2011 Dodge Journey, 2011 Dodge Journey Release Date, Full Specification and Review 2011 Dodge Journey Release Date,Performance, Pictures,and Prices.
Dodge’s Journey crossover is actually among the automaker’s newest designs, but it was still treated to a number of major upgrades for the latest model year. The biggest changes come under the hood, where Chrysler’s new Pentastar V6 makes an appearance, and inside, where an all-new interior appears to be a massive upgrade from before.
The Journey gains the new 3.6-liter, 283-horsepower, 260 lb-ft. of torque V6 already introduced in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, among other Chrysler products. This all-new engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic in this application, a departure from the five-speed automatic offered in the Grand Cherokee. Fuel economy for this new V6 is rated at 17 city, 25 highway with front-wheel drive, and 16 city, 24 highway with all-wheel drive.
There is also the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine will remain the standard powertrain for the Journey, which carries over with 173 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque, as well as 19 city and 25 highway mpg. Unlike the new Pentastar V6, the 2.4 stays paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. The automaker also says that the revised Journey is quieter and feature a more refined ride than before thanks to careful tuning and NVH control.
The Journey’s interior borrows heavily from Chrysler’s latest parts bin, including some switchgear already seen in the 2011 Grand Cherokee and the 2011 Dodge Durango. Still, the look is much more upscale than before and it includes a number of new features. Situated between the dual main gauges is a full color vehicle information center display. Backlit in red, it is easily visible through the automaker’s new three-spoke steering wheel.
The center stack shows an all-new navigation system that apparently isn’t related to the automaker’s current Media Center setup. The screen is larger than before and nearly all features are integrated into the touch-screen setup aside from volume and a single knob. The Journey also features revised climate controls unlike those seen elsewhere in the automaker’s lineup. A redesigned center console includes a 12-volt outlet and a USB port, as well as a padded center armrest. New seats and fabrics further seal the deal inside.
The Journey retains most of the outgoing model’s appearance, although a new front fascia boasts Dodge’s “split crosshair” grille design. Larger fog lamps, LED tail lamps and newly available 19-inch alloy wheels mark the biggest detail changes to the exterior. Trim levels for the new Journey start with the base Express level, followed by Mainstreet, Crew, R/T and Lux.
Most of those shortcomings are fixed in the 2011 Journey. It looks essentially the same from the outside, but what’s been tossed on the junk heap—where it always belonged—is the old dash, with its funny, tilted, squared-off gauges and sheeny, brittle plastics that brought back bad memories of the Omni hatchbacks. The new dash design isn’t a home run, and it does carry over lots of contact with front-seaters’ knees, but it gut-checks the cheap feeling entirely.
Look aside from the fleet-ish four-cylinder, four-speed drivetrain that keeps the Journey’s pricetag under $20,000. With its trade-offs in shift quality, you’ll still want to opt up to the Journey’s new Pentastar V-6 option. It replaces the old 235-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 that felt old and hoary when it first made the rounds, back in Chrysler’s Mitsubishi period. The new V-6 is a bit riper, a bit more plush-sounding, and even if it doesn’t feel quite up to its stated 283 horsepower, it’s a magnitude better than what passed before. The new six-speed automatic’s shift quality? Give it a mulligan for now—it’s just too shuddery and hesitant. Handling is reasonably responsive in the Journey, and some of the changes to the suspension—like stiffer, better-responding shocks and lowered ride height—have honed some of its duller responses. The ride quality remains a strong point, with the proper damping and roll control for a family vehicle, but steering feel still leaves a lot to be desired.
Back inside, the Journey’s unchanged packaging gets topped with a sprinkling of new features and improved actions. Four adults, or two adults and three or four kids, are happy enough inside the Journey, with flat seats and right-sized head and leg room taking good advantage of the Journey’s proportions. On mid-grade-and-up Journeys, the second-row seat slides fore and aft to free up more leg room, and on the same versions, front seats have storage built in beneath the seat cushion, and the center console gets a new tilt-and-slide top. Bins and cubbies abound, and the cargo hold specs out at a swell 37 cubic feet behind the second row, and a smooshed 10.7 cubic feet behind the raised third-row seat. Flip everything down behind the front seats, and you can fit a half-dozen flat-screen TVs in the Journey’s 67.6 cubic feet of space.
The Journey sports some of the most extensive offerings for entertainment in this class, but to get them all, you’ll be spending considerably more than the base price of $20,000. Standard features include air conditioning; cruise control; power locks/mirrors/windows; a cooled glove box; a telescoping steering wheel; and an AM/FM/CD player with MP3 capability. Options include a not-terribly-intuitive Garmin navigation system; Sirius Satellite Radio, TravelLink and Backseat TV, an on-the-go service with a small selection of kid-friendly programming; a DVD entertainment system; and a premium audio system and uConnect multimedia with MP3 player controls. A USB port is standard now, but it’s buried deep in the center console, so there won’t be any texting and driving without a long connector. Bluetooth is added on the top three models for free, but it’s available on the base and Mainstreet trims.
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