Road Test: 2024 Ford Maverick Lariat FWD Hybrid

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by John Faulkner

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05.22.2024


The Most Fuel-Efficient Gas-Powered Pickup You Can Buy

Ford Maverick Hybrid owners will willingly tell you all about their truck, so be prepared to hang-out for a while. As an automotive journalist I do this frequently with the cars I am reviewing as I like to hear real world experiences from people who have put on thousands of miles under different driving and road conditions. Regarding the Maverick Hybrid, I hear nothing but superlatives, including, “the best vehicle I have ever owned.”

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

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
A hybrid hit

Hybrid Power/Efficiency to Love

Clean Fleet Report spent a week in the 2024 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid, powered by a 2.5-Liter gasoline engine that produces 162 horsepower (hp) and a 94kW electric motor, for a total system 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 drives the front wheels through an electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT) to turn 0-60 mph times of about eight seconds.

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
It can haul

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 enables 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 mpg city/33 highway and 37 combined. In 212 miles driving through Southern California, we averaged 44.3 mpg, with the best fuel economy 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. That usually meant electric for in-town or in stop-and-go traffic, and hybrid for on the highway. Fuel economy numbers reported by Clean Fleet Report are non-scientific and represent the reviewer’s driving experience using the dash gauge computer. Your numbers may differ.

Hitting the Road

The Maverick Lariat has a start/stop 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, requiring a look at the dash cluster gauge to know it is time to shift into a gear and take off. The Maverick Hybrid defaults to electric mode on first engagement.

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
A stable road machine

Ford has done a stellar job with its hybrid system. It 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.

No need to push things by asking the Maverick to do something it was not designed to do, but the optional 225/60 Michelin Primacy all-season tires on 18-inch machined face wheels 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 (non-hybrid) with the EcoBoost gasoline engine.

The Ford Maverick has been designed with these drive modes to maximize efficiency and performance as an around-town errand runner, for commuting or for heading out to a national park:

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
A different 4×4
  • Normal: Made for everyday driving. 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 cannot deliver the needed performance in a pinch (such as passing).
  • 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 EcoBoost gasoline engine as it has more horsepower and torque and comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission. For even more fun, the rugged Tremor Off-Road Package is an option for $3,495 and includes such additions as an off-road tuned suspension, front skid plates, a heavy-duty transmission cooler, off-road camera and more.

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
Ready to go to work

The Hybrid tow rating is 2,000 pounds, but the EcoBoost bumps 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, which can haul several sheets of plywood. We tried it and the added 500 pounds did not have a negative effect on cornering and stopping, nor the acceleration of the peppy hybrid engine. A small travel trailer was easily hauled behind the Maverick Hybrid.

The Maverick Hybrid or EcoBoost were not designed to be a heavy-duty work trucks, but are more for the weekend warrior doing DIY projects or used for active lifestyles such as biking and kayaking. For these purposes, it is a viable option to a larger truck or a compact crossover.

Interior: Basic and a Bit Retro

The 2024 Maverick Hybrid comes in three trim levels—XL, XLT and Lariat, with a rugged Tremor for those wanting to get a little dirty. Clean Fleet Report drove the Maverick Lariat that 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.

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
Something old, something new

The 8-inch touchscreen housed the 8-speaker B&O sound system that included AM/FM, SiriusXM, Bluetooth, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, with Sync 3 for voice activated navigation and communications. FordPass Connect offers convenience features such as remote lock/unlock, 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 through the cabin, including on the dash next to the touchscreen, center console tray and door pockets.

The rear is 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 or cup.

Exterior: All Truck

Size-wise, the Maverick really isn’t all that small. It is about 11-inches shorter than the midsize 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 that diminutive truck, as they have nothing in common except for the blue oval on the front grille.

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
Versatility in a big-small package

The Maverick design is all Ford truck, but without the menacing presence that is common with many full-size pickups. The smooth body side panels, sans chrome, black grille, bumpers and trim on the crew cab look great against the optional 18-inch machine-face black aluminum wheels that came standard on the Lariat model we drove. Smaller 17-inch alloy wheels are standard. The Lariat comes with LED headlights, a 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.” After pulling a trailer and hauling a bed-full of sheetrock, the Maverick Hybrid has earned its tough stripes with us. This video, showing the versatility of the Flexbed, is from our friends at Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk, demonstrating it has been designed for multi-purpose use. It may be one of the reasons you consider buying a Maverick.

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, or order any of Ford’s cargo attachments that should cover all needs.

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; the last was the color on our test vehicle.

Convenience and Safety

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
Clever storage in back

The 2024 Maverick Clean Fleet Report tested had 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 (ADAS) includes pre-collision assist with emergency braking.

Pricing

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

XL                $25,410

XLT              $29,410

Lariat           $36,450

Warranties

Hybrid Components – Eight years/100,000 miles

Bumper-to-Bumper – Three years/36,000 miles

Powertrain – Five years/60,000 miles

Roadside Assistance – Five years/60,000 miles

Corrosion – Five years/Unlimited miles

Observations: 2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid Lariat

For a small vehicle, the 2024 Ford Maverick is a big deal, not only for Ford, but consumers. It is a tremendous value with excellent efficiency, plenty of storage space, clever storage options and the utility of a pickup.

2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid
A versatile deal

The XL is a bargain proposition at about $25,000, making it the most affordable and practical pickup on the market. If you need more power, all-wheel drive and additional towing capability, checkout the Maverick EcoBoost.

For many, this will be the first truck they buy, including the “I am not a truck guy” people who will find the versatility and efficiency hard to beat.

If more conveniences and a bit fancier truck is your style, then take a look at the XLT and Lariat models. The Maverick handles smooth and has ample acceleration with either engine option. The high efficiency hybrid engine will turn the “I don’t want to own a hybrid” person into a “What was I thinking?” influencer.

The 2024 Ford Maverick Hybrid can easily slot into the role currently held by a crossover or SUV. It can 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. Do you have a teen headed off to college? Consider handing them the keys to a Maverick Hybrid.

Make sure to opt-in to the Clean Fleet Report newsletter (top right of page) to be notified of all new stories and vehicle reviews.

Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner and Ford.

[See image gallery at cleanfleetreport.com]

Disclosure:

Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.

The post Road Test: 2024 Ford Maverick Lariat FWD Hybrid first appeared on Clean Fleet Report.



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