April 22, 2012
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Onto the driving, now that I have thoroughly praised the new interior of the Journey. How does it perform out on the open road?
On the highway, the Journey is quiet, and of course, around town it is quiet as well, even with the winter tires that my tester is sporting. Those winters certainly are not doing much for steering and road feel, but even if the Journey was running OEM tires I have a feeling the steering would still be on the light side, as it is positively numb.
But that’s okay; remember, this is not a sports sedan. It is a family hauler with close ties to the Dodge Caravan minivan. The Journey can maneuver in tight spaces if you can see where you are going, as the turning circle is good.
But visibility is the issue in the Journey. The A pillars are massive, the mirrors are of average size for a vehicle in this class and the rear window is positively useless. With the third row up, forget seeing behind you when reversing. With the seat down it is slightly better, but not much — afraid of running over kids or bicycles when reversing out of your driveway? Make sure you pay for the backup camera option, as backing up the Journey is really a blind affair.
The 3.6-litre engine is potent but the transmission shifts quickly into the higher gears, which makes the Journey feel slow unless you really stomp on it. It does promote fuel-conscientious driving though, unless you get frustrated and mash the pedal to the floor.