2011 Dodge Journey Lux AWD

Matt Tierney

This was my first time behind the wheel of a Journey, so I didn't have the previous bad experience others have mentioned here, but I can confess that I EXPECTED to be disappointed. The over-the-top masculine Ram-derived exterior styling of this car (and its lookalike brethren Nitro and Caliber) has never done anything for me and I dreaded the plastic cabin within.

Boy was I wrong. This updated interior is NICE. Very nice. A handsome dash, with nice grains and details and a good layout, but the real impact came on the doors with their soft and luxuriously stitched inserts.

The touch-screen interface is attractive and reminiscent of Ford's MyTouch. I like that the basic controls for climate and stereo remain independent of the electronic screen, but burying the seat heater controls in the screen interface seems like a poor choice.

I also never realized this car had a third row until now. It simply didn't look that big. Once I reached home and parked next to my wife's Odyssey and realized it was nearly the same size did I notice how large the Journey really is.

And as I circled the car to get a better look at the size I started to notice that the exterior has been subtly improved all the way around. The bold Mango Tango orange paint and chrome wheels might be a bit much for me, but overall it was less objectionable than my first impression.

The Pentastar V-6/six-speed combo is familiar territory after the Chrysler minivans we've had through here of late, but it felt a bit more exciting propelling a less boxy vehicle.

For $35K, Dodge is offering two nicely equipped options for families on somewhat of a budget: this Journey and the Grand Caravan. It's up to the buyer to decide where they sit on the sporty/style versus family truckster/utility scale when choosing between these very well executed vehicles.

Matt Tierney, Art Director

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You have found a format that will allow the magazine to still flourish versus the Internet. Sure you need Corvette or Ferrari covers for spice, but the in-depth analysis of cars that actual people actually buy, and drive, in numbers larger than a few hundred worldwide, is the only basis for the magazine's continuity.I would suggest this plus the various commentators views on certain features, so as to create the particular vehicles profile that would most satisfy the reviewers. That does Not mean the all tricked out track version of a family hauler either. But rather the version that would most satisfy the raison d'etre for the vehicle.

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