2023 Dodge Hornet: A Must-Test Drive Experience Awaited

The word “cute” is rarely applied to the mighty Dodge brand. However, behold the most endearing little compact SUV in your neighborhood, which is also a strong competitor to similarly-priced rivals. In this review, we will explore the 2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus, a white beauty with the GT trim:

When it comes to looks, the Dodge Hornet has a charmingly Italian design, owing to its shared platform with the Ala Romeo Tonale. The front end features slim headlights and a narrow upper grille, while the larger grille located at the bumper’s base adds a touch of menace. Yet, it remains undeniably cute. The base price for this little gem is $30,735.

If you’re willing to spend an extra $495 on top of the $31,000 base price, you can opt for the vibrant Hot Tamale paint. Alternatively, consider the Track Pack for an additional $2,995, which includes 20-inch wheels, red brake calipers, and luxurious Alcantara seats.


The interior of the Hornet is more race-inspired compared to other compact SUVs, with notable features such as the prominent metal trim on the steering wheel, which is shared with Alfa Romeo models. The leather covering the dashboard and door panels adds a touch of class. While the front offers reasonable space, the rear is slightly more cramped. Standard upholstery features red stitching, but upgrading to the GT Plus trim grants you sleek leather seats. Additionally, an optional Track package offers faux-suede, and a striking red leather interior option is also available.


The Hornet is equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that boasts 268 horsepower and has all-wheel drive capabilities. This powertrain is coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s worth noting that a 2024 PHEV version is already on the market.*

*Note: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an urgent recall for the PHEV versions of the Dodge Hornet and its Italian counterpart, the Alfa Romeo Tonale, due to potential fire risks even when the vehicle is parked. This review specifically pertains to the gas-powered 2023 Hornet, which is unaffected by the recall.


The Dodge Hornet comes equipped with the most advanced technology features in Dodge’s lineup. Standard features include a digital gauge display, Uconnect 5 infotainment software, and automated emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. The climate control and sound system work seamlessly, and Dodge’s Bluetooth technology quickly connects to your phone. Additionally, every model includes a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge display. Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and even Alexa are standard features. Opting for the GT Plus trim will also grant you a premium 14-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system and a wireless smartphone charging pad.

The Drive

The Hornet really shines in urban environments, providing a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience on the highway as well. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds. The initial play in forward and reverse gears may take some getting used to. The brakes and handling are satisfactory, and visibility is also good. However, despite the Dodge moniker, this is not a sports car. As long as you set realistic expectations, you’ll find the Hornet to be a delightful companion on the road.


Based on your driving style, you can expect an average of 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.


Admittedly, the rear storage space is on the smaller side, especially when compared to others in the segment. The turbocharged GT model offers 27 cubic-feet of cargo space, while the R/T plug-in hybrid has slightly less at 22.9 cubic-feet. Keep in mind that this is more reminiscent of hatchback storage rather than a spacious SUV. If you’re a tradesperson or frequently need to haul larger items, this may not be the ideal vehicle for you. However, for small families with one or two children, the Hornet provides adequate storage space.


The 2023 Dodge Hornet is available in four trims: GT, GT Plus, R/T, and R/T Plus. As you move up the trim ladder and add more optional features, the price increases accordingly.

Key Safety Features Include:

– Available adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature

– Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection

– Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Dodge offers a limited warranty that covers three years or 36,000 miles, as well as a powertrain warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles. However, there is no complimentary scheduled service included.

In conclusion, Dodge has made a smart move by entering the ultra-compact SUV market, and the 2023 Hornet is truly a standout. It offers a unique design that sets it apart from competitors and provides an enjoyable driving experience. Plus, it’s undeniably cute.


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