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2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Review

2023 Dodge Hornet GT
2023 Dodge Hornet GT Monument Valley

Dodge is gaining attention in the rapidly growing compact utility vehicle (CUV) segment by introducing the 2023 Dodge Hornet. This model is being marketed as the quickest, fastest, and most powerful utility vehicle in its class priced at under $30,000.

My experience with the Hornet proved to be a thorough test in various environments and terrains. During my testing period, we traveled from the desert floor of Phoenix to an elevation of over 10,000 feet on one of North America’s highest roads. The Hornet proved to be agile, fast, and adaptable, with ample space for a 4-day road trip. As a taller driver, I typically struggle with comfort during longer drives, but the Hornet proved to be comfortable even on extended trips. It’s clear to see why many are touting the Hornet as a disruptor in the Compact SUV segment.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

2023 Dodge Hornet GT Mountain Views

Exterior:

The Dodge Hornet GT Plus attracts attention with its muscular design, incorporating iconic Dodge styling cues. Notable features include integrated heat extractors on the hood, a ‘mail slot’-style grille opening, and a vehicle-width taillamp with an illuminated Dodge Rhombi logo – a first for the brand. 17-inch Silver alloy wheels (18-inch for the R/T) are standard, and my test vehicle came with 20-inch Abyss wheels, showcasing the Hornet’s aggressive and athletic stance. There are multiple color choices, and my test vehicle’s exterior was painted in Gray Cray, which I found to be visually appealing and adept at concealing dirt.

Interior:

The interior of the Hornet maintains the driver-centric cockpit ambiance characteristic of the wider Dodge vehicle lineup. The layout of the center stack controls, display screens, and HVAC vents is subtly angled towards the driver, enhancing the overall driving aesthetics and utility. The Hornet GT Plus interior features bolstered Alcantara heated seats with red accents, offering both comfort and a sporty look. The configurable 12.3-inch gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen cater to the driver’s information and entertainment needs. The Hornet has a sporty interior, but it also provides a functional environment. I found it to be spacious for a Compact SUV, and we had plenty of room for a 4-day road trip for two people.

Engine and Transmission:

The Hornet offers two appealing powertrain options. The GT model is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine generating 268 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. The R/T performance hybrid takes things a step further with a segment-leading 288 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque, along with a unique PowerShot feature for an extra boost. The Hornet is appropriately named as it is quick and agile.

Driver Experience:

Dodge has emphasized driving dynamics with class-exclusive and best-in-class performance features. Koni shocks, Brembo four-piston brake calipers, and dynamic torque vectoring contribute to optimal suspension, braking, and handling performance. The Hornet R/T’s Sport Mode provides a sharper throttle, optimized shift schedule, and a tighter steering wheel feel, enhancing the driving experience. The GT’s Sport Mode enables you to go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

I had extensive time with this car, and from a pure driving perspective, it is a fun vehicle to drive. It offers more stability in quick maneuvers at higher speeds than I anticipated. There was a situation where a driver made a mistake and I had to think and act quickly. The Hornet responded impressively, and I was impressed with its overall drive-ability.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

Technology:

The Hornet excels in delivering a technologically advanced user experience. The Uconnect 5 infotainment system, based on Android, is standard on both models, offering wireless Android Auto and CarPlay. A best-in-class 12.3-inch digital cockpit cluster screen and a 10.25-inch central display provide a combined 22.5 inches of in-vehicle display space. The system also integrates Amazon Alexa, allowing users to seamlessly connect their digital lifestyle.

Safety Features:

The Hornet prioritizes safety with standard Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), including Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Support System, and Blind Spot Detection. The Hornet offers Level 2 autonomy with Intelligent Speed Assist, Driver Attention Assist, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, and more. Parking assistance, a surround-view camera, and front and rear parking sensors enhance safety during maneuvers.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the 2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus is making a significant impact in the CUV market. Its bold design, powerful performance, advanced technology, and comprehensive safety features offer considerable value for the MSRP. With the option for Direct Connection factory-backed performance upgrades and a plug-in hybrid variation on the horizon, the Hornet is a versatile choice for drivers seeking both style and substance in a compact SUV.

The MSRP of my test vehicle was $43,320. For more information about the Dodge Hornet, visit here.

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