The 2012 Dodge Journey is a midsize crossover SUV that can hold either five or seven passengers depending on configuration. Reviewers speak highly of its sophisticated cabin, family-friendly size and features, strong V6 engine, and secure handling. Five trim levels are offered with MSRP ranging from $18,995 to $29,995.
The introductory two models, the American Value Package and SE, are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 173 horsepower. This comes with a four-speed automatic gearbox and front-wheel drive. Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway.
The remaining trim levels — SXT, Crew, and R/T — use a 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission and choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway for front-wheel drive and 16/24 mpg for all-wheel drive.
The base American Value Package trim level comes with standard 16-inch steel wheels, solar control light tint glass, power heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, and halogen quad headlamps. The SE substitutes sunscreen deep tint glass and adds LED tail lamps. Upgrading to the SXT substitutes 17-inch aluminum wheels and gains fog lamps, dual exhaust tips, roof rails, and touring suspension. The Crew and R/T models feature 19-inch aluminum wheels, automatic headlamps, and remote starter; a sunroof is optional. The Crew wears chrome-like exterior trim while the R/T features a monochrome exterior.
Standard features on the American Value Package and SE models include second-row in-floor storage bins, dual-zone climate control, height-adjustable driver’s seat, sliding and reclining second-row seat, and tilt/telescoping steering column. The SXT throws in a cargo cover. Options on the SE and SXT include power driver seat, and fold-flat passenger seatback.
The Crew trim level includes all of the above features as standard and adds passenger in-seat cushion storage, auto-dimming rearview mirror with microphone, dual-zone automatic climate control, portable rechargeable trouble light, interior observation mirror, Bluetooth connectivity, and trip computer. Leather upholstery with heated front seats and a navigation system are optional.
Features on the R/T are similar to those of the Crew, except the black leather seats with red accent stitching.
Every model offers an optional Flexible Seating Group that consists of a folding and reclining third-row seat with tri-zone automatic climate control.
The American Value Package and SE provide a six-speaker CD/MP3 system with audio jack, USB port, steering wheel controls, and 4.3-inch touchscreen interface. Bluetooth and Uconnect Voice Command are optional. The SXT gains SiriusXM satellite radio with one year of service. The Crew and R/T models substitute a CD/DVD/MP3 system with SD card input and 8.4-inch touchscreen; other options remain the same. A rear seat DVD entertainment system is optional on the SXT, Crew, and R/T.
All models are fitted with ABS, traction control, stability control, front side airbags, driver knee airbag, side curtain airbags, Brake Assist, Electronic Roll Mitigation, Trailer Sway Damping, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Integrated child booster seats are an available option for the second row. The Journey earned the top “Good” rating on IIHS crash tests and four or five stars on NHTSA tests.
According to the automotive press, Dodge managed to revive their flailing Journey last year with a bold makeover. The current rendition offers a good balance between a smooth family hauler and cost-effective, nimble SUV. Some state that the four-cylinder engine feels underpowered, but the V6 offers plentiful power with decent fuel efficiency. The interior offers high quality materials in a pleasant design with impressive technology.
Image Credit: Chrysler Media