Some vehicles hang out there in no mans land and never get the recognition they deserve. That could be said of the Dodge Journey that occupies the space between the crossovers and minivans. It’s larger than most compact crossovers but a bit smaller than normal 3-row SUVs. It does offer a third row and thus, is an option for families.
It’s not over-the-top expensive either.
Recently, we test drove the multi-purpose 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad Plus AWD
What’s New For 2016?
The Dodge Journey model line comes in four trim levels: SE, SXT, Crossroad, and Journey R/T. There is a new Crossroad Plus package, which was included in the one we drove. Garmin navigation is available.
Features & Options
The 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad Plus AWD ($27,795) features special trim and 19-inch alloy wheels. The Crossroad Plus package ($1,100) includes leather seat upholstery with sport mesh inserts, Uconnect infotainment with an 8.4-inch screen, Bluetooth capability, automatic tri-zone climate control, a fold-flat front passenger seat, and power 6-way driver’s seat.
This tester also came with the optional Garmin navigation and backup camera ($1,295) and Popular Equipment Group ($1,250). The latter includes a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and remote start.
Total MSRP including destination: $34,660.
The cabin of the Dodge Journey is black on black on black. There’s a few accents to break it up, but the materials used are high quality and the leather is comfy. Where families will benefit is in the Journey’s nicely arranged and configured seating. The front seats are wide and accommodating, while the rear seats are adjustable fore and aft, and can be tilted backward for extra comfort on long trips.
Sliding the second row forward allows easy access to the optional third row, which comes on the Crossroad Plus trim. Space in the third row is acceptable for smaller-sized adults and, of course, the kids will love it. Seats can be lowered for extra cargo-carrying ability too. This results in a flat floor, making it easier to load things from the nearest big-box home improvement store. Cargo room totals 37 cubic feet behind the second row, and 10.7 cubic feet with the third row seats up. With all the seats folded flat, there’s 67.6 cubic feet.
The reverse camera came in handy this week as visibility is not the best. The tall-shouldered design of the family hauler got in our way a little bit.
The Dodge Journey is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 283 horsepower. It comes mated to a 6-speed automatic that transferred power to all four wheels on our tester. With AWD, the Journey gets an EPA estimated 16/24 city/highway and 19 combined using regular unleaded fuel.
The Journey can be had with a four cylinder engine, but get the V6 that came with this Crossroad Plus AWD. It’s strong for hauling kids and cargo and it feels authoritative when you need the power. We pushed it hard at altitude here in Colorado – it feels plenty powerful enough for what families will need it for. It’s quiet too, which will make a difference on long trips.
The 3.6-liter V6 and 6-speed automatic work nicely together, and responded well as we pushed it hard through the gears heading up I-70 into the mountains, west of Denver. For those living on flat ground, the power and responsiveness will be perfect for all driving situations. The ride is comfortable and we thought the steering was quicker than most three-row vehicles. It’s likely due to the smaller size.
It’s also easier to park in the city than larger 7-passenger SUVs.
The Dodge Journey is a good choice for families who don’t want to spend a fortune to get that third row. Get the V6 engine over the under-powered four-cylinder. The new Crossroad Plus package adds an extra level of luxury over the lower trims. Gas mileage is appealing too, especially as the Dodge Journey meets the hauling needs of larger families.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy