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First Drive: 2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid — The Most Fuel Efficient Pickup You Can Buy

by | May 22, 2024

The 2024 Ford Maverick is the perfect mixture of fuel economy and value.

The Ford Maverick is striving to be the ultimate jack of all trades.

The 2024 Ford Maverick is a big deal, not only for Ford but also consumers. It is a tremendous value with excellent efficiency, clever storage options, and the utility of a pickup that can seat five adults.

The XL is a bargain proposition at about $25,000, making it the most affordable and practical pickup on the market. 

The enjoyment of driving the 2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid starts with its stellar fuel economy, but this doesn’t even begin to explain the versatility Ford has built into this compact pickup. 

Hybrid Power and Efficiency 

Maverick’s exterior styling is simple but refined no matter what trim level you choose.

The 2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter gasoline engine that produces 162 horsepower (hp) and when combined with the 94kW electric motor there is a total system output of 191 hp. The gasoline engine’s 155 pound-feet of torque (lb-ft) is boosted by the electric motor, at peak, contributing 173 lb-ft of torque. All this is driving the front wheels through an electronic continuously variable transmission, or eCVT, to turn 0-60 mph times at about 8 seconds. 

 An eCVT is not like a traditional CVT as it has no pulleys or belts but a simple planetary gear set and two electric motors. One motor is for driving power, while the other is to start the engine, charge the battery, and provides the regenerative braking that converts kinetic energy into electric energy and stores it in the battery when applying the brakes or coasting. 

The EPA has rated the 2024 Maverick Hybrid fuel economy at 42 city/33 highway and 37 miles combined. In 212 miles of driving through Southern California, we averaged 44.3 mpg, with the best fuel economy being observed on an all-city 55-mile run where the average was a stellar 46.3 mpg. This was achieved by the computer seamlessly switching between all-electric and hybrid operation in response to drive demands and conditions, which usually meant electric for in-town or in stop-and-go traffic, and hybrid for on the highway. Fuel economy numbers reported are non-scientific and represent the reviewer’s driving experience using the dash gauge computer. Your numbers may differ. 

Cruising Time 

The Maverick Lariat has a Start button, while the XL and XLT trim levels have an old-school key. Pushing the Start button does not turn on the engine unless you are in extremely hot or cold weather and have the heater or A/C on. What you hear is nothing at all as the Maverick Hybrid defaults to electric mode on first engagement. 

 Ford has done a stellar job with their hybrid system that is so completely seamless and efficient, it begs the question why all Ford (and Lincoln) models don’t have it at least as an option. 

The Maverick Hybrid, at 3,674 pounds, felt solid and stable on the highway, handled well under moderate cornering that produced little body lean. The Michelin Primacy all-season tires performed well, handling stops confidently with the 4-wheel ABS disc brakes. The electric power steering was properly tuned to feel connected to the road, making for a fun drive that is more similar to a crossover than a truck. All of this resulted in minimal cabin noise. 

The Maverick Hybrid is not available with all-wheel drive, so if going off-road is necessary then opt for the Maverick with the EcoBoost gasoline engine. The Ford Maverick has been designed as an around-town errand runner, for commuting, or for heading out to a national park, with drive modes to maximize efficiency and performance. 

  • Normal: Made for everyday driving and is where we spent almost all of our time 
  • Eco: This mode monitors changes in shifts and speeds, then adjusts the engine and transmission performance to help maximize fuel efficiency. Our experience with Eco drive modes is they are great for when cruising on the open road, but can not deliver the needed performance in a pinch 
  • Sport: The name is a bit optimistic, but this mode increases accelerator pedal response, provides a sportier steering feel, and holds onto lower gears longer, helping for faster acceleration 

If you opt for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost non-hybrid engine, the available FX4 Off-Road Package adds these additional drive modes, which work by engaging the AWD lock: 

  • Mud & Ruts: This mode enhances vehicle performance to traverse muddy, rutted or uneven terrains 
  • Sand: For off-road driving on soft, dry sand or deep snow 
  • Tow/Haul: Helps control when towing and hauling 
  • Slippery: This mode lowers the throttle response and optimizes shifting for slippery surfaces such as wet and icy roads, or where a firm surface is covered with loose, wet or slippery material. 

Hauling and Towing 

If towing and going off-road are in your plans, consider the Maverick with the 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine that puts out 250 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of torque and comes equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Here you can get all-wheel drive and additional towing capability. 

 For even more fun the rugged Tremor Off-Road Package is an option for $3,495 and includes such additions as off-road tuned suspension, front skid plates, a heavy-duty transmission cooler, off-road camera, and many more. 

 The Hybrid tow rating is 2,000 pounds but the EcoBoost bumps it up to 4,000 pounds when equipped with the Tow Package ($745.) Regardless of the power plant all Mavericks have a 1,500-pound maximum payload in the 4.5-foot bed and can haul several sheets of plywood and tow a small travel trailer. 

Neither the Maverick Hybrid nor the EcoBoost are designed to be heavy-duty work trucks, Instead they target the weekend warrior home-owner doing DYI projects, or to be used for active lifestyles for activities such as biking and kayaking. For these purposes it is a viable option to a larger truck or a compact crossover. 

Interior: Simplicity 

Ford Maverick backup camera

Ford Maverick interior focuses on simplicity and versatility.

