2024 Dodge Hornet R/T Plus - Power is power regardless of the source


There are some out there who feel that if a car's power doesn't come from an internal combustion engine (ICE) it isn't real. Oh come on. Zero-to-sixty is zero-to-sixty. Get over it.

That's not to say I'm all in on EVs, not at all. And I have no plan to plug-in a car at my house. But when you drive the Hornet R/T the GO is good. 

I have admit I'm a sucker for any car that is certain shades of blue. Look at that photo, the Blu Bayou paint makes an already good-looking car gorgeous. 

I also have to admit that I favor small SUVs. The carrying capacity fits my needs and the ingress and egress are perfect for these old bones. 

Let's dig into the Hornet R/T:
It is 178" long on a wheelbase of 103.8", it has 22.9 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat and 50.5 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded down.

The Hornet R/T is powered by a combination of a 1.3-liter turbo engine and two electric motors for a total of 288 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. To get the full 288 hp you have to engage what Dodge calls PowerShot that adds around 30 hp. 

The power is applied to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic. This is ample power to propel the 4,140 lb. Hornet to 60 mph from a dead stop in 5.5 seconds so you can play boy racer with confidence.

Fuel economy, at least around town, can be phenomenal, and on the highway it is decent. EPA rates it at MPGe 77 (miles per gallon of gas equivalent) or 29-mpg. The Hornet R/T is a PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle). It has 32 miles of all electric range (I would imagine much less when you're racing). 

To whoa the Hornet R/T Dodge has added Brembo calipers front and rear; the rotors do not change (they are good size to start with - 345 mm front, and 305 mm rear). 

There is one thing I wish the auto makers would change - super stiff Sport suspensions. I do not drive on a race track, I drive in the real, pot-hole filled world. I like to put a car into "Sport" mode for reasons other than the ride (exhaust note, crisper shifts, and such); I do not like being pounded to death by a completely non-compliant ride, frankly it tires me out. Dodge is not the only company that does this. 

Thankfully the Hornet R/T did not have a huge screen but still there were controls that were just more complicated than they needed to be - take the seat heaters. Why must I access two distinct "switches" (they aren't switches in the normal sense as they are part of the touch screen) to turn on or adjust the seat heaters? You will note the two touch switches in the upper corners of the screen - touch the seat heater icon and you get a different screen to set the level. A simple rocker switch would suffice. 

But kudos for the gear shift lever, and for the knurled knob to change the sound system volume. 

My wife and I were split on the seat color, she didn't like it but I did. I found the front seat comfortable and supportive. Like so many cars today although the Hornet is rated as a 5-passenger car that center rear seat is not as comfortable as the two outer seats. 

Load-in and -out should be easy and there is plenty of headroom under the hatch. There is a pass through into the rear seat for long items (skis?).

The dual exhaust tips look neat but I'm at a loss why so many 4-cylinder cars have dual exhausts. 

You can tow up to a 2,000 lb. trailer with the Hornet although in my opinion you're ruin the looks of the rear end. 

Now we get to the cost. The 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T Plus starts at $46,400 according to www.dodge.com. You can add all kinds of stuff to that, the test Hornet had almost $5,000 in extras. Add in delivery and tax and you are around $55,000. 

The 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T Plus was a fun ride. If you think it's for you check it out.

That's a Hornet in case you didn't know.



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