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Regarding exciting crossover SUVs, Mazda and Dodge have you covered. The Mazda CX-5 is a compact SUV with a sporty feel and built quality that punches well above its class. Meanwhile, the Dodge Hornet is a brand-new compact crossover SUV with a huge focus on performance. With Dodge’s performance heritage, the Hornet ends up being one of the best-performing SUVs in its class. So, does it outpace the 2024 Mazda CX-5? Here is everything you need to know about these two peppy SUVs and how they compare.

2024 Mazda CX-52024 Dodge Hornet
Starting Price$29,300 MSRP$30,735 MSRP
Engine2.5-liter four-cylinder2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Horsepower/Torque187 horsepower/185 lb-ft of torque268 horsepower/295 lb-ft of torque
TransmissionSix-speed automaticNine-speed automatic
DrivetrainAll-wheel driveAll-wheel drive
0 to 60 mph8.4 seconds6.5 seconds
Top Speed129 mph140 mph
Fuel Efficiency 24 city mpg/30 highway mpg21 city mpg/29 highway mpg
Cargo Capacity30.8 cubic feet to 59.3 cubic feet27 cubic feet to 54.7 cubic feet

2024 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2024 Dodge Hornet: Driving and performance

The Mazda CX-5 is a fantastic performing vehicle on the road. The 2024 CX-5 is equipped with a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This drivetrain sends power to all four wheels and produces 187 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, according to Mazda. A 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine is also available for the CX-5. This turbocharged powertrain brings the CX-5’s performance numbers up to 256 horsepower, but you’ll be paying at least $38,225 for a turbo model.

When it comes to performance, no company does it like Dodge. While Dodge may not have the best reputation for reliability and value, it’s impossible to deny that they own the streets regarding power and driving dynamics, and the Hornet is no different. The Dodge Hornet comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which produces 268 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This power is sent through a nine-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. This powertrain on the base GT model is good for a 0 to 60 mph time of around 6.5 seconds, which is just about as good as it gets for the class. For a price tag of about $30,000, there is no better crossover SUV performer than the Dodge Hornet.

2024 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2024 Dodge Hornet: Interior and tech

The 2024 Mazda CX-5 and the 2024 Dodge Hornet both have a solid amount of tech and features in the interior. The Mazda CX-5 offers an interior that is so good that it rivals many mid-luxury vehicles. Synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 10.25-inch display are all standard features. U.S. News explains that the Mazda CX-5’s infotainment system is primarily controlled through a rotary knob instead of a classic touch screen. However, the screen is touch-sensitive for specific applications like Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto.

The Dodge Hornet is an interesting vehicle because it shares a platform with the Alfa Romeo Tonale. This gives the Hornet a leg up in luxury features, even though it’s not a luxury vehicle. The Hornet comes standard with cloth and synthetic leather upholstery, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto, dual-zone climate control, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display. However, when the Hornet is compared to the CX-5, the Mazda CX-5 offers a larger cargo space at 59.3 cubic feet and better build quality overall.

2024 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2024 Dodge Hornet: Trim levels and features

The Dodge Hornet is a simple vehicle with only four main trim levels: the GT, GT Plus, R/T, and R/T Plus. The Dodge Hornet GT is the base model, while the GT Plus adds just about every option, including heated front seats, heated steering wheel, remote start, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and wireless device charging, among other features. Meanwhile, the Hornet R/T is a performance plug-in hybrid version of the Hornet, with the R/T Plus trim adding the same features found in the GT Plus model.

The Mazda CX-5 comes in an overwhelming eight trim levels to choose from, starting with the 2.5 S Select base model and including the 2.5 S Preferred, 2.5 S Carbon Edition, 2.5 S Premium, 2.5 S Premium Plus, 2.5 S Carbon Turbo, 2.5 S Turbo Premium, and the 2.5 S Turbo Signature top trim. Some of these features found on the higher-end models include a moonroof, power liftgate, genuine leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, 7-inch digital gauge cluster, head-up display, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, wireless smartphone connectivity, heated rear seats, and more.

While the “all or nothing” approach of the Dodge Hornet’s trim options may be appealing to some, many consumers prefer to build their SUV to their liking. The CX-5’s long list of trim options gives consumers this ability.

Which peppy SUV is the better fit for you?

These two peppy SUVs are nearly neck and neck in every way. However, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the best SUVs on the market today for the money. Not only is its list of standard features fantastic, but its interior quality rivals many luxury brands. The Mazda build quality is also unrivaled, and for this SUV to accomplish all of these feats while starting at a lower price than the Dodge Hornet is incredibly impressive.

The Hornet is a great SUV with class-leading performance. Still, unless you are willing to sacrifice comfort, longevity, and quality for performance, it is hard to recommend the Hornet over the fabulous Mazda CX-5. Currently, it’s more of a niche vehicle in its class of other compact SUVs. However, that’s never stopped Dodge from succeeding before.