On sale since the 2009 model year, the Journey compact SUV soldiers on largely unchanged for 2018, but keeps its versatility and its affordable price.
Available with standard five-passenger seating, or seven-passenger seating as an option, the Journey is currently offered in Canada Value Package, SE Plus, SXT, Crossroad and GT trim levels. In its lower-priced grades, we get a front-wheel drivetrain as well as a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that provides 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, matched to a four-speed automatic transmission. Its combined city/highway fuel economy rating is set at 11.1 L/100 km.
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The Journey SXT with all-wheel drive foregoes the base powertrain for a 3.6-litre V6, which develops 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, along with a six-speed automatic, and the same combination is also found in the Crossroad and GT trims. We benefit from extra performance with a sacrifice of about 1 L/100 km in combined city/highway driving.
The 2018 Dodge Journey’s standard feature list includes multi-zone air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, an intelligent key and a six-speaker sound system with 4.3-inch screen. Bluetooth connectivity is available as a low-cost option, as are child booster seats integrated into the second-row bench, a feature unique to this SUV.
The equipment list quickly grows in the SE Plus and SXT variants, as we can add 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and a sportier suspension. The Crossroad and GT versions obtain a more aggressive appearance with 19-inch alloy wheels, blacked-out headlight clusters and a black grille treatment. According to the chosen trim level, we can also benefit from a Uconnect infotainment system with 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation, a remote engine starter, a backup sonar, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and leather upholstery. In addition, a rear-seat entertainment system with nine-inch screen and wireless headphones will keep the kids happy during longer trips.
On the Journey variants equipped with the V6 engine, a tow package is available, allowing the SUV to pull a maximum load of 2500 pounds (1135 kilograms). Last but not least, the Journey’s cargo area boasts a volume of 303 litres if the vehicle is equipped with a seven-passenger layout, 1048 litres behind the second-row seats, and a maximum volume of 1915 litres, making the Dodge one of the most spacious in its category that notably includes the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4, the Nissan Rogue, the Hyundai Tucson and the Ford Escape.
The 2018 Dodge Journey may not offer the latest in advanced safety driving aids, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking. However, it starts at $23,195 before freight and delivery charges, meaning it’s one of the most affordable in its segment. It’s also one of the rare compact SUVs available with a V6 engine, so it’s one of the most powerful.