1.27.2009

Dodge Journey R/T Review



The Dodge Journey should be such an easy vehicle to ridicule. So how come I really enjoy driving it?

This is one of those few "answers to questions nobody asked" that leaves me wondering why we weren't asking. The Journey finds that sliver of middle ground between a crossover and a minivan and then steps down a size class.

The result is an efficient mover of people (5) and things (within reason). And, despite some plasticky and unimaginatively designed interior bits, it's pleasant to drive.

The $26,785 base price of the R/T model we tested buys front wheel drive (an AWD model is available), a 3.5-liter high output V6 mated to a six-speed transmission (no doubt responsible for the EPA estimated 16 city/23 highway miles per gallon...which would have been worse with a 5-speed), and just about every option you could ask for. 19 inch wheels are standard on the R/T.


In fact, the tester had just two extras: The Safe & Sound Group (Back-up camera and MyGig hard-disc music system) and a sunroof. With destination charge, the bottom line wound up at $28,900.

Five star crash ratings in all categories except rollover, where four's the max.

It just struck me: It's not a minivan or crossover at all. Dodge has just re-invented the midsize station wagon.

As the Firesign Theatre used to say: Forward, into the past!

Hey, a good idea is a good idea. And the Journey counts.

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