In the Dodge Journey V6 auto we have a budget airline car: Business class up front, economy further back, hold towards the tail. A big and bold looker it is too, with a cliff-face grille and lots of square-jawed testosterone about the swagger.
Airline cues are everywhere inside, with seven seats in an ambience of creamy leather. You’re cruising at altitude, too. Comfort is good and insulated from the world below, though it’s not quite pillowy, as some turbulence does bump through.
Cabin shades are calming green and chrome. Clever packaging means stash spaces crop up in unusual places. Lift the front passenger seat squab and there’s a big, square recess. Middle seats Tip ’n Slide, says Chrysler, which means they fold forward 40/20/40, giving access to the budget third row. It should be easy but the controls, levers and pull tabs seem less than brilliantly engineered. Pity. But don’t sweat the small stuff. In fact, don’t look too closely at all.
It may have been bolted together in sombrero land, but man, is it all-American. Aircon is brilliant. Everything has a servo motor. It’s supersized on the seat side – except when you head out back. Rather use the third-row seat space for loading. Of course you’ll find places for those giant cups – four cupholders up front, four in the middle row, which also has a fold-down centre portion for those essential McDonald’s stopovers, and two out back for babies who might also need a two-litre stopgap. For y’all that need it, the restroom is an optional extra.
The centre stack looks complicated, in a flight deck kinda style, but it’s all familiar. You’ve seen it on a Chrysler Voyager or a Jeep. And you get power outlets everywhere so every member of the iPod gen can plug in and play.
From the captain’s chair, it’s all good. Up high, the land streaming out below, it’s a good place to take in the control buttons styled by Boeing, the circular airvents, the roof-mounted lights. Dial up easy steer with that big leather-wrapped wheel, and in case you forget this is a Dodge, the Ram logo is ever-present. Big and bold, Ready to roll on 19 inchers, bro.
Because rolling is the game with a 2.7 litre V6 which sounds good on paper, but is hauling one big 1685kg lump through a six-speed gearbox that ain’t so clever. Like the boys down home, it’s always goin’ huntin’. It’s goin’ a kickdown too low on them hills and change up too soon. Ever’ time. So y’all’s better sit back and relax. ‘Cause there’s a special deal on, you goin’n get all the toys, and one mean mutha of a looker, all under 300 large. Just don’t forget, it’s a Journey, not a Destination.
DODGE JOURNEY 2.7ℓ V6 R/T
ENGINE | 2736cc, 24v V6
POWER | 136kW @ 5500rpm
TORQUE | 256Nm @ 4000rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT | 81kW per tonne
TRANSMISSION | Six-speed auto, front-wheel drive
0-60kph | 5.11sec
0-80kph | 7.33sec
0-100kph | 10.41sec
0-120kph | 15.00
QUARTER MILE | Time/terminal speed: 17.74sec/129.7kph
60-100kph | 5.60sec
80-120kph | 7.74sec
SPEEDO CALIBRATION | Reading @ 120kph/error: 116kph/3.3%
BRAKING 100-0kph | Average time/dist: 2.98sec/42m
ODOMETER | 2337km
TEST TEMP | 8ºCPerformance claimed
TOP SPEED | N/A
CO2 EMISSIONS | 246g/km
FRONT SUSPENSION |
REAR SUSPENSION |
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT | 4888/1835/1775mm
2296 litres (cargo space, seats flat)
FUEL TANK | 77.6ℓ
WEIGHT | 1685kg
PRICE | R306 900 (minus discount)
WARRANTY | 3-yr/100 000km
MAINTENANCE PLAN | 3-yr/100 000km
For when you must have a bus that thinks it’s an SUV