For the first time in a decade, Dodge dealerships will be on the receiving end of an all-new car. Set to play in the unfathomably competitive small crossover segment, the Dodge Hornet will be a much-needed product for those hucking Dodge metal – especially after the Charger and Challenger
are put out to pasture at the end of this year.
Base Camp readers will want to know about the $37,995 GT trim, powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 268 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard in Canada, and a nine-speed automatic transmission handles shifting duties. Hewing to Dodge’s reputation as the purveyor of vehicles purporting to be sportier than average, Koni-branded frequency selective dampers are standard kit, while flashy Brembo brakes show up on the options sheet.
Visually spotting the difference between base GT and next-tier R/T is easy with the Hornet – just take a look at its rear fascia. The latter has a pair of loud-n-proud exhaust tips poking out under its bumper, while the GT’s are much more discreet. Up front, GT gets a gloss black grille (and a curiously centred red Dodge badge), plenty of LED mascara for an aggressive lighting signature, and heat extractors on its hood which are actually functional. As per Dodge tradition, a palette of wild colours are on tap, including the likes of Hot Tamale and Acapulco Gold.
Inside the Hornet GT, the company has fitted a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, packed with SiriusXM and integration with Amazon Alexa if you’re invested in that ecosystem. There are enough USB ports to keep all hands quiet, including rear seat passengers, though a wireless charging pad is absent. Seats move manually and aren’t heated unless you pay extra. Dual-zone automatic climate control keeps warring factions at bay. An attractive 12.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge cluster sits ahead of the driver.
What We'd Choose
Making a $6,000 hike to the GT Plus trim retains the 2.0L gasoline-powered engine but brings many of the features missing on the standard GT. Navigation shows up in the 10.25-inch dashboard tablet, wireless charging sprouts from the centre console, and its rear liftgate gains a power-operated function. Better seats (covered in leather with heat and ventilation) are on tap for yer extra cash as well.
The $50,495 R/T is similarly equipped in terms of toys as the GT but brings an electrified powertrain to the table in the form of a plug-in hybrid system. Its 15.5-kWh battery pack permits roughly 50 kilometres of all-electric driving when conditions are right, a trait which may be very attractive to some shoppers. It qualifies for iZEV rebates, meaning some provinces will shave 10 stacks off its sticker price.
If you live in one of those provinces, the R/T is an easy choice since its net price of just over 40 grand compares well to the GT since it includes features – heated leatherette seats and heated steering wheel, for example – which are extra cost on the base model. The rest of us will have to either make the math work in terms of extra cost versus fuel saved, or simply go for the base GT and add the $995 Cold Weather package.
Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade.