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2009 Dodge Journey

[cars name="Chrysler"] isn’t wasting any time pulling the covers off of its newest crossover, the {{{Dodge Journey}}}, at Frankfurt, the first car show of the season. Then again, it makes sense, since the Journey has global sales ambitions. We’re not convinced that the world needs a big crossover, but we’re guessing the Journey has a good chance at being embraced by consumers here at home.

The Journey shares its underpinnings with the Avenger sedan, riding on a wheelbase that has been stretched 4.9 inches to 113.8 inches. Essentially a front-wheel drive vehicle, the crossover will be available with all-wheel drive only when powered by its largest engine – a 3.5-liter V-6 making 235 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. The 3.5-liter is attached to a six-speed automatic transmission and, with front-wheel drive, is expected to return 16 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway.

That’s not bad economy considering that the middle-child V-6, a 2.7-liter producing 186 hp and 191 lb-ft returns the same economy on the highway and only one mpg better in the city. The reason for such a small difference in economy is that the smaller V-6 is attached to an automatic with only four forward speeds.

Also running with a four-speed automatic is the base engine, a 2.4-liter VVT inline-four that produces almost as many ponies as the small V-6 – 173 of them (and 166 lb-ft of torque) and slightly better economy; it’s rated at 19/25 city/highway.

The coolest powertrain, however, isn’t going to make it to our shores. That’s the 140-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel that’s mated to a six-speed Getrag twin-clutch transmission – the first use of a dual-clutch transmission outside of the Volkswagen group.

The Journey comes standard with seating for five, but two extra rear seats are available. Though the rear doors open to a full ninety degrees and the second row of seats can slide forward, we expect the rearmost seats to be strictly kid-sized.

As usual, Chrysler has included a bunch of innovative features in this new crossover – it has storage under the front passenger seat as well as two in-floor storage bins behind the front seats that can each take twelve cans of soda. The Journey is the first mid-size crossover to offer available integrated child booster seats, and it of course comes with Chrysler’s MyGig multimedia system.

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Buying Guide
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EPA MPG:

19 City / 25 Hwy

Seating:

5/5

Horse Power:

173 @ 6000