Dodge Journey | Harold Zeigler Newsletter Grandville MI
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Date posted: December 11, 2012

Dodge Journey

Dodge showed up late to the midsize crossover SUV segment, finally entering the marketplace with the Dodge Journey. But the company that created the minivan has some party tricks of its own. Dodge has a proven track record of creating vehicles that can quickly transform from people mover to cargo hauler with minimal fuss. Add to that Dodge’s characteristically muscular exterior styling treatment, and you have two factors that can help the Journey stand out in a crowded room.

As a crossover SUV with available seating for seven passengers, the Dodge Journey is meant to appeal to families wanting something versatile, but also more stylish than a minivan. Unfortunately, early Journeys fell well short of most rivals, particularly in regards to driving dynamics and interior refinement. But major improvements made to the newest Journey have rectified most of the model’s past ills.

Current Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey is offered in four trim levels: SE, SXT, R/T and Crew. The entry-level SE model features a rather weak 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 173 horsepower that is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. It comes very well equipped for a base model, with notable features including dual-zone manual climate control, keyless ignition/entry, a touchscreen audio interface and USB/iPod connectivity.

All other models benefit from a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 283 hp. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control is standard, as is front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is offered as an option.

As is typical for this class, there is an abundance of equipment available by stepping up to one of the upper trim levels. These include power front seats, leather upholstery, heated seats, automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a premium audio system. Parents and kids alike should appreciate the available built-in child booster seats and DVD entertainment system.

Unlike in the first few model years of the Journey, this equipment now comes packed into an interior that features an attractive design, nice materials and solid construction. There are also myriad storage solutions that increase appeal, with containers that double as coolers and an innovative hidden compartment under the front passenger seat cushion. In terms of space, the Journey’s first two rows offer comfort and versatility. The third row is very short on legroom and suitable for small children only, but is nevertheless a rare feature in this class. Cargo space is roughly on par with the larger compact crossovers.

In reviews, the Dodge Journey earned praise for its flexible seating and smooth ride, but drew fire for the underpowered base four-cylinder engine that lacks any significant fuel savings. As a result, we highly recommend springing for the more powerful V6. Ride quality and the steering are more refined and responsive than in earlier Journeys, In total, the Journey earns its place as one of the most appealing and family-friendly small crossovers on the market.

Source: [Edmunds]


   
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