- Model: Ford Maverick
- Wheels: 31"
- Category: Overland Build
- Capability Score: 35/70
- Build Level: Medium
- Mods Budget: $$$$
- Last Updated: February 10, 2024
The newly released Ford Maverick provides an intriguing compact truck option for overland enthusiasts seeking good fuel economy without sacrificing the cargo space. This 2022 Ford Maverick XL is an excellent example of an off-road focused build, equipped with a 2” lift kit, 31” Nitto all-terrain tires, and upgraded racks to carry gear on adventures.
Owned by overlander Alex Sanders from Colorado, this Ford Maverick overland build is ideal for tackling rough forest service roads to reach remote camping spots thanks to its increased ground clearance. Yet it retains comfort for long highway drives as well as ample room for camping gear. With its EcoBoost engine and lightweight size, this lifted Ford Maverick off-road rig offers exciting overlanding potential in a small, fuel-efficient package. Read on to see why!
Ford Maverick Off-Road Mods List
Suspension Lift Kit
- Eibach 2” Pro-Lift Kit
- Fifteen52 17×8 Metrix MX rims in Frosted Graphite finish
- Nitto Nomad Grappler 245/70R17 All Terrain Tires
- RigidIndustries 40” RDS-series Midnight edition spot
- 20” SR-series SAE drive
- 4” 360-series diffused
- Front Runner Outfitters Roof/Bed Rack
- AirDesignUSA Fender Flares: @airdesignusa
- Hood vinyl by @beyondwraps
- Thule Adventure Kukenam 3 Roof Top Tent
- Adventure Imports and Maxtrax recovery gear
- Dometic CF-25 fridge powered by PLB40
Model: 2022 Ford Maverick XL
Production years: 2022 & Up
Approximate prices on the market (Used): $24,000-$35,000 ⓘ
Engine: 2.0L EcoBoost
Traction Enhancement Devices: Advanced AWD modes
Low Range: No
Stock wheel size: 235/65R17 – 29″
Offroad Wheel Size: 31″
Build Level: Medium
Off-road Capability Score: 35/70
Maverick Off-Road Build Summary
Alex’s 2022 Maverick XL is a testament to patience, and creativity in the face of limited resources. Armed with the turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost engine and all-wheel drive, this Maverick has been augmented with carefully selected aftermarket parts that elevate its off-road prowess.
A set of Fifteen52 17×8 Metrix MX rims wrapped in Nitto Nomad Grappler 245/70r17 tires form the foundation of this build. The wheels, finished in Frosted Graphite, bring a sense of understated aggression to the Maverick, while the Nitto Grapplers ensure it can claw its way across varied terrains with ease. As Top Gear has noted, “the right choice of wheels and tires can significantly enhance a vehicle’s off-road performance.”
The suspension is upgraded with an Eibach 2” Pro-Lift Kit. This German-engineered lift not only gives the Maverick a more menacing stance but also increases ground clearance for improved off-road ability. In a world where aftermarket options for the Maverick are still limited, this suspension upgrade is a testament to Alex’s dedication.
Aesthetically, the truck has been outfitted with an array of exterior accessories that add utility as well as style. AirDesignUSA fender flares enhance the vehicle’s rugged look, while a vinyl hood wrap by @beyondwraps gives it a custom touch. The crowning glory, however, is the Front Runner Outfitters Roof/Bed Rack, which not only provides additional storage but also supports a Thule Adventure Kukenam 3 Roof Top Tent – the perfect setup for those impromptu wilderness getaways.
Lighting upgrades come in the form of RigidIndustries off-road LEDs: a 40” RDS-series Midnight edition spot, a 20” SR-series SAE drive, and four 4” 360-series diffused lights. These ensure Alex’s Maverick can illuminate the darkest trails and navigate safely in low-visibility conditions.
Why did you choose a Maverick for your off-road project?
– Chose the Maverick because I wanted an affordable truck to get me to dispersed camp sites and to public shooting lands that I like to visit.
What was the most difficult part of the build?
– Hardest part so far has been waiting for parts to get built since there wasn’t much aftermarket stuff available when I got it so I’ve been having to hit up all my friends at the various companies and letting them borrow my truck for testing to help speed up the process.
What do you love the most about your truck?
– Love the gas mileage when I take it out on trips. It’s also the only time I take it out. Other than that it just sits in the garage.
