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7 thoughts about the 2024 Ford Maverick Tremor

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7 thoughts about the 2024 Ford Maverick Tremor

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I was the first person on the Autoblog staff to lay eyes on the 2022 Ford Maverick. True story. The story repeats itself with the Tremor: When Ford debuted the package, I was there. But in the years since, I’ve yet to actually drive one. It’s a weird quirk of the occupation; sometimes you just end up with an unanticipated blind spot. So when this 2024 Ford Maverick Tremor showed up for a weekend, I was excited to finally get some time with it in the real world.

The fact that it was a Tremor was almost secondary. It’s a cool package. You get a revised suspension with an inch more ground clearance, revised bumpers for improved approach and departure angles, upgraded underbody protection and a trick new rear differential borrowed from the Badlands model of the Maverick’s close cousin, the Bronco Sport. But I had the entirety of the Maverick to get caught up on, so you’ll have to forgive me for mixing in some thoughts on the greater Maverick lineup, rather than the Tremor alone. Without further ado, here they are. 

1. It’s expensive

We’ve had this complaint about virtually everything built on Ford’s updated compact platform since it was pressed into service back in 2019. From the Escape to the Bronco Sport and now the Maverick, these cars all get downright expensive once you start adding options. Remember when the base Maverick was $20,000? No longer, and this Lariat-based Tremor nearly doubles the Maverick Hybrid’s original price, checking in at about $38,500 after destination and options.

That’s still cheaper than the average transaction price of a new car, but it’s about a thousand less than the mid-spec Ranger XLT 4×4 and a couple grand cheaper than the lowest-spec F-150 with four-wheel drive. That said, it looks good. Despite its off-road pretensions, the Tremor’s aesthetics put it squarely in “pretty truck” territory. I doubt these will be popular with handymen. 

2. But the interior is still quite cheap

On the subject of cheapness, there aren’t many cars sold in 2024 that I can reasonably compare to my 2011 Jeep Wrangler when it comes to cabin quality. Maverick is one of them, unquestionably. The interior design is certainly more interesting than my decade-old Mopar’s, but it’s obvious that cost drove much of the decision-making here. Even with fewer than 1,000 miles on this tester, the door cards and other high-traffic touchpoints are showing some wear and tear. Dirt and scuffs really stand out on the blue plastic. 

3. It feels like a truck

It’s obvious that Ford’s engineers expected pushback from customers who wouldn’t see the Maverick as a “real” truck if it drove like what it is — a high-riding unibody compact. A concerted effort was made to keep the Maverick as truck-like as possible and it shows. It feels and sounds a bit rough around the edges, and there’s obvious noise and vibration cues that tell you you’re driving something practical, rather than something luxurious. Fortunately, the tricks they used (one senses the strategic omission of sound deadening here) help keep the Maverick cheap to build. 

4. But it sounds like a truck

The flip side is that it sounds like a truck, which is to say, it doesn’t really sound like much, which is a shame, because this platform’s predecessors have included some solid exhaust notes. Focus ST and RS, anybody? But unfortunately, the 2.0T’s exhaust doesn’t sound like much. There’s a growl when you get on it, but it’s no match for Ford’s C-segment enthusiast cars of old. 

5. It would make a fun Mini Truck

Given its less-utilitarian underpinnings, the Maverick could be a solid canvas for building a modern Mini Truck. The platform itself can certainly support a performance model — just look at the aforementioned hot Focuses — and both the Tremor and its sibling, the Bronco Sport Badlands, already come with trick rear differentials. It would be cool to see a factory model that ditches the Tremor’s off-road pretensions for something a little more low-slung and corner-carving — and maybe with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost? I’ll even settle for a PHEV. 

6. It’s a great utility vehicle

The Tremor may be the wrong trim to buy if you’re looking for practicality, but that doesn’t mean it’s deficient in that regard. Our tester came with all the utilitarian bells and whistles, from integrated power to all the fancy bed expansion features. It’ll still do all of the truck things any other Maverick will do, only with a little more panache. 

7. But it’s a poor replacement for a Focus

As cool the Maverick is, the Focus was an excellent compact hatchback (last-gen automatic transmission issues notwithstanding) on a stellar platform. This is bigger (in every dimension), heavier and nowhere near as fun to drive. Nobody expects even a small pickup truck to carve corners, but Ford hasn’t exactly left us with any worthy alternatives. The best-handling five-door in a Ford showroom is probably a stripper Escape or Bronco Sport. 

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