The great outdoors seem to be the perfect place for the Journey CRD to exhibit his major talents. As long as though talents don't include high speed cruising and over-optimistic passing moves, you should be fine with it. Contrary to what some might think when looking at it or reading its “heavy!” and “slow!” inducing stats, the Journey CRD is no shored-whale when it comes to handling. On the other hand, the steering is among the oddest we've encountered.
We expected it to be as assisted as hell, just like almost every 'merican road barge out there, but this was far from it. And no, this was not the most curious bit. Although it wasn't heavily assisted, the steering provided absolutely no feel at all. We can't imagine how Dodge managed to do this and we're as intrigued as you might be. The two-liter 140 hp diesel under the hood was scrapped from the Volkswagen parts bin and could make a pretty good team with the six-speed double-clutch transmission, but not on a car as heavy as this. The 11.9 seconds required to go from naught to 100 km/h (62 mph) can only give you an idea of how slow the Journey CRD feels.
The gearbox struggles to squeeze every last bit of power from the engine and transmit it to the front wheels without spilling a drop in the process, but you can't turn water into wine unless you're some dude named Jesus. The horsepower simply isn't there for it. Apart from the obvious lack of oomph, the noise it makes while accelerating actually made us feel pity for it. While struggling to pass someone, the engine sounds like a dying feline, which accuses a distinct lack of a Common Rail system.
On the good side, it sips fuel like it was put into a much smaller car, which kind of makes up for all the other downsides, like the noise pollution and the total lack of power for this mammoth of a car. Since we're still on the praising side, the above-average handling made us raise our eyebrows a few times. The front end is a bit jerky when accelerating hard from a dead stop, also providing a bit of torque-steer, but other than that, the Dodge Journey 2.0 CRD handles like it's on rails. Of course, compared to other similarly-sized cars, not with an Exige. The suspension offers a nice compromise between soaking up the road imperfections and providing a good assistance to the bloated vehicle when hard-cornering, braking or accelerating.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
Well, that's a car Al Bundy from "Married with Children" would have certainly enjoyed to drive. Huge enough to pack your entire annoying family in it, slow enough to have a peaceful and boring journey... what "more" could you possibly want from an extremely large family car?
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