I finally got my hands on the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T, a car based on the Alfa Romeo Tonale both of which are unsurprisingly manufactured in Italy. It looks the part too it’s got functional hood scoops, a lovely exhaust burble, and a temporary over-boost mode and it will go 32 miles on electricity alone.


Dodge has always had a sense of humor and they have brought us some pretty wild cars along the way, but that’s more difficult today when we are desperately trying to save the planet. But instead of giving us another boring crossover Dodge has given us what is essentially a dodgified Alfo Romeo Tonale and that’s a very good start.

It’s a pretty car with compact proportions and for comparison is smaller than the RAV4, its wheelbase is 2 inches shorter, and it’s 4 inches shorter in height as well as being nearly 200 pounds lighter. To add a little aggression Dodge adds functional hood scoops and a narrow but aggressive Dodge branded face.

Plenty of options

My tester had the Blacktop Package ($1,595) that adds black badges gloss-black side window moldings and mirror caps. It also has the Track Pack ($2,595) which includes 20-inch black wheels, with 235/40 all-season tires, red Brembo brake calipers on all four wheels, Black Alcantara seats with red accents, aluminum door sills, and sports leather steering wheel.

Finally, the Tech Pack ($2,245) includes Intelligent Speed Assist, Active Driving Assist, Surround View Cameras, Drowsy Driver Detection, and ParkSense.

Sports Suspension

The front suspension is a four-wheel independent McPherson system with Koni FSD shock absorbers, adaptive-damping dual-stage valve shock absorbers with selectable modes (auto, sport, compliant ride, Sport mode with firm, and maximum handling, which is included with Track Pack)

At the rear you get Chapman suspension with a rear stabilizer bar, Koni FSD shock absorbers, and the same adaptive-damping dual-stage shock absorbers as the front.

Under the hood 

In the GT model, you get a 2.0-liter inline-4, with 268 hp and 295 lb-ft driven through a 9-speed auto @ 3000 rpm. In this hybrid R/T model, you get a turbocharged and intercooled 16-valve 1.3-liter inline-4 with 177 hp and 199 lb-ft. Plus 2 AC motors and you get a total output of 288 hp and 383 lb-ft Driven through a 6-speed automatic/direct-drive transmission.  

Those numbers are using Powershot, which is the electric equivalent of nitrous, the rear motor gives you 30 hp more for 15 seconds when you pull back on both paddle shifters.  12.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 7.4-kW onboard charger). All electric range is 32 miles up to 84 miles per hour and Combined: 29 mpg, Combined Gasoline + Electricity: 77 MPGe.


Settle into the very comfortable and supportive bucket seats, press the Sport button, and mash the throttle for instant pleasure. The Hornet R/T offers surprisingly agile handling, thanks to its advanced suspension system and responsive steering. Tackling tight corners the car feels poised and controlled, but it always reminds you that it’s a tall-riding crossover.

You can push the limits with confidence but you’re probably going to want grippier summer tires. The All-season Michelins are good but not good enough to control this car’s 4,200 lb curb weight.

I tried the Powershot feature a couple of times and on both occasions, I was unable to feel any more power than without it. The good news is the little 1.3 turbo is a gem and makes the most satisfying burbles out the back.

Overall it’s something of a sleeper, I surprised several other crossovers either at a stop light or on one of San Diego’s twisty back roads. Given that it has a rear hatch you could get away with calling it a hot hatch since it would give a Golf GTI a run for its money.


Inside the cabin, the Hornet R/T exudes a blend of comfort and sophistication, and the materials, for the most part, feel premium.  All the controls fall easily to hand and the center stack is angled toward the driver to create a very driver-centric environment.

The flat-bottomed leather steering wheel feels great in your hands and has proper buttons on either side instead of haptic controls. The infotainment screen is positioned a little too far away so it’s a bit of a reach. The system is intuitive and the menus are easy to follow but the screen itself doesn’t respond well to touch.

A button on the steering wheel activates the eDrive Modes, you can save your charge with E-Save Mode, prioritize electric driving with Electric Mode, or obtain maximum combined power and efficiency with Hybrid Mode.

It’s a bit of a squeeze for rear seat passengers, legroom and headroom are tight but they do get power and rear VHAC vents as well as two cup holders.

Cargo Space  

The Hornet has 23 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat that’s four less than the GT due to the battery placement. That number grows to 54.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down which is less than the segment average.  


The base price for this R/T model is $44, 995, add all the options including Track, Tech, the Blacktop pack, and the Acapulco Gold paint take the price including destination goes up to $52,405.



The Hornet is a really fun car to chuck around, it’s got the sportiness you would expect from its R/T badge, it offers around 30 miles of EV-only range, and it looks cool. The only issue I have is with the price, $52K is a lot to ask for this car and yes I know this one is loaded but you can get a GT with similar performance and options for $10K less.  If you want an EV-only range then get the R/T, but for me, the GT makes more sense.

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T Numbers

BASE PRICE: $44,995
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door crossover
ENGINE: 1.3 liter turbocharged SOHC 16-valve inline-4 + 2 electric motors
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
0-60 MPH: 5.6 sec
CURB WEIGHT: 4,200 lb
CARGO CAPACITY: 23 ft³, 54.7 ft³ with seat area
EV RANGE: 32 miles

PROS: Quicker than expected, great handling, sporty interior
CONS: Pricey, Powershot is a bit of a gimmick