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If you’re interested in buying a new compact truck, the 2023 Ford Maverick is a popular option. Moreover, it’s also the cheapest new pickup truck money can buy. Usually, when something is affordable, it comes with a catch. For what reason is the Maverick’s starting price so low? Here are three reasons the 2023 Ford Maverick is the cheapest compact truck.

The 2023 Ford Maverick base model is basic

A white 2023 Ford Maverick in the desert, the cheapest compact truck.
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford Media Center

First, the 2023 Ford Maverick XL base model starts at $23,690. According to Edmunds, most of the features are about as basic as you’d expect from such a cheap model. For example, the interior is clad with cloth upholstery, it has 17-inch steel wheels, and some of the listed highlights are air conditioning and power windows. On the plus side, the Maverick does come with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and forward collision mitigation. Drivers will operate the infotainment system on a tiny eight-inch touchscreen, and the stereo system only uses six basic speakers.

To get some of the most desirable features, buyers need to upgrade to higher trims. For example, simulated leather upholstery is only standard with the fully-loaded Lariat model, which starts at $29,450. Additionally, Lariat buyers get proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a power-sliding rear window, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Many of these features are standard on modern vehicles, but with the Maverick, the Lariat trim is required.

No standard all-wheel drive

reasons the 2023 ford maverick is the cheapest compact truck.
2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

Another reason the 2023 Ford Maverick is the cheapest compact truck is that it doesn’t have standard all-wheel drive. Although AWD is available, it’s only an option on all trims. Regardless of which trim buyers choose, they have to pay extra for AWD and the turbocharged engine. That’s the other caveat of buying the Maverick. A hybrid powertrain is standard for the entire lineup but only comes with front-wheel drive.

That means anyone who wants their truck to have all-wheel drive capabilities will need to get the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Although it makes 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque, it pales compared to the hybrid powertrain’s fuel economy at just 25 mpg combined. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a hybrid system makes 191 hp, 155 lb-ft, and 37 mpg combined. In short, without standard AWD, buyers are forced into worse fuel economy to get it.

Ride and interior quality


3 Reasons a 2023 Ford Maverick Is Worth Buying

Finally, the last reason the 2023 Ford Maverick is the cheapest compact truck is its low ride and interior quality. Multiple experts report that driving the Maverick isn’t the smoothest experience. Additionally, the interior is less-than-luxurious. Instead of soft-touch materials, leather, and other premium cabin features, the Maverick feels as cheap as its price. It has hard plastics throughout, standard cloth seats, and even looks cheaper than many midsize trucks.

The draw of Ford’s compact truck is the low starting price. As most buyers would expect, there are some sacrifices the automaker has to make to sell the Maverick for such a cheap price. The most obvious one is the interior. Car and Driver says the entry-level model is “beyond basic.”

The cheapest compact truck

In conclusion, the 2023 Ford Maverick is the cheapest compact truck. Not only is it more affordable than the compact Hyundai Santa Cruz, but it’s also far cheaper than midsize and full-size pickup models. As you might expect, the low price comes with some significant differences. For example, many buyers may not like how cheap the interior looks and feels. Others might struggle to buy a truck without all-wheel drive, which is only available without the coveted hybrid powertrain offering best-in-class fuel economy.

Do you think the 2023 Ford Maverick is worth buying for its low price? Or are these problems too much?