This week, we’re driving the luxury equipped 2015 Dodge Journey Crossroads, a midsize Crossover/SUV available in seven trims. Journey is built for those that desire a multi-task vehicle in either five or seven passenger design, and allows those working a tight budget the opportunity to own one thanks to a low entry price model.
Specifically, consumers will be happy to find that just $20,295 retail allows a Journey called the “American Value Package” (AVP) to inhabit your driveway. Under the hood sits a 173-horse 2.4-liter four-cylinder coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission. All of the Journeys with the four-cylinder engine come with a dated four-speed automatic, which still surprises me. Being that Chrysler is one of the leaders in multi-speed transmissions, including a current nine-speed automatic that comes with the new Chrysler 200 we recently tested, Perhaps in 2016, the four-cylinders will at least come with a six-speed automatic, which motivates all V-6 powered Journeys.
Additionally, if you want a Journey 4×4 like our Crossroads tester, you automatically move up to V6 engine coupled the aforementioned six-speed automatic.
The other Journey models available for 2015 are four-cylinder front drive SE ($21,995), SXT ($23,395) and SXT Plus ($25,195). All of these Journey’s deliver 19 city and 26 highway MPG. Each of the four cylinder Journeys, sans the AVP model, can be fitted with 4×4 mechanicals for about $1500 more. Journeys that come with the V6 and six speed automatic as standard fare include Limited ($30,895) and R/T (also $30,895). Our tester, however, is the seventh distinct Journey available, and it’s also the one “Test Drive” feels is the best of the bunch and not the most expensive with a $28,395 entry.
Our Journey Crossroad came with 4×4 mechanicals and offers countless amenities. Unlike 2014, you can now order a 2015 SXT Plus 4×4 for $28,895, just $1,100 less than the Crossroads 4×4. The Crossroad and SXT Plus are similar although not identical in appointments, as Crossroad receives gloss black grille and black bezels on the headlamps and tail lamps, front and rear fascia chrome accents and platinum chrome roof rails.
Additionally, 19-Inch hyper black aluminum wheels and 225/55R19 All-Season Kumho tires are Crossroad standards, as is leather-trimmed seats with sport mesh inserts and accent stitching. Add a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, center console armrest stitching, liquid graphite accent on the instrument panel gauge cluster, door pulls and steering wheel and you’ve got the best overall package available from Dodge if you are Journey shopping.
Since Journey can seat up to seven passengers, the 283 horse V-6 may well be the better choice be it front drive or 4×4. The six speed automatic performs well and can do even better than the 24 highway MPG on the window sticker. The main drawback of Journey is city MPG, where 16 sticks out like a sore thumb. The front drive Journey V6 delivers 17 and 25 EPA numbers, just one short of the four-cylinder model on highway averages.
As for safety, Journey has already received four and five star ratings in government crash tests thanks to sturdy build, all the airbags, ABS four wheel discs to all traction and electronic control systems.
Inside, Crossroad is a pleasure to drive and enjoy. Dodge has done an excellent job eliminating many plastics that still are commonplace elsewhere. Instead, you’ll find softer materials that make for a nice driving experience and there’s ample cargo room and additional storage bins under the seats. Further, even the front passenger seat folds flat, allowing a small canoe to fit inside if desired.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 113.8 inches, 21.1 gallon fuel tank, 29.7 cu. ft. of cargo behind second row (expandable); 4,238 lb. curb weight, 7.4-inch ground clearance and a 2,500 lb. tow capacity.
Journey has been around since 2009, and is making some serious inroads that will allow for successful consumer comparisons. Overall, Journey is a great looking vehicle, especially in Crossroad and R/T trim. Still, the outdated four-speed transmission on four cylinder models needs to be addressed or Journey will likely be passed by in future buyer comparisons where 20 to 22 MPG city are the norm. Still, “Test Drive” recommends the V-6 engine across the board even though fuel mileage compared to the four cylinder is less. Perhaps a nine-speed automatic in future Journey V6 builds is in the cards.
2015 Dodge Journey
Base MSRP: $20,295
Price as tested: $34,750
Poor city MPG
Backup camera unavailable in entry models