I am glad to see a car maker finally looking at groups of buyers beyond the young active XYZers. Dodge folks admitted they also are going after the more mature empty-nesters. These two broadly polarized groups seem to be attracted to the same vehicles, yet no one until now was willing to admit their vehicle was targeting them. A wide variation between the base SE model at $19,985, the SXT at $22,985 and the R/T at $26,545 means the Journey can satisfy more owner needs. The SE easily can fit into the growing family's plan as readily as the R/T can fit the traveling plans of a retired couple. Two engines are available: the 173-horsepower 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder provides plenty of performance to satisfy the basic needs. However, if performance is at the top of your list, I suggest you step up to the 235 horsepower offered by the 3.5-liter V-6 and the handling of the R/T suspension system. The R/T takes the Journey to a higher level of power and handling. Throw in the optional all-wheel drive system and what more can you ask for? The most surprising discovery during my test was that I truly had fun with the other models. As I have found with nearly all third-row seating, it is best left to the little people in your family, not the adults. If you do not need seating for more than five, leave off the third row and get a large rear storage area. Here, too, is an under-floor compartment that hides plenty of stuff from prying eyes.
Driving along with my good friend and racer Denise McLuggage, we both exclaimed to each other on how surprised we were with the ride comfort, minimal interior noise and handling of the Journey. While we both are more at home behind the wheel of a Viper, we found the Journey to be a pleasant surprise and one I can gladly recommend.