2024 Ford Maverick XLT AWD

Small pickups are gaining in popularity. Even though they’re little, they can still do a lot of truck-like things but get better fuel efficiency and have a smaller price tag. The 2024 Ford Maverick is tinier than its siblings, the Ranger and F-150, but can still haul and tow and even do some off-roading. It’s a decent offering for anyone who wants the practicality of a truck but with a smaller footprint and the handling of a crossover.

Base Price: $26,315
As Tested: $34,735
Horsepower: 250
Mileage: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined

The Maverick was introduced for the 2022 model year with the same unibody platform as the Escape and Bronco Sport. The name Maverick was recycled from Ford’s compact car in the 1970s. The Tremor Off-Road package was added for 2023. For 2024, the engine options are switched with the previously standard hybrid offered as an option, and the previously optional turbocharged four is now the standard engine.

The 2024 Maverick comes in three trims: XL, XLT and Lariat. Starting prices range from $23,815 to $34,855. All three trims come as a four-door crew cab with a 4.5-foot bed. There’s room for five passengers in two rows of seating.

Two powertrains are available. The standard engine is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, paired with eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. There’s also an optional hybrid powertrain with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor with a combined output of 191 horses and 155 pound-feet. The hybrid gets a continuously variable transmission and comes standard with front-wheel drive; AWD is not available.

My tester has the turbo. Acceleration is peppy with little turbo lag and there’s plenty of oomph for merging and passing at freeway speeds. The Maverick feels surefooted on curvy roads although there is some body roll. The steering is a bit numb but the brakes are responsive. The eight-speed shifts quickly and smoothly. The ride is rather firm but not jarring. With its compact size and small turning radius, the Maverick is easy to squeeze into tight parking spots. Visibility is good all the way around. Overall, while the Maverick is not thrilling to drive, it’s easy and pleasant and handles much like a crossover, due to the Maverick’s unibody design.

Despite its petite size, the Maverick has decent payload and towing capabilities. When properly equipped, it can haul up to 1,500 pounds in the bed. The Maverick can tow 2,000 pounds or up to 4,000 pounds with AWD and the 4K Tow Package. The bed has 26 cubic feet of storage and comes with a multi-function tailgate, a FlexBed storage system with a couple storage cubbies, and several tie-down cleats. There’s also a 12-volt power outlet and an optional 110-volt outlet.

Fuel economy is great for a compact pickup. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with a combined rating of 25. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. The hybrid does even better at 43 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with a combined rating of 37.

The cabin is not upscale but it’s pleasant and practical. Yes, there are a lot of hard plastics but they have different textures and shapes so don’t look too low-rent. An infotainment system with an eight-inch screen is standard on all trims.

Since it’s a crew cab, there are four full-size doors. Passengers in the front row have plenty of leg- and headroom. The second row isn’t as spacious but two average-size adults will be fine. There are many storage bins and cubbies so passengers have plenty of places to stash smaller items from beverages to laptops and tablets. And there’s a handy storage area for larger items under the rear bench seat. 

Standard features include remote keyless entry, rearview camera, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, air conditioning, 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster display, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic high-beam headlights, and FordPass Connect (lets you use your smartphone to lock, unlock and start the vehicle).

Available features include proximity keyless entry, remote start, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, 6.5-inch digital instrument cluster display, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, eight-speaker B&O premium audio system, satellite radio, navigation, two additional USB ports, wireless device charging, sliding rear window, two household-style power outlets, ambient LED interior lighting, and a moonroof.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking.

Available driver assistance technologies include lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, lane-centering assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.

The infotainment system is Ford’s Sync 3. It’s not the most up-to-date system but it’s user-friendly with logically arranged menus, decent graphics and snappy response times to touch and voice commands. Several physical controls make it easy to adjust audio and climate settings. However, in bright sunlight the screen can be tough to see due to glare.

The Maverick’s main competitor is the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz, the only other compact pickup. There are a number of midsize pickups including the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma, and the Maverick’s sibling, the Ford Ranger.

The good:

Two peppy powertrains including a hybrid

Crossover-like handling

Snappy acceleration

Easy to drive

Practical and versatile

Excellent fuel economy

Roomy, comfortable interior

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Cabin is not upscale

Can’t tow or haul as much as a conventional pickup

Pricing info:

My testers starts at $26,315. Equipment Group 300A is $2,200 and includes 17-inch painted Aluminum wheels, painted gray grille bar, navy pier and medium slate interior with orange accents, power exterior side-view mirrors, power locking tailgate, and FLEXBED with one rear cubby storage and 10 pickup box tie-downs. The FX4 Off-road Package is $800. The 4K Tow Package and full size spare tire are $745. The XLT Luxury Package is $2,275 and includes a power eight-way driver seat, and bedliner modular hard drop-in. The Ford Co-Pilot360 is $650 and includes blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping system and driver attention monitoring. Floor liners without carpeted mats are $135. Destination fee is $1,595 bringing the grand total to $34,735.

Bottom line:

The 2024 Ford Maverick may be little but is capable and practical. It is easy to drive with its crossover-like handling and has a comfortable and roomy interior. It’s a great option if you want a small truck with good value and utility as well as excellent fuel efficiency.

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