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2012 Dodge Journey (AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, R/T) Review


The versatile and value-laden Dodge Journey crossover drives into 2012 with a new model lineup, new features, enhanced value and a new American Value Package (AVP) with a starting U.S. Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $18,995 (all prices exclude destination), which makes it the most affordable mid-size crossover in America, and it gets up to 26 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway.

2012 Dodge Journey photo

Totally overhauled for 2011, Journey received a completely redesigned and retuned suspension, a new V-6 engine that delivers 283 horsepower – a boost of 48 horsepower and 1 mpg compared with the V-6 engine it replaced – a gorgeous new interior with premium, soft-touch materials throughout and an enhanced exterior design. Journey also features the latest and greatest in vehicle connectivity and customization with the Chrysler Group’s new Uconnect Touch 8.4 radio, featuring an 8.4-inch touchscreen and standard, keyless “Enter-N-Go” with push button start. Journey also offers best-in-class storage space, with fold-flat seats, second-row in-floor storage and front-passenger “Flip-N-Stow” in-seat storage.

2012 Dodge Journey photo

“The Dodge Journey is the ‘Swiss army knife’ of vehicles,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Dodge Brand — Chrysler Group LLC. “Part-compact car with a starting price of only $18,995 MSRP, part-SUV with available all-wheel drive and part-van with available seven-passenger seating, the Journey offers best-in-class versatility and value.”

No other crossover offers customers the choice of four-cylinder or V-6, five- or seven-passenger seating and front- or all-wheel drive.

New for the 2012 model year, the Dodge Journey will be available in five models, including the new American Value Package (AVP), SE, SXT, Crew and R/T (late availability). In addition to the new trim levels, leather seating with heated front seats is now value priced on Crew models and black leather with red accent stitching is standard on R/T. There also will be a Rear Seat Video Group available on Crew and R/T models that include a second-row DVD player with 9-inch video screen and six premium speakers (late availability).

2012 Dodge Journey photo

All models offer enhanced value for 2012 model year:

Dodge Journey AVP — New for 2012 – with a starting U.S. MSRP of only $18,995, the AVP includes a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter 4-16-valve four-cylinder, automatic transmission, air conditioning, electronic stability control (ESC), Brake Assist, all-speed traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), advanced multistage front airbags, side-curtain airbags, front seat side-mounted airbags, active front head restraints, 4.3-inch Uconnect® Touch media center, Keyless Enter-N-Go with push button start, premium soft-touch surfaces, power windows, locks, mirrors, remote keyless entry and much more. AVP also is also available with seven-passenger seating at a starting U.S. MSRP of $19,990, making it the most affordable seven-passenger vehicle in America

Dodge Journey SE — Repositioned by $1,250 to a starting U.S. MSRP of $20,995, SE also is available with seven-passenger seating and adds standard deep-tint sunscreen glass, roof rails and distinctive LED taillamps

Dodge Journey SXT — Adds the award-winning 283 horsepower Pentastar V-6, six-speed automatic, unique front fascia, dual bright exhaust tips, fog lamps, 17-inch aluminum wheels, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and more. SXT also is available with all-wheel-drive (AWD) and seven-passenger seating

Dodge Journey Crew — Adds 19-inch aluminum wheels, 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect Media Center, six premium speakers with subwoofer, fold-flat front passenger seat with in-seat storage, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, remote start, automatic temperature control, security alarm, bright door handles and roof rails and much more. Crew also adds the luxury of available premium leather seating with heated front seats. Also available is AWD and seven-passenger seating
Dodge Journey R/T — Launching later this year is the R/T model, which adds a unique monochromatic exterior, 19-inch aluminum wheels and black leather seating with red accent stitching. The R/T is available with both AWD and seven-passenger seating

2012 Dodge Journey photo

The Journey AVP and SE models are powered by a 2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque, linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. This four-cylinder engine delivers 26 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. The award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine standard on SXT, Crew and R/T models produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This Pentastar V-6 engine was recognized as a Ward’s “10 Best Engines” for 2011. In addition to excellent power, it delivers up to 25 mpg on the highway.

With a 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, owners can rest assured knowing their powerful and efficient Journey is well covered.

Dodge Journey offers levels of refinement not typically found in the crossover market. A beautifully crafted premium, soft-touch one-piece instrument panel sets the tone. A standard Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) is positioned in the center of the gauge cluster, which has a full-color display backlit in Dodge red lights, giving it a soft glow unlike any in the segment. The flexible center console features premium cushioning on the tilt-and-slide armrest. Lift the lid, and there’s a larger center storage bin with a 12-volt outlet and USB port where owners can hook up their MP3/iPod® charging connections and hide them away.

