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Changes are on the horizon for the Dodge brand. It's always been known for its bellowing muscle cars, but the Charger and Challenger will soon feature electric powerplants and the lovable Durango is being discontinued.

These moves indicate a shift towards smaller, more environmentally-friendly vehicles. The upcoming 2023 Dodge Hornet crossover is a great example of this change in philosophy.

Keep reading to learn what to expect from the Hornet and see how it'll be a first for the Dodge line.

What Is the 2023 Dodge Hornet?

The Hornet is expected to be Dodge's latest entry in the small crossover segment. 

It's rumored to share a platform with Alfa Romeo's Tonale and be produced at the same factory in Italy.

The 2023 Hornet won't be Dodge's first foray into crossovers. They released the Journey in 2009 and the Caliber in 2007. The Hornet looks to be a bit sportier than Dodge's previous crossover offerings.

Expected Engine

It's anticipated that the Hornet and the Tonale will share engine options. Currently, the Tonale comes with two choices of powerplant.

The first is a plug-in hybrid option. This will combine a 1.3 L in-line 4-cylinder engine that makes 180 horsepower with an electric motor attached to the rear wheels that makes 121 horsepower. If the Hornet ends up getting this engine, it would be the first plug-in hybrid made by Dodge.

On the Tonale, this configuration is expected to achieve 30 miles of electric-only driving. The Hornet would likely get the same.

The other, sportier engine option is a turbocharged 2.0 L in-line 4-cylinder engine that makes 256 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.

The hybrid engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission while the turbo gets a 9-speed automatic.

Some speculate Dodge might also offer another engine on its base models, but nothing about that has been confirmed.

Suspension

In addition to sharing engine options, the Hornet and Tonale will also share a suspension design.

Its chief components are independent McPherson struts and selective damping shock absorbers. Drivers will be able to choose between Comfort and Sport modes.

In comfort mode, the suspension readily absorbs bumps and offers a smooth ride. Sport mode offers a tighter suspension for improved handling and a more aggressive ride.

Appearance

Expect the Dodge Hornet 2023 to look significantly different than the Hornet concept Dodge released back in 2006. That car featured a boxy and aggressive appearance while the new Hornet draws more on European styling cues.

Spy shots indicate that the Hornet and the Tonale share many features. They both appear to feature sweeping curves and a raked rear end. 

The Hornet does make a few changes to the Tonale's design. The most significant seem to be on the front end. Dodge needed to change the headlights to adhere to American standards and altered the Tonale's signature Alfa Romeo grill.

Additionally, the Hornet will feature hood scoops and air intakes on the side of the grill. Both of those things aren't found on the Tonale.

Spy shots also indicated that the Hornet will wear smaller wheels and feature a plastic rear bumper as opposed to the glossy bumper found on the Tonale.

Interior

The Hornet will likely seat up to five, with two bucket seats up front and a bench in the back. This configuration is a bit different than the setup seen in Dodge's last crossover, the Journey, that seated seven.

The Tonale and Hornet seem to have a nearly identical interior layout.  Insiders claim that everything from the center console to the instrument panel is essentially the same. The only difference is that the Hornet boasts a Dodge logo in the center of the steering wheel.

Driver Assistance

The Hornet is likely to contain a robust suite of driver assistance features. These include lane centering, adaptive cruise control, and traffic jam assist.

It also should boast driver attention assist that can warn you when you seem drowsy behind the wheel and an emergency braking system that can detect cyclists and pedestrians.

Rounding out the list of features is blind spot detection and cross path detection, both of which can help prevent collisions.

Connectivity

The Hornet will have a sizable 10-inch infotainment touchscreen that interfaces with UConnect 5 technology. It can also receive over-the-air updates keeping you aware of everything while you're out on the road.

Expect Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity as well, since this sort of tech is standard on most new cars.

Release Date

When does the new Dodge Hornet come out? The answer is still unknown. Global supply chain issues continue to plague the auto industry, so an exact release date is up in the air.

Some speculate that it'll be a 2023 release, but it could arrive in showrooms as early as the fall of 2022. Its cousin, the Tonale, is due out in the summer of 2022.

Expect to hear something definitive on the Dodge Hornet release date by the end of the summer. Dodge could unveil the car during their Speed Week event in Detroit, which takes place at the end of August.

Pricing

Like the release date, the Dodge Hornet's price is still to be determined. Dodge hasn't released anything definitive on it just yet. This information will likely come at the car's official announcement.

Given the cost of other smaller crossovers, some speculate the Hornet's price could start around $30,000. The Hornet could also use similar trim packages as the soon-to-be-retired Durango. This includes a base SXT trim, a sporty GT trim, a performance R/T trim, and a luxurious Citadel trim.

Your Local Dodge Dealer

The launch of the 2023 Dodge Hornet is highly anticipated. The small crossover is expected to be Dodge's first plug-in hybrid model.

The Hornet will share a lot with the Alfa Romeo Tonale. It'll have at least two different engine configurations, come with a suite of modern driver assistance features, and boast sleek European styling. 

Expect the Hornet to come out later in 2022 or early 2023.

Looking to get a Dodge today? Visit us at McKinney Dodge. Our smiling salespeople are ready to help you pick out your next car.

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