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Uh oh, as some critics reassess the Ford Maverick, it seems to be getting lower rankings. Was this tiny truck overrated as it topped lists as the best truck to buy? Are rivals catching up to the competition? Let’s see why the 2023 Ford Maverick dropped to fifth place.

Is the 2023 Ford Maverick a good truck? 

The 2023 Ford Maverick parked in front of a city
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

Yes, the 2023 Ford Maverick is a good truck if you’re looking for something compact, fuel-efficient, and practical. But is the Ford Maverick the best truck for 2023? That depends on what you’re looking for. 

The Maverick doesn’t stack up to mid-size rivals apples to apples. Plus, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is the only rival that matches its size. According to U.S.News, there are a few different options to consider first. 

On the list of the Best Compact Trucks for 2023, the Maverick landed in fifth place with a score of 7.9 out of 10. The 2023 Honda Ridgeline came in first place with a score of 8.4. Also, the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Jeep Gladiator, and Chevy Colorado came ahead of the Maverick. 

While seeing the Maverick dip is surprising, it’s about dang time. It seemed to have a few inflated scores because of its novelty. It returned as one of the firs compact trucks in the market in decades.

Each score is based on reviews by respected automotive critics published online, in newspapers, and magazines. The safety rating, reliability score, performance, comfort, interior, capability, space, tech, build quality, and value are considered. 

What are the potential Maverick problems? 

The 2023 Ford Maverick may have received a lower score because U.S.News considers the towing capacity to be mediocre. When properly equipped with the gas-powered engine and the towing package, the Maverick can only tow up to 4,000 lbs. The Toyota RAV4 can tow 3,500 lbs for comparison’s sake.

However, the Maverick Hybrid can’t be paired with AWD or the towing package. It can only tow up to 2,000 lbs. The Hyundai Santa Cruz and Honda Ridgeline both tow up to 5,000 lbs. The Gladiator and Colorado both tow up to 7,7000 lbs. 

Also, U.S.News lists the small bed as a con. That’s a bit weird because the point of the Maverick is to be small. Plus, we’ve carried bikes, kayaks, and camping gear in the Maverick without much hassle. the bed is slightly larger than what the Hyundai Santa Cruz has to offer.

The Maverick’s bed is 53.3 inches wide and 54.4 inches wide, with 42.6 inches between the wheelhouses. You can access 33.3 cubic feet of cargo space and carry a payload of up to 1,500 lbs. It can haul 4X8 sheets of plywood, dirt bikes, up to 40 bags of mulch, etc. 

Also, the interior quality may be lacking. It includes cheap plastics and other materials that don’t provide an upscale feeling. But that has previously helped truck prices stay low.

What do critics like about the 2023 Maverick? 

A 2023 Ford Maverick hauling bikes
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

The 2023 Ford Maverick is praised for having a low starting price. It has an MSRP of $22,959 but started at $19,995 when it debuted in 2021. The top-spec Maverick trim takes the price up to $28,335. 

Plus, it has peppy, fuel-efficient engines. The Ford Maverick Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in the city and up to 33 mpg on the highway. With the gas-powered engine, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.4 seconds. 

But don’t get too excited about that hybrid engine. Ford is having trouble keeping up with production. Some 2023 orders may get pushed back until 2024 and the hybrid engine is getting dropped.

The interior is spacious, with plenty of storage compartments. However, adjustment controls for drivers are limited, and taller folks may want more knee space. 

While the Maverick may not be as refined as the Hyundai Santa Cruz, tows less than rivals, and doesn’t have the most space, it accomplishes its goals. It’s tiny, practical, and efficient. It might not be living up to its expectations and hype from its exciting debut.