2012 Dodge Journey R/T. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
Review and photos by Chris Chase
Introduced in early 2008 as a 2009 model, the Dodge Journey crossover quickly became one of Canada’s best-selling vehicles, for two reasons. One was its attractive starting price of $19,995, and the other was its role as the ostensibly replacement for the short-wheelbase Dodge Caravan, which disappeared when that minivan was redesigned in 2008.
To start, the Journey could be had with a choice of 2.4L four-cylinder (173 hp/166 lb-ft), or 3.5L V6 (235 hp/232 lb-ft) engines. The former came with a four-speed automatic, and the latter with a six-speed auto.
This was a well-equipped vehicle for the price, coming standard with air conditioning, power windows, heated outside mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, rear wiper/washer, power locks, chillable beverage holder (in the glove box), tilt and telescopic steering, and a six-CD stereo. Standard functional and safety features included four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, front-seat side and front and rear head curtain airbags, and traction/stability control.
2009 Dodge Journey SE Plus. Click image to enlarge
Trim levels were SE, SXT and R/T; all SE models were four-cylinder and front-wheel drive, and SXT and R/T got the V6 and could be optioned with all-wheel drive.
Dodge juggled options for 2010, so the SXT was front-drive only, and the R/T was AWD-only. A popular Canada Value Package added keyless illuminated entry, stain-resistant seat fabric a softer centre console armrest and a fuel saver indicator. SXT and R/T models got a few new standard features, too.
For 2011, the Journey got a styling update, a new Crew trim designation (slotting in between SXT and R/T), and the 3.5L V6 was dropped in favour of the Chrysler’s then-new 283-hp 3.6L Pentastar V6.
Dodge sweetened the Canada Value Package pot with the addition of cruise, dual-zone automatic climate control and a driver’s knee airbag, making this entry-level trim (at the time, priced at $21,000) a real bargain. Other trims received less-notable additions to their lists of standard kit, and 2012 models got similarly minor revisions in trim.
Natural Resources Canada fuel consumption estimates for the 2009 Journey were 11.0/7.9 L/100 km for four-cylinder models, 13.5/8.6 L/100 km for V6/FWD versions and 14.2/8.9 with the V6 and AWD. 2010 six-cylinder models got slightly better ratings, and 2011′s Pentastar V6 brought another nominal reduction in fuel consumption. Meanwhile, the four-cylinder’s ratings improved to 10.8/7.5 L/100 km for 2011 and 2012.