There's something wrong in this world right now. We were all hyperventilating about minivans in the '80s when Chrysler introduced the Caravan and Voyager twins. We bought as many minivans as Madonna records. Now, 25 years later, they're out of style and have lost much their appeal, although Madonna is still going strong.
The new Journey replaces the short-wheelbase Caravan is Dodge's product range. It has less interior space, costs more, and isn't as practical. Yet they'll probably sell more Journeys than Caravans. Like I said, something's wrong.
The Journey is rather attractive with its chiselled front end, bulging fenders and clean, uncluttered body. V6-powered models get dual exhausts and the roof rack with crossbars give the vehicle a versatile attitude, of what every car manufacturer calls an "active lifestyle".
Inside, overall appearance looks better than in other recent Chrysler products, but there is still room for improvement. Some plastics look cheap, notably the flexy door-pocket panels and the shift lever housing. The seat tracks and bolts are shamelessly exposed.
However, the driving position is good; the slanted center instrument stack is well within reach, while the climate and radio controls are straightforward. The UConnect system easily paired my Bluetooth cell phone, and sounded pretty good. There are numerous storage points spread across the cabin, including under the front passenger seat cushion, and two bins in the 2nd-row floor.
Lots of space
There's of plenty legroom and headroom up front, while the 2nd-row bench gets sliding tracks for moving it fore and aft. That seat is cleverly designed; pull a lever and it squeezes itself behind the front-row buckets in order to help access the 3rd row. The latter isn't very comfortable, though, with a very low seat cushion and a lack of foot space, but it can come in handy. You can even get integrated child boosters for the 2nd-row seat.
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