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First Drive: 2009 Dodge Journey - Previews

Old 02-01-2008, 11:12 AM
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Default First Drive: 2009 Dodge Journey - Previews

http://www.caranddriver.com/previews...ons-page2.html

Hmmmm....this doesn't really look as vapid as I thought it was going to....

[quote][quote]First Drive: 2009 Dodge Journey - Previews

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Dodge serves up a transition-utility vehicle.
BY STEVE SILER, February 2008

The Dodge brand has a history that is long and storied. Unfortunately, it’s a long, storied history full of muscle cars, trucks, and Hemis. And despite plenty of warning, Dodge has been caught woefully unprepared to respond to recent market shifts and governmental legislation, both of which threaten to relegate many of Dodge’s core values to the history books alongside the Coronet, Ramcharger, and Super Bee.

Dodge’s recent car and car-based offerings—yes, including the hot new Challenger—have given us little hope that the brand would get a clue. But just as we started preparing to number Dodge’s days, it has shown us a shiny new crossover called the Journey, ready to do battle in a crowded—but white-hot—market. And it enters with a decent amount of ammo.
Yet Another Crossover, Yet Another Spin

Since for all intents and purposes, the Journey is yet another mid-sized crossover with few truly unique qualities, we figure Dodge wanted to come up with another way to pitch it. So here it is: This, friends, is the vehicle for people whose lives are in “transition.” No, not the wigs-and-heels kind of transition, but the one that occurs when guys have kids but don’t want to shed their dignity by driving a frumpy minivan, or the kind that happens to couples whose kids are shedding them but who aren’t ready to ditch the versatility they’ve became used to with their minivans (and who may be ready for their dignity to return).

How well will the Journey serve these, uh, transistites? Reasonably well, we think—and indeed it should even please many families not finding themselves going through “the change,” provided it’s features they’re looking for and not thrilling performance or standout style.

We’ll get to the performance thing in a bit, but for the record, we have no problem with the style. In fact, the Journey is a relatively good-looking vehicle with a solid stance, an elegant tapered greenhouse, and a square-jawed mug. Basically, it appears to be a tall, stretched Avenger, which is more or less what it is. Sure, it breaks little ground, which will make causing a splash in the crowded crossover segment a challenge, but few folks in this segment are looking to make waves.
Action-Packed Features List

Besides, who wouldn’t appreciate such handy features as theatre-style seating, a window-line low enough for children in back to see out, an optional emergency-size split third-row seat for carpool day (on SXT and R/T models), available rear-seat entertainment, and integrated booster seat cushions in the second-row bench, which slides fore and aft nearly five inches?

Other nifty bits include a telescoping steering wheel (something all too rare among domestic offerings), LED interior lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, double-decker gloveboxes with an air-conditioned upper section, and the optional voice-activated MyGIG infotainment system, which takes a bit of time to master, but once figured out, works pretty well. It’s too bad the radio faceplate is located down at knee level, requiring the driver not only to take his or her eyes off the road, but to literally turn and look down to decipher the small graphics. Interestingly, navigation-equipped MyGIGs come with a separate screen at the top of the dash which displays the map in what is otherwise a covered storage bin.

But wait, there’s more! The second-row seats slide and fold forward for third-row access in a one-handed operation, and the third-row seatbacks split, fold forward, or recline up to six degrees. The rear doors open nearly 90 degrees for ease of entry/loading, and there’s a clever c
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:11 PM
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Default RE: First Drive: 2009 Dodge Journey - Previews

This would be an even greater prospect if Dodge would get off its collective arse and up the hp in that 3.5 V6 - 235 just doesn't cut it anymore, especially when my Camry with the same size motor kicks out 268. And the R/T package doesn't even give you any sort of engine upgrade, it's apprently just an appearance package... [:@] I was really ready to like the Journey, but other than some cool interior features, it just seems to be another "me too" in a sea of small SUVs. Yawn.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:38 AM
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Default RE: First Drive: 2009 Dodge Journey - Previews

I'm largely with you on the Yota V6 pushing 268 and I believe getting better gas mileage (at least in the new Sienna). If their engineers can figure this out, a company with the heritage of figuring out the hemi head can't?

I agree, it seems like a lot of Status Quo-ing at Mopar.

To this, they should be seeking inspiration from the past (Hey we figured out the Hemi) and say what will our hemi be for this generation 50 some odd years later....uninspired engineering will produce uninspired sales.
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:38 PM
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Default RE: First Drive: 2009 Dodge Journey - Previews

I agree, this is what I have been complaining about. Why are they using the low output version of the 3.5L? They need at least the 250hp EGG version used in the LX cars, if not the full 255hp version used in the 300M Special. Frankly, they should really go ahead and use the 4.0L engine for a vehicle of this weight. Mark my word, this will not replace the normal wheel-base Caravan like they are hoping it will.
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