Jake Sundstrom has worked in the automotive industry since 2017. He has written hundreds of car-related articles. Jake is currently an Editor for CarMax and has also contributed to National Hot Rod Association publications. When he's not driving cars, he's eating takeout inside of them (probably burgers, burritos or pizza).
6/14/2022 (updated 3/22/2023)
What You Need to Know
New small SUV based on the Alfa Romeo Tonale
Offers two turbocharged engines, with the upgrade being a plug-in hybrid
Launches the first Hornet generation for 2023
What is the Hornet?
Your eyes don't deceive you: What you see before you really is a new Dodge — the first new Dodge, it's worth noting, since the Charger and Durango debuted well over a decade ago. At first glance, the 2023 Dodge Hornet is the anti-Dodge. It's a small crossover that bears little familial resemblance — both in terms of styling and concept — to the aggressively masculine, supercharged V8-powered Charger, Challenger and Durango. But a look at its powertrains illustrates how this compact SUV still shares a spirit with those vehicles. The engines are just a bit more 21st century.
What's under the Hornet's hood?
Most other extra-small crossovers prioritize efficiency over performance. For example, check out the modest outputs of the Honda HR-V (158 horsepower) and Toyota Corolla Cross (169 hp). But credit Dodge for keeping its performance-oriented image on point for the Hornet. For the base GT trim, Dodge fits a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for a muscular 268 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That's quite a lot for a little SUV and it's comparable to what you get from a performance hatch, like a Volkswagen GTI.
Paired to a nine-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive, the powertrain combination is said to be good for a 0-60 mph sprint of 6.5 seconds. That's quicker than just about every other model in the class and should keep it neck-and-neck with the other hot rod of this class, the Mazda CX-30 with its available turbocharged 250-hp engine.
If you want a surer bet in your quest for stoplight dominance, wait a little longer for the Hornet R/T. The R/T swaps in a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder instead. While that doesn't sound impressive on its own, the R/T's plug-in hybrid component really gives this Hornet its stinger.
Combined output between the engine and electric motor stands at 288 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The Hornet R/T utilizes a six-speed auto and all-wheel drive — good, Dodge says, for a 5.6-second dash to 60 mph. However, that's only if you engage the PowerShot feature, which temporarily supplies the Hornet with extra 30 hp for a limited time, presumably by draining the battery a bit quicker. Dodge says that without PowerShot engaged, the R/T's 0-60 mph time stands at roughly 7.1 seconds.
The R/T isn't just about running lightning laps, however. It's also the more practical of the two powertrains. The 15.5-kWh battery pack is expected to deliver more than 30 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. Expect a recharge to take about 2.5 hours using a Level 2 charger.
How does the Dodge Hornet drive?
I briefly drove a Dodge Hornet R/T and a Hornet GT, and both were equipped with the optional Tech Pack and Track Pack. The Tech Pack adds more advanced driving aids while the Track Pack includes an adaptive dual-mode suspension, upgraded brakes, 20-inch wheels and all-season performance tires. So equipped, the GT offers a relatively spirited driving experience. It's about half a foot longer than a Mazda CX-30, so you won't confuse this for a hot hatch. But it offers enough pep, particularly in Sport mode, to satisfy that itch.
What about the R/T? More horsepower and the eco-cred benefit of being a plug-in hybrid promises to be the best of both worlds. And that's sort of true, at least when you have it in Sport mode. Otherwise, the R/T drives a lot like a vehicle with a 1.3-liter engine. Which is to say, it won't be music to the ears of many Dodge enthusiasts.
I was underwhelmed by the Hornet's dual-mode suspension. My drive route took me along twisty roads that varied in smoothness. The suspension did a decent job of soaking up bumps, though at times the car would continue to wallow around some after hitting an uneven patch of road. It felt a bit like driving on top of a Slinky. We'll have a more definitive take on the Hornet's ride and handling once we're able to perform our full round of testing at the Edmunds test track.
What's the deal with PowerShot?
