Monday, October 23, 2023

2023 Dodge Hornet GT AWD: The Brand’s All-New Italian Built Entry-Level Compact Crossover

Highlight: The Hornet shares a platform with the Alfa Romeo Tonale.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $34,325 (Base Model – LE): $32,330)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: air bags; ABS; AWD; a radar active cruise control system; an electronic stability control; electronic roll-over mitigation; a traction control system; automatic high beam controls; a blind spot monitoring system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a tire inflator kit

Standard Equipment (Base GT): 17-inch wheels; a 9-speed automatic transmission with a turbo engine; a dual exhaust system; privacy rear windows; a manual liftgate; power folding exterior mirrors; a body-colored spoiler; a full length front center console; a dual zone automatic temperature control; sport mode gauges; an all-black interior headliner; a soft touch instrument panel; cloth/leather-like seats; manual operated front seats; a leather wrap shift know; and a manual tilt/telescopic steering wheel

Options: 18-inch wheels; a dark Hornet GT badge; gloss black painted daylight opening molding; and gloss Black painted mirror caps

Other Trim Levels:

GT Plus

Plug-in RT

Plug-in RT Plus

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker audio system with AM/FM with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or years or 60,000 miles

Engine/Horsepower: a 2.0-liter, DOHC 4-cylinder/268-horsepower

Recommended Fuel: regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 31-city/29-hwy

What’s New: The Dodge Hornet is an all-new addition to the Detroit-based brand.


A powerful 268-horsepower engine

AWD standard

Available as an electrified plug-in

18 and 20-inch wheels available

An easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment center

Leather-like seating surrounded by cloth

A radar-activated cruise control system

A push button ignition starter

Power folding mirrors

A dual exhaust system

Ventilated seats available

Leather seats available

Power front seats available

A heated steering wheel available

Wireless charging on select trims

A leather wrapped steering system

An optional 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system

The Dodge offers a longer powertrain warranty than Alfa Romeo

Unleaded fuel recommended


Pricey, should offer a lower MSRP

No sunroof on base test model

Why are power folding mirrors standard on this model?

No manual transmission

The basic new car warranty on the Dodge is a year shorter than the Alfa Romeo


For buyers yearning for an Italian designed and manufactured crossover, Dodge’s Hornet, the brand’s entry-level compact crossover, fits the bill. It's essentially a lower priced rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale. 

Dodge’s compact crossover, with its spunky turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, is also available as a plug-in. In fact, at 268-horsepower, Dodge's newest vehicle offers more power than any of the competitors in its segment. This is right inline with the Dodge brand's performance mantra.

Conversely, unlike the Tonale, the Hornet has a starting price of approximately $32,300. While the spunky new Dodge undercuts the Alfa Romeo by about $10,000, it's still quite pricey for an entry-level mainstream brand. 

In our eyes, we’re expecting an entry-level vehicle to be positioned under $30,000, after destination charges are added. Some would say the Dodge's higher base price is due to the vehicle significantly outpacing the segment in terms of horsepower and its standard AWD configuration. Others might say, unlike the competitors, this is an Italian designed and manufactured vehicle. The reality is that Dodge is going to need a model in its portfolio that is closer to the lower $20,000 mark than the $30,000 mark, making it more affordable for the masses, seeking an entry-level new car.

Outside of the lofty price, depending on the trim, one can outfit the zippy and easy-to-maneuver Hornet, with such optional features as a power sunroof, power front seats, leather seating and a heated steering wheel.

So, for those seeking an Italian engineered vehicle, without paying the luxury premium attached the Alfa Rome name plate, the Hornet could be the perfect alternate. While the new-car warranty on the Dodge is not as long as the Alfa Romeo, the powertrain warranty in this compact crossover outmatches its Italian sibling. 

Competition: Alfa Romeo Tonale; Chevrolet Trailblazer; Honda CR-V; Hyundai Tucson; Kia Sportage and Toyota RAV4


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