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2014 Dodge Journey Preview

Pros
Canada’s No. 1 selling Crossover Utility Vehicle has been chosen as a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Dodge Journey is available in six different trim levels, and in front- or all-wheel drive.

Cons
Overall styling is distinctive, but the family resemblance to the Caravan minivan is not necessarily a good thing.

Dodge Journey
Photo: Dodge

Price
The Dodge Journey starts at $21,495 for the base CVP (Canada Value Package) model and carries on through SE plus, SXT, Limited, and R/T to $33,395 for a basic R/T Rallye with AWD. At every trim level there are a series of options available at extra cost.

Fuel Economy (city/highway in L/100 km)
2.4L 4-cyl; 11.2/7.7

3.6L V6 FWD; 12.6/7.9, AWD; 12.8/8.2

Improvements and Changes
For 2014 the new Limited package slides right in the middle of the six packages offered. Dodge says it replaces the Crew model from previous years. Other than that, the 2014 Dodge Journey is unchanged for this year.

Exterior Styling
The front end has the Dodge family resemblance, but once you get to the side views, the Journey is quite distinctive with its squared off sides and slightly rounded edges. The Journey uses 17” and 19” rims which emphasizes the “ruggedness” of the vehicle by leaving extra space in the wheel wells.

Inside
Uconnect™ with its optional 8.4” touchscreen is an impressive bit of technology to use. The large screen is easier to read at a glance, and easier to use than the smaller screens in competitor’s vehicles. In addition to the large screen in the dash, the second-row entertainment system screen is a full 9”. Base versions of the Journey use a 4.3” screen for Uconnect™.

Cargo/towing/payload capacity
Seven passenger V6-powered versions can carry up to 610 kg (1,362 lb), while the five passenger 4-cylinder versions are limited to 538 kg (1,186 lb). Towing capacities, when properly equipped, are 454 kg (1,000 lb) for the 4-cylinder versions and 1,134 kg (2,500 lb) for the V6 versions.

Powertrain
A 4-speed automatic is used in conjunction with the 2.4L 4-cylinder while the 3.6L V6 gets a 6-speed automatic. Power output of the four is 173 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. The direct-injected, variable valve timing, DOHC V6 pumps the power output up to 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Safety
Driver and front passenger airbags are assisted by front driver and passenger side impact airbags and side curtain airbags that cover all rows, and there’s also a driver’s knee blocker airbag. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, stability control, traction control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Roll Mitigation, and trailer sway control are all standard. For the youngest members of the family, the LATCH anchor system for child seats is standard, as well.

Comparables
Shoppers should also consider the Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Chevrolet Traverse.