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2015 Dodge Journey Preview

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Pros
One of the more popular CUVs in Canada has also been chosen as a “Top Safety Pick” by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The functional and high-value 2015 Dodge Journey is available in nine different trim levels, with front- or all-wheel drive, and with advanced entertainment systems. If you hesitate between an SUV, a wagon and a minivan, the Journey might be the way to go.

Cons
Overall styling is distinctive, but the family resemblance to the Grand Caravan minivan is not necessarily a good thing. Interior quality is lower than the competition, and fuel economy is very disappointing. 

2015 Dodge Journey Price and Fuel Economy
The Dodge Journey starts at $21,495 for the base CVP (Canada Value Package) model and climbs all the way up to $35,395 for a Crossroad AWD. At every trim level there are a series of options available at extra cost. 

As for fuel consumption, the numbers are as follows (city/highway in L/100km):

2.4L, 4-speed auto: 12.7/9.1
3.6L, 6-speed auto, FWD: 14.2/9.4
3.6L, 6-speed auto, AWD: 14.5/9.9

Improvements and Changes
As Dodge prepares to launch a next-generation Journey for 2016, it made few changes to the 2015 model. However, there's a new trim level called “Blacktop” featuring gloss black mirrors, fascia, grille and 19” aluminum wheels. Handling is improved with a touring suspension and the technology gets kicked up a notch with hands-free communication with Bluetooth streaming audio, Uconnect 8.4” multimedia centre, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

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
V6-powered versions can carry up to 610 kg (1,362 lb), while 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 transmission is used in conjunction with the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, while the 3.6L V6 gets a 6-speed automatic. The output of the former is 173 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. The direct-injected V6 generates 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Safety
Driver and front passenger airbags are assisted by front 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.

Comparing the 2015 Dodge Journey
Similar alternatives include the Mazda5, Kia Rondo, Chevrolet Orlando, and Toyota Venza.