2023-2024 Dodge Hornet freshens a muscle-car model in transition


The 2023 Dodge Hornet GT is the primary new Dodge mannequin in 10 years. Just like the Durango that launched for 2011, it’s a utility automobile. In contrast to that giant three-row SUV, the brand new Hornet is a compact crossover—a section Dodge hasn’t performed in to date, however one which’s now the middle of the U.S. automobile market.

The little crossover presents two powertrains, which Dodge expects to promote in equal numbers. The Hornet GT arrives at sellers subsequent month at a beginning value of $31,590 (together with a compulsory $1,595 vacation spot price). It’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4 driving all 4 wheels via a 9-speed automated transmission. Above it sits the Dodge Hornet R/T, which needs to be in sellers by late spring as a 2024 mannequin. Dodge’s first plug-in hybrid, the R/T is the sooner and extra performance-oriented Hornet.

Consider the Hornet as one thing near a “scorching hatch” from an unlikely model—one constructed as a small SUV, as a result of that’s the place the consumers are. Execs on the media drive in and round Asheville, North Carolina, advised Hornet consumers can be “additive”: A client who can’t get a muscle automobile alongside the traces of the 1,025-hp, $100,000 Demon 170 isn’t prone to go for a small crossover. However will a model that sells a Challenger that may go from 0-60 mph in 1.66 seconds be capable to promote small crossovers with out V-8s?

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

Dodge Hornet goes the place the consumers are

The Hornet offers Dodge a high-volume providing because the Challenger and Charger depart, and it eases the corporate’s transition to battery-electric scorching rods—previewed by final summer time’s Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Idea. Dodge entrepreneurs referred to as it a “bridge” to these fashions, which can keep the model’s popularity for extroverted efficiency.

The little Hornet is definitely a modified model of a distinct Stellantis automobile: the extra upmarket 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale arriving later this 12 months. The little utility shares some underpinnings with the Jeep Renegade and Compass and the Fiat 500X. Whereas Alfa Romeo and Dodge might exist underneath the identical company, they’re extremely unlikely to be cross-shopped. All Hornets can be in-built Italy, as are the Renegade and 500X.

To make a Tonale right into a Dodge that may be bought underneath the “Home; Not Domesticated” tagline, Dodge retuned the powertrains, restyled the entrance and rear ends, and added recognizable Dodge graphics and distinction stitching to the inside.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

Infusing Dodge into the Hornet

The transformation is most profitable on the entrance, the place the beveled nostril and slender full-width grille between wraparound headlights strongly resemble the bigger Durango. Dodge calls it the “raccoon masks,” and provides it an outsized honeycomb sample within the massive lowest consumption. A pair of extractor vents within the hood exhaust air, echoing Dodge’s efficiency fashions. In aspect profile, the Alfa form stays, however once more on the rear the Dodge identification comes via, with a full-width taillight band that pinches in its heart—a nod to the grille form up entrance. Non-compulsory 20-inch wheels additional underscore the efficiency look.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

Inside, darkish upholstery and distinction stitching mix with recognizable Dodge graphics on the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.3-inch central touchscreen show. The Plus bundle for the GT and R/T delivers pink seats, and the Observe Pack provides Alcantara inserts that actually do make the inside really feel extra premium.

The Hornet will maintain 4 6-foot adults comfortably, although you wouldn’t wish to attempt for 5. In contrast to some small efficiency SUVs, the rear seat gives each ample headroom and legroom. Entrance-seat passengers sit low, with the beltline near shoulder peak, which requires elevating the ability driver seat nearly to its full peak to get an excellent view of the street in entrance. With a rising waistline and a thick triangular roof pillar, over-the-shoulder visibility is all however nonexistent.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T: electrification for efficiency

We drove each variations of the Hornet, and located every has its personal character. The less-pricey GT is extra predictable, however the 9-speed automated transmission requires a heavy throttle foot to get affordable efficiency.

Loafing round city, the GT’s engine revs largely keep under 2,000 rpm for the sake of gas financial system (EPA rankings are solely 24 mpg mixed, mediocre for the section). To get fast acceleration, flooring the pedal causes the 9-speed automated to shift down, typically 3 times, earlier than the 268-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 spools up and delivers its peak energy to the 4 wheels. Driving fully in Sport mode fixes this and makes the Hornet genuinely enjoyable to toss round, at the price of gas financial system we worry may fall under 20 mpg.