In order to get the 5.6-second 0-60 mph time that Dodge cites for the Hornet R/T, you need to use PowerShot. To engage PowerShot, the Hornet must be in Sport mode. You can then pull back both paddle shifters together, which allows the vehicle to go through a brief systems check. At this point, you must, essentially, push the throttle pedal to the floor to engage PowerShot. There is a detente past full throttle that engages the feature, which can be activated from a stop and while in motion. I tried out the feature a few times during our drive, and while it absolutely perks up the Hornet, I was also left wondering why one would expect anything less from smashing the throttle while the vehicle is in motion.
How comfortable is the Dodge Hornet?
I drove a Hornet R/T with Alcantara synthetic suede seats and a Hornet GT Plus with leather seats and found both pleasant. If you have long legs, or a wider stance while seated, you might find your right leg bouncing against the hard plastic of the center console. That will get old after a while.
The back seat has plenty of legroom, even for taller passengers. The Hornet is a bit longer than vehicles like the Mazda CX-30 and Honda HR-V and that extra length is probably best felt as a rear passenger. With that said, the back seat is a bit flat and it may be uncomfortable over long rides. And while there are a pair of vents and USB ports (one standard and one USB-C), it's a relatively spartan experience.
Road and wind noise is also very noticeable whether on the highway or on backroads. The test Hornets I drove had the optional 20-inch wheels and tires, but it's hard to say if the Hornet's shoes were much of a factor. Two other nitpicks: The paddle shifters make the turn signal and windshield wiper stalks a difficult reach, and the turn signal noise was pretty irritating.
How's the Hornet's tech?
The Hornet comes standard with a dual-screen cockpit, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel in front of the driver and a 10.25-inch touchscreen in the center. The latter is loaded with the Uconnect5 user interface, which we've liked in other Stellantis products like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wagoneer. The system also supports wireless smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. GT Plus and R/T Plus models even add some extra oomph from the audio system in the form of a 14-speaker Harman Kardon unit.
Wireless Apple CarPlay worked well and connected to our phone quickly. Wireless charging through the pad under the center screen? Not so much. My iPhone 12 actually lost charge during the 90 minutes it was "charging" on the pad — and that's without being actively connected to Apple CarPlay for the majority of the drive.
How's the Hornet's storage?
As far as the trunk is concerned, not bad! Dodge claims 27 cubic feet of storage space for the GT with the back seats folded up. (The R/T has less because of its hybrid powertrain.) That's comparable to the Volkswagen Taos, which is a similarly sized compact SUV. It's more than what is offered by the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-30, and the Hornet has a neat pass-through feature for long, skinny items.
Storage for small items is another matter. The water bottle holders are rather small and pedestrian, and the center console is also small. If you regularly carry a small bag or purse, you're probably going to end up leaving it on the passenger seat … or in a passenger's lap. That's also true in the back seat, where there just isn't much small-item storage to speak of.
How economical is the Dodge Hornet?
The Hornet GT starts at $31,590 (with destination), while the Hornet R/T will set you back $41,590 in base trim. But to get a Hornet RT Plus you'll be shelling out an additional $5,000. All that is to say, this is a pricey compact SUV. The Taos starts at just over $24,000, while the Chevrolet Trailblazer is even more economical.
Of course, Dodge will argue neither of those models gets you the type of performance you get with the Hornet. And that is true. You get just 158 horsepower with the Taos, and the Trailblazer only offers 137 hp in its base trim. If you want more than 200 horsepower and plug-in hybrid versatility in your compact SUV, the Hornet is the only vehicle that will do. Whether those extra horses are worth the extra dough, well, that's for you to decide.
Then there's the matter of fuel economy: This is a relatively heavy car, weighing in at around 3,700 pounds in the GT trim. And that, combined with its strong engine, hasn't done its mpg any favors. The trip computer in the GT I drove reported I was getting about 25 mpg, which is in line with EPA estimates. That's quite a bit worse than the competition. The R/T, at least, has the potential to save a lot on gas as long as you're able to charge on a frequent basis.
What are the Dodge Hornet's trim levels?
