2011 Dodge Journey
Back inside, the Journey's unchanged packaging gets topped with a sprinkling of new features and improved actions. Four adults, or two adults and three or four kids, are happy enough inside the Journey, with flat seats and right-sized head and leg room taking good advantage of the Journey's proportions. On mid-grade-and-up Journeys, the second-row seat slides fore and aft to free up more leg room, and on the same versions, front seats have storage built in beneath the seat cushion, and the center console gets a new tilt-and-slide top. Bins and cubbies abound, and the cargo hold specs out at a swell 37 cubic feet behind the second row, and a smooshed 10.7 cubic feet behind the raised third-row seat. Flip everything down behind the front seats, and you can fit a half-dozen flat-screen TVs in the Journey's 67.6 cubic feet of space.
The 2010 Dodge Journey rocked both the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) crash tests last year, but both agencies have changed their standards, and 2011 scores aren't yet available. Standard safety equipment on the 2010 Dodge Journey includes dual front, side, and curtain airbags; stability and traction control; active head restraints; and four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock control on all models. A rearview camera and parking sensors are available on all but the base version; integrated second-row child booster seats are optional across the board.
The Journey sports some of the most extensive offerings for entertainment in this class, but to get them all, you'll be spending considerably more than the base price of $20,000. Standard features include air conditioning; cruise control; power locks/mirrors/windows; a cooled glove box; a telescoping steering wheel; and an AM/FM/CD player with MP3 capability. Options include a not-terribly-intuitive Garmin navigation system; Sirius Satellite Radio, TravelLink and Backseat TV, an on-the-go service with a small selection of kid-friendly programming; a DVD entertainment system; and a premium audio system and uConnect multimedia with MP3 player controls. A USB port is standard now, but it's buried deep in the center console, so there won't be any texting and driving without a long connector. Bluetooth is added on the top three models for free, but it's available on the base and Mainstreet trims.
With the quibbles for steering and shifting set aside--it's a crossover for seven, not a Le Mans intender--the Journey's now off Chrysler's endangered list. Like most of the company's 2011 models, it's been brushed up for a better shot at sales success. In other words: what a short, practical Journey it's been.