It's a year of minor changes for the Dodge Journey, a mid-size vehicle its maker says is Canada's favourite crossover. For 2017, the top-end R/T model is replaced by a GT trim that comes standard with a 3.6L V6, performance-tuned suspension and steering, all-wheel drive, black leather seating, heated steering wheel, 19-inch wheels and a 368-watt, six-speaker stereo with subwoofer.
Dodge's other claim is that Journey is the most powerful three-row mid-size crossover when fitted with that V6, which cranks out 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard in SXT, Crossroad and GT trims, and AWD is optional in Crossroad and, as mentioned above, standard in the GT.
The other powertrain choice is a 2.4L four-cylinder good for 173 hp and 166 lb-ft, which comes with a four-speed auto and front-wheel drive in Canada Value Package (CVP) and SE Plus models.
Four-cylinder Journey models are among the handful of vehicles that still use four-speed transmissions; the vast majority of vehicles in every class now get more sophisticated six-speed or continuously variable automatics.
Fuel consumption estimates are 12.7/9.1 with the four-cylinder and front-wheel drive, 14.2/9.4 with V6 and FWD, and 14.5/9.9 with V6 and AWD.
Journey is a sensibly-designed vehicle that packs a lot of value. That, and its availability with seven-passenger seating, helps explain why it's as popular as it is. There are numerous other mid-range crossovers that are nicer to drive or offer better fit and finish, but nothing in this class can touch Journey for the kit that comes for the money.
CVP trim includes air conditioning with dual-zone manual temperature control, electronic vehicle information centre, lighted front cupholders, six-speaker stereo with 4.3-inch touchscreen and auxiliary and USB inputs, power door locks, windows and heated side mirrors, cloth seats with driver height adjustment, five-passenger seating, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, body-colour door handles, black grille and side mirror housings, 17-inch aluminum wheels, passive keyless entry and tire pressure monitoring display.
SE Plus models add black roof rails with crossbars, body-colour side mirrors, cargo cover, front and rear floor mats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter and LED taillights.
Next up is the SXT, with its V6, tech silver 17-inch wheels, 115-volt power outlet, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, cargo net, dual bright exhaust tips, interior observation mirror, overhead console, lighted visor vanity mirrors, passenger assist handles, performance front fascia with fog lights, one-touch up/down front windows, security alarm, touring suspension and trip computer with outside temperature and compass display.
Crossroad trim starts with front-wheel drive and gets 19-inch black wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview mirror with microphone, Bluetooth, black and platinum chrome exterior trim, front and rear LED reading lights, graphite interior accents, 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment, satellite radio, flip 'n stow fold-flat front passenger seat with in-seat storage, leather-faced seating, 10-way power driver's seat with four-way lumbar and premium door panel trim with accent stitching.
GT AWD adds (obviously) all-wheel drive, 19-inch tech silver wheels, chrome door handles and bright roof side rails, rear park assist, performance suspension, remote engine start and an integrated garage door opener.
And though Dodge calls GT AWD the Journey's top trim, a Crossroad with AWD actually builds on it by adding the black and platinum chrome exterior trim pieces found on the front-drive Crossroad model.
Seven passenger seating is an option in all trim levels, Bluetooth can be optioned into CVP, SE Plus and SXT models, and SXT, Crossroad and GT can add a sunroof, and navigation with a backup camera.
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