Dodge Journey

2016 Dodge Journey

The Dodge Journey occupies a hazy space between minivans and midsize SUVs. More than just about any model on the market, Journey has a foot in each camp, promising strong value for a variety of potential owners. Yet, for reasons that are unclear, its been largely overlooked by folks who are shopping for a practical vehicle.

Larger than most compact crossovers that compete for the family market, the Journey falls among the least-expensive vehicles that offer a third-row seat. Gas mileage is appealing, and the Journey handily meets the needs of larger families, bypassing the bulkiness of bigger seven-passenger crossover SUVs, such as the Toyota Highlander or Nissan Pathfinder. Body lines are refreshingly different from the crossover pack, if no longer fresh and new.

First introduced as a 2009 model, Journey got off to a poor start with a disappointing interior, but a quick mid-cycle update for 2011 improved it substantially and the current model offers a good value.

For 2016, Dodge has trimmed the Journey model line to four choices: SE, SXT, Crossroad, and Journey R/T, along with a Crossroad Plus package. Garmin navigation is available, which we rank among the best for this vehicle class.

The Dodge Journey offers a choice of two powertrains. The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine makes 177 horsepower and, with an antiquated 4-speed automatic and front-wheel drive feels strained if anyone other than the driver is aboard.

Better to take the strong 3.6-liter V6, with 283 horsepower and 6-speed automatic, and either front- or all-wheel drive. That version feels modern and authoritative in acceleration and responsiveness. Its quieter, too.

Ride comfort is a strong point, with appropriate damping and roll control for a family vehicle. Steering is somewhat quick for a vehicle of this nature.

Although the Journey can be a solid family vehicle, it lacks some active-safety features. Crash-test scores have been adequate, but not good enough to provide full confidence for families. NHTSA gave the Journey four stars (out of five) for frontal crash and rollover protection, four stars for side-impact protection, and four stars overall (five with AWD). The Journeys aging structure was devised in an earlier era. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a Good score in most testing, but particularly poor for the small-overlap frontal test.


2015 Dodge Journey

Dodge Journey is a midsize sport-utility that combines the smoother ride and better fuel economy of a car with the cargo space and roominess of an SUV. Journey seats five or seven, depending on options. Prices are appealing, too. Chrysler has claimed the Dodge Journey to be the most affordable seven-seat crossover sold in the U.S.

Not much has changed for 2015, except that the available SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link now includes five years of free service. The Journey Crossroad model, introduced for 2014 with mesh-insert leather seats and 19-inch black aluminum wheels, continues into the 2015 model year. So does the Limited model, as well as the SE V6 edition with all-wheel drive, which debuted during the 2014 season. Journey first appeared as a 2009 model.

Dodge Journey offers plenty of choices: four or six cylinders, five or seven seats, basic trim or full-lux leather. Like most crossovers, it comes with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, which adds confidence in bad weather. Journey is considered a crossover vehicle because it uses a lightweight unit-body structure similar to that used by cars, instead of a body-on-frame truck chassis.

Up-level models are powered by the same modern 3.6-liter V6 thats become ubiquitous in Chrysler Group vehicles. It has plenty of power but is ill-matched to the 6-speed automatic transmission, making it feel less powerful than it actually is. The V6 produces 283 horsepower at 6350 rpm, 260 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm.

Standard Journey motivation comes from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine of 173 horsepower. We found the four-cylinder engine rough and noisy, with too little power for a vehicle of this size.

Inside is where the Journey shines. Its interior design and materials give it one of the nicest cockpits in the class. Seating for five is standard, with a two-passenger third row optional. Either way it has useful, though not class-leading, cargo space. Filling the Journey with adults wont make all your passengers happy, but the rear seat should work well for children. Seats flip and fold to provide ample versatility for hauling people, cargo, or both.

The Journey offers a fold-flat front passenger seat that will allow loading items up to nine feet long. It features some unique storage solutions that owners should find useful. Among them: a bin under the front passenger seat, storage under the floor in the second row and behind the last row of seats, a dual glove box with Dodges Chill Zone that cools soda cans, and all the usual cubbies up front, including a fairly deep center console. Entertainment options are plentiful, as the Journey has a CD player standard and offers a rear DVD entertainment system and a hard-drive radio.

Journey R/T models come with perforated leather seats, a dimpled leather heated steering wheel and dimpled shift knob, red accent stitching on the steering wheel and a performance suspension for even more responsive handling.

We recommend the V6 engine, which provides that extra margin of power that many buyers will want, as well as much more refinement. Be careful when it comes to options, though, as its easy to boost the Journey past $30,000.


2013 Dodge Journey

The Dodge Journey is a midsize sport-utility that offers the smoother ride and better fuel economy of a car with the cargo space and roominess of an SUV. It seats five or seven, depending on options. And with a significant price reduction, Chrysler claims the 2013 Dodge Journey to be the most affordable seven-seat crossover sold in the U.S.

Dodge Journey offers lots of choices: four or six cylinders, five or seven seats, basic trim or full-lux leather. And like most crossovers it offers front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Journey is considered a crossover vehicle because it straddles the line between car and SUV. It uses a lightweight unit-body structure similar to that used by cars, instead of a body-on-frame truck chassis. Available all-wheel-drive traction adds confidence in bad weather.

Up-level models are powered by the same modern 3.6-liter V6 that's becoming ubiquitous in Chrysler Group vehicles. It has plenty of power but is ill-matched to the 6-speed automatic transmission, making it feel less powerful than it actually is. The V6 produces 283 horsepower at 6350 rpm, 260 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm.

The Journey's standard motivation is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine of 173 horsepower. We found the four-cylinder engine rough and noisy, with too little power for a vehicle of this size. The V6 is the one to get, in our view.

Inside is where the Journey shines. Its interior design and materials give it one of the nicest cockpits in the class. It comes standard with seating for five, with a two-passenger third row optional. Either way it has useful, though not class leading, cargo space. Filling the Journey with adults won't make all your passengers happy, but the rear seat should work well for children. Seats flip and fold to provide ample versatility for hauling people, cargo, or both. The Journey offers a fold-flat front passenger seat that will allow loading items up to nine feet long. It features some unique storage solutions owners will find useful. Among them: a bin under the front passenger seat, storage under the floor in the second row and behind the last row of seats, a dual glove box with Dodge's Chill Zone that cools soda cans, and all the usual cubbies up front, including a fairly deep center console. Entertainment options are plentiful, as the Journey has a CD player standard and offers a rear DVD entertainment system and a hard-drive radio.

2013 Journey R/T models come with new perforated leather seats, a dimpled leather heated steering wheel and dimpled shift knob, red accent stitching on the steering wheel and a new performance suspension for even more responsive handling.

New for all 2013 Journey models is the addition of a max air conditioning setting for the climate controls, and an instantaneous fuel consumption indicator in the color Electronic Vehicle Information Center screen.

With prices starting at $18,995 the Journey offers affordable utility. We recommend the V6 engine, which provides that extra margin of power that many buyers will want, as well as much more refinement. Be careful when it comes to options, though, as it is easy to get the Journey over $30,000, money that can buy larger and/or more premium SUVs.


 

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