When it comes to performance, the 2013 Dodge Journey SUV both excels and fails, depending on which engine you are looking at. The first is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and while you would think you would receive good fuel economy in place of decent acceleration, you don’t. This engine pairs with an outdated four-speed automatic transmission that really causes fuel economy to suffer a 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. These numbers are not horrible, but a combined average of 22 mpg is really not acceptable for a front-wheel drive four-cylinder vehicle. Now, if you get the 3.6-liter V6, the story changes a little. It is matched to a flawless six-speed automatic transmission to deliver 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration times are good, taking 7.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, and fuel economy is not much worse than the four-cylinder at 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Of course, these numbers are still a bit disappointing. When it comes to road presence, the Journey is definitely composed. Handling feels secure, and it delivers a smooth ride. Although not quite as agile as some of its competitors, it is still relatively easy to maneuver in town.
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• Audio - The available premium system designed with Alpine® is pretty impressive. It features six speakers, one subwoofer, an eight-channel 368-watt amplifier and digital signal processing, along with a CD player memory card slot, iPod integration and audio input.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - Keep rear seat passengers entertained with the available rear DVD entertainment system. The 9-inch screen flips down from an overhead console and comes with a remote and two wireless infrared headsets.
• SiriusXM - Select Journey models come with a 1-year subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio. This gives you hundreds of crystal clear channels of music, talk radio, sports and more.
Dodge definitely has a great reputation, when it comes to safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Journey a “Good” rating in roof, side and frontal-offset protection crash tests. It also offers average braking distances, taking 121 feet to stop from 60 mph. It has a driver knee airbag, and integrated second row booster seats are a thoughtful optional feature. Other safety features include:
• Child seat anchors
• Rear door safety locks
• Post-collision safety system
• Whiplash protection system
• Traction control
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Stability control
• Engine immobilizer
• Anti-theft alarm system
• Emergency braking assist
The exterior of the Journey makes the vehicle appear significantly more expensive than it is. The body is chiseled and sporty while the iconic grille, door handles and showy wheels offer nice points of interest from the front and side.
Journey is available as a five and seven-passenger vehicle, but when opting for the third row, you should not have your expectations set too high. The third row is by no means adult-friendly, but if you have a large family with young children, it might be just right. As far as execution and design, Journey definitely dominates this segment. The cabin is modern and embellished with surprisingly high-quality materials. Most models also offer a touchscreen interface that is considerably larger than what you will find in other vehicles.
Journey does not offer nearly as much cargo space as its rivals, but it is certainly nothing to be disappointed with. With all seats in place, you get 39.7 cubic feet, and behind the front seats you are awarded 67.6 cubes.