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The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T is the first plug-in hybrid SUV from Dodge. The R/T is one of three different Dodge Hornet trim levels. Here’s what we know about the innovative small plug-in hybrid SUV.

The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T is unlike any other Dodge SUV

Dodge may have produced SUVs in the past, but it certainly has never produced anything resembling the Hornet R/T before. The Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey are both midsize SUVs.

The Hornet R/T is a small SUV that benefits from a plug-in hybrid powertrain system. A PHEV system uses an engine and electric motors to create more power, improve overall fuel efficiency, and provide an electric-only driving range. PHEVs are just one notch below EVs as far as electrification.

Most major automakers are announcing and producing electric vehicle nameplates. Now, Stellantis brand Dodge has produced the first step in a journey toward a more diverse portfolio of vehicles.

The Hornet R/T will compete against the Ford Escape PHEV, Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid, Jeep Wrangler 4Xe, and Toyota RAV4 Prime.

The Dodge Hornet R/T offers exciting performance specs

A blue 2023 Dodge Hornet small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Dodge Hornet | Dodge

Dodge is an American automaker best known for muscle cars like the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. The mighty Dodge Durango has also been a popular nameplate for the brand.

If there’s one thing that popular Dodge models have in common, it’s power. The Hornet R/T fits right into the family, offering more horses than its gas counterparts and a quicker 0-60 time.

The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T makes 285 horsepower. That’s 20 more horses than the standard turbocharged all-wheel drive powertrain that other Hornet trims use. It gets 30 miles of electric-only driving range. Not too shabby, especially in a pinch.

Car and Driver claims that the Dodge Hornet R/T can go from 0-60 miles per hour in 6.1 seconds in PowerShot mode. PowerShot mode allows a temporary boost of horsepower (25 horses) that results in the quickest Hornet launch possible. So, if you want the quickest Dodge Hornet that the automaker produces, the R/T is the way to go.

How much will the 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T cost?

The 2023 Dodge Hornet starts at $29,995 for the base GT trim. The GT Plus starts at $34,995. Dodge has yet to release a price for the R/T PHEV trim, but it will likely cost between $42,000-$47,000 because of its more complex powertrain system.

So, the Dodge Hornet R/T will be pricey, but it offers great value for the money. If you’ve ever wondered what a small performance Dodge SUV would look like, that’s the Hornet in a nutshell. An electric driving range is a cool added bonus.

Ultimately, the Hornet R/T should be competitive in the small plug-in hybrid SUV space, assuming its pricing is reasonable. It doesn’t appear to be as quick as the Toyota RAV4 Prime at the moment, so it would be nice if the R/T’s starting price was in the same ballpark. If Dodge makes its small plug-in hybrid SUV outrageously expensive, then it won’t be able to compete with rivals.