Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Stock! | 5 Star Tuned Maverick Road Test
It’s about time for use to circle back to this one. Back in the Spring we took a look at a fairly loaded Ford Maverick that was on the dyno being tuned by the guys over at 5 Star Tuning in Florence, SC. We covered what we could at the time, but that didn’t include getting it out on the street for a drive. What a difference a few months will make. This time around they just threw me the keys, #winning.
Your guys have probably seen some of my past Maverick coverage. It started off cold, but the more time I’ve spent with Ford’s latest little truck the more I’ve warmed to it. It definitely has its place in the line-up, and it’s hard to argue with its value. Still; as with any stock vehicle, there’s room for improvement. That’s where aftermarket tuners like 5 Star Tuning come in to the picture.
In stock form the Maverick is a little low on power and responsiveness compared to what we know the 2.0L Ecoboost is capable of in other platforms. You have to remember that Ford has to please the masses, but the aftermarket exists to support the more well refined customer. Think of it as the difference between an off-the-rack suit and one that’s custom tailored. In certain vehicles the difference is that stark.
This particular Maverick has been serving DD duty for the wife of one of the 5 Star Tuners, so my first order of business was to remove various accoutrements from Bath and Body Works. I’d didn’t want to end up covered in pumpkin spice essential oils during a WOT pull. The SVTP life isn’t always glamorous, but it is always better than owning a Chevy, but I digress.
The 2.0L EcoBoost is a very capable little mill.
Out on the road, I can instantly recognize some of the tweeks the 5 Star crew have made. Throttle tip-in is greatly improved and the shifts are much more positive. In stock form all of this is tuned overly soft so as to not offend the sensibilities of Grandma, but 5 Star can craft these responses to appeal to the more performance oriented. And keep in mind, this is before we get to the horsepower and torque gains they were able to extract.
On an otherwise stock vehicle, 5 Star’s 93 octane tune picked up about 40HP and 60TQ. These are solid gains from a 122 cubic inch mill, thanks in large part to a turbocharger and high compression. On a vehicle with the size and weight of the Maverick, these are gains you can feel. Better yet, the frugal nature of the min-truck will keep it from inflicting too much damage on your wallet at the pump. You’re getting the best of both worlds here.
If you happen to own one of Ford’s new budget trucks, you really need to look into getting a custom tune. If you’re new to the Ford family you’ll quickly learn that there’s often a lot of performance and driving excitement left on the table. Maverick is no exception. Like most modern vehicles it needs some love, fortunately there are gurus out there with the solution. Stock sucks, don’t drive around like that. Get tuned and ditch the lag.