Compact Pickup Truck Market
When you think of compact unibody trucks, your mind may travel to obscure corners of automotive history and fish out the Subaru Baja or the Hyundai Veracruz. These curious vehicles blended the utility of a pickup with the comfort and maneuverability of a car, carving out a niche that was beloved by some, but largely unappreciated by the masses. But the times, as they say, are changing. With the rise of the urban adventurer and the expanding appeal of off-roading and overlanding, a new breed of compact truck is starting to take center stage.
Enter the Ford Maverick, a pint-sized titan stepping onto the scene with bold intent. This blue-collar charmer is a breath of fresh air in a market saturated with oversized and overpriced trucks. Its compact footprint and unibody construction make it a practical daily commuter, while its stout EcoBoost engine and all-wheel-drive system ensure it can confidently stray off the beaten path.
However, like the Baja and Veracruz of yore, the Maverick faces the challenge of lacking extensive aftermarket support. While this can be a deterrent for those looking to transform their compact truck into a rugged off-roader, it hasn’t stopped intrepid adventurers like Alex from turning their Mavericks into trail-ready machines.
How we test?
Offroadium Verdict & Score Explained
We have created our own rating and classification system to differentiate and evaluate the off-road capabilities of vehicles showcased on Offroadium. Based on it, we can conclude the following:
Off-road Capability Score: 35/70
With its EcoBoost turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive system, and upgraded suspension lifting it 2” higher off the ground, this Ford Maverick build starts off strong in terms of off-road competency. The 31” Nitto all-terrain tires provide ample traction and ground clearance to confidently tackle rough trails.
Additionally, the Maverick features Ford’s advanced AWD assistance technologies (+5 points) to optimize throttle and brake inputs for improved capability on low traction surfaces.
Considering these attributes, we’ve assigned this lifted Maverick an Off-road Capability Score of 35 out of 70 possible points. This accounts for the AWD drivetrain (20 points), suspension lift kit and 31″ tires (10 points), and enhanced driver aids (5 points). Deductions come from the lack of locking differentials and a low range transfer case.
Build Complexity: Medium
With a budget lift kit, slightly oversized tires, and useful overland accessories like roof racks and auxiliary lighting, this Ford Maverick build represents a medium level of modification. The aftermarket parts elevate capability over stock while retaining daily drivability.
Budget Estimate: $$$$
Factoring in the cost of the lift kit, wheel/tire package, accessories, and custom graphics, we classify this as a $$ level build investment-wise. The owner took a practical approach focused more on utility rather than all-out customization. This provides immense adventure-ready improvements without breaking the bank.
In summary, this uniquely modified Maverick strikes an optimal balance of enhanced off-road talent and daily usefulness in a tidy, fuel-efficient package. It’s a rig poised to unlock exciting new overlanding potential for budgets and spaces where full-size trucks simply won’t fit.
I’ve had the chance to inspect a couple of the new Ford Maverick pickups brought into my shop recently for routine maintenance. Overall, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen from these compact trucks so far and believe they have solid potential as budget-friendly off-road platforms.
The Maverick’s unibody construction is far more rigid than you’d expect, and the available all-wheel drive paired with the 2.0L EcoBoost engine can competently send power to all four wheels. I’ve taken customers’ Mavericks out on some grubby backroads and even with stock suspension and road tires, the trucks clawed through mud and ruts better than expected.
The only consistent issue I’ve noticed is a dash rattle on rough terrain, likely from the large glass area. Annoying but easily fixed by inserting sound dampening pads during dash removal. The hybrid models have documented issues with Battery drain, Remote start catalytic converter overheating. Otherwise, no major mechanical or drivetrain problems especially on the tried and tested EcoBoost.
- Light and efficient with crossover-like handing
- Spacious bed
- Growing aftermarket support offering more off-road products
- Low ground clearance and short wheel travel
- Limited off-road capabilities
- Not as robust as bigger body-on-frame trucks and 4x4s
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Photography by: @clintontinley
Matt is a professional mechanic, experienced off-roader, writer and founder of Offroadium. With over 15 years immersed in the off-road community and 100,000+ miles logged on rugged trails across the Americas, Grabli shares extensive real-world knowledge. He previously worked as an automotive technician before shifting focus to specialty off-road projects. His passion is prepping capable rigs for off-roading and helping others to build the 4x4s of their dreams.