The Dodge Hornet comes in four trim levels based primarily on the powertrain: GT, GT Plus, R/T and R/T Plus. The GT trims debut first and the R/T trims will launch later in the model year. Feature highlights for each include:
GT Starts off the Hornet lineup with:
Turbocharged four-cylinder engine (268 hp)
Nine-speed automatic transmission
60/40-split folding rear seats
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Digital instrument panel
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
Six-speaker audio system
Uconnect infotainment system with 10.25-inch touchscreen
The Hornet also comes with:
Adaptive cruise control
Blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning (alerts you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
Forward collision warning with automatic braking (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
Lane keeping assistance (steers the Hornet back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
Rear parking sensors
GT Plus Adds more creature comforts, including:
Remote start system
Power-adjustable front seats
Heated and ventilated front seats
Heated steering wheel
Wireless charging pad
14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
Integrated navigation system
R/T Has a similar feature set as the GT. It also comes with:
Plug-in hybrid powertrain with turbocharged four-cylinder engine (288 hp combined)
Brembo performance front brakes
Power-adjustable front seats
Heated steering wheel
Heated front seats
R/T Plus The R/T adds on the features from the GT Plus that weren't otherwise standard on the base R/T.
There are three option packages for the Hornet worth knowing about:
Black-painted wheels and exterior trim
Enhanced version of the adaptive cruise control system
Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Hornet and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
Front parking sensors
Note: An automated parking system might be added to this package at a later date
20-inch black-painted wheels
Red-painted brake calipers
Synthetic suede seat upholstery
Adjustable suspension dampers (can be set to improve ride comfort or handling stability)
Sport-style steering wheel
Dodge delivered the most powerful compact SUV money can buy. Whether or not that's a product anyone wants remains to be seen.
Estimated range mapThis map is a visual representation of the possible one-way and round-trips by this vehicle (on a full charge) from the geometric center of Ashburn, Virginia. The depicted ranges are based on the estimated new vehicle range value provided by the EPA, rounded down to miles for one-way and miles for round-trip. Actual range will vary depending on the condition of this vehicle’s battery pack, how you drive, driving conditions and other factors.
EV ownership works best if you can charge at home (240V outlet) This typically means a 240V home installation, or other places your car is parked for several hours each day. Don't expect a regular household outlet (120V) to suffice.
Adding a home charging system is estimated to cost $1,616 in
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Edmunds is partnering with Treehouse, an independent provider of home EV installation services. Learn moreEdmunds customers receive a 10% installation discount and 4% smart charger discount. Discount excludes permit, hosted inspection, and load management devices. Valid for 30 days.
LAUREN MCCAY: If there's anything we know about you Edmunds viewers, it's that you can't get enough SUVs. Y'all are some outdoorsy, adventuresome, active style people-- or at least you like to daydream as you load up at Costco. Anyway, good news-- there are a ton of new SUVs and crossovers hitting the market in 2023 and 2024, powered by both gas and electricity.
Today I'm going to highlight 10 of the most exciting, whether you want to haul your family, haul boats, or hey, haul ass. Before I get into that, head over to edmunds.com for all your car shopping needs, and we'll also give you a cash offer if you're thinking of selling your car. Here's a family sized SUV with a familiar name from Chevrolet, the Equinox EV. That's right. The Equinox is going electric. It'll be out in the fall of 2023, and is powered by similar next-gen batteries from the Hummer EV. So it's a big deal.
You can order an Equinox EV with a standard battery size and front wheel drive, or a larger extended range battery in the same thing or all-wheel drive. I like that you've got options, and that the Equinox EV offers more space inside than the compact Bolt EUV. I also like the snazzy interior and available 17-inch touch-- oh, and the exterior styling too. Yeah, I like that. This is just a neat looking EV. Can't wait to drive it.
OK, so you're not ready to commit to the all electric lifestyle yet. Don't worry. I got you. Dodge's big news for 2023 is the return of the Hornet. This time out, the name is stuck on the back of-- what else-- a compact crossover. Dodge says the Hornet will start under 30 grand and be the quickest SUV for the money. Even the base GT gets a powerful four-cylinder turbo. And if you're willing to consider some level of electrification, there's a plug-in hybrid that gets all-wheel drive and over 30 miles of electric range. Oh, and this model shares lots of DNA with the Alfa Romeo Tonale, so it might even handle.
