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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The 2023 Dodge Hornet Is A Grocery Getter With The Need For Speed

Dodge is going against the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V with a little help from Alfa Romeo. Based off the Tonale, the 2023 Dodge Hornet packs a couple of punchy engines including a plug-in hybrid.

The Hornet’s front-end looks very similar to the Durango down to the signature hood with vents. At the back, it also sports a full-width taillight cluster too. The inside is pretty much the Tonale except for changes to the air vents, screen graphics, and interior color combinations.

In terms of performance, the Hornet packs a turbocharged four-cylinder even in base trim. This 2.0-liter 4-cylinder makes 268 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque. Coming standard with all-wheel drive and a 9-speed automatic, it dispatches the 100 km/h mark in about 6.5 seconds.

Moving up to the R/T, the Hornet gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain that mates a 1.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with a pair of electric motors. Total output is rated at 288 horsepower and 519 Nm of torque. There’s even a “PowerShot” launch control that delivers an extra 25 horsepower for 15 seconds. All in all, the century mark is dispatched in just 6.1 seconds.

Making sure all that power is put under control, the R/T also gets four-piston Brembo front calipers and Brembo rear calipers.

Whether it’s the base GT or R/T trim though, the Hornet comes standard with Koni frequency selective-damping shocks, which can be upgraded to electronically adjustable units. The suspension setup is MacPherson struts up front, and a three-link independent strut rear suspension. They also get electronic limited-slip differential functions that can also provide some torque vectoring.

If this grocery-getter still isn’t enough to satisfy the need for speed, Dodge will be offering performance upgrades for both versions of the Hornet including a Direct Connection GLH or Goes Like Hell package. This features lowered suspension, a cat-back exhaust, unique 20-inch wheels, black cladding, and GLH exterior graphics.

Aside from speed, the Hornet comes with a long list of standard features. On the safety front it has automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, automatic wipers, and parking sensors. Convenience features include a 12.3-inch instrument display, 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the ability to pair two phones to the infotainment simultaneously. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, lane-centering, driver attention alert, wireless phone charging, heated steering wheel and seats, hands-free power lift gate, and a Harman Kardon sound system.

Naturally, the Hornet’s high feature set doesn’t come cheap. The GT starts at USD 29,995 (P 1.676 million) and goes up to USD 39,995 (P 2.223 million) for the R/T.

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