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2016 Dodge Journey

Two words best sum up the 2016 Dodge Journey’s success: “versatility and value.” With a price starting just under $22,000, the Journey undercuts more expensive rivals like the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Pilot. Granted, two of the three come standard with a V6 engine, and the 4-cylinder Journey has neither the power nor the features (Bluetooth isn’t even standard) to compete with the above-mentioned group. However, the Journey’s higher trim levels do come well appointed and can be equipped with one of the most powerful V6 engines in this class. Though aging, the 2016 Dodge Journey still has some surprises in store, such as clever in-floor storage and one of the best infotainment systems money can buy.

You’ll Like This Car If…

Those who need 7-passenger accommodations and are on a limited budget will appreciate the 4-cylinder engine offered on four of the five available Journey trims. The family-friendly Journey is extremely versatile with lots of places to hide cargo and precious items.

You May Not Like This Car If…

If you need a large 3rd-row seat, a Chevy Traverse or Honda Pilot makes a better choice. The Journey’s 4-cylinder engine and outdated 4-speed automatic are not the best choice for a 7-passenger SUV. Look to the Kia Sorento for a better 4-cylinder entry model, as well as a better warranty.

2016 sees the entry-level AVP trim dropped and the model lineup reduced to just five trim levels. SE, SXT and Crossroad trims have lower base prices than last year, while a new Crossroad Plus trim builds on the success of the Crossroad by offering standard leather seating and the Uconnect 8.4-inch display.


Driving the Journey

Driving Impressions Those accustomed to older, truck-based SUVs will be quite pleased with the way Dodge’s Journey crossover SUV for 2016 rides and drives. A unit body and advanced suspension setup help the Journey return car-like driving characteristics similar to a tall-riding station wagon, which is essentially what the Journey is. Confident on highway runs and surprisingly agile over narrow, twisting roads, the Journey is devoid of the bobbing and weaving one might experience in a truck-based SUV. Although we found the 173-horsepower 4-cylinder engine adequate with two people aboard, any additional bodies or cargo demands the Pentastar V6, which delivers an additional 100 horsepower and nearly the same fuel economy. We like the Journey’s upright seating position and found the front seats to be remarkably supportive and comfortable, even after driving long distances.

Favorite Features

CARGO FLEXIBILITY


Dodge’s Journey SUV for 2016 has numerous clever storage ideas. Not only does the rear seat fold flush, there are additional storage bins beneath the 2nd-row floor and front-passenger seat cushion. The same seat can fold flat to better accommodate long items such as a surfboard and skis.

3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V6 ENGINE


Dodge’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine is not only smooth and powerful, it also returns impressive fuel economy on par with the Journey’s smaller 4-cylinder engine.

The 2016 Dodge Journey’s cabin is available in a 2-row, 5-passenger layout or as a 3-row, 7-passenger configuration. Passenger space for adults is commendable up front and good in the second row, but legroom is very tight in the third row, which is best left for kids or occasional use. One of the best features of the Journey is its available Uconnect infotainment system. In addition to a large and easy-to-use 8.4-inch touch screen centered in the dash, there are supplementary buttons for climate and audio that are simple to see and use.


Exterior

Is it a sport-utility vehicle or the reincarnation of a station wagon? With the 2016 Journey from Dodge, its 192.4-inch length exceeds much of the competition, but Dodge’s designers have given it exterior treatments such as the chrome-trimmed cross-hair grille and eye-catching aluminum-alloy wheel choices that keep it from being merely bland. If a more stylish look is important, opt for the R/T version, with its 19-inch wheels, monochromatic treatment and distinctive R/T labels. For a tougher-looking version, there’s the Dodge Journey Crossroad, which features a faux skidplate, standard roof rails and blacked-out wheels.

Notable Equipment


Standard Equipment

The 2016 Dodge Journey 7-passenger crossover SUV is available in a five trims, from the base SE to the top-line R/T. At its most basic, the 2016 Journey includes dual-zone climate control, 4.3-inch touch-screen media center, keyless entry and push-button start, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and power windows and door locks. Entertainment is provided by a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with auxiliary and USB inputs, but no Bluetooth streaming as standard. Safety features include electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all rows.

Optional Equipment

Plenty of options can be had on the 2016 Journey. Among the more popular are 3-row seating (Flexible Seating Group), traction-enhancing all-wheel drive in lieu of the standard front-drive setup, an 8.4-inch touch-screen Uconnect infotainment system and navigation. Amenities that bring an upscale feel include leather seating, Infinity speakers, rear-seat video entertainment system with 9-inch screen and two wireless headphones, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and heated front seats and heated steering wheel. A Driver Convenience Group adds a rearview camera and distance-alert function when in reverse, but more advanced safety functions like blind-spot monitoring and automatic braking are not available.

Under the Hood

Two engines are available for Dodge’s 2016 Journey crossover SUV. Standard on lower trims is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes an only-adequate 173 horsepower. The engine we recommend is the 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that is optional on all but base Dodge Journeys and standard in higher trims. The V6 is also your only choice if you require all-wheel drive (AWD) instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) to deal with inclement weather and slippery roads. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline. All Dodge Journeys use automatic transmissions, with the 4-cylinder stuck with an older-style 4-speed and the 6-cylinder using a newer 6-speed. The Journey’s towing capacity is on the light end, limited to 1,000 pounds with the 4-cylinder and 2,500 with the V6.

