2010 Dodge Journey

4 Mar 2010 | 3,634 views | No Comment
Dodge's Journey, a two or three seat mid-sized crossover, shows both the problems and the prospects for Chrysler. On the one hand, its fit and finish, choice of materials and its level of refinement simply isn’t up to models like Chevy’s all new Equinox, Toyota’s Highlander, or even some older competition like the Ford Escape. Yet, it’s priced quite affordably and is chock full of all kinds of wonderful equipment, and if you can overlook the so-so materials, its not a bad car at all. For us, the bottom line is that if in the future, Chrysler can up its ante in materials and finish, and offer plenty of value, and still undercut its competition handily in price, the company has a rosy future and an every man’s supplier of decent, hard-working, attractive automobiles that can get the job done for less. Maybe that’s why we are looking forward to whatever Chrysler has up its sleeves starting in 2012, when we should start seeing the first products of the marriage between Fiat and Chrysler. All Journeys have come standard with two-row seating for five; with the optional 50/50-split-folding third-row bench (SXT and R/T only), capacity increases to seven. The base SE has 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, full power accessories and a six-speaker stereo with a six-disc CD/MP3 changer. Then there’s the SXT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, heated side mirrors, a trip computer, enhanced interior storage, stain-resistant cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 115-volt power outlet and satellite radio. The top-drawer R/T features 19-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls. Dodge bundles most of the Journey's optional features into packages, and many of the upper trim levels' features are available as options for the lower trims. Other major options, depending on the trim level, include a Chrome Appearance package, sport-tuned suspension and steering, Bluetooth, an iPod adapter, tri-zone climate control, a rear-seat entertainment system and a hard-drive-based navigation and audio system with a back-up     If you get a base Journey, you get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 173 horsepower , a four-speed automatic transmission and many other items. If you choose an SXT like our tester or an R/T, you  get a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 235 hp, and a more preferable six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.  You also  have a choice of  front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive on these more expensive models. In our testing, an all-wheel-drive R/T model went from zero to 60 mph in an unremarkable 9.2 seconds -- just as slow as competing four-cylinder models. Our test model was a blue 2010 Journey SXT with all wheel drive.  Prices start at $26,280, and after options like a preferred package with adjustable roof rail crossbars,  remote start system, and automatically dimming rearview mirror with microphone, and a premium convenience group, along with a second row 40/60 “Tilt N’ Slide” seat and a third row 50/50 Fold/Reclining seat and other items brought the price to $30,040. That’s where problems come in. As long as the price is in the low to mid 20s, you can easily justify purchasing the Journey as a less expensive, well-equipped alternative to the Highlander or Ford Escape, for instance. But $30 grand will get you a nicely equipped equinox, and even an entry level Ford flex or Chevy Traverse, both products that are far better than the Journey and with lots more room, too. Crioss0-shopping, in other words, will be a problem for higher priced Journey models.

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