Imagine yourself standing in the middle of a basketball court, arms raised, tossing the ball towards the net. As it flies through the air over and over again, sometimes it makes it through the hoop, and other times you miss. This image pretty much sums up the 2014 Dodge Journey. It’s not a star player, but it’s still in the game. Point taken?
The Dodge Journey is a 5- to 7-passenger midsize SUV that offers comfortable seating, a spacious interior, and good cargo capacity provided the rear seats are folded. The base model sells for just under $20,000 MSRP, and overall, the vehicle is geared towards families, or just about anyone in need of an affordable SUV with a roomy interior and a third-row seat.
Power and performance
This week we tested the 2014 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye AWD, one of most expensive models in the lineup at 30,995 MSRP before added features, preparation and taxes. The R/T Rallye comes equipped with a performance suspension, 19-inch aluminum wheels, all-wheel drive, and a V6 engine.
When on the court, the R/T Rallye shoots and scores with its smooth and potent 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar engine that is capable of generating 283-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The V6, paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, is the one you want to opt for, as the lackluster base 2.4-litre 4-cylinder is both sluggish and noisier than the larger engine.
Overall however, steering/ handling is decent but not confidence-inducing, especially as you may feel the weight of the car when taking sharp turns or entering curves. As a result, maneuvering the vehicle may require more hand movements than expected.
Fuel economy ratings put the R/T Rallye at 12.9/8.4 litres per 100 kilometres (city/highway), which is actually below average when compared to other vehicles within its segment.
Style and features
The Journey’s interior environment is reminiscent of its larger sibling the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan, complete with easy-to-find and simple-to-use controls.
In terms of features, the 2014 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye takes on all the standard elements offered on the R/T model, such as AWD, leather-faced seating, six speakers with subwoofer, and the R/T badge. The Rallye model adds on black seats with perforated inserts, red accent stitching on the seats, door trim and steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Optional equipment includes 7-passenger seating, a power sunroof, navigation and sound group 1 (with Uconnect 8.4), driver convenience group (rear park assist system, universal garage door opener, Uconnect with CD/DVD/MP3), and the rear seat video group 1, for example.
Our test vehicle was equipped with optional features like a heated steering wheel, satellite radio, dual-zone air conditioning, and a 9-inch overhead video screen for DVD movies that included wireless headphones, and a video remote control. The total price of all options without tax is over $40K.
To buy or not to buy?
On the court, the R/T Rallye model is one of the better players within its home team, due to AWD, a powerful V6 engine, and a more up-to-date 6-speed transmission. Standard and optional features also create a more comfortable and convenient interior setting, and the option of a third-row seat will certainly come in handy for families.
That being said, the extra row is really only meant for children, cargo capacity is slight less than certain competitors, and fuel economy is still below average for its segment. As an everyday commute, the 2014 Journey is fine, but it’s still not our top pick when considering rivals like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorento.
The 2014 Dodge Journey scores a few points in the game with its practicality and V6 engine, and it has the space, the driving comfort, and the technology to keep many people satisfied, but at a price. It is still not the best player on the court, however if you have your sights set on this SUV, we suggest test-driving it with the 3.6-litre Pentastar engine and AWD.
2014 Dodge Journey R/T Rallye gallery