2.4-liter inline-4 (SE, SXT, Crossroad)

173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg

3.6-liter V6 (SE, SXT, Crossroad, R/T)

283 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm

260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (FWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD)

Pricing Notes

The 2016 Dodge Journey has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $22,000, including destination charge. Better-equipped mid-level versions of the Journey such as the SXT and Crossroad are in the mid-$20,000 range, while a top-line R/T version with AWD reaches the mid-$30,000 level. At its base price, the Dodge Journey SE remains the lowest-priced midsize SUV, and even after climbing trims is a good value among midsize SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9 and Kia Sorento. The Mitsubishi Outlander with seating for seven is also a value leader among 3-row SUVs, but is smaller than the Journey. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Journey SUV. In the years ahead, the Journey’s residual value is expected to be average, still lagging the Toyota Highlander.

Read more at: http://www.kbb.com/dodge/journey/2016/?r=45198081889915920

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More praise for Jeeps and Durango

Car & Driver recently compared SUVs in two categories: Mid-Size Crossovers and SUVs and 3-row Crossovers and SUVs.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has won more awards than any other SUV, bested the Dodge Journey, Volkswagen Touareg, Toyota 4Runner, Nissan XTerra, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Nissan Murano and Ford Edge in the mid-size SUV class.

Car & Driver’s editors said: “Whether you want to climb a mountain or just move up the ladder of success, the Grand Cherokee has you covered. With a choice of four 4×4 systems plus an optional Quadra-Lift air suspension, there’s no obstacle too difficult to tackle.”

In the 3-row category, the Dodge Durango was judged the best of the bunch. It beat the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Pathfinder (which is being discontinued), Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Ford Flex, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.

“The Durango remains big, brawny, and masculine in an era of soft, curvaceous crossovers, but it’s not as trucklike as other large sport-utes…The V-6 models are enough for most, with smooth acceleration, while Hemi models deliver excellent torque, especially handy for towing.”

In Great Britain, the Jeep Renegade was named 4×4 Magazine’s “4×4 of the Year.” The decision by the magazine’s expert judges was unanimous and followed a tough off-road evaluation course. Those doing the testing also said the entire Renegade lineup was worthy of the top award.

“It’s a credit that any manufacturer should consider producing such a capable small off-roader,” says Nigel Fryatt, Editor, 4×4 Magazine. “That it’s so well built, while also fun and funky, is a delight.’

The Renegade also won the magazine’s “Mid-range SUV sub-£30,000 (~$45,600)” category while the Wrangler took the “Hardcore” class for the fourth consecutive year.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/12/more-praise-for-jeeps-and-durango-30779

What’s New for 2014 Durango

What’s New for 2014

The 2014 Dodge Durango gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission, revised front and rear styling, and an updated interior with newly available features like an 8.4-inch touchscreen display and a rear-seat Blu-ray player. Trim levels and equipment have also been shuffled.
Introduction

The Dodge Durango is one of our favorite options for a six- or seven-passenger SUV. The current generation not only has the roomy seating and polished ride that you’d expect in a family-oriented, three-row utility vehicle, it also has an optional V8 engine and impressive tow ratings that you typically see only on larger, more traditional SUVs. For 2014, Dodge (http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/) has updated the Durango to help it keep up with the competition in this price range. Although the even more aggressive styling is what you’ll notice first, it’s the less obvious changes that make the biggest difference on the 2014 Dodge Durango.

The changes in the cabin are particularly striking, as the Durango gets an all-new instrument panel and an updated dash that accommodates a large, intuitive 8.4-inch touchscreen that uses an upgraded version of the company’s Uconnect system to provide smartphone app integration, text-to-speech capability for text messages and a more robust voice control interface. High-quality interior surfaces abound, and much like its Jeep Grand Cherokee cousin, the 2014 Durango feels decidedly upscale for its class.

On the mechanical side, the 2014 Durango has a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which serves up impressively smooth shifts while providing a numerically small but still significant improvement in EPA fuel economy ratings. The new transmission also makes better use of what power the base V6 engine has to offer — although we’ve steered consumers toward the more powerful V8 in past years, a V6 Durango merits stronger consideration in 2014 due to its more energetic performance.

Of course, we’d still recommend the V8 if you intend to take frequent advantage of the 2014 Dodge Durango’s towing capability, which, along with its rich interior and unusually good ride and handling, is one of the best reasons to consider this SUV. However, the Durango doesn’t provide as much cargo room as most of its rivals. Well-regarded family crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 offer considerably more capacity. We’d also recommend that you check out the Ford Explorer and Flex. But overall the updated 2014 Durango is one of the most appealing options out there for a six- or seven-passenger SUV.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Dodge Durango large crossover SUV is available in four trim levels: SXT, Limited, R/T and Citadel. You’ll also come across Durangos with Rallye badging; the Rallye is an equipment package on the SXT. Seven-passenger seating is standard across the board; optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to six.

