Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Community News Network

August 5, 2013

Cargazing: Dodge Journey makes a turnaround

Quiet cabin, third-row seat help crossover SUV stand out

The Dodge Journey had a difficult start to life. It was designed at a time when Chrysler was nearly bankrupt, and it came to market in 2009 as a rough-hewn stone of a crossover.

But now that the new, revitalized Chrysler has had some time to polish it, the Journey has turned into quite a gem.

One of the most obvious improvements is in the cabin, where better sound insulation and suspension refinements make it one of the quietest crossovers I can recall driving. It's a drastic change in a short amount of time.

It also has an unusually smart cabin layout for its class. It's a compact crossover with a starting price around $19,000, which puts in one of the most competitive categories of the automotive world.

Virtually all its competition only offers seating for five, though, while the Journey can seat up to seven. Dodge managed to squeeze an optional third-row seat into the back, which allows for a couple of extra passengers and gives it those bragging rights. 

When equipped with the optional V6, the Journey is surprisingly SUV-like in its capability. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 makes a hearty 283 horsepower, which is more than ample for accelerating and passing, while getting a 25-mpg highway fuel economy rating.

Unfortunately, I can't recommend the four-cylinder version of the Journey because it's woefully inefficient. It makes 173 horses — not a bad amount of power — but an outdated design and four-speed transmission mean it only qualifies for a 26-mpg highway rating. That's barely better than the V6 and considerably worse than most of its four-cylinder competitors. 

Other than that, there's not much to complain about in the Journey. The interior packaging is so smart — including a "Flip-N-Stow" in-seat storage system that lets you hide things under the seat cushions — that it almost feels Toyota-like in terms of clever little storage bins.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014