This isn’t your grandma’s crossover, but soon it might be…
Well, I called it back in May, Dodge was going to release the Hornet as another crossover but with attitude. Others were claiming the name would be used on an exciting compact muscle car or some such nonsense, but I already knew this thing would be using the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Tonale.
Watch a Dodge Challenger launch into the air running from the cops here.
For a while now, I’ve been warning everyone about the coming watering down of the Dodge brand. While we’ve had a few good years where Dodge realized making mommy mobiles and grocery getters but giving them aggressive names and muscular looks wasn’t the way to go, that’s a bygone era. Now we have the Dodge Hornet storming onto the scene for 2023, or I should say slowly ambling onto the scene.
Dodge is trying to spin the new Hornet as some bad boy crossover, but it’s all a façade too many will unfortunately fall for. Consider this: if you get the hottest version of this grocery getter, the Hornet R/T PHEV (that’s a plug-in hybrid), the on-demand PowerShot feature provides an additional 25-horsepower for when you’re trying to teach a Mustang driver a lesson. Instead of the tepid 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds, Dodge is bragging its compact crossover will do it in 6.1 seconds. No, this isn’t a joke, but that guy in the Mustang will be laughing at you.
Other automotive publications are pointing out Dodge is injecting some excitement into a rather bland segment of the market. It’s true that compact crossovers are the dogs of the auto industry, considering the Hornet’s competition includes the Honda CR-V, Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4, one of which your grandma probably has sitting in her driveway. So yeah, this thing is fast when compared to those appliances on wheels, but it’s a far cry from what we’ve been served by Dodge lately. But this will make one sick rental car.
I fully expect to get some hate from people who despise muscle cars and heavy metal music and everything else which spices up life but love asking to speak to the manager at the grocery store. After all, you can take the Dodge Hornet to Home Depot and realize it won’t fit any more stuff than the Charger, plus it looks like a balloon on wheels. The practicality of compact crossovers is such a silly myth.
Oh, one other thing: I nailed it about where this Dodge Hornet will be assembled. Since it shares a platform with the Alfa Romeo Tonale, it will be assembled at the Giambattista Vico Stellantis plant located in Pomigliano d’Arco, Naples, Italy. Yep, it’s basically a budget Italian crossover, so reliability should be rock solid. Are you excited yet?
Photos via Stellantis