The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Community News Network

August 5, 2013

Cargazing: Dodge Journey makes a turnaround

Quiet cabin, third-row seat help crossover SUV stand out

The Dodge Journey had a difficult start to life. It was designed at a time when Chrysler was nearly bankrupt, and it came to market in 2009 as a rough-hewn stone of a crossover.

But now that the new, revitalized Chrysler has had some time to polish it, the Journey has turned into quite a gem.

One of the most obvious improvements is in the cabin, where better sound insulation and suspension refinements make it one of the quietest crossovers I can recall driving. It's a drastic change in a short amount of time.

It also has an unusually smart cabin layout for its class. It's a compact crossover with a starting price around $19,000, which puts in one of the most competitive categories of the automotive world.

Virtually all its competition only offers seating for five, though, while the Journey can seat up to seven. Dodge managed to squeeze an optional third-row seat into the back, which allows for a couple of extra passengers and gives it those bragging rights. 

When equipped with the optional V6, the Journey is surprisingly SUV-like in its capability. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 makes a hearty 283 horsepower, which is more than ample for accelerating and passing, while getting a 25-mpg highway fuel economy rating.

Unfortunately, I can't recommend the four-cylinder version of the Journey because it's woefully inefficient. It makes 173 horses — not a bad amount of power — but an outdated design and four-speed transmission mean it only qualifies for a 26-mpg highway rating. That's barely better than the V6 and considerably worse than most of its four-cylinder competitors. 

Other than that, there's not much to complain about in the Journey. The interior packaging is so smart — including a "Flip-N-Stow" in-seat storage system that lets you hide things under the seat cushions — that it almost feels Toyota-like in terms of clever little storage bins.

Text Only
Community News Network
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee