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Dodge’s sole offering in Australia, the Journey SUV/people-mover, is all about value

25 Aug 2014

WHEN the Dodge brand relaunched in Australia in 2006, its parent company Chrysler had big ambitions for the brand.

Eight years on, those ambitions have fallen away somewhat. We’ve seen various Dodge-badged models come and go, including the boxy Caliber compact SUV and the lacklustre four-cylinder and V6-engined Avenger sedan, and not to forget the Nitro mid-size SUV, carrying looks that were chiselled out of a solid block of granite.

However, one model has carried through uninterrupted, and remains the only Dodge-badged vehicle currently on sale – the Journey five- or seven-seat SUV-style people-mover.

Scratch the surface, and the Journey you see today is almost the same as the car that Chrysler launched in late 2008, although prices have come down a fair way since the heady days of the brand’s initial Australian market assault, and a mid-life spritz in 2011 has butched up the looks a bit.

Essentially, you’re now paying Korean people-mover money for Mexican-built American iron. But the future of the Dodge brand is now in doubt, with suggestions from its new Italian owner, Fiat, that it could better serve as a pure performance brand for the conglomerate.

There are also a few bits of extra baggage the Journey has to carry that are of more immediate concern.

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Model release date: 1 April 2014 to 1 January 2017

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