How the Hornet Managed to Maintain Its ‘Dodgeness’
Dodge has been hinting at a Hornet resurrection for quite some time. We finally see it for the 2023 model year, and a plug-in version is set to come later. The new vehicle is definitely a Dodge in more than just name. What can we expect with the Hornet, and what about it screams Dodge?
Dodge’s new Hornet SUV
Finally, after several years, a new Dodge vehicle is coming out, and it’s been a long time coming. The Hornet is a compact SUV that will have two different trim levels to choose from. The GT model will be available at first, but the R/T plug-in version is set to come out at the end of 2023, just in time for the 2024 model year.
For a starting price of $31,590 (after destination fees), you get a mixture of leatherette and cloth upholstery, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen, and red stitching accents used throughout the seats, armrests, and dash, according to J.D. Power. The interior is roomy enough to seat five adults comfortably, while the cargo area offers 27 cu-ft of space behind the rear seats. If you fold them down, you get 54.7 cu-ft of storage.
The GT Plus package adds some new features like power-adjustable and ventilated leather seats, a sunroof, and a power liftgate, to name a few. When it comes to the R/T model, you get Brembo front brakes, a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine, and 6-speed automatic transmission. Dodge’s Hornet GT version has a 9-speed automatic instead. Both come standard with all-wheel drive, according to Car and Driver.
Where the Dodge Hornet remains true to the brand
You can’t talk about a Dodge vehicle without mentioning its power. The brand has always been known for its V8 engines producing insane horsepower. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powering up the Hornet GT is no exception. Even though it’s dialed back a little, it’s still pretty high compared to other compact SUVs.
This model offers 256 hp to 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The R/T plug-in hybrid version has even more power. You can expect 288 hp with a 30 hp boost on top of that now and then when you need it.
The interior is another way Dodge stays true to its brand. The Hornet’s instrument panel design is reminiscent of other Dodge brand models, like the Durango. Everything the driver needs, like the display screen and center stack controls, are angled toward the driver’s seat, so you can access whatever you need easily.
Shouldn’t Dodge have copied other small SUVs instead of going down its own path?
While it’s cheaper and easier to go with the crowd of other brands offering compact SUVs, it’s not Dodge’s style. In this case, the brand is making a statement of sorts. The company plans to move away from its V8 gasoline engines and move toward an electric future, despite previously being reluctant to reduce carbon emissions with its older models.
Some of its other vehicles already have plug-in hybrid powertrains on the way, and more are set to come in the future. Being its first redesigned vehicle in about a decade, the Hornet will have a hybrid engine with its R/T model set to come out later in 2023 for the 2024 model year.
Besides, a vehicle couldn’t be considered a Dodge unless it came with plenty of horsepower under the hood, which the Hornet promises to have. So, weakening it to match some of its rivals wouldn’t cut it.
The Dodge Hornet is a breath of fresh air to a brand that has almost gone stale with no new models in its lineup for around a decade. While the GT trim will be the first released, the R/T model is set to come later this year and will have one of the brand’s newest plug-in hybrid powertrains.