It’s not there yet The fam­ily wagon does well on price and gear but it has some bag­gage

Herald Sun - Motoring - - THE TICK -

YOU only get one shot at a good first im­pres­sion and the Dodge Jour­ney missed the tar­get.

There was a qual­ity fail­ure in the first minute I had with the car and that tainted my whole time with it.

Af­ter all the cov­er­age the Jour­ney has been get­ting re­cently, to­gether with its Ital­ian twin the Fiat Freemont, I was ex­pect­ing good things.

It’s well priced — I saw a sign in Syd­ney the other day tout­ing $40,000 drive-away for a fully loaded Jour­ney R/T. It’s a good size and has plenty of the “sur­prise-and-de­light” stuff I’ve come to ex­pect from Chrysler prod­ucts over the years, in­clud­ing a lift-up base on the front-pas­sen­ger seat with a sur­pris­ingly roomy stor­age box be­neath.

It also comes with the same 3.6-litre Pen­tas­tar V6 and sixspeed au­to­matic com­bi­na­tion I first liked in the Jeep Grand Chero­kee, as well as plenty of safety stuff.

The Jour­ney, much like the Freemont, has a shape that’s more cross­over wagon than all­out SUV and that gets a small tick from me. It comes as a fiveseater with good flex­i­bil­ity and easy work­ings on the sec­ondrow seats, with a third-row pack­age if you need to carry seven (small) peo­ple and have an ex­tra $1500 for the op­tion.

The Jour­ney is the sole sur­vivor of the Dodge brand in Aus­tralia and the badge is not look­ing good on the fu­ture front, as the Amer­i­can maker shifts its fo­cus to Chrysler and Jeep prod­ucts. But the Jour­ney and Freemont are spark­ing lots of ques­tions from Cars­guide read­ers.

I think the car drives well enough for what it is, the level of stan­dard equip­ment is good,

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