2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid - Just about the right size (for me).

I reviewed a 2023 Maverick earlier this year, a non-hybrid Lariat Tremor, so I've had some time to let the Maverick concept (is it an SUV, a truck, or a car) simmer. I've come to the conclusion that it is a 4-door Ranchero. Whether it's underpinnings are car, SUV, or truck really doesn't matter. I really like Rancheros, I've owned a handful or more. I'm not sure about the styling, and in some ways I'd prefer a 2-door but the 4-door is more people versatile while a 2-door would be more cargo useful. 

By the numbers this Maverick is 197.7" long on a wheelbase of 121.1", 72.6" (83.5" mirror to mirror) wide, and 68.7" tall. It is bigger than it looks. 

The bed measurements are important if you're going to use it as a truck. It is 54.4" long, a width between the wheel housings of 42.6" (that 4X8 sheet of plywood will need to sit on top of the wheel housings), and the tailgate lift-in is 30.1".

The payload capacity is 1,500 lbs, or two of me and a half ton of cargo (with a bit left over). Towing capacity is 2,000 lbs., not a lot but adequate.

Powering this Maverick is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that produces 162 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque combined with the electric motor for a total of 191 hp. A CVT is the only transmission available on the hybrid.

The fuel economy advantage goes to the hybrid, especially around town. City is 42-mpg and highway is 33-mpg. It all depends on the heft of your right foot; take it easy and the Maverick Hybrid depends mostly on electric power whereas out on the highway power delivery is skewed towards the internal combustion engine. Hybrids and electrics tend to make me have a light foot so my around town figures were close to those from the EPA.

The inside is very mono-chromatic, and I like it as long as it isn't white. And it isn't. I had no real complaints about the interior except for the placement of the starter pushbutton. It's more my problem because I drive so many different vehicles but I do wish they would standardize the spot, or at least put it where it is visible. 

One little design feature did bug me. The floor is two inches below the door sill. Back when I lived in the land of snow floorboards where some of the first corrosion spots - in the winter you'd bring in snow and it would melt, seep through the carpet, stay there forever and eventually rust through. Now I know that today's materials are more resistant to corrosion but if you live where it snows buy some of those floor mats that will hold gallons of water. 

I'm really not taken with the styling. I think there was an effort to make the Maverick look like its big brothers. I guess that's why I like Rancheros, they don't look like a truck. I will say I think it looks better in a more vibrant color, maybe Hot Pepper Red Metallic or Atlas Blue Metallic.

I think the Maverick is a good size truck for someone like me, someone who now and then heads to the lumber store, or maybe needs an engine moved, but who also likes things on the cushy side (not that the Maverick is ultra cushy). 

A 2024 Maverick Lariat equipped like this 2023 lists for $38,195. If you can find a 2023 it should be less. The least expensive 2024 Maverick, an XL, starts at $23,400, while the top of the line Lariat starts at $34,855. If I had the money I'd opt for the middle XLT with the 250 hp, 2-liter EcoBoost. 

If you think a Maverick might be for you don't wait, head over to your Ford dealer and try one out. I think you'll like it. It's comfortable, frugal, and versatile.

To answer the question posed in the first paragraph - is it an SUV, a truck, or a car - the answer is yes. The Ford Maverick is whatever you want it to be.


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