A red 2024 Dodge Hornet is shown from the side after leaving a Dodge dealer.

Reimagining the Mom Car: Blaring Blippi in the Dodge Hornet

There’s a running joke among friends that if you see any of us driving around town with the windows down and Blippi or Cocomelon music blasting, no, you didn’t. Years ago, sunny days were meant for sunroofs and your favorite playlists. I drove my Jeep Wrangler proudly with the top and doors off and the wind in my hair. It’s a different story today, with a toddler in the backseat of my family-friendly SUV demanding “The Excavator Song” and more gummy snacks with a heartfelt “please.” Even so, Blippi isn’t going to stop me from rolling down the window and enjoying the sunroof on a beautiful day.

Fortunately, automakers like Dodge understand the dilemma. Families need practical vehicles, but that doesn’t mean we want to compromise on style and capability. Why can’t we have it all? Dodge dealers across the country are proving it’s possible, with models like the Hornet GT and R/T filling a much-needed gap in the segment for a potent crossover that blends practicality with performance.

#1) Performance: From Fast to Fastest

Dodge hasn’t introduced a new vehicle in over a decade, leaving many concerned when the automaker announced the last call for the legendary Charger and Challenger. The final curtain for these models precipitated the need for a new model to complement the Durango, known for its on-road prowess and versatility. Dodge’s answer was to revive a former nameplate and reintroduce the Hornet as a potent crossover with plenty of style and the heart of a road warrior.

The Hornet delivers best-in-class performance across its two-trim lineup, with the GT setting the benchline as the fastest gas-powered model in the segment. The GT is powered by a 2.0L “Hurricane” Turbo engine that produces 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. With a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, this translates to an exciting experience in the driver’s seat with a top speed of 140 mph. It’s undeniably the fastest crossover in the segment, breathing new life as you navigate school drop-offs, pick-ups, errands, and other outings.

The Hornet R/T takes this experience even further, with Dodge proving you can expect even more from a family-friendly SUV. The R/T is the industry’s first performance hybrid and the most powerful in the segment. As a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the R/T’s powertrain delivers 288 hp and 383 lb-ft of instant torque for a launch from zero to sixty in 5.6 seconds, making it the fastest in its class. Dodge adds to this experience with class-exclusive Brembo brakes and the segment’s first PowerShot feature, which pushes the engine harder for fifteen seconds to increase its output by up to 30 hp. It’s a crossover reimagined as an unsuspecting, power-hungry road warrior.

The rear of a gold 2024 Dodge Hornet is shown in close-up.

#2) Practicality and Functional Features

The Hornet might be the fastest and most powerful in the segment, but does Dodge force drivers to compromise on practicality and versatility? Fortunately, the Hornet strikes an excellent balance. Its functional design complements its athleticism and penchant for speed.

We see this firsthand in the driver’s seat, which feels more like a modern cockpit than a “mom car” or a family-friendly SUV. Dodge outfits the Hornet with premium materials, from class-exclusive Alcantara seats to high-quality leather with red accent stitching that reflects its sport-like aesthetic. Likewise, the flat-bottom steering wheel showcases its heart for pushing the limits, while the driver’s seat doubles as a tech-savvy cockpit that keeps you informed, connected, and entertained via expansive digital displays.

Beyond the driver’s seat, you can expect plenty of comfort and function from the second row, designed in a 60/40 split to provide more versatility when hauling passengers and cargo. The total cargo space measures 27.0 cu.ft., with a storage area under the rear floor to keep items secure and out of sight. Additional features like the hands-free power liftgate add another layer of convenience and value, particularly when loading groceries, luggage, and other gear into the rear with kids along for the ride.

#3) Tools to Connect, Inform, and Entertain

The Hornet is easily the most tech-savvy in the Dodge lineup, giving drivers plenty of opportunities to stay connected, informed, and entertained everywhere the road leads. For a mom like myself, the Hornet’s 12.3-inch driver information digital cluster display provides vital insights into the Hornet’s performance and alerts from the navigation system and even my smartphone. With two appearance themes, you can customize the display to show the information most important to you.

The Hornet’s center display is also expansive and features the Uconnect 5 infotainment system on a 10.25-inch system canted slightly toward the driver. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay ensure seamless smartphone integration, with Amazon Alexa enhancing the experience; you can say, “Hey Alexa, play ‘The Excavator Song’ by Blippi,” without taking your eyes off the wheel. The toddler is happy, and I’m still focused on the road—it’s a win-win.

Of course, blasting Blippi (and your own favorite artists) is even more enjoyable because of the Hornet’s premium audio system. The Hornet’s Harman Kardon sound system features fourteen strategically placed speakers throughout the cabin. The result is an extraordinary and immersive listening experience with 465 watts of output that—come to think of it—is far better suited for hair bands and classic rock’n’roll than toddler tunes.

A gold 2024 Dodge Hornet is shown from the side on a city street.

#4) Peace of Mind in the Driver’s Seat

As a parent, one of my biggest priorities is keeping my family safe on the road. Beyond the standard airbags and high-strength construction, the Hornet checks all the boxes on any safety list. Dodge equips this SUV with standard features like Automatic Emergency Braking with pedestrian and cycling detection, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Path, and a Lane Support System. The Hornet also rolls off the production line with four rear parking sensors and a high-definition backup camera for enhanced visibility.

Personally, I would spend more to add the Tech Pack with Level 2 autonomous driving technologies. These features not only enhance your situational awareness but positively impact your experience cruising at highway speeds. Traveling with anyone can be stressful—especially with little ones demanding snacks and asking a million versions of “Are we there yet?” The Tech Pack equips the Hornet with Intelligent Speed Assist with Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Attention Assist, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lateral Control, and Lane Support with Traffic Jam Assist. It’s like equipping the SUV with a virtual spotter constantly monitoring your surroundings and alerting you to potential hazards.

Final Thoughts

Having a family changes everything in many positive and beautiful ways, from the atmosphere of your house to what you drive; suddenly, you’ve gone from getting a little mud on the tires every weekend to changing diapers and learning “The Wheels on the Bus” to keep your little one from screaming in the backseat. You can still venture off the pavement, but you’ll have more stuff to bring and far more important people to make memories with.

So, as a mother, the Hornet strikes a certain appeal because it blends practicality and performance. It proves you can drive a crossover and still have fun, courtesy of the Hornet’s Hurricane engine or plug-in hybrid powertrain and PowerShot that gives this SUV a quick burst of power. Even so, you don’t have to compromise or choose between this excitement and fitting a car seat in the backseat or worrying about the safety of your family. Instead, you can enjoy every drive—even with Blippi as your current soundtrack.