The Dodge Hornet Failed the TFL Slip Test: Here’s a Deeper Dive Into Why That Happened

Hold your prejudices — it's not *just* the Hornet that can stumble in certain circumstances

(Images: TFL Studios)

Here’s a closer look into why the Dodge Hornet failed the TFL slip test.

Back in March, Nathan and I had the first chance to check out the brand-new 2023 Dodge Hornet, the brand’s latest offering meant to introduce the idea of an all-wheel drive “muscle crossover” to the compact segment. We both had a positive impression with its performance, but the conversation changed once we tested the car in Colorado. Tommy took the new Hornet onto the long-running TFL slip test, as we’ve done with many other small crossovers, and…well, things didn’t pan out the way we expected.

In fact, during that test, the Hornet threw a Christmas tree of warning lights, leading to a round of troubleshooting and Tommy’s ultimate decision to cut testing short so we didn’t damage the car.

Fast forward a few months, and we now have an interesting update to the story. Folks from the Stellantis team (parent company to the Dodge brand) actually brought us out to the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan to more thoroughly replicate our slip test, and demonstrate why the Hornet met our testing conditions with an array of warning lights. They even brought out a competitor vehicle — a Mazda CX-5 — to show how a rival car performed under similar conditions. That’s something we almost never see automakers actually do as part of a transparent look into how they develop their cars, so you’ll want to see how it all went down below.

Even if you’re not a Dodge fan, this is a closer look into engineering protocols and internal testing conditions than we ever see in our day-to-day work. Check out the full video below and see the follow-up to our initial story: