Dodge enhances versatile Journey for 2012
By IRA SIEGEL For Sun-Times Media August 6, 2012 10:01PM
2012 DODGE JOURNEY SXT
ENGINE: 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6
TRANSMISSION: six-speed automatic
DRIVETRAIN: front-wheel drive
FUEL ECONOMY: 17 city/25 highway
BASE PRICE: $24,495
AS TESTED: $26,685 (including $800 for destination)
Updated: October 12, 2012 9:55AM
First introduced a few years ago, the Dodge Journey entered a competitive crossover field with an unimpressive ride and an interior that left a lot to be desired.
Well, Dodge took note. Last year Dodge completely redesigned the Journey and gave it an improved suspension system, a much more powerful V-6 engine and a cabin that is comfortable, versatile, and pleasing to the eye and touch. It also provided it with an array of standard amenities.
Now the Dodge Journey enters the 2012 model year with a new model lineup, new features, enhanced value and a new American Value Package with a starting price of $18,995.
The 2012 Dodge Journey is affordable for a young family or others on a tight budget. Included in Journey’s reasonable price are many standard amenities like keyless entry with push-button starting, full power accessories, a 4.3-inch Uconnect touch media center and much more.
Enter Journey’s cabin and you’ll be greeted by an interior that’s vastly improved over the original model.
Journey’s cabin features lots of soft-touch materials, a nice instrument panel design with a standard electronic vehicle information center positioned in the center of the gauge cluster, plenty of storage and comfortable seating with the versatility to haul items on a moment’s notice.
Journey seats five or seven passengers, but the optional third-row seats are not adult friendly. However, they could come in handy when the need to take on an extra child or two arises.
The second and optional third-row seats fold flat to create 67.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The second-row seats recline and can be ordered with integrated child boosters.
There are handy hidden storage bins in the floor ahead of the second-row seats. Additionally, when the need to haul long items occurs, the front passenger seat, which has a hidden storage bin under the seat cushion, can be folded flat.
Journey’s cabin remains fairly quiet, too, when motoring along at highway speeds. The engineers did a good job at keeping noise out of the cabin.
Powering the Journey is either a 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine or a 283-horsepower V-6. The four-cylinder engine is featured in Journey AVP and SE models. All other trim levels feature the strong 3.6-liter V-6.
I think the four-cylinder is underpowered in the Journey, so I would recommend the V-6. Plus, the four-cylinder is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and this combination (26 mpg highway) is rated only 1 mpg better than the V-6 with its standard six-speed automatic.
If you’re like me and prefer the V-6, you’ll need to step up to the SXT ($22,995). Journey also offers all-wheel drive capability. It’s a system that not only improves traction on slippery pavement, but it also helps provide better handling on dry pavement, too.
For the safety conscious, the 2012 Dodge Journey includes advanced multistage front passenger air bags, active head restraints, electronic stability control with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation, brake assist, driver-side knee blocker air bag, side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, front-seat-mounted side air bags, four-wheel antilock brakes, LATCH child seat anchor system and trailer-sway control.
Journey is rated to tow up to 1,000 pounds with the four-cylinder engine and up to 2,500 pounds with the V-6. Overall, I find the 2012 Dodge Journey to be a likable and versatile crossover.
You Might Like
- Beetle Convertible debuts with sportier style
- Lexus ES350 maintains luxury feel
- Jeep Wrangler Sport a dual-purpose SUV
- Click & Clack: How to replace a car’s interior
- Chrysler Group makes substantial investment in Ohio machining plant
- Chevrolet Equinox a distinctive and comfortable crossover
- New Ford Explorer Sport a high-performance SUV