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2023 Ford Maverick Tremor Up Close: Dirtier and Loving It

The hottest ticket in the truck world for the past year hasn’t been some crazy off-road monster truck or even an electric plug-in beast that can do insane 0-60 mph times and CrabWalk itself sideways around a boulder. No, the must-have truck for 2022 has been the diminutive Ford Maverick. It’s smaller than a Ranger, has better payload capacity than some full-size pickups as well as stellar fuel economy, and it comes at an astonishingly low entry price. All this has made the truck-buying public go nuts for the Maverick, forcing Ford to shut off the order tap, meaning model-year 2022 versions of the truck are essentially sold out just half-way through the year.

Related: 2021 Ford Ranger Video: Tremor Package Shakes Up Off-Road Offerings

Orders are set to start back up this September for the 2023 Maverick, and we’ve had a look at a new trim package for the popular trucklet that should make it even more desirable to the dirt-loving set. The 2023 Maverick Tremor is an off-road-oriented model that builds upon the existing Maverick’s FX4 off-road goodies with some extra bits that should give it even more two-track capability.

We’ve sampled the Tremor Off-Road Package on Ford’s other pickups: You can get it on the Ranger, F-150 and Super Duty trucks. This is the first time that we’ve seen it on the Maverick, however, but it makes sense, given that the Maverick shares its platform with the highly off-road-capable Bronco Sport SUV.

For the Maverick Tremor, Ford borrowed the all-wheel-drive and shorter cooling systems from the Bronco Sport Badlands, combined it with some new suspension components and tires, and created something even more off-road-ready than the Maverick’s FX4 package.

The Tremors Are Subtle

ford-maverick-tremor-2023-04-exterior-grille 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor | Cars.com photo by Leslie Cunningham

Visually, the Tremor is set apart by an exclusive grille design; a different front end that improves the approach angle and incorporates orange tow hooks; a standard skid plate; and black Ford badging, as well. Its headlamps and taillights have also been blacked out, and there’s also a special Tremor badge on the bed quarter panels. The changes add up to an extremely subtle look, but that’s pretty much the case for all Tremor models; if you want crazy, go for a Raptor or raid the aftermarket parts catalogs.

The Tremors are more about adding capability rather than stripe packages, and the ones we’ve driven so far have backed that up in impressive fashion (the Ranger Tremor just might be my favorite version of that mid-size pickup). But if the subtle look just isn’t Tremorizing enough for you, you can opt for the additional Tremor Appearance Package, which adds a gray-painted roof with matching mirror caps and black graphics on the hood and lower body. Ford hasn’t shown it to us yet, but it should be a bit more visually distinctive for those looking for more drama.

Changes to the Tremor’s cabin are also subtle. You get new black seats with orange contrast stitching along with embroidered Tremor logos on the backrests. There are more orange and black accents on the center console, vents and door pulls, differentiating the Tremor’s interior from the XLT or Lariat trims. On the Lariat, you get the blacked-out trim; on the XLT, you retain the orange accents.

A Bronco Sport Badlands With a Bed?

ford-maverick-tremor-2023-08-exterior-rear-angle 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor | Cars.com photo by Leslie Cunningham

The Maverick and the Bronco Sport share a platform, so it makes sense that some of the systems used on the SUV would end up on the Maverick. For example, the twin-clutch, rear-drive AWD system with a differential lock from the Bronco Sport Badlands is more advanced and robust than the one the Maverick usually sports, facilitating a greater degree of off-road prowess, adjustability and control. Add in a transmission cooler, more robust half-shafts and specific suspension tuning that raises the Maverick by an inch, then throw in a new front end that improves the approach angle for off-road obstacles, and you’ve got the formula for a better off-road Maverick.

Lest you think that a Bronco Sport Badlands is just a butched-up Ford Escape with some knobby tires, I can absolutely attest that it can do things in the dirt that will absolutely gobsmack even the most die-hard off-road enthusiasts. From my own experience in one, I’d say it does 80% of what a full-size Bronco can do, and it does it in far more comfort than the full-size Bronco does. If the Maverick Tremor can accomplish that as well, it’ll make an interesting case for itself versus a Ranger Tremor. We’ll reserve this verdict, however, until we’re able to drive a new Maverick Tremor.

Winning on Price Alone?

While we don’t yet have pricing for the 2023 Maverick (orders open next month), if we add the Tremor package price to the sticker of a 2022 Maverick, we can estimate that the starting price for a Maverick Tremor XLT should be about $28,000 (all prices include destination). This is for an XLT with AWD and the requisite turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine; the hybrid model is not available with AWD, and therefore cannot be a Tremor.

Compared to the starting price for a 2022 Ford Ranger Tremor XLT of $43,145 (including destination), the advantage for the Maverick for anyone not needing the Ranger’s far superior towing capacity is clear. It looks like the Tremor is going to be yet another reason for the truck-loving public to go nuts over the new Maverick.

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