In a USA Today nine-vehicle SUV/crossover comparison, the 2011 Dodge Journey was ranked No. 2. In previous articles, I have reviewed foreign crossovers. Now and in the next review, we focus on the domectic offerings!
Considering all the difficulty the Chrysler group was in, it is a testament to the automaker’s grit that the Journey has captured a second place ranking among a highly competitive field. And what does this crossover have to offer?
The Journey is available in two engine choices including a 2.4-liter four-cylinder unit making 173 hp and 166 ft. lb. of torque. Also available is a 3.6-liter V-6 mill providing 283 hp and 260 ft. lb. of torque. The four-cylinder engine is combined with a four-speed automatic and the V-6 engine has a more modern six-speed automatic. The 0-60 time for the 2.4-liter in 9.6 seconds and the 3.6-liter does 0-60 in 8.9 seconds.
On the outside Dodge choose to just update the exterior look by adding new lights, fascias and wheels. The Journey’s look continues to be quite boxy with some distinctive creases.
The interior of this crossover has been thoroughly updated as the dash is an all new one piece unit that has been made softer to the touch. The instruments are large, clear and contain an electric vehicle information center (EVIC) placed inside the gauges. The controls are modern and logically placed and seem to signify Mercedes’ past influence with Chrysler.
The Journey’s seats provide adequate support and comfort as well as being reconfigurable. Of note is that some Journeys come equipped with a third row seat increasing the seating capacity up to seven. The center console has a tilt and slide armrest and under the lid is a large center storage bin, 12 volt outlet and USB port for an iPod or MP3 player. Bins and cubby storage abounds. With the rear seats folded down, 67.7 cubic feet of space is available. When the rear seats are up, 37 cubic feet of space is available without the third row seat and 10.7 cubic feet behind the raised third row seat.
On the road the Journey’s ride quality and low noise level are some of its strong points. And because of this crossover’s better responding shock absorbers and lowered ride height, it has fairly good handling characteristics. The steering system, however, could provide a bit more driver feedback. Thus, with its smooth ride and V-6 engine, the Journey is a good long distance family cruiser.
Standard features on the Journey include air conditioning, cruise control, power looks/windows/mirrors, a cooled glove box, a telescoping steering wheel, as well as an AM/FM/CD player with MP3 capability. Furthermore, the new power electrical console unit has an optional touch-screen command center, as well as Uconnect Touch that includes navigation, and dual-zone climate controls with the ability to check fuel prices. Regarding the system, four Uconnect Touch modes are available consisting of touch key categories. Thus, connecting to and controlling personal electronic devises is simple and customizable.
The Journey’s base price is $22,245 and its fuel mileage is rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg on the highway.
If you need room for up to seven passengers, want some high end amenities and a pleasant interior at a reasonable price, be certain to test drive the 2011 Dodge Journey.
Visit the slideshow to see the Dodge Journey inside and out!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: www.DriveTheBestBook.com Follow Kyle on Facebookand Twitter..