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2009 Dodge Journey Preview

2009 Dodge Journey Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2008
Critical Knowledge:
  • Segment-defining crossover

  • Standard 5-passenger seating with available 5+2 seating

  • Front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive (AWD)

  • High level of standard safety features

  • Available 3.5-liter V-6 engine

  • Available Flip �N StowTM in-seat storage and Tip �N SlideTM seating

  • Available integrated child booster seats

  • Available in first quarter 2008

In the early 1980s, Chrysler launched the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager minivans. Chrysler's innovative design, and an ability to seat seven passengers in a family-oriented car-like vehicle, captured the market and launched a new automotive segment. The sport utility vehicle (SUV) craze, promoted by the popularity of the early Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Cherokee, attracted a different audience, mindful of all-weather ability and general versatility. The 2009 Dodge Journey is a segment-defining crossover-combining minivan utility with the capabilities of an SUV. Based on Chrysler's D-segment platform, the all-new for 2009 Dodge Journey is a global vehicle that will be available worldwide, in both left-hand and right-hand drive configurations, with a variety of gas, diesel, and flexible-fuel powerplants.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Dodge Journey will initially be offered as three different models: Journey SE, Journey SXT, and Journey R/T. The standard powerplant is a 4-cylinder gasoline engine, with two different V-6 engines available. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional on all 3.5-liter V-6 models.

Planned to be as practical as a minivan with the capability of an SUV, according to Dodge, the Journey offers a "unique combination of purposeful versatility, and bold, youthful styling" to deliver "safety, quality, and reliability at a great value." The two-box exterior design is guided by quad headlamps on each side of the signature Dodge crosshair grill. Low-gloss black appliqu_s on the B- and C-pillar accentuate the appearance of a long greenhouse, finished by a single-piece tailgate on the rear.

The standard seating configuration is 5-passenger, with an available third row offering 5+2 seating. Unique in this class is theater seating for both second- and third-row passengers. This configuration places each row of seating higher than the row in front of it, offering all passengers a better, and more comfortable, view outside the vehicle. Second-row seating is split 60/40 and folds flat, while the available third-row seating is a 50/50 split-fold design.

The standard powerplant in the 2009 Dodge Journey is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder "World Engine" mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Rated at 173 hp, it produces 166 lb.-ft. of torque and attains 2008 EPA ratings of 19 mpg city, and 25 mpg highway. An optional engine is a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) 2.7-liter V-6 that can run on E-85. It is rated at 186 hp and 191 lb.-ft. of torque. With the standard 4-speed automatic transmission, the EPA rates fuel economy at 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The most powerful engine available in the Journey is a 3.5-liter V-6, found under the hood of Journey R/T and R/T AWD models. Rated at 235 hp and 232 lb.-ft. of torque, it is coupled to an Auto Stick automatic transmission. This special 6-speed transaxle features a more robust differential with increased torque capacity. A numerically higher first-gear ratio provides quicker standing-start acceleration than the 4-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy estimates for the Dodge Journey V-6 are 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

All Dodge Journey models ride on an independent front and rear suspension. The front features a MacPherson strut, while the rear design is multi-link. Gas-charged shocks are standard. Suspension crossmembers, both front and rear, are isolated to the body to reduce ride noise levels, and decrease vibration and harshness. Four-wheel-disc brakes, with anti-lock control (ABS) are standard on all models. The all-wheel-drive system available on V-6 models works on demand, powering only the front wheels until power is needed at the rear wheels. For enhanced handling during performance driving, the AWD system has been calibrated to work on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph. The system is completely automatic.

The Dodge Journey was designed and engineered with safety in mind. As a result, the standard safety equipment list is extensive. Driver and front passenger are protected by knee bolsters to control occupant kinematics, and multi-stage front air bags designed to match deployment speed to crash severity. Seat-mounted side air bags with enhanced thorax protection offer additional protection to front-seat passengers. Outboard passengers in all three rows are shielded by side air bag curtains with "Extended Up Time" deployment.

Active safety features on the 2009 Journey include standard all-speed traction control, brake assist, and an electronic stability program (ESP). Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) is a safety system designed to lower the possibility of a rollover during an accident. In the event the system senses an impending rollover, Rollover Sensing will deploy seat and side-curtain air bags and will active the vehicle's seat belt pre-tensioners to protect passengers. For additional safety while towing in adverse conditions such as crosswinds, standard Trailer Sway Control helps to reduce trailer sway and improve vehicle control.

The Dodge Journey design team was tasked with delivering a practical, flexible and functional interior with innovative storage features more commonly found in minivans. The product they rolled out more than demonstrates success with their objectives. Dodge's pioneering design technology is found in the available Flip �N StowTM in-seat storage, and Tip �N SlideTM second-row seats. The Flip �N StowTM system is found under the front passenger seat-flipping the cushion forward reveals a large (10.75 x 8.75-inch) bin suitable to store a purse, umbrella or planner. Tip �N SlideTMgives single-lever access to the third-row seating as the second-row seat cushions fold upward and the seats slide forward. Hidden in-floor storage, rear doors that open to 90 degrees, and available integrated child booster seats add to the Journey's versatility.

For more information on the 2009 Dodge Journey, watch a video

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