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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
The cabin features higher-rent materials than the outgoing model, but some of the hard keys on the center control panel don't have the greatest feel.
new three-point mount system to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness
It got a new interior last model year, but the Dodge Journey's tidy packaging hasn't changed since it was new for the 2009 model year. For crossover shoppers, that means more of the same: good seating for a full-size family without full-size parking drama.
The Journey's cabin is sized just right for four adults, or a pair of parents and up to five kids in tow, thanks to a small but usable third-row seat. In front, the seats aren't too supportive laterally, but head and leg room are good, with just a few millimeters given up to the shapely new console and taken from front passenger knee room.
Two adults also will fit comfortably in the second-row seat, and so will three children. On some versions of the Journey, the second-row bench slides fore and aft, to flex cargo or passenger space as needed. This bench seat also can be configured with built-in booster seats, eliminating the back-and-forth from one family car to the other. The fold-flat third-row bench really is only sized for small children, but tucks out of the way neatly when it's not needed.
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. Higher-grade Journey crossovers also have storage bins tucked in beneath the front seat cushions, and the center console now has a tilt-and-slide top.The interior's a huge improvement in touch and feel, and the cabin feels tight and quiet compared to other on-a-budget crossovers.
We say vanlike in the best possible way here: the 2012 Dodge Journey has flexible seating with good passenger space, and plenty of small-item storage in unexpected places.