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2009 Dodge Journey

Dodge Reinvents Journey for 2009

by Jeff Voth

They say, “Life is a journey- not a destination”. On most occasions, I would agree. But having spent six hours delayed at the airport with one rush hour taxi ride yet to go, getting to my destination looked more appealing with each passing minute. This particular journey was taking up way too much of my life!

2009 Dodge Journey
Dodge Reinvented the Journey for 2009

Las Vegas has been a top vacation spot for many people since gambling was first legalized in Nevada during The Great Depression. Every cab driver has a story about how great it was in the past, remembering glory days of old rather than the reality of two-story motels row on row. If you haven’t been there in awhile, it may surprise you how much the city has transformed even in the past few years.

Today, luxurious hotels reach to the sky and cranes fill the air with new additions completed at an astounding rate. Change is inevitable and most of the time this is a good thing. In the same way Las Vegas continues to reinvent itself, the Dodge Journey represents the next step in what Chrysler sees as the prime vehicle for today’s on-the-go family.

The 2009 Dodge Journey is in essence a replacement for the now discontinued Chrysler Pacifica. Though one is a Dodge and the other was a Chrysler, even the designers of the new Journey acknowledge this as fact. Much to their surprise, the Pacifica never dominated the way Chrysler thought it would. In sharp contrast, the new Journey possesses both the equipment and price point necessary to be a serious player in the market.

Power for the Dodge Journey comes two ways.

SE equipped models will feature a 2.4L DOHC 16-valve Dual VVT I-4 engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Highlighting efficient technology that includes Variable Valve Timing, it produces 173 hp at 6000 rpm and 166 lb.-ft of torque at 4400 rpm. Fuel economy is expected to be superior for this size of vehicle.

Dodge Journey SX/T and R/T come standard with a High Output 3.5L SOHC V6 matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Auto/Stick. Impressive performance numbers rate horsepower at 235 and torque at 235 lb.-ft.

Journey’s innovative interior
Journey’s innovative interior

Safety is paramount with the new Journey, a total of six airbags provide occupant protection. Electronic Stability Control along with Anti-lock brakes and brake assist is standard. All supply added control when needed. Optional ParkView Rear Camera makes backing up easier and trailer sway control makes towing less stressful.

Inside, the Dodge Journey is awash with innovation and first-class appeal. Storage is the theme here, as unique bins hold anything from multiple pop cans to laptops, sunglasses and CD’s. There is even a secret compartment located under the passenger seat cushion, the perfect location for hiding valuables from prying eyes.

A console mounted gear lever is placed forward for added comfort and optional YES Essentials Fabric makes cleaning up spills quick and painless. Time inside is more enjoyable with the available rear DVD entertainment system, but ultimately getting to where you are going is still the best place to spend time.

Driving the 2009 Dodge Journey from downtown Las Vegas to Lake Mead, the contrast of city streets with bumper-to-bumper traffic and wide open highways provided the perfect testing ground.

Storage is key in 2009 Journey
Storage is key in 2009 Journey

Fast on its feet, the new Journey is surprisingly agile with less than anticipated body roll. We even took the opportunity to veer off-road and try to upset the suspension on some of Nevada’s best unkempt sand and dirt roads. The Dodge Journey had no problem keeping up with any challenge we threw at it.

Reinventing the destination is something Las Vegas continues to do with each new decade. Dodge, on the other hand, plans to make it all about the Journey. Time will tell which of the two is most successful.

Features and Specifications:

Wheelbase: 113.8 inches
Overall length: 192.4 inches
Overall width: 72.2 inches
Transmission: SE: 4-speed Auto SXT and R/T: 6-speed Auto Steering: Rack and pinion
Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Fuel economy: 19 mpg city/25 mpg hwy
MSRP: $19,985- $28,295

Jeff’s 5-Star Rating System:

Fuel efficiency: 3.5 (4-cylinder is expected to be excellent)
Value for the $: 4 (competitive pricing starts at $19,995)
Styling: 3 (boxy design with several unique styling cues)
Comfort: 4 (excellent interior comfort and outward vision) Performance: 3.5 (engine strong, suspension better than expected)
Overall: 3.5 (a better than average people mover)