The Hornet R/T is undeniably extra highly effective. It could be the primary U.S. Dodge ever to characteristic an engine as small as 1.3 liters, however that turbo-4 unit has each a 44-hp electrical starter-generator on the engine itself and a 121-hp electrical motor driving the rear axle, powered by an L-shaped 15.5-kwh battery pack underneath the rear seat and within the tunnel. That makes the R/T a so-called “through-the-road hybrid,” with the entrance wheels powered by the engine and the rears by the e-motor. Operating in electric-only mode, the R/T is rear-wheel drive—once more, a Durango parallel.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T: Electrical “PowerShots”

Complete out there energy for that mixture is 288 hp, with 383 lb-ft of torque. The particular sauce for the R/T is its “PowerShot” functionality, by which the rear motor delivers an additional 30 hp for as much as 15 seconds if the battery’s cost degree is 80% or extra. To invoke a PowerShot, the motive force places the R/T in Sport mode, pulls again each steering-wheel paddles, and mashes the accelerator via a detent. The result’s a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds, in line with Dodge.

Wringing most efficiency out of the R/T will be considerably unpredictable. The motors present rapid torque whereas the little engine spools up, however particularly if the pack is depleted, the engine nonetheless has to work arduous to do its share. The 6-speed automated additionally might downshift twice to ship energy at 5,000 rpm, however including the electrical motor to the combo makes it tougher for a driver to foretell what mixture of energy sources might kick in when.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T

Past the saucy seems to be, probably the most satisfying a part of the little Hornet is its dealing with. It corners flat for a small SUV, and roadholding on each variations is assured and predictable—even because the R/T’s powertrain shifts torque hither and yon. Each the usual 18-inch and high-end 20-inch wheels ship a surprisingly refined journey. Whereas bigger wheels often worsen journey and noise, that’s barely the case right here.

The R/T additionally has an Electrical mode that drives on battery energy alone, and it’s surprisingly usable round city when extra energy isn’t wanted. The “e-Save” mode both holds battery cost or makes use of the engine to recharge the battery (for these PowerShots), and Sport additionally recharges it. This implies the Hornet R/T has little to do with driving emissions-free; it’s all about motor energy for efficiency. Premium gas is advisable, although the Hornets will run on common. Each variations have stop-start functionality as customary, although it may be turned off as desired.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

Dodge Hornet choices galore, in packages

Neither the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) has examined the Dodge Hornet for crash security. All variations of the Hornet embrace automated emergency braking, blind-spot displays, and lively lane management as customary. The elective Tech Pack provides traffic-sign recognition, adaptive cruise management, rear parking sensors, automated parking, and a surround-view digicam system.

Each variations of the Hornet come customary with all-wheel drive, dual-zone local weather management, the aforementioned screens, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and alloy wheels. For $5,000 extra, the GT Plus provides such options as a 14-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, navigation, wi-fi smartphone charging, a sunroof, power-adjustable heated and cooled entrance seats, and leather-based upholstery.

The 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T carries a advisable beginning value $10,000 larger than the GT at $41,590, once more together with vacation spot. The R/T Plus prices $5,000 extra with the identical further options. A Hornet R/T with each field ticked can attain $50,000.

Among the many possibility packages and gear teams, the Blacktop bundle spiffs up look, with gloss black moldings, wheels, and different trim. A Chilly Climate group provides heated entrance seats and steering wheel, and distant beginning. For efficiency, a Observe Pack provides adjustable dual-stage dampers, Brembo brakes with pink 4-piston entrance calipers, 20-inch black-finish wheels, Alcantara seats, and numerous dress-up inside gadgets.

Dodge’s muscle automobile DNA is completely infused into the 2024 Hornet, particularly the electrified R/T mannequin. The Hornet provides some enjoyable to the compact crossover section that’s largely centered on not ruffling any feathers. That ought to assist it promote.

Dodge supplied airfare, lodging, and meals for Motor Authority to deliver you this firsthand report.

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