2023 Dodge Hornet vs 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale: Struggle or Peaceful Coexistence?

2023 Dodge Hornet

The 2023 Dodge Hornet is essentially a less luxurious counterpart of the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale, and both will go on sale in America as PHEVs in Q1 2023. What will be their coexistence in the same market?

Stellantis, which owns both Alfa Romeo and Dodge brands, has been experimenting with plug-in hybrid vehicles on the way to full pure electrification. The company has introduced the performance-oriented 2023 Dodge Hornet and the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale focused on luxury styling.

Performance

While the former comes with two variants of powertrains (a 285-hp/383 lb-ft plug-in hybrid and a 2.0L 265-hp turbo-four), the latter will be available in North America only as a plug-in-hybrid with a total output of 272 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.   

Hybrid systems in both models are similar – based on a 1.3-liter turbo-four engine and a 90-kW electric motor but differ by outputs.

The Hornet PHEV features a 9-speed automatic transmission, more than 30 miles of range, and a PowerShot function to increase power by 25 hp for 15 seconds and reduce the 0-60 mph acceleration time by a second to 6.1 seconds. 

In its turn, the Tonale comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, standard AWD, and an independent suspension system. Its electric-only range is 30 miles.

Appearance and Tech

The models have similar exterior designs including razor-sharp LED headlights and curvy body lines, albeit a different grille design. Their cabins have the same layouts and identical standard infotainment features, as well as a standard Harmon Kardon audio system.

The Alfa Romeo SUV’s interior is more refined: it offers Alcantara upholstery, a red-black color scheme, standard heated seats, and ventilated front seats. For the Dodge SUV, leather upholstery and heated seats cost extra.

If to compare safety suites, most of theTonale’s standard safety features are available on the Hornet as options – in the optional TechPack, including automated parking.

Sales and Prices

The Dodge Hornet PHEV (R/T model that starts at about $40K) arrives at dealerships in the first quarter of next year, most likely in March. The R/T Plus trim will cost $5,000 more. The non-hybrid version with est. $30,000 will be available to customers still this year. 

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is expected to reach the U.S. dealer showrooms in early 2023 priced between $40,000 and $50,000 plus.

Which Model Should I Buy?

Now it is difficult to predict how similar models will coexist in the same market. How can the less powerful and generally more expensive Tonale compete with the Hornet?

Probably, Alfa Romeo knows the answer, thinks strategically, and has an ace up their sleeve. What we see now is that the Tonale’s only real advantage over the Hornet is prestige.

Dodge received over 14,000 reservations within 48 hours after the Hornet was unveiled. Alfa Romeo sold only slightly more than 18,000 vehicles for the whole of 2021.


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