The 2012 Dodge Journey finally got the update it needed last year to live up to its midsize crossover potential. With a redesigned interior, refreshed exterior, and the addition of the new Pentastar V-6 engine, the Journey now has a fighting chance in the midsize crossover SUV class. With these shortcomings gone, the Journey is now a reasonable alternative for those not willing to pilot a minivan.
Other new additions include Uconnect, Chrysler Group's answer to MyFord Touch, a keyless entry system and the American Value Package model. Above all else cargo space is the name of the game for the 2012 Dodge Journey, which claims to have the best in-class utility space. The Journey is built on the same chassis as the Dodge Avenger sedan, but its crossover-style body can accommodate up to three rows of seats for a total of seven passengers. That is, as long as the third row passengers are kids, thanks to the very limited head and legroom back there.
Bottom Line: With all of the recent additions, the Journey is headed in the right direct. And fast.
Bodystyle: Crossover SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter inline-4, 3.6-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, R/T
The 2012 Dodge Journey carries over largely unchanged after a complete overhaul last year. The Pentastar V-6 engine produces 283 horsepower, and the interior features soft-touch materials and comes standard with Chrysler Group's new Uconnect 8.4-inch touch-screen media center. "Enter-N-Go," the keyless entry system with push-button start comes standard, and the Journey is filled with clever features, such as a front passenger seat that can fold flat to accommodate long cargo. The Journey lineup also gains a new model for 2012, the American Value Package.
The exterior was the one area where last year's refresh didn't change much, and it's about the only place that didn't need help. The 2012 Dodge Journey still possesses the sculpted look Dodge gives all vehicles in its stable, with the split-crosshair front grille design. Opt for the Pentastar V-6 engine and you'll get dual exhaust tips out back. LED taillights and 19-inch aluminum wheels are available options. The Journey is offered in eight different colors for 2012.
The 2012 Dodge Journey's interior can be configured in multiple ways, including the fold-flat front passenger seat and in-seat storage as well as second-row in-floor storage. Leather seats are heated up front and are offered in black with red stitching on the R/T model. A DVD player with a 9-inch video screen keeps occupants in the second-row busy with sound escaping through six-speakers. The second and optional third-row seats fold flat creating 67.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The second row seating reclines and offers integrated child booster seats. Storage bins in the floor placed in front of the second-row of seats holds everything from wet clothes to empty soda cans.
Performance & Handling
The Dodge Journey AVP and SE models get power from a 2.4 liter engine that churns out 173 horsepower and is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The SXT, Crew and R/T models are the recipients of the 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine pumping out 283 horsepower and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
An IIHS Top Safety Pick for three years running, the 2012 Dodge Journey loads up with 40 safety features. Multi-stage front passenger air bags, active head restraints and electronic stability control with all-speed traction control come standard. Brake Assist, driver-side knee blocker air bag, side-curtain air bags span all three rows, anti-lock disc brakes, and LATCH child seat anchor system are also standard safety features.
EPA Fuel Economy
2.4-liter inline-4: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway
3.6-liter V-6: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
3.6-liter V-6 AWD: 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway
- Rear doors open wide
- Cargo space
You Won't Like
- Four-cylinder engine
- Limited legroom in the third-row
Reasonable alternative to a Minivan
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Edge
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Toyota Highlander