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Dodge has launched what looks like an early hit with the new Dodge Hornet crossover SUV. It checks a lot of boxes, especially in GT trim.  Really, the Hornet is an Americanized Alfa Romeo Tonale, which itself is a BMW X1 competitor and it looks like the new Hornet could follow in the Alfa’s footsteps. The new 2023 Dodge Hornet has a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, seats for five, a trick transmission, and an available performance edition – just like the new for 2023 BMW X1.

Is the Hornet really a BMW X1 competitor?

In many ways, the Hornet looks like a 2023 BMW X1 competitor or even an X1 beater. On the engine front, the BMW’s 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder makes 241 horsepower and can get to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the new Hornet’s 2.0-liter turbo four makes 265 horsepower and in PHEV trim, it can get the Hornet to 60 in 6.1, according to Dodge. The M Sport BMW has a Sport Boost function to give you a little more power when you need it. The all-new Hornet has the PowerShot feature on the plug-in hybrid version that adds a boost of 25 horsepower when you need it.

But an SUV isn’t just about the motor. Dodge has worked hard over the last few years to improve the quality and feel of its interiors and the new Hornet soft-touch surfaces, Alcantara or leather-covered seats, and a driver-centric cockpit. Do you know what else offers that? The BMW X1.

Dodge hasn’t released pricing yet, but the new Hornet should start at about $30,000 in base trim and top out near $40,000 for the GT Plus version. That beats the Bimmer’s $38,600 base MSRP. Both SUVs seat five and have easy-to-use infotainmens systems.

The mail slot is there so you can send it

The new Hornet’s styling is certainly edgier than the 2023 BMW X1. While the X1 does its best to look like a mini X5 SUV (or SAV, as BMW calls it), the Hornet channels SRT Charger energy with the “mail slot” on the hoot. In the big sedan with a big V8, that slot on the hood is there to channel air into the heavy breathing motor. On the Hornet, it’s there for looks, but it hints at the performance under the hood.

The BMW, too, offers performance cues with its giant kidney bean grille and squinty-eyed headlights. While the Hornet will come in GT and R/T trims, you can order an M Sport Package that, while not offering more power, does add steering wheel-mounted paddles, larger wheels, an aero kit, and adaptive suspension.

The Hornet will be electrified, the 2023 BMW X1 isn’t (yet)

The 2023 Dodge Hornet PHEV on the road
2023 Dodge Hornet PHEV | Dodge

The new Hornet will come in several electrified versions. The Hornet R/T plug-in hybrid will offer 285 horsepower and a 30-mile range of electric power. It can travel in hybrid mode, electric mode, or E-Save Mode, which prioritizes the gasoline engine. Dodge will also offer several aftermarket accessories like a lower kit, a dual exhaust kit, and more.

BMW said the U.S. market launch for the X1 will be in the fourth quarter of 2022, the same with the Hornet. According to Green Car Congress, there will be a mild-hybrid version of the X1 coming, but for now, it’s all-gas. The X1 is all new for 2023 and the X1 grows a couple of inches in every direction. BMW says the extra length and width improve its agility.  Inside, the new iDrive system is simplified and lets you access it via voice or touch from a new curved screen, it also gets new seats, a larger panoramic roof, and more.


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