2013 Dodge Journey Test Drive

2013 Dodge Journey RT AWD

2013 Dodge Journey Overview

The Dodge Journey hasn’t exactly been a proven contender in the cross-over sector when it first debuted nearly four years ago.  It was only after two years of development and testing before engineers and designers were able to revise the Dodge Journey scorecard with its all new design.  Lessons learned and actions taken, the 2013 Dodge Journey has become an iconic symbol of positive transformation.  Certainly, the 2013 Dodge Journey still inherits some of the lackluster traits from its former siblings, but the overall aspect of the vehicle is actually quite nice.

2013 Dodge Journey RT AWD

2013 Dodge Journey RT AWD

What you do get with the 2013 Dodge Journey is the added room and versatility in the cabin space.  More room than a conventional cross-over SUV with an additional 3rd row seats for carrying smaller kids coupled with good fuel economy makes the 2013 Dodge Journey an ideal vehicle for even the most demanding families.

Powertrain and Performance

If sacrificing power for fuel economy is a sentimental value for you, look elsewhere.  The Dodge Journey offers a lower base model with a dated 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine coupled to a hopeless automatic four cylinder engine producing a mere 173 horsepower.  Although these numbers are still greater than some of its contender such as the 2013 Mazda CX5 at an attenuated 13 horsepower, the four speed automatic transmission will leave you struggling and the engine moaning when accelerating, especially when considering a full 7 passenger load.

13 Dodge Journey Instrument Cluster

13 Dodge Journey Instrument Cluster

Thankfully, the 2013 Dodge Journey also comes equipped with a livelier 3.6 liter six cylinder engine coupled to an automatic 6 speed transmission.  Our tested model was the top of the line R/T Rally edition, which came with additional goodies such as AWD, 19 inch wheels and stiffer suspensions.  Rated at 283 horse power and 260 ft.lbs of torque, power delivery is aggressive and assertive.  Power begins to kick in when the rev line reaches the 3500 RPM mark, but once breached, acceleration is surprisingly smooth with minimal vibration.  Fuel economy for the 6 cylinder engine scores in at 17 and 25 miles per gallon (mpg) for city and highway respectively.  These numbers are not staggering, but is still very respectable considering the 2013 Dodge Journey fuel economy is on par with its competitors such as the 2013 Mazda CX9.

Front Red Exterior

2013 Dodge Journey RT AWD

Interior Styling

In terms of the interior styling of the 2013 Dodge Journey, there isn’t much to rave about.  Plastic panels used throughout the panel look of sticky rubber and the overall shapes and contours used throughout the cabin space lacks modern styling and is neither eye sore or pleasing.  Overall, the interior cabin space left us with an overall impression of a go around, get around vehicle.

Front Leather Interior

2013 Dodge Journey Front Leather Interior

 

Front Leather Interior

2013 Dodge Journey RT Front Leather Interior

We did find the leather materials in the 2013 Dodge Journey quite nice and soft while the seats provide good comfort and lateral support.  However, the durability of the leather fabric was questionable as the darkness of the black leather had already began its color aging process.  Nevertheless, the 2013 Dodge Journey provides no shortage of room in the front passenger area and the 2nd row seats provide a decent amount of leg room even for taller 6 feet passengers.  Other features in the higher 2013 Dodge Journey R/T trim include rear passenger climate control and entertainment screen, key-less entry and engine push start button.

If one asked me what I liked most about the 2013 Dodge Journey, it would definitely be the infotainment screen.  As a matter of fact, I’d rave about it.  When it comes to user interface, bigger is better, and the 8.4″ infotainment touch screen fills my desire.  In addition to the large screen, the graphical user interface is very well laid out.  Best of all, it is the most responsive even compared to upper end luxury vehicles such as Lexus and Infiniti.

8.4 inch infotainment screen

2013 Dodge Journey RT – Massive 8.4″ Infotainment Screen

Driving Impressions and Final Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed driving the 2013 Dodge Journey.  The suspensions were well tuned for everyday driving and showed little uncertainty in cornering at mid speed.  Although there is a slight delay in response, acceleration is very capable and assertive, even compared to the Hyundai Santa Fe. Apart from the lesser blessed interior styling, the overall comfort and roominess takes the stress out of everyday driving and even making it an enjoyable experience.

2013 Dodge Journey RT AWD

Dodge/Chrysler has never struck me as a contending brand in the automotive industry.  But the driving force of the economic down turn has since changed my mind.  Yes, there are certain aspects of Chrylser vehicles that still falls behind, mainly the interior styling, but the performance and versatility offered by the 2013 Dodge Journey has restored my fate in a brand that was once only known to me as the creator of the soccer mom van.

Pros

  • Comfortable interior
  • Smooth and aggressive acceleration (with 6 cylinder engine)
  • Excellent use of interior cabin space
  • Intuitive and responsive infotainment system

Cons

  • Cheap/poorer quality Dodge/Chrysler materials used in cabin space
  • 4 cylinder engine lacks power and acceleration
  • Lacks modern styling found in other vehicles in its class