Auto review: 2024 Dodge Hornet is average at best

Marc D. Grasso, Boston Herald on

Published in Business News

Dodge and the team at Stellantis continue to try to find innovative ways to design and develop vehicles for their dwindling list of sedan and SUV consumers. Due to this, the Dodge Hornet nameplate was pulled from the archives and re-released as Dodge’s way of exploring the realistic priced market. Entry level and ready to ride, the 2024 Dodge Hornet is similar to the 1977 AMC version: subpar. Its Dodge Dart-like curvatures give off the vibes of a sedan, while the Hornet is a compact SUV and the interior matches the ride height and feel of a sedan. It's hard to understand why Dodge released the Hornet in a category already bulging with winners, such as the Honda HR-V, Alfa Romeo Tonale, Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona, rather than in one in need of new blood.

While maintaining the seventh largest automobile manufacturing company in the world, Stellantis certainly deserves accolades for exploring this opportunity, but maybe some oversight as well. The Hornet shares a frame and components with the Alfa Romeo Tonale, but it is certainly a less sportier version and one that is ready for a commuter. Wrapped in Blu Bayou paint with black badging, our GT Plus AWD tester was powered with a 2.0-liter I4 DOHC Hurricane 4 Engine with ESS, producing 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Hornet was not lazy at all in its get up and go, but had an increased road noise from the front row seats.

In Grasso’s Garage, our first priority is honesty and ensuring readers understand all aspects of the vehicles we are reviewing. Whether in the market for a new car or not, we strive to make sure you have all of the facts when it comes to the goods and sometimes the hard truths. Stellantis has always done a great job of releasing vehicles to the market that are packed with plenty of punch, as with their Challenger, Charger and SRT fleet, while options galore and outstanding comfort has always been their strong suit. The Hornet deserves a few accolades, but it is easily noticeable that FCA put pricing over product, and that could jeopardize sales. The Hornet's basic package is a decent option for compact cruisers in this price category, while keeping in mind there are many options all worth a scholarly test drive.

2024 Dodge Hornet GT Plus AWD


MSRP: $34,995

MPG: 16 city / 16 highway / 16.4 as tested

As Tested: $41,060

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