Journey to the Backlot for Killer Deals on This Hidden Gem
Hidden Gems with Bob McHugh
2020 Dodge Journey
Going … going … wait a second! - This may be your last opportunity to get that “killer deal” on a brand new Dodge Journey.
This long-serving, attractively priced and highly versatile crossover utility vehicle offers three-row seating for up to seven passengers, and has been around since 2009. Just two editions, Canadian Value Package and Crossroad, are marketed for the 2020 model year, which is a good indicator that the end of this Journey is near.
Power, for both editions, is provided by a tried and trusted 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that can generate 172 horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of torque, and it’s mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Alas, the more powerful, but fuel-thirsty, 3.6-litre V6, which also came with all-wheel-drive, is no longer offered. You might, however, be able to track a deal on a leftover 2019 model.
The four-banger engine provides surprisingly good low-end power and is a quiet performer at highway speeds. Steering wheel effort is on the light side and all-round driver visibility is better than most in this class, plus a Rear Park Assist system is now a standard feature. These are all bonus attributes if your Journey, like most of them, is going to spend a substantial part of its life in urban parking lots and shopping malls, etc.
The large, wide-opening rear doors are kid-friendly, especially if they are tots and you have to grapple with getting them in and out of child restraint seats. The interior is both spacious and functional, as the second and third-row seats all fold flat to create a gaping 1.9 cubic metres (67.6 cu. ft.) of cargo space. Cleverly concealed and removable in-floor storage bins, ahead of the second-row seats, that can hold everything from muddy clothes to soda cans, or even hide valuables, are also available.
Although Journey has been around for a while, it’s been updated with most of the latest technologies. Keyless entry, push-button start, and the Uconnect infotainment system are standard. The Crossroad edition comes with an extra large 21-cm (8.4-inch) touch-screen and can offer integrated voice-command and navigation systems with the ability to check on stuff like local fuel prices.
Dodge Journey is also not lacking in terms of passenger safety and security, with more than 40 features available. These include multistage front passenger airbags, active head restraints, electronic stability control with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation and Brake Assist, driver-side knee blocker airbag, side-curtain airbags covering all three rows, front seat-mounted side airbags, LATCH child seat anchor system and trailer-sway control.
Moving up to the Crossroad edition adds a horde of neat features including 19-inch wheels, LED (ring of fire) taillights, three-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, that large Uconnect touch-screen, leather upholstery, and those under-floor storage bins.
It’s been a long road to this Journey’s end and it will be interesting to see what Dodge will come up with as its replacement. One thing is almost certain, it’ll cost more!
Price (MSRP): Canada Value Package: $24,145 / Crossroad: $34,945
Power: 2.4 litre I4 / 172 hp / 165 lb.-ft.
Fuel Economy: City: 12.7 L/100km / Highway: 9.2 L/100km / Combined: 11.1 L/100km / Estimated Annual Fuel Cost: $2,886
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 km basis & 5yr/100,000 km powertrain