new Tremor off-road package to the little Maverick. This package is available on the mid-level XLT and the top-end Lariat models equipped with all-wheel drive. We drove the 2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Tremor for a week for this review. There wasn’t an official window sticker on ours, as it was a pre-production model, but a price sheet provided by Ford put the total at US$27,955 plus shipping. About $4,500 was added for the Tremor Off-Road Plus Appearance package. That added package is on top of the Tremor’s cost, adding gray paint to the hood, roof, and mirrors. None of which, we should point out, is anti-glare matte. Other additions included Co-Pilot360, splash guards, and a spray-in liner. Putting the total at $37,485 for our test truck.
The Tremor package itself adds several things to help up the off-road capability of the Maverick. These include a tuned suspension with a little over an inch (2.8 cm) of added ground clearance. About a third of that clearance comes from the added all-terrain tires that clad the 17-inch alloy wheels the package adds. Underbody skid plates, a locking rear differential, a tow package with an upgraded transmission cooler, a full-sized spare tire, and a more advanced AWD system with more driver-adjustable settings are also added with the Tremor package. The AWD system takes advantage of the locking rear diff and some programming for the braking system to add more terrain settings for the “GOAT” off-road dial. Finally, a few Tremor decals and badging get added to the exterior along with some stitching inside the truck.
Because it requires AWD, the Tremor package is available only with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This engine change from the base hybrid model means some fuel efficiency losses, but doubles towing capacity from 2,000 to 4,000 lb (1,814 kg). It’s worth noting that the turbocharged engine mates with an eight-speed automatic transmission. That’s a good upgrade from the continuously variable transmission (CVT) found in the hybrid and is likely the greatest improvement for off-roading in the Maverick. The added engine power and a geared transmission mean more control and strength off-pavement. The skid plates and locking rear diff are also good additions.
They are not, however, additions that equal huge capability. The Maverick is still a compact car-based truck and its wheel reach and relatively wide steering radius (thanks to those bigger tires) mean it’s not quite ready for mountain climbing or deep Moab trails. It is much more capable than many vehicles its size, though, and more confident about going off the road than its base level hybrid model. But Ford adding “rocks” and “mud” to the GOAT dial for off-road in the little Maverick is a bit optimistic. We noted the same thing with the Bronco Sport Heritage, which shares a lot of equipment with the Maverick.
For the price paid, we did find the Maverick Tremor to be a capable pickup truck. Towing and hauling aren’t the best in the segment, but they’re likely plenty for most of the use cases for this kind of truck. Its off-road capabilities are good, but not as strong as might be expected given Ford’s marketing for it.
The 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor is an eye-catching, well-designed little truck. It’s on the low end for price and the result is a cheaper-feeling interior, but its nearest competitor is several thousand dollars more expensive. We can clearly see why this little truck is so popular and the Tremor package is a nice addition.
Product Page: 2023 Ford Maverick