David: I’m David Thomas of Cars.com and we’re here at the 2009 Dodge Journey. This is an all-new vehicle for Dodge. They are going to try and educate consumers about it because it’s a little bit different than what they put up before so we’re going to give you a quick lesson right now.
The thing for fuel rafter heads around is the size of the Dodge Journey. It’s actually a 190 inches long which is longer than something like Toyota Highlander. It comes in two or three rows. The third row is optional, so it competes against the two-row Ford Edge or three rows like a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot.
One big difference of Journey in most of its competition is the fact that it comes standard with a four-cylinder engine. Most of the competition of it is V6. You can go to V6 optional with the Journey but having that four-cylinder option starts it under $20,000.00 and none of the competition comes close to that.
Of course our products Dodge among them have kind of got knocked recently for interior quality. Lots of people point to big bulky plastic doors and dashboards and the Journey is kind of in the middle of repairing that opinion. There are so plenty of big bulky plastics around but a lot of the finishes especially around the button areas and stocks are much improved.
We do have some real questions about who built this thing because some of these are just plain odd while the finishes and the buttons are really nice, it kind of slows downward and pushes all the information downwards. What do we mean by that? Well at top, we have this cubby and you can throw something but it’s really up high and hard to reach for a cubby and it would be much better to have an information display there like Ford and a lot of other models have instead this place weighed on here by your hand and where the filter is.
So if you’re driving, you’re looking forward. And you just want to check the time. You’ve got to look down here, so you’re really distracting yourself just to get a look at the time. Because that is trying to get the best of both worlds with this optional third row, it kind of sacrifices the second row room. As you can see the front seat, driver seat here is where I was when I was driving and my knees are very close to the back, not up against it by any means but it just doesn’t give you the feeling of a lot of room.
Luckily, the seat back does recline so you’re not always sitting up this high or just straight up. So, that’s nice and that lean actually helps out quite a bit.
Underneath the floor in the second row actually are two large cubbies that are waterproof so if you have a six pack of soda or juice or something nutritious, you can put it there for the kids or other passengers. Now, there is the third row as an option as we said before and it’s pretty easy to get to. There's a handle at the top of the second row seats so you just pull forward, slide the second row seat up, step in, sit back and you pull the seat back towards you. The only problem is it locks in that first position so if someone wants more room up there. They’re going to have to do it themselves.
So now, I’m sitting with the second row slit all the way back which gives second row passengers just enough room as I showed you before. And then the third row passenger, if you’re a full sized adult like me, you’re pretty squished. My knee is totally up against the seat back and my feet do not fit underneath or flat on the floor, at least straight, it would be a very uncomfortable ride.
Like most three-row Crossovers of any size, the cargo with all three rows up is going to be pretty small with just a small suit case in it which is fine. When you take it out, you can see there’s enough room for a small grocery run. Now, to fold the third row flat, it’s pretty easy, just pull that there. The head rest actually automatically fold forward after a certain point and everything folds flat.
For shoppers, the Journey offers a lot of room, a lot of space, a lot of size for very little money but if you’re just looking for the best of the best of either a three-row or a two-row Crossover, there are better out there.
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