Can the Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE hold its own against the new Dodge Hornet R/T?
As we come to the SUV segment, we might know only a few beasts, which are Toyota Rav4, Honda CRV, Ford Escape, etc. After that, these cars became a trend that people adopted.
Automakers learned that developing sporty SUVs and crossovers meant more bucks in the sum columns, just as every time you can charge more for something that already exists.
A subgenre was born, and it appears that performance SUVs are now more popular than ever. So we have got the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T vs. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE today to know which is worth it.
Both are hybrids
The Hornet is smaller than the RAV4—its wheelbase is roughly 2 inches shorter, the Dodge is about 4 inches shorter in height, and it weighs nearly 200 pounds less, which is a decent starting place for sportiness.
The all-new Hornet is actually a reskinned Alfa Romeo Tonale. What neither Dodge nor Alfa wants you to know is that both the Hornet and the Tonale are built on the dreaded Jeep Compass platform, despite the fact that a source told me that 75 percent of the vehicles are new.
Nonetheless, I feel the term for the Hornet’s genesis narrative is ignoble. Perhaps ignoble, with a term in an Italian finishing school, is a more accurate description.
The Toyota RAV4 requires little introduction, as it was the best-selling automobile in the United States in 2022, with over one million units sold. The RAV4 Prime we’re looking at today is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, which can travel 42 miles on battery power alone, according to the EPA.
If you need to go further, a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I-4 linked to a CVT fire right up. The total power output is impressive: 302 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, despite the fact that the machine weighs approximately 4,400 pounds. The 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T is a similar form of PHEV, albeit it only travels 32 miles on battery power alone.
The Dodge, on the other hand, features a lively 1.3-liter turbo I-4 mated to an underwhelming six-speed automated transmission. The Hornet R/T has a total output of 288 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Like the RAV4 prime, the figures are impressive on paper.
In terms of appearance, the Dodge comfortably wins. We should mention that we’ve seen the Hornet in black on smaller wheels before, and it’s nothing exceptional. However, if you spend the $53,460 Dodge wants you to, you get a head-turner of a vehicle.
Yes, neither vehicle is cheap; the Toyota came with a sticker price of $52,844. That was BMW 5 Series money not long ago, but keep in mind that the average price of a new automobile in March 2023 is $48,000.
When you look at either vehicle, It cost more than $50K, Not on the outside, and certainly not on the inside of the Toyota. The Dodge has an astonishing number of Alfa Romeo pieces inside.
The Dodge has an astonishing number of Alfa Romeo pieces inside. As the owner of an Alfa Romeo Giulia, it was strange yet comforting to see my car’s huge aluminum shift paddles, steering wheel, door handles, and switchgear.
Time for performance
The Hornet’s brakes are powerful enough to bring the vehicle to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet. Binders on the RAV4 require 131 feet to accomplish the same operation. Dodge has a huge advantage.
In terms of grip, Dodge wins again, with the Hornet pulling 0.84 g (average) on our skid pad to the RAV4’s 0.75 g. On our figure-eight handling course, the Hornet R/T takes 26.5 seconds, while the RAV4 Prime takes 27.6 seconds.
To put it succinctly, the Hornet outperforms the RAV4 in terms of dynamic performance. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for its straight-line performance.
The RAV4 Prime accelerates to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, just ahead of the Hornet R/T’s 5.6 seconds. The Toyota pulls ahead in the quarter mile, clocking 14 seconds flat at 99.8 mph to the Dodge’s 14.2-second run at 96.1 mph. So, we can safely conclude that the Dodge is not the fastest vehicle at the end of 1,320 feet.
The Hornet’s generally fantastic performance suffers when the gutless gasoline engine fires up and the slow-shifting six-speed automatic kicks in. The RAV4 Prime’s charmless internal combustion engine is no exception. So the verdict is 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T.