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The Dodge Journey is sometimes forgotten in the compact SUV class as newer crossovers overshadow it. However, the Journey is a worthy contender if you want three rows of seating at an affordable price.
Dodge first introduced the Journey in 2008 as a 2009 model. Its exterior features details such as a boxy shape and flared wheel arches. Inside, the Journey can be optioned with seating for five or seven people. There is also a front passenger seat that has a storage bin under the bottom cushion. Options included a cooled glove box, navigation, an upgraded sound system and a sunroof.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 173 horsepower comes standard in the Dodge Journey. That engine is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Higher trims get a 3.5-liter V6 with 235 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard with this engine, and all-wheel drive is optional.
The 2010 Journey made keyless entry standard across the range, while a rear seat entertainment system with a larger 9-inch display became an option.
For 2011, Dodge made some major improvements to Journey. The exterior was updated with a new front clip and liftgate. The interior received massive changes with a new dashboard and the introduction of the second-generation Uconnect infotainment system. Under the skin an optional 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 replaced the 3.5-liter V6 that was available on earlier models. This new engine is significantly stronger, with an output of 283 horsepower. The Journey also benefitted from changes to the suspension and steering to make it a bit better to drive.
2012 saw Dodge revamp the Journey lineup with the introduction of two new trims. The American Value Package became the new base model and came with such features as 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, keyless entry and start, cruise control and a six-speaker audio system. The other new trim was the Crew model, which sat below the R/T trim and got automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a premium audio system.
The Journey competes with compact SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4. Larger, three-row SUVs like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse might also be considered.