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The Dodge Hornet has the industry abuzz because of its aggressive styling and exhilarating powertrain options. The Hornet is the first Dodge small SUV model in years. It brings the driving dynamics of a muscle car to a segment dominated by practical family vehicles. Just how powerful is the Dodge Hornet, and which configuration produces the most power?

What’s the most powerful Dodge Hornet?

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

The Dodge Hornet small SUV comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 268 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This engine powers the GT and GT Plus configurations. The most powerful Dodge Hornet models are the R/T and R/T Plus configurations.

The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T and R/T Plus use a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to make 288 horsepower and a massive 383 lb-ft of torque. That’s more torque than a Toyota RAV4 Prime. The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T and R/T Plus plug-in hybrid models are extremely powerful for their sizes. Small SUVs have never been able to produce this much power for such affordable prices prior to the creation of plug-in hybrid powertrain systems.

The Hornet R/T starts at 39,995. The R/T Plus starts at $44,995. Both models are below’s average new vehicle price. Many consumers will opt for the more affordable base model over the Dodge Hornet’s final trim levels, but true thrill-seekers will favor the PHEVs.

The rise of the plug-in hybrids

Hybrid vehicles took a long time to catch on. Even pioneers in the hybrid space, like the Toyota Prius, have been met with skepticism and ridicule. Today, hybrids are much more popular than they were just a few years ago, thanks to advancements in technology and affordable pricing. PHEVs are the middle ground between hybrid and electric vehicles.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), use gas engines and electric motors to send power to the wheels of a vehicle. The use of electric motors improves the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and PHEVs even have an electric-only driving range that utilizes power stored in batteries. Electric-only driving range can move the wheels of the vehicle without any internal combustion for a limited range, like an electric vehicle.

PHEVs are the best of both worlds in a sense. They also tend to benefit from a power boost via electric motors. Best of all, plug-in hybrids are more affordable than fully-electric vehicles.

Is the Dodge Hornet a good SUV?

The 2023 Dodge Hornet is a great SUV for drivers looking for power and practicality. It rides on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Tonale luxury SUV.

The Dodge Hornet starts at $29,995. The base model gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway. Kelley Blue Book praises the small SUV’s standard all-wheel drive and incredible horsepower and torque output.

It will be interesting to see the Hornet go up against more affordable, less powerful models. Dodge’s small SUV offering has certainly brought variety to America’s most popular vehicle segment. The Hornet R/T and R/T Plus will open up a whole new world of possibilities for drivers who may have never considered getting a plug-in hybrid before.


The Dodge Hornet R/T Will Feature a 15-Second ‘PowerShot’