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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
3.5-liter V-6 provides plenty of power
keeps up with urban traffic acceptably well
Forget pinpoint handling
often feels insubstantial and fussy
all versions "filter out road imperfections with commendable ease
The 2010 Journey's drivetrains are less than inspiring, but its handling is reasonably responsive in front-drive versions. However, all-wheel-drive wagons can feel sluggish.
The 173-horsepower four-cylinder is a flat performer, and the 235-hp V-6 isn't much more encouraging in low-speed driving, though it's much more capable of passing maneuvers with less noise and angst. ConsumerGuide says the four-cylinder Journey "keeps up with urban traffic acceptably well," but Edmunds feels it isn't "quite up to the task of motivating the hefty SE's 3,800 pounds with anything close to authority." The Detroit News compares it to the Little Engine That Could: "I think I can, I think I can make it up this hill." The V-6 isn't much improved; it "has decent power but isn't the quickest thing on the road," Cars.com notes, though the Detroit News "never felt a need for more juice." Shifting is acceptable: ConsumerGuide warns that V-6 versions "were prone to overly abrupt downshifts during brisk acceleration."
Fuel economy hits 19/25 mpg on four-cylinder models, and the V-6 front-drive Journey isn't far behind at 16/24 mpg. The V-6 with AWD drops to 15/23 mpg. Cars.com calls those figures "paltry." A fuel-saver indicator is now installed for frugal, observant drivers, but all figures are below newer class entries like the 2011 Kia Sorento.
When it comes to handling and ride, the Journey fares a little better. It's "tranquil enough," Edmunds says, but its body roll in corners is "disconcerting at times." Cars.com notes that the sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels keep the ride motions damped, "but not body lean in corners. Forget pinpoint handling..." Steering comes in two flavors: The front-drive Journey has a little torque steer-the tugging motion under hard acceleration-but is quick and light, if not sports-car-accurate. All-wheel-drive Journey wagons require more steering muscle and give less feedback. Ride quality is good, though, with the proper damping and roll control for a family vehicle. ConsumerGuide reports that all versions of the 2009 Dodge Journey "filter out road imperfections with commendable ease," but base SE models "are prone to float over larger dips and swells." Braking is strong-"capable but unremarkable," in the words of Car and Driver-and wheel sizes range from 16-inchers on base vehicles up to optional 19-inchers.
TruckTrend is alone in noting that the Journey can tow 3,500 pounds, not much less than the much larger Dodge Grand Caravan minivan.
Performance is the least competitive aspect of the 2010 Dodge Journey.