The new 2009 Dodge Journey may look like a tough SUV, but it's actually
a car-based crossover with a practical interior similar to a minivan. If
you need a super-practical ride for your family but don't want to be the
target of a thousand soccer-mom jokes, Dodge thinks it has the vehicle
for you. It's called the Journey.
Minivans are perfect
for many families. They have a lot of space for passengers, carry plenty
of cargo, are easy to enter and exit, get good gas mileage, and drive
with the smoothness and precision of a car. There's just one problem.
They come with a stigma.
This new crossover
vehicle is actually more like a minivan than an SUV, but it has a
squared-off, aggressive looking body that disguises its very
family-friendly layout. It's like camouflage. The outside looks tough
like a monster, but on the inside it's like a cuddly little teddy bear.
That's where the
Journey really shines. While there are lots of good looking, nice
driving, crossovers to pick from, the Journey offers a smarter interior
than most. There are storage spaces hidden everywhere. It has two glove
boxes, one of which is chilled to keep drinks cold, along with storage
bins in the floor and even cubbyholes under the seat cushions. It looks
like Dodge was trying to make use of every millimeter of available
The interior can also
be packed with technology if you tick enough option boxes. Available
goodies include a navigation system, 30-gigabyte hard drive for music
storage, a rear-view camera for backing up, Bluetooth phone interface,
iPod connector, rear-seat DVD player and satellite TV.
Yes, that's right. You
can get a few satellite TV channels delivered through the Sirius
Satellite Radio system. They're mainly cartoon channels for children,
but nonetheless it's an interesting feature, and probably one we'll be
seeing on a lot more vehicles soon.
The Journey also
emphasizes safety, as you'd expect in a family focused vehicle. It
earned a five-star rating from the government for both front and
side-impact crashes, and it's packed with airbags and electronic systems
to keep it stable in emergency maneuvers and minimize the chance of
It offers decent gas
mileage too, especially for such a big vehicle. With the 2.4-liter,
173-horsepower four-cylinder engine, it gets 25 mpg on the highway and
19 mpg in town. And it gets 22 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in the city
if you pick the 3.5-liter, 235-horsepower V6.
Better yet, the Journey
starts at a surprisingly low price, $19,360. Granted, the fancy options
will quickly drive its price higher, but it's good to see the Chrysler
company's latest crossover start at a much lower price than its last
one, the Pacifica.
While the Pacifica was
a nicer car than the Journey in some ways, including interior materials
and ride refinement, its starting price near $30,000 kept many buyers
away. Pricing the Journey under $20,000 was a smart move.
In fact, the Journey's
greatest weakness is its stiff competition. There are so many crossover
SUVs available, some that are bigger, more refined, more powerful, more
luxurious, or better looking, that it's tough to make a decision about
which one's best. It all depends on what you're looking for.
If you want a
versatile, usable interior, the Journey ought to be at the top of your
What was tested?
The 2009 Dodge Journey R/T with a base price of $25,920. Options on the
test vehicle: Customer preferred package at $695, the flexible seating
group at $1,220, the entertainment group at $2,200, rear seat video at
$825, the family value group at $295, aluminum wheels at $625. Price as
tested including the $625 destination charge: $32,405.
Why avoid it?
There are a lot of good crossovers for sale today, giving the Journey
some tough competition.
Why buy it? If
you want a versatile, family friendly cabin, it's hard to beat this
Dodge. It's filled with hidden storage compartments and amenities for
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Byline: SUV Review provided by Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Dodge Home Page
Column Name: The Dodge
Journey is the king of versatility
Topic: The 2009 Dodge
Word Count: 739
Photo Caption: The
2009 Dodge Journey R/T
Photo Credits: Dodge
Journey Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 05
the Microsoft Word version here:
2009 Dodge Journey
Download the Original Image File here:
2009 Dodge Journey