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Car reviews - Dodge - Journey - 5-dr wagon range

Launch Story

Dodge logo25 Sep 2008

By GEORGIA OCONNELL

DODGE has launched its new Journey crossover wagon in Australia with sharp pricing up to $5500 less than seven-seat competitors such as the Ford Territory and Toyota Kluger.

The three-model Journey range starts from $36,990 for the V6 petrol SXT, with a premium specification called the R/T priced at $41,990 as a V6 or $46,990 as a 2.0-litre CRD turbo-diesel.

The Journey will only be sold as a front-wheel drive with automatic transmission (a dual-clutch in the CRD), with the all-wheel drive powertrain available in the US only with a 3.5-litre V6 engine.

The Journey is based on the Dodge Avenger/Chrysler Sebring platform and uses the 2.7-litre V6 also fitted to these models.

The 2.0-litre CRD is a Volkswagen engine that is also used in various Chrysler products such as the Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Caliber and Jeep Patriot and Compass.

The Dodge is a tall-riding wagon measuring 4888mm in overall length, 1878mm in width and 1745mm in height. Kerb weights range from 1750kg to 1785kg, and the Journey has a maximum towing capacity of 1600kg and 160kg ball download.

As GoAuto reported in August, the new model will arrive with a full kit of safety equipment on all models, such as multi-stage twin front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, three-row side curtain airbags, traction/stability control, an anti-rollover function dubbed Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), trailer sway control and an anti-lock braking system (ABS).

The 2.7-litre V6 develops 136kW of power at 5500rpm and 256Nm of torque at a high 4000rpm. Fuel consumption is quoted as 10.3L/100km combined and CO2 output is 246g/km. Claimed acceleration to 100km/h is 11.6 seconds and top speed is 182km/h.

The 2.7 V6 is teamed to a conventional six-speed automatic also used extensively in other Chrysler products. The 2.0-litre CRD turbo-diesel produces 103kW of power at 4000rpm and 310Nm of torque at 1750-2500rpm.

The official combined fuel figure is 7.0L/100km and CO2 output is186g/km. Claimed acceleration to 100km/h is timed at 13.2 seconds, on to a top speed of 188km/h.

Only available in the R/T specification grade, the turbo-diesel will be available uniquely with a new Chrysler-Getrag six-speed double-clutch automated manual transmission, which makes its debut in the Journey.

The new dual-clutch auto is claimed to deliver a fuel economy improvement of up to six per cent compared with a conventional automatic.

The gearbox has dual launch and shift clutches with a manual transmission-style lay-shaft gear set-up in preference to a conventional torque converter and planetary gearset. One clutch drives the odd-numbered gears and reverse, while the other clutch drives the even-numbered gears.

The transmission anticipates the next gear and pre-selects it. Then one clutch is opened while the other is closed, allowing shifting without torque interruption. As with similar systems found in DSG-equipped Volkswagen Group models and DCT-equipped BMW 3 Series models, the result is quicker acceleration and better shift quality.

Chrysler claims the lay-shaft arrangement of gears allows increased flexibility to allow ideal gear ratio selection for performance and fuel economy.

Extensive weight-saving and strengthening measures have also been implemented. According to Chrysler, 36 per cent of the vehicle’s structure (by weight) contains hot-stamped and high-strength steels.

The American manufacturer claims that the Journey’s hot-stamped steel A and B-pillars reduce upper body weight by 13.6kg compared with conventional steel equivalents. A composite tailgate is also used, reducing weight by a claimed 20 per cent.

Furthermore, the Journey has extensive use of what Chrysler calls “next-generation” elastic adhesives, which add strength to joints, creating a more rigid body structure, which in turn reduces noise, vibration and harshness levels.

The crossover is built on a monocoque chassis with all-independent suspension comprising MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link configuration at the rear. It uses rack-and-pinion steering and has a turning circle of 11.5 metres (SXT) or 11.7 metres (R/T).

Four-wheel disc brakes are also included, measuring 302x28mm up front and 305x12mm at the rear.

The Journey offers seven seats as standard, an underfloor storage compartment, theatre-style second-row seats that flip and slide with the push of a lever, a 50/50-split third-row seat with reclining seatbacks and an in-floor storage bin behind the rear seats.

The rear doors open 90 degrees for easier access, and the front passenger seat also flips forward for carrying long loads. Cargo tie-down loops are supplied in the cargo area and four 12-volt power sockets are supplied throughout the cabin.

Standard equipment on the SXT entry-level grade includes dual-zone front climate-control, rear air-conditioning, front and rear foglights, a removable/rechargeable LED flashlight, folding and heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, AM/FM six-CD six-speaker sound system with MP3 capability and auxiliary input jack, remote central locking, a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, a reach/rake-adjustable steering column, roof rails, and 17-inch alloy wheels on 225/65R17 tyres.

The R/T grade adds leather trim, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped gearshifter and steering wheel (the latter with audio controls), 19-inch alloy wheels with 225/55R19 tyres, a chrome-detail instrument cluster, chrome door-handles, body-coloured sills and chrome roof-rails. The 2.0 CRD also includes hill-start assist.

Options include a MyGIG entertainment system ($3250), an electric sunroof ($2000), a second-row video screen ($1500), rear park assist ($400), metallic paint ($300) and tinted windows ($300, SXT only).

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