FIRST LOOK: 2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Blacktop AWD

A C-UV Breaking The Status Quo...

The 2023 Dodge Hornet GT is set to make a mark in the highly competitive compact utility vehicle (C-UV) segment with its unique performance-centric approach. This vehicle is not just a rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale but rather a distinct model that seeks to stand out from the competition. With its emphasis on performance, the Hornet promises to deliver a driving experience that sets it apart from other C-UVs.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Blacktop AWD in Gray Cray. (Dodge).

The exterior design of the Hornet GT is a reflection of its performance-focused attitude. It features integrated heat extractors on the hood and a “mail slot”-style grille opening, which not only enhances the vehicle’s serious, all-business demeanor but also reinforces its performance capabilities. The lower cladding and valances are finished in matte black molded-in color, which adds to the vehicle’s unmistakable, focused down-the-road appearance.

The headlamp signature lighting further complements the design with a distinctive and eye-catching look. The taillamp extends the width of the vehicle and features an illuminated Dodge Rhombi logo in the center, making it easy to identify the vehicle as a Dodge from a distance. While some enthusiasts have compared it to the Alfa Romeo Tonale, the Hornet GT still manages to incorporate Dodge’s signature design elements and presents a stylish look. However, we feel that changing the rear quarter window shape could have eliminated the negative comparisons to the Tonale.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Blacktop AWD in Gray Cray. (Dodge).

The design of the Hornet GT’s interior prioritizes the driver’s experience, featuring center stack controls and display screens tilted towards the driver’s position. The mid-bolster, which is wrapped and stitched, runs through the instrument panel (IP), creating a lighter feeling and adding visual width, further enhancing the driving experience. The black interior is accented with red stitching on the mid-bolster, seats, and armrest, providing a stylish touch. Additionally, the vents and center switches are highlighted with accents that enhance the overall performance appearance of the interior.

While the Hornet’s layout remains largely similar to the Tonale, Dodge made small changes to differentiate the Hornet GT. These changes include swapping the location of the Sport button and the push-button start with the locations found on the Tonale’s DNA shifter and steering wheel-mounted start button, respectively. As well, as a redesign to the IP climate vents.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Blacktop AWD in Gray Cray. (Dodge).

The Hornet GT boasts impressive performance with its Hurricane4 engine, generating an impressive 268 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. This makes it the fastest and most powerful utility vehicle in its class under $30,000 (excluding destination). It comes equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive (AWD) for exceptional handling and control.

The Hornet GT is equipped with 17-inch Silver aluminum wheels as standard. However, customers can opt for the Blacktop package, which provides a sleek blacked-out appearance achieved through the use of 18-inch Abyss alloy wheels, Gloss Black badging, mirror caps, and Gloss Black painted daylight opening (DLO) molding.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Blacktop AWD in Gray Cray. (Dodge).

The optional Track Pack package for the Hornet GT that includes 20-inch Abyss wheels, larger brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, sports seats with additional bolstering, a sporty steering wheel, and unique badging. While it enhances the car’s performance and driving experience, it may come at an additional cost and result in a stiffer ride.

Additionally, the Hornet GT’s “Sport” mode takes the driving experience to the next level by enhancing the vehicle’s dynamics. This feature sharpens the throttle response, optimizes the shift schedule, and adjusts the suspension to a stiffer setting. The “Sport” mode allows drivers to fully experience the Hornet GT’s capabilities, delivering an outstanding driving experience.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Blacktop AWD in Gray Cray. (Dodge).

While the Hornet GT raises the bar for performance in the CUV category. Boasting a commanding engine, versatile driving modes, and design elements that emphasize performance, making it ideal for drivers who value dynamic driving and impressive speed. 

The 2023 Dodge Hornet GT is a highly impressive CUV that sets a new standard for performance in its category. For those seeking a more exciting and dynamic driving experience beyond the typical fuel-efficient CUV, the Hornet is the perfect choice. While it may not match the intense performance of the HELLCAT Durango, it undoubtedly surpasses the expectations of its target audience, filling the void left by Dodge’s former top-selling models, the Grand Caravan and Journey.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT Plus Blacktop AWD in Gray Cray Image Gallery:

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Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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