2023 Ford Maverick XLT Tremor: More Fun than it Should Be
Is there a hotter vehicle right now than the Ford Maverick mini-truck?
It seems that as soon as Ford opens the order banks for a new model year of the popular small pickup, they are having to close them again due to excessive demand that outpaces the plant’s ability to produce these trucks.
We tested a Lariat trim last year and liked it ok, but this year Ford added the Tremor off-road package to the Maverick and made it a little more fun than I had expected.
The Tremor package can be added to either the XLT or Lariat trims, we were supplied with the XLT trim that had cloth seats and an honest-to-goodness real key. No push button start here, you actually needed to take the key from your pocket and insert it into the steering column to start the vehicle, a rarity here in 2023.
This crossover-based, front-wheel-drive-biased pickup left me smiling and laughing more than some other off-road vehicles had. In fact, I tested this the same day as Ram’s insane 702 horsepower TRX and had just as much fun here in this Tremor, albeit in a slightly different manner.
The Tremor takes what worked well with the FX4 off-road version and added revised front and rear bumpers for better approach and departure angles, lifted the suspension by an inch, added orange tow hooks and accents all around, and upgraded the off-road vehicle control software for a fun upgrade that is worth checking out.
I spent the majority of my time driving this off-road in Sand mode and the engineering team has done a lot to make this feel like a real RWD pickup in its driving characteristics. I was able to step the rear end out almost at will when mashing the throttle which made me smile every time. It is impressive the way in which this FWD-biased platform acts in the sand.
Otherwise, Ford has improved the off-road dimensions for better approach and departure angles though, with just over 9 inches of ground clearance and a small 4-cylinder engine under the hood, you won’t be rock-crawling the Maverick Tremor in its stock configuration. We were able to take it through some washout areas with great elevation changes as well as up our favorite set of obstacles for a good feel for what the Tremor was capable of. Personally, I would consider the Maverick in its Tremor form over any other trims just because it was comfortable on-road while being fun and capable off-road.
We enjoyed it while we had it, and our family review is forthcoming. Stay tuned.
2023 Ford Maverick XLT Tremor Specs:
2.0L Ecoboost 4-cylinder Engine
277 lb-ft of Torque
8-Speed Automatic Transmission
Full Time 4 Wheel Drive
1 Inch of Increased Height
Off-road Tuned Independent MacPherson Strut Front Suspension with Coil Springs, Twin-tube Hydraulic Shocks, Stabilizer Bars, Aluminum Lower Control Arm, Steel Sub-frame and Cast Knuckle
Off-road Tuned Independent Multi-link Trailing Arm Rear Suspension with Mono-tube Hydraulic Dampers with Hydraulic Rebound Stop, Coil Springs, Stabilizer Bar, Steel Sub-frame and Cast Knuckle
17-inch Machined-face Tarnished Dark Painted Aluminum Wheels with Orange Painted Accent Pocket
235/65R17 Falken Wildpeak A/T Tires
Approach Angle: 30.7º
Breakover Angle: 19.9º
Departure Angle: 22.2º
Ground Clearance: 9.4 inches
Seating for 5
Cloth Seats with Contrasting Stitching and “TREMOR” Logo Embroidered on the Front Seatbacks
Leather and Suede-wrapped Heated Steering Wheel
Analogue Gauge Cluster with Digital Center Display
8-inch SYNC 3 Infotainment Screen with Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Single Zone Climate Control
EPA Fuel Economy 20/24/21 (city/hwy/cmb)
Starting Price: $24,455 (XLT AWD)
Price As Tested: $33,965