A minivan alternative
Date Posted: July 4, 2016
By Zack Spencer
The Dodge Journey is a true crossover vehicle, it sits between an SUV and a van. It is capable of carrying 5 or 7-passenger and can be equipped with front wheel drive or all wheel drive. There are two engines offered, including a powerful V6. The Journey has been very popular with buyers who want space, a roomy cabin and SUV styling without having to break the bank.
While the Dodge Journey might not be top of mind in the compact crossover space, it is a big seller, mainly thanks to the practicality it offers and the price. Sold with FWD or AWD and a choice of two engines delivers a usable package to many buyers who might not want the design of a minivan.
While many vehicles in the compact utility space have moved to a 4-cylinder or turbo 4-cylinder engine, the Journey is available with an optional V6. The base engine is a 2.4L 4-cylinder with 173 or an optional and large 3.6L V6 with 283hp. While Dodge does offer the Journey with AWD, it is limited to a few trim levels. The same thing for the V6, it is offered but limited to certain versions. The transmission offered on all but the top version is a 4-speed automatic, something almost unheard of in a modern vehicle. There is one 6-speed automatic offered but again, only on the top model. Power with the 4-cylinder and 4-speed automatic is what could be described as adequate; the V6 makes a world of difference, even though the base automatic is holding it back.
And because of the large size of the Journey and the antiquated automatic, the Journey doesn’t get particularly good fuel economy. It is rated at 12.7L/100km (19MPG) City and 9.1L/100km (26MPG) HWY with the 4-cylinder engine.
What buyers of this product are attracted to is the amount of space and the seating options inside. The Journey comes standard with two-rows and five-passenger seating but many of the trim levels are offered with three rows of seats and room for seven passengers. The third row is tight. This isn’t a true alternative for a van or bigger SUV but for many families the third row comes in handy from time to time. The dash is equipped with a 4.3-inch uConnect screen but an optional and large 8.4-inch screen is available and one of the best connectivity systems on the market. Unfortunately, the buyer needs to choose the larger screen to access a backup camera. And even though this is a value product, the dash is nicely designed and looks pleasing.
Standard Safety is covered with front, side and curtain airbags along with standard traction and stability control. No models can be equipped with advanced safety systems like pre-collision detection and lane departure technology.
The Dodge Journey starts at roughly $20,000 (US$21,000) for the base 2-door and can climb to $34,000 (US$31,000) for a fully loaded V6 AWD.
The Dodge Journey is a favourite of families that want the option of seating for seven-passengers without having to break the bank. Many buyers look at the Journey as a minivan alternative, a slightly more rugged design.
What the Journey lacks is a standard 6-speed automatic and any advanced safety systems. The Journey is a value proposition for many families and one that helps cover a lot of bases.
Many buyers look at the Journey as a minivan alternative, a slightly more rugged design