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The cheapest new Ford isn’t an economy car but a small pickup that packs big value. The Maverick compact truck excels in a host of categories. For starters, it’s remarkably affordable. And it’s earning big sales numbers, demonstrating its popularity. Though the Ford Maverick impresses with high reliability and resale value ratings, it has one weakness. See where the Maverick could improve, and learn why there’s still plenty to love about this capable little truck.

The 2023 Maverick stumbles in safety

The 2023 Ford Maverick’s safety ratings are in. They’re not the best, but not terrible, either. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Maverick as “Good” across several safety-related categories, including its overall evaluation. Front crash protections are nearly all “Good.” However, the torso and pelvis protections received “Marginal” and “Acceptable” ratings. Thus, the 2023 Maverick failed to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award.

Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) outlines a concern relating to a Ford recall spanning 2022 and 2023 Maverick models (35,501 trucks). A fire risk is associated with the premature failure of the Maverick’s 2.5-liter HEV and PHEV engines. When these engines fail, fuel vapors or motor oil can seep, accumulating near ignition sources and risking under-hood fires.

The cheapest new Ford still packs plenty of value

The 2024 Ford Maverick Family
The Ford Maverick Family | Ford Motor Company

Despite its potential safety concerns, the Ford Maverick still packs a strong value-proposition punch. Ford sales surged by 2% in August, and the Maverick helped that boost. So far, a whopping 58,425 units of this hot-selling truck have sold year-to-date. Much of its popularity stems from this truck’s affordability. The base MSRP for the 2023 Maverick is only $22,595, and the 2024 model starts at $23,400.

The cheapest new Ford also happens to rate well in quality and reliability. J.D. Power gave the 2023 Maverick an overall “great” score of 82 out of 100, including an 81 in the “Quality & Reliability” category. 

In addition, the 2023 Ford Maverick ranks eighth in Kelley Blue Book’s “Best Resale Value Top 10 for 2023.” The truck retains 61.7% of its value over five years, beating the Subaru Crosstrek and Jeep Wrangler. 

What’s new for the 2024 Ford Maverick?

You can avoid the fire-related recall by choosing a 2024 Ford Maverick. There’s plenty to love about the latest model. It brings all the truck looks, practicality, and feel without the hefty price. Fuel economy is impressive at 27 mpg combined, and this truck is highly capable. The 2024 model has no major changes to its design or options, but that’s OK. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

You’ll have your choice of three trims: XL, XLT, and Lariat. Each offers a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a hybrid system that brings incredible fuel efficiency. For more gusto, consider the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, doubling the 2024 Maverick’s tow rating to 4,000 pounds.

The cheapest new Ford has earned its place as a best-selling small truck. It may have tripped over a hurdle with the safety issue and recall. But it still commands respect across the other important considerations for truck buyers: affordability, reliability, quality, and resale value. And that might be everything you need in a new truck.