Here's a name you probably didn't expect to find on a list of SUVs-- Ferrari. This is the new purosangue. Basically, that means big dollars, OK? And the name means pureblood, which seems kind of ironic. Anyway, this is the legendary Italian sports car maker's first SUV, and it actually looks pretty sexy. This four-door crossover doesn't look like it's much for the rough stuff, but it should be quite an experience on the road.
It's powered by a screaming V12 engine with over 700 horsepower, and should hit 60 in just over three seconds. Now, if you're wondering why Ferrari needs this model, you only have to look at Lamborghini's hot-selling Urus to know that there's a market for megabucks SUV. This one is expected to cost about $400,000, price of a nice house back where I'm from. But those houses don't have operatic V12s or rear hinge power back doors, do they? So there's that. And now our Brian Wong has something for us regular folks.
BRIAN WONG: This is the redesigned 2023 Honda Pilot. And Honda has given its three-row midsize SUV extensive updates, starting with a brand new exterior look that's more rugged and a new trail sport trim that actually adds a bunch of offroad capability to the pilot. Under the hood, a brand-new 3.5 liter V6 made it to a 10-speed automatic transmission. That's an upgrade over last year's nine-speed.
We move inside-- other big updates, including a third row that can now fit adults, and a very flexible second row. On elite and touring trim levels, there's actually a removable second row center seat that you could store in the cargo area, and that allows you to switch between seven and eight passenger seating capacity, depending on what you need. Up front in the cabin, there is a 9-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. This is a bit smaller than the large touchscreens you'll find in competitors, so a bit of space there for Honda to do more upgrades on this Pilot.
LAUREN MCCAY: While we're on Honda, let's talk Prologue. This sharp looker is their first electric SUV, and it's due in 2024 with a little help from General Motors. EVs are really expensive to make, so it's nice to have friends to split the bill with. Honda is borrowing GM's battery tech. And in fact, this Prologue is going to be built at the general's factory-- no lie. We don't have lots of specifics yet, but we know it's about the size of Honda's current Passport. We also expect it will be priced similarly, starting around 40 grand.
Jeep is getting ready to bring its take on pure electric fun to the great outdoors soon with this Recon EV. This midsize SUV should be about the size of today's Grand Cherokee when it arrives in 2024. Jeep promises it'll have real offroad chops too, complete with knobby tires, underbody protection, and sophisticated traction management tech. Plus it'll be available with a power top, as well as removable doors and glass, just like a Wrangler. Recon will be the first of two Jeep EVs, the other one being codenamed Wagoneer S. The plan is for 50% of Jeep sales to be EVs by 2030.
If Volvo's upscale Polestar division somehow isn't on your radar yet, well, you might want to sit up and pay attention, because this new Polestar 3 electric SUV looks hot. And since it starts at about $85,000, it probably should. The 3 comes standard with two motors and all-wheel drive. Available with over 500 horsepower, it should really move too. Plus Polestar is promising 300 miles of range. And since it's part of the greater Volvo family, we're also expecting top safety tech and a high-quality Swedish minimalist interior with generous room for five.
No list of outdoorsy vehicles could be complete without a Subaru. This is the 2024 Crosstrek, the third generation compact SUV. Yes, it's just an Impreza hatchback on stilts, but seriously, these things have always been shockingly capable off road. This next-gen Crosstrek won't stray too far from today's design, but it does feature a slightly tougher look, along with improved driver assistance tech and a bigger touchscreen. No word yet on powertrain specs, let alone if a plug-in hybrid model will return. Even so, we expect pricing to start in the same ballpark, around 25 grand or so. Look for deliveries sometime in 2023.
All right, I'm guessing you might not have heard of VinFast, which is coming to America in 2023 with its two-row VF8 SUV and this three-row VF9. It's tempting to think that Vietnam's VinFast as a startup, but it already sells tons of cars in Vietnam, along with electric scooters, buses, and all kinds of stuff. VinFast's parent company Vingroup owns everything, from hotels and amusement parks to hospitals, cybersecurity, and AI companies-- even a university. In other words, they've got ready to eat pockets, enough to not end up as vaporware.
