Would you buy this small Ford ute?

Ford has revealed an off-road-oriented version of its US-market unibody pickup, called the Maverick Tremor.

Based on the regular Maverick lifestyle ute revealed in June 2021, the Tremor package adds a one-inch suspension lift due to new springs and shocks, as well as a Trail Control feature that manages AWD throttle, and brake controls, when off the beaten path.

The Maverick Tremor is the baby brother of the US-market Ranger Tremor and F-150 Tremor.

While it’s far from a Ranger Raptor equivalent – the Maverick uses a Ford SUV and passenger car platform to enhance road manners at the expense of payload – the Tremor looks the part.

There’s a new grille, orange tow hooks, variant-specific 17-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tyres, a new lower front fascia with a more aggressive approach angle (30.7 degrees, up from 21.6 degrees), and steel skid plates.

The sole engine option is the flagship 186kW 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four, since the base hybrid is front-drive.

MORE: Forget factory accessories, Ford helps Maverick owners with DIY mods

The Tremor’s on-demand AWD system includes a rear diff lock of sorts, meaning it can send virtually all rear axle torque to either wheel depending on the slip situation.

Despite being billed a small pickup (by US standards), the Maverick is still 5.1 metres long, around a foot shorter than the Ranger. The payload is rated at 544kg, about half a body-on-frame, leaf-sprung Ranger.

MORE: Ford Ranger Raptor sold out until 2023, with 4000 orders and counting

Alas, the Mexico-made Maverick is left-hand drive just like the Bronco, so no plans for Australia – despite pickups representing almost 20 per cent of the total market.

Ford determined the added cost of tooling up a factory to make right-hand drive would not be manageable based on sales projections. Moreover, demand in the US is so high it has previously had to freeze orders, limiting scope for expansion.

Still, we can’t help but think that the first brand to crack the code and bring back a car-based ute to Australia – remember how loved the two-door Holden Ute and Ford Falcon ute were – will enjoy some success. You?

MORE: Why missing out on the Ford Maverick really stings
MORE: Car-based utes, the small pickups thriving overseas
MORE: Small utes in Australia, a brief history

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