The 2024 Maverick Hybrid comes in three trim levels: XL, XLT, and Lariat, with a rugged Tremor Off-Road Package also being available for those wanting to play in the dirt, sand, and mud. Our test Maverick Lariat came with power windows and door locks, floor liners ($135), single-zone manual climate control with a particulate air filter, and 12V and USB ports. 

The 8-inch touchscreen is paired with an 8-speaker B&O sound system that includes AM/FM, SiriusXM, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, with Sync 3 for voice-activated navigation and communications. FordPass Connect offers convenience features such as remote lock and unlock for the doors, remote keyless entry, and engine start. 

The seats in the Maverick Lariat are covered in a durable and comfortable cloth, with heated front seats and the driver getting 8-way power adjustments. The front cabin can easily accommodate those over six feet tall, with ample headroom. The center armrest has a soft vinyl surface and opens for storage, and there are storage nooks throughout the cabin including on the dash next to the touchscreen, center console tray, and door pockets. 

The rear is a bit cozier, but the bench seat is perfectly fine for three adults on short in-town trips, or attaching two child seats and making the Maverick a haul-around-the-kids-and-run-errands daily driver. There is rear under-seat storage, and a clever design on the front doors to accommodate a large drink bottle. 

Exterior: Truck All The Way 

Ford Maverick embraces Built Ford Truck philosophy.

Size-wise, the Maverick really isn’t all that small. It is about 11 inches shorter than the mid-size Ford Ranger, and 1 inch longer than the Ford Explorer SUV. Once upon a time, there was the Ford Courier (1972 – 2007) that was a true compact pickup, but don’t confuse or equate the 2024 Maverick with this diminutive truck, as they have nothing in common except for the blue oval on the front grille. 


The Maverick design is all Ford truck but without being menacing which is common from many full-size pickups. The smooth body side panels, sans chrome, sleek black grille, bumpers, and trim on the crew cab looking great against the 18-inch machine-face black aluminum wheels that came standard on the Lariat model we drove. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard. The Lariat comes with LED headlights, full-size spare, heated exterior power mirrors, LED box lighting, trailer hitch with a 4-pin connector, bed tie-down locking rails, spray-in bed liner, power rear sliding window, heated and vinyl-wrapped steering wheel, and a 400W inverter. 

Ford says the Maverick is “Built Ford Tough”, and after pulling a trailer and hauling a bed full of sheetrock, the Maverick Hybrid has earned its tough stripes. 

The Maverick is 68.7 inches tall, which is just over five foot seven inches, so at five foot nine inches I was able to look over the cab. This lack of bigness is what will make the Maverick so appealing, as it will fit in a garage, six-footers can easily sit in the front and rear seats, and a big plus is being able to reach over the cargo box sides and touch the bed floor. If you have ever needed to off-load or tie down anything on a midsize or full-size pickup, you will appreciate the approximate 50-inch box height. 

The box itself has some handy features such as being able to position the tailgate flat or at an angle, 10 tie-downs, four D-link bed connectors, slots to drop-in a 2’ X 4’ to raise the floor above the wheel wells, an in-box storage compartment, and LED lighting. On the base XL, there is no power in the bed, so stepping up to the XLT and Lariat means there will be the opportunity to power generators, lights, and other equipment with the 400W inverter and a 120V outlet. There are built-in threaded holes to create your own cargo-hauling system. 

The Maverick has exterior color options of Iconic Silver Metallic, Carbonized Grey Metallic, Shadow Black, Hot Pepper Red Metallic, Oxford White, Atlas Blue Metallic, Azure Gray Metallic Tri-coat, and Cactus Grey, with the last the color on our test vehicle. 

Convenience and Safety 

The 2024 Maverick has standard or optional convenience features of a tilt and telescoping steering column, electric parking brake, remote keyless entry and start, a tire pressure monitoring system, a theft deterrent system, power tailgate lock, and a wireless phone charging pad. 

Safety systems include wiper-activated LED headlamps, rear view camera, seven airbags (front, side, driver knee, and overhead) and Ford Co-Pilot360. This advanced driver assist system, or ADAS, includes the pre-collision assist with emergency braking. 


The 2024 Maverick Hybrid comes in these models. Prices include the mandatory $1,595 destination and delivery fee.  

  • XL  $25,410 
  • XLT $29,410 
  • Lariat $36,450


 Hybrid Components 8 years/100,000 miles 

Bumper-to-Bumper  3 years/36,000 miles 

Powertrain 5 years/60,000 miles 

Roadside Assistance 5 years/60,000 miles 

Corrosion 5 years/Unlimited miles 

Observations: 2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid Lariat 

Ford Maverick Hybrid owners willingly will tell you all about their truck, but be prepared to hang out for a while. Hearing real-world experiences from people that have put on thousands of miles under different driving and road conditions always come back with glowing ownership stories. Regarding the Maverick Hybrid, there are nothing but superlatives, including “the best vehicle I have ever owned.” 

For many, this is the first truck they will buy, which includes the “I am not a truck guy” people that will find the versatility and efficiency hard to beat. The Maverick Hybrid can easily slot into the role currently held by a crossover or SUV. It will be a light-duty delivery vehicle, used by ranchers or farmers needing an inexpensive runabout, outdoor enthusiasts, and households wanting a versatile DIY project vehicle. 

John Faulkner has 40 years of experience branding, launching and marketing automobiles at each of the Detroit Three as well as several Japanese brands. Faulkner is the Road Test Editor/Senior Writer at Clean Fleet Report, and is a journalist member of the Motor Press Guild and Western Automotive Journalists.


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