The 2012 Dodge Journey returns with modest changes from 2011. The biggest news is that the base model is significantly less expensive. In fact, the 2012 Journey’s starting MSRP is just $18,995, down from $22,245 in 2011.
This is a very low price for a midsize SUV model. But the model does have less standard features for 2012 and the price of option packages has shot up, similar to what is seen with the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The model is offered in five different trim lines: AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, and R/T.
The base Journey comes with Chrysler’s 2.4-liter 173 horsepower four-cylinder engine. This engine has been offered in the model since it debuted in 2009 and has an antiquated, inefficient four-speed automatic transmission.
The big news for the Journey in 2011 was the addition of the 283 horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 to the lineup. With its six-speed automatic transmission, the model got better than class average 17-mpg city and 25-mpg highway. This engine returns in 2012.
The Journey offers a variety of option packages including the “American Value Package” (AVP), which includes satellite radio, seven air bags, touch-screen media interface, and a push-button ignition. The Journey also offers a third-row of seats for an extra $1,000 making the Journey the least expensive seven-passenger vehicle in the U.S.
The Journey is also the only model in the U.S. to offer five or seven passenger seating, four or six cylinder engines, and a choice of front or all-wheel drive. The model also stands out with best-in-class storage flexibility with the ability to fold the front passenger seat flat and in-seat storage for extra room.
The Journey also scores in the safety department as the model has been named one of the safest SUVs for 2009-2011 by virtue of its annual appearance on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Picks list.
The 2012 Journey is a crossover with a more minivan-like appearance than comparable models. It has a cargo capacity of 67.6 cubic feet with the seats folded flat, which is comparable to competitors such as the Ford Edge. However, both of these models have less total cargo room than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 compact SUVs.
The 2012 Journey is built in Toluca, Mexico and is on sale now. If you like the Journey, vote for it in our poll below.