Compared: 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs. 2023 Dodge Hornet

Value and performance divide these two subcompact SUV competitors.

Dodge | Chevrolet

Article QuickTakes:

When shopping for a small sport-utility vehicle, buyers' top priority might be to stretch their dollars as far as possible. Others want to make their commute a little more exciting without sacrificing the practicality of an SUV.

The 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer and the 2023 Dodge Hornet embody these two perspectives, pitting value against performance in similarly sized packages. Here's how the two models compare on price, features, and fuel economy.


Trailblazer Crushes the Hornet in Price

The 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts at around $24,000. For that sum, buyers get front-wheel drive, a 137-hp turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Moving up to the LT trim ($26,000) adds the option of a 155-hp turbocharged 1.3-liter three-cylinder, while the Activ ($28,000) and RS ($28,000) trims make that same engine standard. If you select all-wheel drive for any Trailblazer model, the larger motor comes along as part of the package.


The 2023 Dodge Hornet is a considerably more expensive choice. Even the base Hornet GT ($32,000) is priced at nearly $8,000 more than the entry-level Trailblazer, with the GT Plus stepping up to around $37,000. Each of these models is outfitted with a 268-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and includes all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission. More output is available from the Hornet R/T's hybrid drivetrain, which matches a turbo 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine with a single electric motor. Together, they’re good for 288 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are part of both the R/T ($42,000) and the R/T Plus ($47,000) editions.


Hornet Offers Unprecedented Customization for a Subcompact SUV

The Chevrolet Trailblazer is a fairly basic proposition, relying on the configurability of its interior (including a fold-flat front passenger seat) and the availability of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility as its primary enticements.


The Dodge Hornet, on the other hand, offers a cornucopia of extra-cost performance gear to help whet the customer's appetite. The R/T models are able to deliver an additional 30 horsepower for up to 15 seconds through their PowerShot feature, while also providing access to a long list of Direct Connection add-ons, including exhaust systems, additional power upgrades, and suspension improvements that can be ordered a la carte. Few other subcompact SUVs make this level of customization available.


Fuel Economy Is Where the Trailblazer Shines

The Trailblazer's 1.3-liter engine is surprisingly the most frugal available engine, turning in an EPA rating of 31 mpg. That's 1 mpg better than what's achieved by the smaller 1.2-liter unit. Selecting all-wheel drive, meanwhile, drags efficiency down to 28 mpg.


So far, only the non-hybrid Hornet GT has undergone EPA testing, where it underperformed the Chevrolet with a 24-mpg rating. Dodge is claiming up to 30 miles of battery-only driving for the R/T model, however, thanks to its 15.5-kWh power pack.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication) and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

This site is for educational purposes only. The third parties listed are not affiliated with Capital One and are solely responsible for their opinions, products and services. Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The information presented in this article is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change. The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.
author photo
Benjamin Hunting
Benjamin Hunting is a writer and podcast host who contributes to a number of newspapers, automotive magazines, and online publications. More than a decade into his career, he enjoys keeping the shiny side up during track days and always has one too many classic vehicle projects partially disassembled in his garage at any given time. Remember, if it's not leaking, it's probably empty.