Now, as for this VF9 SUV, it's targeting up to around 350 miles of range, and will be available with over 400 horsepower. Acceleration to 60 is estimated at just over six seconds-- pretty solid stuff. They're promising cutting-edge infotainment, including games and e-commerce apps. And importantly for an unknown company, the VF9 comes with a 10-year 125,000 mile warranty. That might be the best one out there.
The handsome SUV starts at around $58,000, but there's a catch-- batteries are not included. No, I'm serious. They're not included. VinFast is pioneering a battery subscription program to keep costs down, and to curb buyer fears of expensive replacement batteries down the road. A subscription runs a couple hundred buck month, or you can buy a VF9 with a battery, but it's going to cost you upwards of 76 grand. Ouch. That ain't exactly a fire sale. Now, if you want something cheaper, smaller VF6 and 7 models are promised for sometime in 2024.
Finally, let's talk 2024 Volvo EX90. No, I didn't say XC90, though the two models are about the same size. This is Volvo's brand new top shelf electric flagship. It takes Volvo's Scandinavian aesthetic to the next level. It's super sleek, especially for a three-row SUV, but it still has a sense of humor. The headlights wink. They wink, y'all. I love it.
The EX90 gets a two-motor, all-wheel drive powertrain, good for nearly 500 horses. The battery pack is big, enabling up to 300 miles between charge-ups. Inside there's next-gen infotainment with a bigger 14-inch screen. Unfortunately, that famous Swedish minimalist vibe also means there's almost no buttons or dials for things like climate or audio controls, which is going to be annoying.
This is a Volvo, so it shouldn't be surprising that the EX90's got next-level safety gear and driving assist. See that pod on the roof? That's LIDAR, laser radar, just like what Google's self-driving bubble cars use. Pricing for this South Carolina-built SUV should come in under 80K for starters when it arrives in early 2024.
You're still here? Thanks for sticking with your girl. I think you've earned a cookie, but you know, I didn't bake any. So instead, here's a special bonus SUV. This smooth operator is the all-electric Fisker Ocean. Yep, it's another new company. Look, I get why you're skeptical about startups, but you should pay attention to this one, because production has already started, and it's being built by Magna, a huge trusted industry supplier. Plus it looks really sharp.
The Ocean is loaded with sustainable materials. There's an available range extending solar roof and plans for various powertrains that go from mild to wild. Deliveries are starting with the fully loaded Ocean 1, which costs around 70k. Fisker claims 0 to 60 in about 3 and 1/2 seconds, and up to 350 miles of range for that one. Fortunately, much cheaper Oceans are promised, including one under 40 grand. I might look at that one.
OK, that's it. I promise you. You're up to speed on the key sport utility hotness set to hit America's roads and trails in 2023 and 2024. If any of these pique your interest, be sure to check out edmunds.com for even more info. Now, go wash your car. It's filthy.
These Are the Best Upcoming SUVs! | 2023-2024 New SUVs
From compacts to luxury EVs and everything in between, there are tons of new SUVs coming out in 2023 – so many that it can be a little overwhelming to keep track of them all. That’s why, in this video, Edmunds’ Lauren McCay takes you through our picks for the best upcoming SUVs of… 2023-2024. Check it out above!
The Edmunds experts tested the 2023 Hornet both on the road and at the track. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Hornet has 22.9 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Dodge Hornet. Learn more
Is the Dodge Hornet reliable?
To determine whether the Dodge Hornet is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Hornet. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Hornet's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2023 Dodge Hornet a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2023 Dodge Hornet is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2023 Hornet is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2023 Dodge Hornet?
The least-expensive 2023 Dodge Hornet is the 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 02/23 (1.3L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric plug-in hybrid 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $39,995.
Other versions include:
R/T 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 02/23 (1.3L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric plug-in hybrid 6A) which starts at $39,995
R/T Plus 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 02/23 (1.3L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric plug-in hybrid 6A) which starts at $44,995
If you're interested in the Dodge Hornet, the next question is, which Hornet model is right for you? Hornet variants include R/T 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 02/23 (1.3L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric plug-in hybrid 6A), and R/T Plus 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 02/23 (1.3L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric plug-in hybrid 6A). For a full list of Hornet models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more