The 2011 Dodge Journey is significantly improved for the new model year. The Journey, which first debuted in the 2009 model year, is Dodge’s midsize crossover offering. It is built on a modified platform it shares with the Dodge Avenger and new Chrysler 200 models in Toluca, Mexico.
The Journey has three trim lines: SE, SXT, and R/T. Only the SXT and R/T trim lines offer an all-wheel drive (“AWD”) option. The Journey has standard five-passenger seating with third row seating available in SXT and R/T trim lines. The SXT and R/T trim lines also retain their ability to have the rear doors open to a 90 degree angle for better access to second and third rows.
The most noticeable improvement in this midsize crossover SUV for 2011 is its interior, which has much better fit, finish and quality in comparison to the 2010 model. The Journey has a new 8.4” touch screen, which has a new radio and climate controls, and standard steering wheel audio and speed controls. The Journey has an optional navigation system.
Other improvements in the 2011 Journey include a new suspension, higher quality tires, and an overhaul of the steering system. The new Journey has reduced noise, vibration, and road harshness, which have been achieved through sound-deadening engineering and better insulation.
The Journey comes standard with excellent safety features including electronic stability control, traction control, trailer sway control, a driver-side knee blocker air bag, supplemental front-seat-mounted side air bags, supplemental side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and a LATCH child seat anchor system.
Under the hood, the 2011 Journey comes in base SE trim line with Chrysler’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 173 horsepower “world engine”. That engine comes standard with a four-speed automatic transmission. However, new in 2011, is the availability of the Pentastar 290 horsepower V-6 engine, which has a six-speed automatic transmission. The new Pentastar V-6 is offered on many of the Chrysler Group’s new models, including the 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Journey’s optional engine in 2010 was a modestly powered 235 horsepower V-6.
The 2011 Journey’s fuel economy is 19-mpg city and 25-mpg for the four cylinder and 17- mpg city and 25-mpg for the V-6 in two wheel drive form.
The changes for 2011 make the Journey more engaging and comfortable for driver and passengers and a much-improved vehicle. V-6 trim lines in the 2011 Journey have a more aggressive lower front fascia, LED tail lamps, and 19-inch wheels. The Journey is worth considering in the midsize crossover SUV class.
The Journey SE’s starting price is about $22,500 with an SXT AWD trim starting at about $26,500. The 2011 Dodge Journey is expected to go on sale in December 2010. Competitors to the Journey include the Toyota RAV-4, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Chevrolet Traverse.