Standard equipment on the SXT includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, roof rails, heated sideview mirrors, full power accessories, cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control (includes separate rear air-conditioning), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split-folding and reclining second-row seat, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a 5-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio, and USB and auxiliary inputs.

Several option packages are available on the Durango SXT. The 23B package adds roof-rail crossbars, upgraded cloth upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with four-way lumbar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio. The Popular Equipment Group adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Rallye package adds 20-inch wheels, polished exhaust tips and additional body-color exterior trim while deleting the roof rails.

The Limited has most of the above equipment as standard but reverts to 18-inch wheels. It also comes with a remote ignition, leather upholstery, driver memory settings, a six-way power passenger seat, a 115-volt power outlet and an 8.4-inch touchscreen display with an upgraded version of Dodge’s Uconnect system. The latter includes voice control, text-to-speech messaging capability, emergency roadside assistance, streaming Internet radio (delayed availability) and 3G Wi-Fi capability (via an extra-cost contract). The larger touchscreen and related infotainment features are optional on the SXT.

The R/T essentially includes the upgrades of the Limited (minus the roof rails) along with a V8 engine, 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, xenon headlights (low beams only), body-color accents (similar to the Rallye), a power liftgate and an upgraded nine-speaker sound system.

The Citadel reverts to a less aggressive suspension tune and a standard V6 engine, but otherwise builds on the R/T’s equipment list, adding automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a sunroof, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an eight-way power front-passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a navigation system with traffic updates and a Yelp-based search engine. All these amenities are optional on the R/T.

Optional on both the R/T and Citadel is the Technology Group, which includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning/mitigation system and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts. Also available on these trims is a rear-seat Blu-ray/DVD entertainment system with dual video screens and an HDMI input. Options for the whole lineup include a towing package, a skid-plate package (except R/T) and an in-dash CD player.
Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Dodge Durango is offered with either a V6 or V8 engine. While the SXT only comes with the V6 and the R/T only comes with the V8, the Limited and Citadel trims can be equipped with either one. Depending on the model, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive is available. The light-duty AWD system is only available with the V6 engine. The on-demand 4WD system features dual-range gearing (which makes it more capable on rugged terrain) and is standard with the V8 engine. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 3.6-liter V6 engine is rated at 290 horsepower (295 hp with the Rallye package) and 260 pound-feet of torque. The EPA’s estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (18 mpg city/25 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive and 19 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway) with all-wheel drive.

The 5.7-liter V8 is good for 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Rear-drive models are rated at 17 mpg combined (14 city/23 highway), while AWD versions are rated at 16 combined (14 city/22 highway).

Properly equipped, a V8 Durango can tow up to 7,400 pounds, while the V6 version tops out at 6,200 pounds — in either case, far more than most rival crossover SUVs can tow.
Safety

Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every 2014 Dodge Durango. A rearview camera and parking sensors are optional on the SXT and standard on all other Durangos.

Models with Uconnect Access (included with the 8.4-inch touchscreen) have an emergency telematics system that connects you with 911 operators at the touch of a button and provides stolen vehicle tracking. Optional on the Limited, Citadel and R/T is a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alerts. Note that the available Technology Group available on R/T and Citadel models now includes a more advanced forward collision warning and mitigation system that automatically applies the brakes in potential collision situations.

In government tests, the Durango received five out of five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Durango earned a “Good” rating for its performance in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength crash tests.
Interior Design and Special Features

Modern and functional, the 2014 Dodge Durango’s cabin has been designed with families in mind. Regardless of trim level, the design is attractive and features upscale materials.

With this latest update to the Durango, materials quality is now class-leading, and the cabin has an uncommonly elegant feel for this class. The available 8.4-inch touchscreen display is attractive and easy to use. The gauges look better, too, with crisp graphics and a useful trip computer display.

The front seats are roomy and comfortable, but the standard second-row bench has rather flat cushioning (which helps promote a flatter load floor when the seat is folded) and doesn’t offer quite as much legroom as roomier rivals. The Durango’s easily accessed third row, on the other hand, offers a surprising amount of leg- and headroom (even for 6-footers) and is indeed more spacious than the Ford Explorer’s.

With the second- and third-row seats folded down, the Durango can carry up to 84.5 cubic feet of cargo. This is a respectable amount, but competing large crossover SUVs like the Chevy Traverse and Mazda CX-9 offer considerably more cargo space.
Driving Impressions

The 2014 Dodge Durango is distantly related to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and it shows in the way this nearly 5,000-pound vehicle drives down the road. Steering is responsive and the Durango is easy to maneuver on almost any road. On a long interstate cruise, it provides a quiet and relaxed cabin environment.

Low-end torque is not a strong suit of the V6, but once the Dodge Durango is moving, the engine pulls respectably. Midrange acceleration is adequate for passing and merging, and there’s a noticeable improvement in responsiveness with the new eight-speed automatic transmission. As expected, the V8 offers brisk all-around performance and a satisfyingly deep exhaust note on acceleration.

As read on: http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/durango/2014/?sub=suv