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What It Is (and what it's not): The 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T Plus

2024 Dodge Hornet front 3/4 view

Does this car look familiar to you?

Think back...this website...early August...

The blue one on top is the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T. The green one on the bottom is the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale. And yes, they're fundamentally the same vehicle. Stellantis owns both Dodge and Alfa Romeo.

But unlike what some wannabe car reviewers on YouTube and Instagram (and very likely TikTok) seem to believe, the Alfa is not a badge-engineered Dodge with a jacked-up sticker price.

It's the other way around.

2024 Dodge Hornet rear 3/4 view

The cupboard is getting bare at Dodge. There will be no 2024 Challenger or Charger as of this writing. There's a new Charger coming, but not until calendar 2024---which may mean it'll be a 2025 model. That would have left Dodge in the same position as its sister division Chrysler. It is losing the 300 and will only have the Pacifica minivan for 2024. For Dodge, it would have been down to just the Durango .

So Dodge asked Stellantis to please let it have its own version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Unlike the Alfa, which comes only as a 285-horsepower plug-in hybrid, the Dodge can be had that way, or with a purely gasoline-powered 268-horsepower turbo four. With that engine and a less-opulent interior than the Alfa, Dodge can price that Hornet (the GT) in the low $30,000s.

2024 Dodge Hornet hood up

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T engine

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T charging port

If you're willing to spend from the low 40s up, there's the Dodge Hornet R/T---the same 285-horsepower PHEV. Zero to 60 in six seconds flat, with 32 miles of pure electric driving before the gas/electric hybrid kicks in. Once it does, you're looking at 29 mpg combined city/highway. The driving experience is very much like the Alfa---which, as I said in that review, is fine, but lacking the razor-sharp handling associated with the brand. So it's good for a Dodge, but kinda ordinary for an Alfa. The only major difference in equipment is that the Alfa comes standard on 19-inch wheels. The Dodge rolls on 18s.

2024 Dodge Hornet rear liftgate open

2024 Dodge Hornet rear seat

2024 Dodge Hornet front seats

2024 Dodge Hornet front seat detail

2024 Dodge Hornet instrument panel

While the GT flirts with rental-spec interior accommodations, in the R/T, the only changes to the Alfa Romeo Tonale interior are Dodge logos on the headrests and steering wheel, a single cowl rather than a double over the gauges, differently shaped air vents on either side of the dashboard, and the relocation of the starter button from the steering wheel in the Alfa to the center console (replacing the Alfa's active suspension controls), with an "eDrive Modes" button taking its place in the Dodge's wheel.

We did experience some odd glitches in the Hornet that we didn't in the Tonale, which was flawless.

If we put a phone in the wireless charger, it would put up a dialog on the touchscreen saying it was charging. Hitting "OK" made it go away, but only for five seconds. There was also a red "X" to cancel the screen. But again, the dialog box would come back, taking over the touchscreen every five seconds.

The only way to make that stop---was to not use the wireless phone charger.

The forward collision warning systems would quit a couple of times a day, turning on the warning lights. And the speed limit display in between the tachometer and speedometer began reading oddball limits---14 miles per hour for a freeway on-ramp one day, 31 the next---on the same onramp where you should be accelerating to 65.

The base price for the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T is $46,590, including destination. That's a $2,500 price break compared to the Alfa Romeo Tonale, but Alfa's offering a $7,500 incentive lease deal, so you might come out ahead there.

2024 Dodge Hornet steering wheel and instrument display

2024 Dodge Hornet center console

2023 Dodge Hornet center stack

Our tester did have extra-cost options. The Blacktop Package (gloss black painted mirror caps, a dark Hornet badge, gloss black painted side window moldings and upgraded 18-inch wheels) was $1,595. The Tech Pack (intelligent speed assist, active driving assist, surround-view camera, drowsy driver detection and ParkSense) added $2,245. The Blu Bayou paint was $495. And our car came without a sunroof, resulting in a $615 credit.

Bottom line of the window sticker: $50,805.

2024 Dodge Hornet front view

2024 Dodge Hornet side view

2024 Dodge Hornet rear view

50 grand is a lot for a small crossover---even a PHEV. At $58,990 as tested, the Tonale was the priciest of its competitive set---which includes premium competitors like the Mercedes GLA, the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1. Only the Volvo XC40---a pure electric---costs more. With the Dodge Hornet, you have a mainstream brand and a vehicle that's not only seven inches shorter than a Honda CR-V, but two inches shorter than the Honda HR-V. $50,805 is a big ask for a small car---even one with Alfa Romeo DNA.


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