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The Dodge Journey
- Vital Stats
$34,000 - $36,500
- Untested by ANCAP
Big enough but not huge
The Dodge Journey Blacktop
It's all about the journey, not the destination, right? We've heard that one. But what we hadn't heard of is a car called the Dodge Journey. And that's a shame as the Journey is definitely right up there on our must-buy cars of 2015.
The Dodge is made in Mexico, is American and brought into Australia by Fiat. Adding to its confusing heritage, The Dodge Journey is a not quite a SUV and not really an MPV like the Toyota Tarago. It kinda lays somewhere in between.
There are no sliding doors or four wheel drive on the Journey. This car is down to earth. Literally. Dodge have realised you don’t need to be perched way above the waistline to deliver space, comfort and good looks which is great news of this short girl test-driver.
The Journey R/T version we tested had the Blacktop featured 19 inch alloy wheels (the base model has 17’s) black and every conceivable part was blacked out including mirrors and grill and headlight housing. This vehicle looks the business.
This is a ‘larger’ vehicle closer to the ground than your normal SUV and has lots of power from the 3.6 L Penstar V6 which is married to a 6 speed automatic, all recipes for an enjoyable drive - especially a wagon.
When it comes to stability and handling, the Journey seriously has it over the mainstream 4 x 4 SUV’s. Stability, traction control and ABS are all included in this neat package.
This is a two tonne vehicle however; the 3.6 litre V6 produces 206 kw and 342 Nm of torque which pushes the Journey along nicely. The effortless acceleration for a car of this size is impressive.
The Journey has great manners on the road and more than competent brakes. The automatic does have trouble keeping up with the power of the Journey taking its time to change up and down gears which does not make for the smoothest power delivery but most of us aren't really looking for that in a car like this.
This car is all about a sense of space, it does not boast a huge boot area but the cabin provides lots of space for the passengers. There are a number of clever storage tubs and compartments cleverly tucked away under seats which is a real added bonus for everyday people and object moving.
The front seats are large and comfortable and their positioning provides a great view of the road and surroundings. Everyone will enjoy the multimedia offerings with CD, DVD (there is a drop-down TV screen in the rear, perfect for entertaining the kids), MP3, Radio and Satellite Navigation facility on a large 8.4 inch touch screen.
The Sound System on the test vehicle was delivered through a six speaker system with amplifier and subwoofer.
The backrest of the front passenger seat folds down leaving a work area for colouring in or a iPad, again great for kids.
The interior was not to the premium finish I expected - instead it has that cheaper look with hard plastics and alloy look-a-like inserts.
The Journey Blacktop is available in six colourways including Redline Red, White, Pearl White Tri-Coat, Pitch Black, Granite Crystal and Billet Silver.
The regular Journey S/T is priced at $36,500 while the base SXT model is priced at $32,500, both before on-road costs.
Safety features included front airbags, side airbags for the rear and a reversing camera.
This car is thirsty - we were returning an average of 12.9 - 14.5 litres per 100 km in normal to light traffic 10.5 litres / 100 km on the open road.
Lots of room, nice handling for a large vehicle and clever storage.
Fuel economy - yes it's big but why not offer a diesel package?
This Dodge Journey is a good concept - there should be more of these front drive MPV / SUV crossovers. It's a well appointed, powerful people mover with sharp lines; the Dodge is comfortable but has limited offerings when it comes to ride and economy.
You could consider the Fiat Freemont diesel; although not the same appointments, you do get the right fuel economy.
If personified, who would this car be?