Consumer Reports Finally Found a Pickup Truck It liked More Than the Honda Ridgeline

Consumer Reports has pretty strict rules for what makes the cut and what doesn’t. Because of these rules, pickup trucks rarely do well on their rating scale. However, for years, the Honda Ridgeline has impressed CR reviewers more than any other pickup truck. The 2023 Ford Maverick and Maverick Hybrid have supplanted Honda’s foray into pickup trucking. 

Front angle view of orange 2023 Ford Maverick, the only pickup truck under $25,000 recommended by Consumer Reports
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

The 2023 Ford Maverick Hybrid is the top pickup truck on Consumer Reports

That’s right. The time has finally come. Consumer Reports has moved on from the Honda Ridgeline to a new main squeeze. The 2023 Ford Maverick Hybrid outranked every other pickup on Consumer Reports, big and small. The non-hybrid Maverick came next. Then the 2023 Honda Ridgeline. 

For years, CR loved the Ridgeline because of its unibody construction, killer reliability, decent gas mileage, and comfortable ride. Ultimately this is what CR is looking for from every vehicle, regardless of segment or intended purpose. 

Now, we can assume the 2023 Ford Maverick platform has hit all the same beats, and then some since it beat the Honda Ridgeline. Let’s take a look. 

Is the Ford Maverick Hybrid a good truck? 

A red 2023 Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup truck is parked.
The 2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The 2023 Ford Maverick scored higher than any other truck this year for a handful of reasons. Frankly, the review of the Maverick is a field of green. From fuel economy (combined 37 mpg) to reliability, the Maverick Hybrid brought the house down. 

The 2023 Ford Maverick Hybrid makes good use of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powerplant by squeezing a peppy 191 hp from its walls. That power is sent to the front wheels via CVT, which “shifts” smoothly for an enjoyable driving experience. 

The Maverick comes standard with this hybrid engine, but there is a 2.0-liter turbo version making 250 hp. This version still outranked the Honda Ridgeline. In fact, CR makes a point to note that the turbo is a bit quicker than the Ridgeline. While the Ridgeline still has a smoother ride, the Maverick’s suspension holds the cabin down surprisingly well, given its initial stiffness. 

2023 Ford Maverick interior

Seats in 2023 Ford Maverick, the most affordable new pickup truck available
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

CR had fewer good things to say about the interior appointments. In the reviewer’s own words, “Refinement was clearly not a high priority for the Maverick.” The cabin is said to get pretty loud—wind noise and engine noise seep in with little protection, especially on the highway. But even at low rpm, you can feel some vibrations in the cabin. However, the hybrid version is said to be a bit quieter and more comfortable. While the interior is utilitarian and practical, it is rife with hard plastics. But that comes with a very usable infotainment interface, large buttons, and simple controls. 

What is the best version of the Ford Maverick? 

Consumer Reports not only ranked the Hybrid in first place but also outright tells readers that the Hybrid is the clear choice between the two. The only real downside for the Hybrid is that it only comes in FWD. This is a bizarre fact for a pickup truck, but the truth is, many pickup truck drivers never need 4WD anyways. However, if you do need AWD, the turbocharged version is your huckleberry.