The Dodge Journey is a mid-size crossover that debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show, with North American 2009my sales beginning in March 2008 and European sales to begin in mid 2008.
Identified internally as the JC49, and sharing an almost identical wheelbase (113.8in) to the outgoing short-wheelbase Chrysler minivans, the Journey shares a modified platform from the Dodge Avenger, features five (or 5+2) passenger seating with four forward-hinged doors, and as with past models of the outgoing short-wheelbase Chrysler minivans, is available with a four-cylinder engine.
Like its Dodge Avenger stablemate, the Journey's exterior was styled by Chrysler's Ryan Nagode.
For the CUV's introductory promotion, Dario Franchitti's No. 40 Dodge Charger carried a "Journey" paint scheme for the 2008 Daytona 500 on February 15, 2008.
Development and mechanical
The available four-cylinder is a 2.4-liter, with 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, a version of the Chrysler's GEMA, "world" four-cylinder engine shared with Hyundai and Mitsubishi.
The 3.5 liter V6 is only available in North America, with the six-speed automatic transmission. Other markets will have the six-speed automatic transmission with the flex-fuel (E85 compatible) 2.7 liter V6. All wheel drive will only be available with a V6.
A Volkswagen-sourced diesel engine will be available outside of North America with an automatically shifted dual-clutch manual transmission, which may be the first appearance of this transmission. Chrysler performed primary engineering for the dual-clutch transmission with support from long-time partner Getrag, who will ultimately build the transmission in the United States.
During development, Dodge benchmarked the European Ford S-Max, a popular multi-activity minivan.
Dodge Journey Mechanical and construction features:
- Aluminum hood
- Composite plastic tailgate
- One-third of the Journey's body-structure, by weight, made of high-strength steel.
- Second row H-point is 1.6 inches (40 mm) higher than the first row; third row .6 inches (17 mm) higher still.
- Rear doors open 90 degrees.
- Markets outside North America in both left-hand and right-hand drive.
Trim levels and features
The following trims are available in North America as of April, 2008. All prices are MSRP-
- SE - 2.4L 173hp I4 - $19,360
- SXT - 3.5L 235hp V6 - $22,360
- SXT AWD - 3.5L 235hp V6 - $24,905
- R/T - 3.5L 235hp V6 - $25,920
- R/T AWD - 3.5L 235hp V6 - $27,670
- Under-floor storage lockers behind front seats
- Rear climate control vents and optional rear climate control panel
- Extra power outlets
- Optional hard-drive-based stereo/navigation/phone system
- Interior child-view mirror
- Rear doors open to a 90 degree angle allowing for easy rear access and helping child-seat installation
- Optional booster seats (these are not integrated child seats but are aimed at older children)
- Theatre seating (second row is substantially higher than the first row)
- Third row of foldaway "occasional use" seats (with minimal seat height and legroom)
- Gas mileage: 16-19 city, 23-25 highway (2008 United States EPA figures)
- Standard (US & Canada) multi-stage front driver and passenger air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, three-row side-curtain air bags, standard four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP), and electronic roll mitigation, brake assist.
- Traction control, rollover sensing, trailer sway control, tire pressure monitors, and a rear backup camera.
Chrysler manufactures the Journey at the 220 acre Toluca Car Assembly
, Toluca, Mexico
— on the same assembly line as the PT Cruiser
A Chrysler plant since 1968, Toluca Car Assembly was recently redesigned to employ a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) that allows simultaneous production of the two distinct vehicles of differing platforms . The neighboring Chrysler Park represents a joint venture of eight outside suppliers .