Test Drive: 2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD car test drives reviews dodge
2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD. Click image to enlarge

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Manufacturer’s Website
Dodge Canada

Review and photos by Michel Deslauriers

Photo Gallery:
2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD

The Journey rightfully deserves its number three spot among top-selling SUVs and crossovers in Canada. Its clever interior packaging, its impressive list of features for the money and its just-right size make it an interesting choice.

However, the Dodge Journey wasn’t as impressive at its launch as it is now, and that’s because Chrysler put a lot of effort into improving its drive and its interior quality. Oh, the Journey still isn’t perfect, but it keeps getting better and better with each passing model year.

Like the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, the 2013 Dodge Journey pushes the limits of the compact SUV/CUV class in regards to sheer size. However, I consider it part of that category because it’s too small to be considered a mid-size vehicle such as the bigger Durango, which itself pushes the limits of its own segment.

The Journey is also one of the last small(ish) CUVs to offer a V6 engine option. According to Chrysler, about 33 percent of Journey buyers in Canada choose the R/T AWD model for its bang-for-the-buck factor.

The 3.6L V6, which has been stuffed into just about every Chrysler product that can fit it, produces a class-leading 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque in the Journey, and is managed by a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Together, they make for a pretty speedy crossover, which hits 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 15.4 seconds at 143 km/h.

The V6 produces a meaty growl at wide-open throttle, while the transmission rows through its gears swiftly and smartly. It’s fun to have so much muscle to play with, yet this obviously comes at the expense of fuel economy.

Test Drive: 2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD car test drives reviews dodge Test Drive: 2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD car test drives reviews dodge Test Drive: 2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD car test drives reviews dodge Test Drive: 2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD car test drives reviews dodge
2013 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD. Click image to enlarge

Official ratings are 13.0/8.4 L/100 km for the Journey R/T AWD; around town, the Pentastar V6 has quite an appetite for fuel, but redeems itself on the highway. The engine can thank the transmission for saving the day on the open road, chugging along at just 1,500 rpm at a steady 100 km/h pace. My combined average over the course of the mild winter week was 12.9 L/100 km.

The AWD system in the Journey spins its front wheels under normal driving, and sends power to the rear wheels when the front ones start slipping. To obtain all-wheel drive in the Dodge, you must step up to the R/T trim.

New for 2013 is the Journey R/T Rallye AWD, the object of this test. To the regular R/T, the Rallye edition adds what Dodge calls a performance suspension and firm-feel steering, two items I can’t say felt sportier or more dynamic than in an R/T version I drove less than two years ago. The suspension isn’t stiff at all, and besides a slight lack of on-centre steering sensation, neither display any signs of sloppiness.