A Journey on the right path

2014 Dodge Journey R/T review

By Mathieu St-Pierre
2014 Dodge Journey R/T review

Summary Rating: 78%


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Space and Access

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Driving Dynamics

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General Appreciation

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One has to hand it to Chrysler: Every once in a while, they really shake up the car business with some insanely (at the time) crazy ideas that typically catch on and eventually become the norm. The most obvious and well-known: the minivan.

Occasionally, they come up with alternatives to mainstream products that resound with the buying public without changing the course of the car business. This alternative to their own creation, again the minivan, is the Dodge Journey.

Unlike any other compact CUV, the Journey blends the undeniable utility of the minivan with the “coolness” factor of the crossover. The Journey also happens to be affordable and a better than decent drive. It’s no wonder then that it thrives despite being 6 years old.

What is a Dodge Journey?
The 2014 Dodge Journey is Chrysler’s answer to the uber popular compact crossover segment and is capable of accommodating up to 7 passengers, loads of gear and can be had with much equipment.

Unlike its competition, the Journey offers up vast amounts of interior space at the expense of some enticing styling, which clearly works.

2014 Dodge Journey Price and Specs
The basic FWD Canada Value Package 2014 Dodge Journey has a retail price of $21,495. At the top of the heap sits the R/T Rallye with AWD and its starting price is $33,895.

The latter version was my tester, and its sticker price with options such as navigation and sunroof topped out at $36,210. At this point in the Journey’s career, discounts are readily offered and thus paying the retail price is just about impossible.

Entry-level Journeys run on a 173-horsepower 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. To it is connected a 4-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels exclusively. The other engine is a potent 283-horsepower 3.6L V6, which is mated to a 6-speed autobox and available with either FWD or AWD.

Driving the 2014 Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey drives its age; this was my first observation minutes after taking off. As technologies progress and chassis engineering defies the laws of gravity, the Journey feels slightly sloppier than a number of its competitors especially where steering and ride quality are concerned.

I quickly left that frame of mind when I reminded myself who actually buys the Journey. I may have been thrown by the fact that my tester was an R/T with 19” wheels and a standard performance suspension. My inner monologue then moved on to the realization that few actually buy this version. In actuality, the R/T is the least representative of the Journey’s stuffed lineup of trims.

On the road, the 2014 Dodge Journey feels heavy and not particularly nimble. Steering is numb and could use a little tightening, but this is not the most annoying issue with the drive. The transmission is generally reluctant to give the V6 free reign and allow it to unleash its power. Throttle response is slow-ish and the slushbox plays the same game.

Once more, this thinking has little to do with the large crowd that requires a means of transportation that is all about safety, room and who are on a budget. The 2014 Journey juggles all of the above with a fair degree of skill and it must be said that, once underway, the V6 does boogie.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Dodge Journey
The Journey’s exterior shape is not the most inspiring, however, it’s aged fairly well. Unlike some modern mind-bending designs, the Journey’s squared-off body remains unfettered by the ravages of time. The 2011 facelift did help.

The R/T gains body-colour grille and door handles and the 19” Satin Carbon aluminum wheels, which enhance the Journey’s on-road presence.

The 2014 Dodge Journey’s cabin fits with Chrysler’s efforts of making the space occupied by passengers as pleasant and stylish as possible. Presentation-wise, the Journey’s dashboard is both functional and well assembled. My loaded R/T featured navigation and all the bells and whistles, and all works very well.

Seats, in the first two rows, are fair too good, offering an appreciable level of comfort. The third row, as are all of them in this segment, are reserved for the shorter and more flexible amongst us. The best aspect of the interior is the trunk, which is vast, and is able to swallow 1,121 litres of stuff.

Comparing the 2014 Dodge Journey
As the bestselling midsize CUV in Canada with deliveries of 27,745 units in 2013 and 28,888 in 2012, the Dodge Journey sits high on the hog for value and content.

Alongside it, shoppers will find the Kia Sorento, Nissan Murano, and Honda Pilot, all worthy however the Journey’s price point is far more attractive.

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