2015 Dodge Journey: A Very Affordable Crossover SUV
For anyone looking for an affordable yet well-performing SUV, the Dodge Journey just might be the right choice. With a price that starts below $21,000 the Journey comes in as a great choice for anyone on a budget and wants to avoid driving a subcompact car. This price actually starts out below much of the competition which includes the Kia Sorrento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Seating for up to seven is in place and the Journey offers plenty of vehicle for the money. The only drawbacks in a basically economical SUV are the lack of standard features that might be expected, but just aren’t present on this SUV.
Even if looking for an inexpensive SUV, adding a few great features might not break the bank and will add a ton of enjoyment to the ride by adding features such as UConnect and including the V6 engine. For 2015 the Journey doesn’t add any trim changes, but does add two exterior colors to the slate, Billet Silver Metallic and Blue Streak Pearl. In addition to these color additions, this Dodge can be outfitted with the SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link for five years of free service with this feature is chosen.
Even though the Journey is a very inexpensive SUV the ride is much more comfortable than in a large truck. The ride actually resembles that of riding in a larger wagon as the vehicle offers suspension that easily dispels any road abrasions and is stiff enough to handle the twists and turns of mountain roads when needed. The steering is adequate and power is decent in the standard model, but many shoppers may want to move up to the better engine to gain a very impressive increase in the power output.
Two very different engines are found in the engine compartment of the Dodge Journey. Starting with the base engine, the standard offering is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that shows up with 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque. Anyone needing to tow gear might be disappointed by this model as it only offer 1,000 pounds of towing and the fuel efficiency shows up at only 19 city/26 hwy mpg when this engine is attached to the antiquated four-speed automatic transmission. To add to the limitations, this model does not offer a version that can be equipped with all-wheel drive, making it very limited indeed.
The second and much more desirable engine is the 3.6-liter V6 engine that gives owners up to 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Everything the four-cylinder isn’t, the V6 is, starting with the ability to be equipped with all-wheel drive. This engine is attached to a very smooth performing six-speed automatic transmission that offers fuel efficiencies of 17 city/25 hwy mpg for the front-wheel drive model and 16 city/24 hwy mpg for the all-wheel drive. The towing capacity is even increased quite a bit to come in at 2,500 pounds for anyone opting for this much nicer version of the Journey.
With a ton of controls up front, the Journey is full of information for any driver and allows passengers to enjoy some excellent features. The leg room in the first and second rows is plentiful and allows anyone to enjoy the ride in any of these seating positions. The third row that can be in the Journey is best left to children for riding, but is still actually comfortable for them as well. With fold down seats the Journey offers plenty of cargo configurations to take advantage of and gives any owner a great deal of flexibility.
Even though the Journey is on the more economical side of the price scale, Dodge ensured it is still a very interesting vehicle. With the signature cross hairs grill on the front and some well-placed chrome trim, the exterior of the Journey is attractive and appealing. As a crossover SUV, this vehicle does look a bit like a large wagon, but it offers the capability and space needed in an SUV for owners to fully enjoy. Add the large heavy-spoked wheels to carry the load and this SUV offers a great deal of looks and a bit of attitude along the way.
With Dodge, there are usually a lot of different trims to choose from to make the vehicles be desirable to a variety of buyers. The Journey is no different offering six different trims from the base American Value Package (AVP) on up to the R/T. At the base trim the Journey includes dual-zone climate control, a 4.3-inch touch screen media center, keyless entry with push button starting, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows and door locks, a six-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input and USB port, electronic traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes and a full complement of airbags.
Because this SUV starts out as a very basic model the Journey offers a great list of optional features to choose from. This list includes the three-row seating, traction-enhancing all-wheel drive, an 8.4-inch touch screen Uconnect Infotainment system, a navigation system, leather seating, Infinity speakers, a rear-seat video entertainment system with a nine-inch screen and two wireless headphones, in-car Wi-Fi hot spot, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a rearview camera and a distance-alert function. With all these features included in the Journey this SUV could go from being a cheap and dialed down model to one that is very nice to drive or ride in.
The starting point for the Dodge Journey comes in just under $21,000 for the base AVP model. The price increases from there going into the mid-$20,000 range for the SXT and Crossroad models. At the top of the line, a fully equipped R/T model will reach into the mid-$30,000 range but offer a great deal more features and performance than the base model for a still very reasonable price. Depending on what budget is presented, the Journey is a great crossover SUV for a shopper on a tight budget, or one that wants a great value for not a lot of money at any trim level.