Do you sometimes just sit in your car and wonder where the heck you are going? Maybe not this trip, but perhaps in life? The new Journey Crossroads Plus from Dodge sounds like the perfect vehicle that is right there with you, waiting for that epiphany when you decide to zig instead of zag.
Perhaps I am overthinking things a bit here and a name is merely just a name, but the marketing folks at Dodge may have been sitting at that same intersection with those same thoughts running through their heads when coming up with this midsize crossover. Versatility is a key attribute with this vehicle and perhaps that is the corresponding theme to your dilemma, but then again, this is only a car, right?
It has been about eight years since I last tested the Dodge Journey crossover utility vehicle. It was all-new back then and since that time little has changed. Sure, Dodge has updated the vehicle with its latest Pentastar V-6 engine and enhanced styling here and there and they have given Journey all the latest technologies, but what lies beneath is still a fine example of what they term the “Swiss Army knife” of crossovers. Wait, that sounds familiar. Back in 2008 when the Journey was first introduced, Dodge PR folks were calling it the “Burger King” of crossovers, meaning you could have it your way. In my review I penned that I wished they would rather compare it to a Swiss Army knife. Hmmm.
Anyway, we recently spent a week behind the wheel of the newest model in the Journey lineup, the Crossroad Plus, and it arrived in all-wheel drive fashion and fully loaded. Despite this, Dodge has managed to keep this top-of-the-line three-row crossover under 35 grand. That in itself makes it a worthy model for growing families to cross shop – the rest is gravy on the cake. Heck, the entry model starts at just $20,895.
As I mentioned, the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine powers this Journey Crossroad model (base engine is the 2.4-liter I-4). Output is rated at 283hp and 260 lb. ft. torque and it is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Power arrives via the front wheels most of the time but our AWD tester provides extra traction at the rear above 25 mph or when slippage is detected. Above 53 mph the system reduces the amount of torque applied at the rear to improve fuel economy.
Although the Journey is a seven-seater by definition, it should be thought more of a 5+2 with that third row only for emergencies as it is a bit tight quarters and it leaves very little room for cargo when seats are in use. The majority of the time, up to five adults will ride in good comfort and with those rear seats folded flat there is a host of cargo space. One nice option in the second row is the ability to turn the outboard seating positions into child booster seats.
One of the convenience features found in the Journey that is borrowed from corporate minivan models is floor storage bins in the second row – one on each side. They can accommodate drinks on ice, food, or hide your valuables when traveling. The second row seats also slide fore and aft and recline. And surprise, there is underseat storage in the front passenger seat.
The Crossroad package offers unique styling appointments and equipment over the more base Journey models. This includes unique 19-inch hyper black aluminum wheels and platinum chrome accents front and rear as well as on side sills and roof rack. The Journey Crossroad Plus adds leather seating with sport mesh inserts (very comfortable) and upgrades the infotainment display to the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen along with integrated Garmin navigation system. Add-ons to our loaded tester included ParkView rear backup and ParkSense rear park assist system.
The 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad with AWD was easy to drive and maneuver. It rode quite comfortably on the road although it did arrive with sport suspension so we did feel some of the bumps along the way. The vehicle handles quite well and steering is effortless. Acceleration with the Pentastar engine is quick and steady across the powerband and the transmission gear changes were smooth and steady. There is a sport mode and manual shift capability but I chose to just leave it in normal/auto mode nearly all my time behind the wheel.
Pricing for the 2016 Journey begins at $20,895 for the base SE model with the Crossroad Plus AWD starting at $29,795 and arriving in our test driveway with a final sticker of $34,660. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. I think Dodge needs to look at turbocharging four-cylinder engines for this model for better fuel economy like Mazda did with its new CX-9.
Family outing, individual adventure, or just everyday trek, the Journey Crossroad Plus from Dodge offers the versatility and value to make your next journey – short or long-term – an enjoyable one. You know you want to take that road less traveled, to zig where everyone else zags. Now you gotta just get out there and do it!