November 10, 2011
2012 Dodge Journey R/T AWD; second photo from top by Michael Schlee. Click image to enlarge
Though rather small, I found the standard 4.3-inch centre touch-screen easy to use without having to consult the owner’s manual. (A larger 8.4-inch screen is also available). Surrounding the centre touch-screen are traditional buttons for Radio, Player, Climate, settings, More and Screen Off. Pressing one of these will illuminate sub menus in the screen: for example, by pressing Radio, you will see a screen showing screen buttons for different radio stations, Preselects, and a Seek function; the Player button will show screen choices for CD, USB, auxiliary, and Bluetooth; the Climate button shows fan speed, ventilation choices, air conditioning, recirculation, defrost, temperature for driver and passenger, automatic climate control and rear climate control; the Settings button allows the driver to adjust the display for brightness, day or night mode, cabin lighting, display language including English, French or Spanish, Metric or US units, and illuminate a clock; the More button activates a 115-volt outlet, provides a compass, and facilitates phone pairing. Who knew you could do so much with such a small screen?
It’s not all button pushing though. The most frequently used controls for Volume and Tune are operated by large, round dials below the screen. And there are audio controls on the back of the steering wheel spokes thereby allowing the driver to keep their hands on the steering wheel while adjusting audio volume and station.
Similarly, while most heater and a/c functions are on the touch-screen, frequently-used fan speed is controlled by a centre dial. As well, second row passengers have their own separate (optional) fan speed, temperature and ventilation controls on the roof in the second row.
But wait, there’s more! The small screen between the two large gauges displays a compass, odometer, outside temperature, and the current transmission gear. By pressing the arrow buttons on the steering wheel, the driver can scroll between functions for radio station, fuel economy, vehicle speed, trip info, tire pressure, and vehicle info and messages. Sub menus tell the driver the average fuel economy, distance to empty, digital speedometer, coolant temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure, transmission temperature and engine hours.
For storage, there is a small bin below the touch-screen, a large open bin at the bottom of the centre console with a 12-volt powerpoint, and a centre storage bin below the armrest with auxiliary, USB and 12-volt outlets. There’s also a 12-volt outlet and 115-volt power outlet on the back of the centre console. An interesting feature of the front passenger seat is a hidden storage compartment under the seat cushion.
The size of the cargo area is flexible depending on how the seatbacks are folded down. With both third row seatbacks up, there’s very little cargo room behind the seats, but there is a hidden storage area under the floor. The 50/50 third row seatbacks can be folded down flat (both third row head restraints flip down automatically when the seatbacks are lowered) as can the 60/40 second row seatbacks. Total cargo area behind the first row seats is 1,915 litres (67.6 cu. ft.). Even the front passenger seatback can be folded flat for a cargo length of up to 2.7 metres (9 ft.).
When equipped with the Pentastar 3.6-litre V6 and all-wheel drive, the 2012 Journey R/T AWD is a powerful, quiet, versatile and nicely finished crossover vehicle that is surprisingly likeable. Admittedly, the Journey’s styling is fairly staid, but once you get behind the wheel, the picture changes.
Pricing: 2012 Dodge Journey R/T AWD
Crash test results