The Ford Maverick is a breath of fresh air, a welcome reprieve from the hulking, high-priced trucks that are all too common these days. Ford’s pint-sized pickup is no bigger than a compact car and it only costs about $25,000 out of the box. But this is a truck, tiny as it may be, so it does need to be rugged.

Enter the Tremor, which looks like a Maverick went on a spending spree at REI. It's adorable. The Tremor has orange accents on the wheels and grille, Tremor stickers on the tailgate, extra cladding, and orange tow hooks in the bumper. But it's more than just a visual package.

Quick Specs 2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Lariat
Engine Turbo 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output 250 Horsepower / 277 Pound-Feet
Weight 3,807 Pounds
Towing 2,000 Pounds
Price $34,275 (Base) / $40,125 (As-Tested)
2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Review

The Maverick Tremor gets many of the same goodies as its big brother, the F-150 Tremor. Ford’s smallest Tremor has a 0.8-inch lift, knobby Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, a steel skid plate, an updated suspension with better articulation, and dedicated off-road modes bolstered by an electronic locking rear diff.

But is it actually capable? To an extent. A not-too-technical wildlife management area near me with some rutted dirt roads felt like a good place for the Maverick Tremor to stretch its legs.

The updated suspension absorbs bumps better than the base setup and helps keep the body under control. It's nice and compliant on a rock-littered road. If you get up under the truck’s body, you'll even see the hydraulic bump stop shocks at each corner for when the going gets really tough.

The 9.4 inches of ground clearance puts the Maverick Tremor higher than the base Bronco Sport (8.8 inches) and higher than Subaru's Forester Wilderness (9.2 inches). And the approach angle is pretty darn good at 30.4 degrees. But the 19.9 degrees on breakover and 22.2 degrees on departure are just okay. You'll have to sacrifice some off-road prowess in the name of a long wheelbase and a 4.5-foot bed.

2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Review
Pros: Off-Road Upgrades With Genuine Capability, Cute As Heck, Comfortable Ride

But when combined with a front skid plate and extra cladding, the Maverick Tremor has enough clearance for me to dip the unibody truck into deeper ruts confidently. The all-terrain tires are grippy as heck and the locking rear diff in any of the dedicated off-road modes offers enough traction for the Mav to keep from getting stuck in shallow obstacles.

I was still hesitant to take the Maverick Tremor through some of the deeper puddles and softer mud, though. The Maverick is unusually long at 199.7 inches. That lends to its poor breakover and departure angles and makes it a prime candidate for scraping the underbody and bed on the way out of a trickier obstacle. Or not making it out of said obstacle at all.

2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Review
2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Review

The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine feels punchy. It makes 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque and gives off a cute whoosh on heavy throttle—but it's not a thrilling powertrain otherwise. The same goes for the eight-speed automatic. It's anonymous at best but at least it's not a CVT.

Frankly, the Maverick is way more fun on the dirt than it is on the pavement. The ride is comfortable on the highway but body movements are vague, the cabin is loud, and the driver's seat ergonomics are all out of whack. I had a hard time getting comfortable with the weirdly offset gas and brake pedals and the limited steering adjustability.

2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Review
Cons: Pricey With Lariat Trim, Cheap Interior, Loud On The Road

The faux leather seats are pretty comfy, at least, with eight-way power adjustability and lumbar support on this Lariat trim—one of the few “premium” features in the entire cabin. Otherwise, the interior isn’t home to upscale materials.

Hard plastics cover most surfaces and much of the trim looks and feels cheap. But the interior layout is nice, with plenty of pockets for larger water bottles, sunglasses, and such. And for a sub-$30,000 starting price, cheaper interior materials are to be expected.

But here's where it gets tricky—this Maverick Tremor costs $40,125 as tested. Not exactly cheap.

The Tremor package is a $3,495 option and you can get it on the XLT or the Lariat. But on the XLT, Ford forces you into its Co-Pilot 360 safety system and tacks on the price of four-wheel drive, bringing the total cost of the Tremor package to $6,365 on the XLT. The cheapest Maverick Tremor XLT is $34,275 and that comes with cloth seats.

2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Review

The Maverick Tremor is even less of a bargain at $40,000, especially when you remember the body-on-frame Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss exists, which is now significantly cheaper for 2024. The Trail Boss starts at $39,390 and it has a punchier powertrain (310 hp) and more off-road capability.

But for the occasional weekend warrior, the Ford Maverick Tremor is plenty capable. It’s arguably more comfortable than the Chevy on the road, too. It looks cute too, and if you opt for the XLT model, you can still sneak in under $35,000, if you’re willing to part ways with faux leather seats.

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Gallery: 2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Review

2024 Ford Maverick Tremor Lariat

Engine Turbocharged 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output 250 Horsepower / 277 Pound-Feet
Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic
Drive Type All-Wheel Drive
Weight 3,807 Pounds
Efficiency 20 City / 24 Highway / 21 Combined
Seating Capacity 5
Towing 2,000 Pounds
Payload 1,200 Pounds
Cargo Volume 33.3 Cubic Feet
Base Price $34,275
As-Tested Price $40,125
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