Small pickups like Maverick are an emerging trend

Maverick, the least expensive vehicle in the Detroit automaker’s portfolio

The 2024 Ford Maverick pickup has a bed spacious enough to carry furniture and building supplies.

The 2024 Ford Maverick pickup has a bed spacious enough to carry furniture and building supplies.

2024 Ford Maverick XLT FWD

An age-old axiom states that if you drive a pickup truck, you’re everyone’s friend. Especially when it’s time to lug that friend’s belongings across town. Remember last year’s unveiling of Ford’s smallest pickup? Available in three trims – XL, XLT and Lariat – the Maverick is based on the Ford Escape crossover.

All Mavericks are crew cabs with four large doors and an almost roomy backseat. More good news: Ford has lovingly equipped the Maverick with an abundance of storage cubbies and bins in the cabin and under the rear seat.

A look from the driver's seat in the 2024 Ford Maverick XL pickup shows all the gadgets and screens within the driver's reach.

A look from the driver’s seat in the 2024 Ford Maverick XL pickup shows all the gadgets and screens within the driver’s reach.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the bare-bones XL model, with the lowest price of the three trim levels, is an undeniably good work truck. While far from luxurious, the XL model features a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and adjustable lumbar support for the front seats. Notable options include SiriusXM satellite radio, an upgraded B&Play stereo system, and wireless smartphone charging. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system paired with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on all Maverick trims.

The more luxurious XLT is a step up in equipment level, adding 17-inch aluminum wheels, cruise control, an electric tailgate lock and power exterior mirrors with a built-in flashing icon that lights up like a church on Sundays when an overtaking vehicle approaches. your blind spot. Additional features that come standard or as part of option packages on XLT and Lariat trims include dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient interior lighting and power-adjustable front seats.

Upgrading to a hybrid costs just $1,500, positioning Maverick as the least expensive hybrid on the market, with the fuel economy of a hybrid compact SUV and the drivability of a full-size hatchback.

The standard power package is Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo, complete with an 8-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The I-4 engine’s 0 to 60 mph elapsed time is 5.9 seconds. Equipped with the optional towing package, a turbocharged Maverick workhorse can haul up to 4,000 pounds, or carry a payload of 1,500 pounds in its compact cargo box.

A 2.5-liter hybrid (FWD only) with automatic continuously variable transmission is optional on all trims. Estimated mileage is an enviably good 42/33 mpg city/highway. The elapsed time from 0 to 100 km/h is 7.6 seconds. While the Maverick Hybrid can tow 1,500 pounds in its bed, the reduced towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.

At a glance

What: 2024 Ford Maverick XLT FWD

Wheelbase: 121.1 inches

Empty weight: £3,720

Power plant: I-4 2.0 liter turbocharged

Horsepower: 250 @5,500 rpm

Transfer: 8-speed automatic

Mileage: 22-23/29-30 mpg city/highway

Loading box width: 4.5 feet

Highway range: 410 miles

Basic price: $25,410

As tested: $32,470

Maverick’s 1.20 meter long loading floor can accommodate as many as 18 sheets of plywood measuring 1.20 by 2.5 meters without stacking them diagonally upright. The bed is equipped with a 12 volt DC outlet with an optional 110 volt AC outlet.

Granted, Maverick’s suspension rides stiff. In my defense, it is a truck after all. But it becomes considerably smoother when loaded with hundreds of pounds of stuff in the bed, which strains the shock absorbers and springs. All-wheel drive is optional, although only with the gas engine. You will need AWD on a boat ramp because of the better traction on slippery surfaces.

Limited warranty coverage is for three years or 60,000 miles, while powertrain warranty coverage is five years or 60,000 miles. Finally, raising an eyebrow, the warranty on hybrid components covers eight years or 100,000 miles.

Automotive journalist Tim Banse wrote The Gazette’s Motoring Car Review column from 1989 to 2013 and published stories in Popular Mechanics and Yachting magazine. He has visited factory floors of automakers in the U.S. and Japan and raced cars at press events at Riverside, Watkins Glen and Michigan International Raceway. He’s been so close to a crash test that he felt the shock wave bounce off his chest. His first car was a vintage ’56 Chevy Bel Air.