Shopping for a new Dodge Journey?
SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS
With five or seven seats and some nifty convenience and storage features, the original Dodge Journey was a quintessential near-miss. It had the basics down pat--but missed the target with pedestrian powertrains and a cheap-feeling interior.
The 2011 Journey's erased most of those bad memories, with a new dash, a new nose, new safety gear and most importantly, a new V-6 powertrain that changes its personality from plodding to pleasant. For those upgrades, we're giving the Journey a rating of 8 on FamilyCarGuide.
Inside, the Journey hasn't changed its basic packaging, but it has topped it with a smattering of new features and better finishes. Four adults--or two adults and three or four kids, depending on the number of seats--will find more than decent room inside. The seats are somewhat flat, but the right-sized Journey has the head and leg room it needs for family use. We recommend opting up beyond the base Journey: mid-level trims have a second-row seat that slides fore and aft to provide more leg room. The same models have storage compartments carved out under the front seat cushion and a console with a tilt-and-slide top. Bins and cubbies are seemingly everywhere inside the Journey. With the rear two rows of seats folded down, the crossover will swallow 37 cubic feet of stuff; that falls to 10.7 cubic feet behind a raised third-row seat.
On the safety front, the Journey's been rated a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't yet updated the Journey's scores for 2011, it does assign the ute a four-star rollover protection rating. Curtain airbags are standard, as is stability control, and a rearview camera is an option, and one we highly recommend.
Aside from safety features, the Journey's entertainment features are among the most extensive in its class--though they boost the price significantly. Base cars have a cooled glove box and an AM/FM/CD player with MP3 capability. A Garmin navigation system is an option, but it's not particularly easy to use. There's also Sirius Satellite Radio, TravelLink and Backseat TV, an on-the-go streaming content channel with Disney and Nickelodeon programming. Bluetooth is an option, while a poorly located USB port is standard.