The Dodge Journey is one of the "count'em on your fingers" 'merican vehicles to debut at an European international car show, namely the 2007 edition of IAA Frankfurt. Although with a wheelbase not much different than that of the outgoing Dodge Caravan, the new Journey is not exactly a replacement for the latter. Designed by young and aspiring Ryan Nagode, who also penned the brutish Dodge Avenger, the Journey tries to be in a class of its own. Technically, it follows the same raison d'aitre as the ill-fated Chrysler Pacifica, which was the first fruit of the sad-ending love story between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler LLC.
There are major differences between the Pacifica and the Journey though, apart from the nameplates and badging. First of all, the Journey is priced at about half of what the Pacifica used to cost. Second of all, it looks and feels at least twice as cheap. Third of all, the Journey is based on an entirely different platform and it was destined from the start as a globally-marketed vehicle. The last point kind of begs the question of powerplants and options available on other markets such as Europe. Well, in the good ol' Europe, where we tested it, the Journey only comes with a Volkswagen-sourced two-liter turbocharged oil-burner and a 2.4-liter petrol engine.
Believe it or not, the Journey shares its base platform with the much smaller Avenger and Caliber, with the Chrysler Sebring and with the Jeep Compass and Patriot. But wait, this is not all. Pretty much the same underpinnings can also be found on the Mitsubishi Lancer, including the Evolution X, Delica and the crossover/SUV ugly-tastic trio comprising the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Citroen C-Crosser and the Peugeot 4007. Kind of a long list of quasi-identical vehicles, isn't it?
Either sadly or thankfully, we don't know yet, we only got to drive the CRD turbodiesel equipped with the SXT trim level. This translates into an underpowered, front-wheel drive behemoth with a medium/high equipment level and enough storage spaces to captivate an entire squadron of agoraphobics.Continue reading