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2017 Dodge Journey Overview
Getting a bit long in the tooth, the Dodge Journey is on borrowed time. This 5- or 7-passenger, 5-door midsize crossover receives no major upgrades for 2017 and hasn’t been overhauled since the 2011 model year--there were even rumors the Journey would be phased out after this year’s production run. As of yet, these rumors have proven false, but it seems fair to assume the end is near. Which is kind of a shame, because despite its shortcomings, the Journey offers a lot of family-oriented value with its available all-wheel-drive (AWD) and features that are ordinarily found in competing models that cost far more.
Look for the 2017 Journey to come in 5 trims, starting with the entry-level SE and climbing through the SXT, Crossroad, Crossroad Plus, and flagship R/T. All trims have roomy front and second-row accommodations, fairly high-end interior materials and workmanship, distinctive exterior styling, and a quiet, competent ride. Cargo space is a healthy 67.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, and there are plenty of bins, pockets, and cubbies for stowing smaller items.
The SE, SXT, Crossroad, and Crossroad Plus come with a 173-hp inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant, while the R/T packs a standard 283-hp 3.6-liter V6 that's also optional on the lower trims. Front-wheel drive (FWD) comes standard, while full-time AWD is available on all trims with the the V6. Look for 166 lb-ft of torque from the I4, which is managed by a dated 4-speed automatic transmission with fuel-economy figures estimated at 19 mpg city/26 highway/21 combined. The V6 is mated to a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission and puts out 260 lb-ft of torque. Look for an EPA-estimated 17/25/19 with FWD and 16/24/19 with AWD.
Standard features for the 2017 Journey are modest on the SE and SXT trims, but each does offer a few extras not typically found on value-priced rival crossovers. Premium cloth upholstery, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, and dual-zone air conditioning come standard aboard both lower trims, and the SXT adds 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Crossroad, Crossroad Plus, and R/T offer additional features like standard automatic climate control, leather-trimmed upholstery, satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free calling, a memory card slot, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, while the Crossroad Plus and R/T also include a fold-flat front passenger seat and video monitor. The R/T comes with standard upgraded leather upholstery, dual exhaust pipes, and a premium audio setup, while its sport-tuned suspension and steering calibration mean less roll through corners.
Notable options include third-row seating (for 7 passengers) with tri-zone air conditioning, a power sunroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and GPS navigation. Higher trims also remain eligible for a Blacktop package boasting 19-inch wheels, a grille, and exterior trim pieces all done in gloss black.
Standard safety equipment aboard the 2017 Journey is slated to include typical government-mandated features like antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, side-mounted and head curtain airbags, as well as standard add-ons like active front headrests and a driver knee airbag. Unfortunately, this midsize Dodge mini-ute still lacks such upgraded safety technology as blind-spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist, all of which are available to most rivals in the segment. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) gives the current Journey 4 out of 5 stars for overall crashworthiness, while the Insurance Institute for Highway safety (IIHS) awards it its highest score of Good on all tests except the small-overlap frontal offset, on which it scored a worst-possible Poor.
Perhaps the Journey’s closest challenger is the Kia Sorento, which offers 3 rows of seating and better power and refinement. For those who don’t need 3-row seating, there are a number of compact crossovers, like the Honda Fit and Ford Edge, that feature better fuel economy, similar cargo capacity, and more upscale features. With the Journey's expected discontinuation, look for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to continue fielding the Fiat 500X and Jeep’s lineup of terrain-busting small SUVs; if you want seating for more than 5, however, you’ll have to go with the full-size Dodge Durango.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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