I like to keep an eye on things when I’m driving.
By that I mean the surroundings and other cars, but also how the vehicle is performing — the energy usage, the speed, and other specs.
In the 2023 Ford Maverick Lariat hybrid truck, that means watching how I drive and squeezing out as much juice as possible from the electric motor.
While the Ford Maverick is not quite as electrified as its older sibling, the Ford Lightning, it is certainly a capable people and cargo hauler. The last time I tested a Maverick, I absolutely fell for it — hook, line, and sinker. Now I’ve tested the hybrid features in the Maverick, which is the same size but has more bells and whistles, and if anything I like this model even more.
Of course, as I mentioned before, the base price for the Maverick helps. At only $28,355, the cost to entry is lower than some SUV and crossover models. The hybrid I drove has a range of about 500 miles, and the truck can run in all-electric mode depending on how you drive.
I managed to keep it in electric mode on a country road going about 45 miles per hour, but never touching the brakes or accelerating.
My favorite feature in this hybrid is the display that shows what is happening as you drive. It’s animated, so it happens in real-time. If you press the gas, you will see that the truck starts using the gas engine. Coast for a while or go easy on the acceleration, and you will switch into electric mode. When you brake, you can see how the hybrid adds more electric power from regenerative braking.
I think it’s cool how the truck reports on all of this on such a large animated screen in 3D, showing a full image of the truck. I was able to ease off the acceleration to stay in electric mode, and then watch as I could add more electric power by braking.
What this means is that you can really train yourself to drive more economically, and increase your fuel mileage. I could see commuting in the Maverick and each trip being mindful and watchful of driving mechanics, where to slow down, how to speed up a bit slower, and try to increase that 500 mile range. For me it was like a game to see how I could stay in electric mode for longer and longer periods of time. My record was about 10-15 minutes.
Of course, this truck is already highly capable in terms of just everyday driving. I moved a dresser that fit perfectly in the back. Handling is nice and responsive, and the mid-sized design means parking is a lot easier at the mall. With the 500 miles of range, which works out to about 37 MPG, it’s important to know that this Lariat version is FWD and not AWD. I drove on slippery roads a couple of times and didn’t have any issues, but with the Maverick, you do have to divide between a little better fuel economy with FWD or better off-road handling with AWD.
Overall, it was a joy to drive once again, one of my favorite trucks ever. The fact that I could adjust how I drove in real-time thanks to that display made it even more likable.