The Dodge Journey is a family-friendly type of vehicle that we found to be very user-friendly. A midsize crossover sport-utility, the Journey offers the cargo and passenger space of an SUV but with the smoother ride and better fuel economy of a car. The keys to this balance is its carlike unitbody structure, which is lighter than a truck chassis, fitted with front-wheel drive and a carlike suspension.
Most models come with a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 235 horsepower. The V6 offers plenty of power for driving around town, a 3500-pound towing capacity, and decent passing punch. The base model comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine of 173 horsepower. We feel the base four-cylinder engine is rough and noisy and offers too little power for a vehicle of this size. The Journey is available with all-wheel drive for superior traction and confidence in bad weather.
Interior versatility is where the Journey shines. It comes standard with seating for five and a big cargo space, but the Journey is available with seating for seven. Filling the Journey with adults won't make all your passengers happy, but the rear seat should work well for children. Seats flip and fold to provide a wide range of versatility in hauling people, cargo, or both. The Journey offers a fold-flat front passenger seat that will allow loading items up to nine feet long. It features some unique storage solutions owners will find useful. Among them: a bin under the front passenger seat, storage under the floor in the second row and behind the last row of seats, a dual glove box with Dodge's Chill Zone that cools soda cans, and all the usual cubbies up front, including a fairly deep center console. Entertainment options are plentiful, as the Journey has a six-disc CD changer standard and offers a hard-drive radio and a rear DVD entertainment system.
For 2010, changes include improved fuel economy for the V6 engine, a fuel-saver lamp in the instrument cluster, driver and front-passenger active head restraints, a larger nine-inch video entertainment screen, and a new Dark Slate interior color. New as standard on all models are remote keyless entry and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. There have also been several changes to the options packages.
With prices starting around $20,000, the Journey offers affordable utility. We recommend the V6 engine, which provides that extra margin of power that many buyers will want. Be careful when it comes to options, though, as it is possible to get the Journey over $30,000, money that can buy larger and more refined SUVs.
The 2010 Dodge Journey is offered in three trim levels: SE, SXT and R/T. The SE is exclusively front-wheel drive (FWD), while the SXT and R/T models are offered with front drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). The SE model comes with a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The SXT and R/T models have a 3.5-liter V6 with 235 horsepower, fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission with Dodge's AutoStick manual shiftgate.
Journey SE ($20,490) comes with cloth upholstery; air conditioning; Chill Zone beverage storage bin; AM/FM six-disc CD/DVD/MP3-compatible radio with six speakers; power windows, power heated exterior mirrors; manual day/night rearview mirror; tilt/telescoping steering column; driver's seat height adjustment; second-row reclining 60/40 seat; and P225/70R16 all season tires on steel wheels. Options include an engine block heater ($40); the SE Family Value Group ($295) with manual driver's seat lumbar adjustment, two second-row child booster seats, and daytime-running lights; and a Popular Equipment Group ($1,570) with Sirius Satellite Radio, floor mats, a cargo compartment cover, an overhead console with conversation mirror, illuminated vanity mirrors, remote keyless entry, interior air filter, roof rack, security alarm, cruise control, and four passenger assist handles. The Safe and Sound Group ($695) has Dodge's MyGIG Multimedia Entertainment System and a rearview camera. The Exterior Appearance Group includes fog lamps and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Journey SXT ($23,790) and SXT AWD ($26,280) adds cruise control, leather-wrapped shift knob, remote keyless entry, fog lamps, Sirius Satellite Radio, power six-way adjustable driver seat, fold-flat front passenger seat with Flip 'n Stow in-seat storage, conversation mirror, portable LED flashlight, cargo net, floor mats, trip computer with temperature and compass display, 115-volt power outlet, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, a touring suspension, dual exhaust, and P225/65R17 all-season touring tires on aluminum wheels. The SXT AWD also gets performance steering, performance suspension, and P225/55R19 tires on aluminum wheels.
Options start with the SXT Flexible Seating Group ($995), which includes a third-row 50/50 folding/reclining seat, second-row 60/40 Tilt 'n Slide rear seat, and three-zone temperature control (including the rear). Convenience Group I ($895) includes a cargo compartment cover on five-passenger vehicles, interior air filter, driver and front passenger lower LED lamps, front and rear aimable LED lamps, a roof rack, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, iPod control, UConnect phone, remote start, and a universal garage door opener. The Navigation and Sound Group I ($1,695) includes six premium speakers with subwoofer and 368-watt amplifier, UConnect Navigation, UConnect phone, iPod control, and a rearview camera. The Premium Convenience Group ($995) has dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and six premium speakers with subwoofer and 368-watt amplifier. Other options consist of a sunroof ($795) and a Trailer Tow Group ($130) with an engine oil cooler and four-pin connector wiring.
Journey R/T ($26,795) and R/T AWD ($28,545) upgrades to leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, front floor console with premium armrest, universal garage door opener, premium door trim panels, bright instrument panel bezels, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, front and rear LED lights, remote engine starting, plus performance steering and suspension, and P225/55R19 tires on aluminum wheels.
R/T options include chrome-clad aluminum wheels ($500), Convenience Group II ($625), which includes a cargo compartment cover on five-passenger vehicles, as well as a vehicle information center, interior air filter, driver and front passenger lower LED lamps, adjustable roof-rail crossbars, iPod control, and UConnect phone. Also offered is the Flexible Seating Group, which includes a third-row 50/50 folding/reclining seat, a second-row 60/40 Tilt 'n Slide seat, and three-zone automatic climate control (including the rear).
Safety features on all Journey models include advanced multistage front airbags; torso-protecting, seat-mounted front side air bags; head-protecting curtain side airbags that cover all seating rows; front-seat active head restraints; a tire-pressure monitor; traction control; electronic stability control with rollover mitigation; ABS with brake assist; and Dodge's trailer sway control.