The design team also worked to make the Journey’s interior very comfortable and extremely flexible. There’s a large front storage bin with side nets, a multi-functioning, three-spoke steering wheel with integrated controls and a wide, long, soft-touch armrest that transforms the driver’s seat into a cockpit-like experience. Comfortable seats might just make drivers want to take the long way home to get a little extra seat time.

Engineers also developed many treatments to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. One example is the Journey’s dual dash silencer, which isolates the cabin, making for a nice, quiet ride.

The interior isn’t just a nice place to be, it also offers best-in-class utility. Second and optional third-row seats fold flat to create 67.6 cu. ft. of cargo space. Second-row seats recline and have optional class-exclusive integrated child boosters. There are also innovative storage bins in the floor ahead of the second-row seats that can hold everything from muddy clothes to soda cans, to concealing valuables like a camera, laptop or purse. With fold-flat front passenger, second row and third-row seats, second-row in-floor storage, and front passenger in-seat storage, Dodge Journey has best-in-class storage.

Journey also offers some standard features not commonly found in the segment, such as power heated and fold-away mirrors, dual-zone climate control, illuminated cup holders, Keyless Enter-N-Go with push button start and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Owners will feel like they have the world at their fingertips with the Journey’s available touchscreen command center, Uconnect® Touch. From navigation to voice-command music selections to the ability to check fuel prices, the Uconnect Touch media center makes life in the Journey an excellent adventure for the driver and passengers. Four Uconnect Touch models are available, all featuring easy-to-use controls and class-leading technology. With its touchscreen display and user-friendly, touch-key categories, connecting and controlling personal devices is simple, intuitive and customizable.

New for 2012 is the addition of voice recognition with Bluetooth® for models equipped with the Uconnect Touch 8.4-inch media center with navigation. In addition, the navigation system will now offer an “Eco Route” to a destination and can tag songs playing on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio for later purchase.

Journey has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick for three consecutive years and is loaded with an abundance of over 40 safety and security features, including standard advanced multi-stage front passenger air bags, active head restraints, ESC with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation and Brake Assist, driver-side knee blocker air bag, side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, front seat-mounted side air bags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, LATCH child seat anchor system and Trailer-sway Control.

2012 Dodge Journey photo

The 2012 Dodge Journey’s chassis architecture delivers an exhilarating driving experience coupled with precise steering for maximum control. Strong torsional stiffness in the steering column intermediate shaft isolator, in conjunction with Journey’s rear suspension geometry, delivers precise steering feel and a connected steering response.

Dodge Journey also offers all-wheel-drive capability, perfect for drivers who want some extra grip for a more performance feel, or who appreciate the extra traction Journey’s all-wheel-drive system provides. Journey’s all-wheel-drive system works on demand, driving only the front wheels until power to the rear wheels is needed to maximize fuel efficiency. All-wheel drive also is used on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving. This system provides added traction on snow, ice and other low-traction surfaces without having to be switched on and off.

When traveling faster than 25 mph, Dodge Journey’s all-wheel-drive system sends torque to the rear wheels when cornering with the throttle open to make the car turn more easily, which makes the handling more neutral. This is more readily accomplished with Journey’s electronically controlled coupling (ECC) than with viscous-coupling or gerotor systems that require some degree of front-to-rear slip before torque is transferred to the rear wheels. At speeds greater than 53 mph, the control strategy provides minimal torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions to provide better fuel economy.

Dodge Journey features standard ESC and all-speed traction control, which help keep the crossover on path in a variety of road surface and weather conditions. Journey’s available all-wheel drive electronic control module works with the ESC and traction control systems, allowing the ESC system to use the ECC to help gain control of the vehicle, reducing the amount of torque that the ECC transmits to the rear wheels. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and electronic roll mitigation also are standard on all 2012 Dodge Journey models.

2012 Dodge Journey photo -

On the outside, Journey maintains its sculpted, clean, aggressive lines and front fascia that sports the signature Dodge brand “split crosshair” grille. Journeys with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine get a more aggressive lower front fascia and a rear fascia with integrated, dual bright exhaust tips. Available bold “ring of fire” LED taillamps have a distinctive style out back, while available 19-inch aluminum wheels provide a dramatic styling statement.

Exterior colors for the 2012 model year include Copperhead Pearl Coat, Blue Pearl Coat, Brilliant Red Tri-Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Storm Gray Pearl Coat, White, Pearl White Tri-Coat and Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat.

2012 Dodge Journey models are in showrooms now, and are built in Toluca, Mexico.

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