2023 Ford Maverick Tremor

PHOENIX — The Maverick has been nothing but a blockbuster smash hit since it was introduced by Ford in 2021. It’s won numerous “Best of” awards since including the prestigious 2022 North American Truck of the Year honors. Consumer demand now has Maverick the number two truck seller at Ford behind the F-150 and ahead of the Ranger. 

The Maverick is in such high demand, Ford Authority reports, the company probably  won’t be able to fill the thousands of customer orders, some who have been waiting for as long as 18 months. In fact, Ford won’t even take orders until at least October.

Still, all that demand hasn’t deterred Ford from adding the Tremor Off-Road Package that adds $3,000 to the already affordable price of the Maverick, while the Tremor Appearance Package is an extra $1,495. Ford already offers Tremor editions for the mid-size Ranger, the F-150 and its Super Duty trucks.

Ford sent us the Maverick Tremor that’s only offered for the upper XLT and Lariat models with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250-hp, 277 lb.ft torque) and all-wheel-drive for a week of testing. Tremors also get five selectable drive modes and Trail Control, which works like cruise control for off-road crawling, with the vehicle handling throttle and brake inputs to maintain a steady speed on challenging terrain. The system also adds a twin-clutch locking rear differential.

We were also impressed that Ford did more than just add the superficial Tremor Appearance package that adds black exterior graphics about the hood and lower body and, a gray-painted roof (something we’d skip), there’s the standard steel skid plate incorporated into the front bumper that allows for a nine degree steeper approach angle than the standard 21 degree over other all-wheel-drive Mavericks. It also receives a one-inch lift for a total of 9.4 inches of ground clearance.

The Maverick Tremor is shod with aggressively knobby 30-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires aiding in its capability to tackle rocky off-road trails, inclines, sand, mud and deep ruts. There’s a Trail Control feature that will automatically adjust both accelerator and brakes maintaining a set speed.

However Maverick Tremor is not in the same class as a Jeep Gladiator or even its Ranger sibling. It won’t handle seriously rugged off-roading or extreme trail routes. Still, it can handle the off roading most owners might otherwise avoid.

We did our off-road testing in Arizona at the Butcher Jones State Park in Maricopa County where we did engage it in deep sandy dry riverbeds, moderate off-road trails, some fairly aggressive inclines and declines all satisfactorily. One drawback is the transmission can’t be shifted manually so we limited our driving challenges. Further, Maverick’s stability control system can’t really be turned off.

We spent most of our time with the Tremor on dry paved roads that returned an impressively smooth, solid ride with a generally quiet cabin except when heavy acceleration elicited a rather loud, coarse engine noise. We were also impressed with the acceleration and passing performance on the highway.

On the downside, the Tremor package oddly lowers other Mavericks towing and hauling capabilities with a 300-pound payload rating decrease to 1,200 pounds and while other Maverick all-wheel-drive models can pull up to 4000 pounds with the 4K Tow package Ford doesn’t offer it on the Tremor, so it’s limited to just 2000 pounds.

Overall, the Maverick Tremor is a sensational vehicle especially given its bargain price of under $35,000 MSRP including a $1,495 shipping cost. Amazing since the average price of a new car today is nearly $50,000. Kudos to Ford for building such a vehicle at a bargain price. Unfortunately, unless you have the time to wait or are willing to pay an over MSRP “Market Adjustment” increase it’s doubtful one will end up in your garage.

Vital Stats

Base Price: $24,455
Price as Tested: $34,247
Engine/Transmission: 2.0-Liter 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and All-Wheel-Drive.
EPA Fuel Economy: 20/24/21 MPG City/Highway/Combined
Seats: 5

Crash Test Safety Rating: Overall four out of five star possible safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Where Built: Hermosillo, Mexico

Tremor Package an absolute winner
Bargain off-road daily driver
Rugged good looks

Nearly impossible to get
Hauling and towing ratings decrease
Unable to shift automatic transmission manually

— Jim Prueter