Dodge Journey: A First Rate Bargain
by The Car Family
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The Dodge Journey is a unique, but sometimes overlooked choice for those want a midsized SUV that is capable of holding seven passengers and priced under, that is right,under, $20,000. Value is everywhere including in-floor storage bins, a spacious cargo hold, good gas mileage, and top safety pick recognition.
Indeed, the Journey is the one of the most affordable SUVs available and when you throw in the availability of optional third row seating the Dodge is a segment leader. Add to that an exceptional touch screen monitor, an abundance of storage bins, an attractive interior, available all wheel drive and you have a comfortable and practical vehicle that rivals those costing thousands of dollars more.
Our test vehicle was a well optioned Dodge Journey Crew with the 3.6-liter V-6 engine that sends its 283 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission. However, the standard four cylinder engine may be more suitable if you are more frugal. We recommend the V6. The fuel economy ratings for this engine are 17/25 mpg city/highway. We averaged just under 23 mpg. The price for this model was about $28,000, but if you want true savings order the American Value Package and sacrifice some features and power for more fuel efficiency and the $18,000 starting price.
Mom’s view: The interior s is very well done with nicely stitched seats seats and good attention to detail even extending to the door panels and chrome trim parts. You aren’t going to think the Journey Crew is anything but a premium vehicle when you look around the passenger compartment. The heated seats worked well and the driver’s seat has a six-way power controls and lumbar adjustments. Interior lighting is well above average and the headlights were satisfactory. Safety wise Dodge’s Journey makes every trip a bit more comforting knowing you have standard anti lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, and front, side and knee airbags. The Dodge earned good crash test scores. Final answer: An outstanding interior, value pricing, a nice selection of useful options and you have a must test drive SUV.
Dad’s view: This Dodge looks big, drives big, and feels big. That is why I would pass on the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and upgrade to the SXT, R/T, or Crew versions and the V6 powerplant. They cost more, but you won’t regret it come resale time or in daily travel, especially with a family aboard. You can also order all wheel drive, but we only recommend that if you drive in areas of inclement weather on a consistent basis. The ride is supple, but taking high speed corners is not its forte. This is more a laid back SUV providing a more relaxed feeling regardless of your suspension upgrade choices. The Journey won’t disappoint with its low starting price and immense list of options that can make it a unique ride with a gusts y engine and good looks. A good companion for those drives to Las Vegas as the stable platform and high seating position makes for relaxed travel. In conclusion, the Journey is literally an empty canvas that you can design exclusively to your needs without stressing your credit limit.
Working woman’s view: The American Value Package is a steal with heated mirrors, keyless ignition, cruise control, a sliding and reclining second-row seat, a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface among other features. The available booster seats are a must for growing children and inexpensive at around $225. The V6 engine is responsive and passing and merging can safely be done with just a little toe pressure. The back doors open very wide making access easy and the dash mounted controls are simple to master with the ancillary ones on the steering wheel readily falling to hand. The cargo bay offers a great deal of flexibility and the passenger seat on our test car folded flat enabling you to carry long packages. If you need more space and seating Dodge makes one of the best minvans for larger families and is similarly priced. Overall, this is a nice looking, practical, and family oriented vehicle priced in the same range as a bare bones mid-sized sedan.
Young man’s view: There are so many options that it is vital that you really explore the various Journey equipment packages before starting your negotiations. There is the Navigation and Sound Group Package with a rear park assist system, backup camera and universal garage door opener and more. In the audio section you can order the Dodge uConnect with AM/FM/SAT/ and a navigation that provides current traffic information. The huge 8.4-inch touch screen is awesome and simple to master. The audio system has a powerful amplifier, a subwoofer and well spaced speakers. These options are in addition to the remote start, keyless entry, audio jack for mobile devices, 12-volt DC power outlets front and rear, and a handy 115-volt power outlet. The numerous features, from a tire pressure monitoring display to bright door handles to a 2,500 pounds towing package, give you some idea of the diversity the Journey offers.
Family conference: Dodge products are under-rated when it comes to family considerations. The Journey is more proof of that with it myriad of configurations, amply power, and safety features. The look is new and the interior is modern. A worthy consideration for those who need the room and adaptability the Journey offers. This is one Dodge you don’t want to miss. Dodge has come long way in paying off its government loan as well as providing some family friendly transportation choices.
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