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August 05, 2009

New Car Review: Dodge Reinvents Journey for 2009

By Jeff Voth

Dodgejourney-pic1 They say, “Life is a journey - not a destination." On most occasions, I would agree. Change is inevitable and most of the time this is a good thing. In the same way Las Vegas continues to reinvent itself, the Dodge Journey represents the next step in what Chrysler sees as the prime vehicle for today’s on-the-go family. Driving the 2009 Dodge Journey from downtown Las Vegas to Lake Mead, the contrast of city streets with bumper-to-bumper traffic and wide open highways provided the perfect testing ground.

The 2009 Dodge Journey is in essence a replacement for the now discontinued Chrysler Pacifica. Though one is a Dodge and the other was a Chrysler, even the designers of the new Journey acknowledge this as fact. Much to their surprise, the Pacifica never dominated the way Chrysler thought it would. In sharp contrast, the new Journey possesses both the equipment and price point necessary to be a serious player in the market.

Fast on its feet, the new Journey is surprisingly agile with less than anticipated body roll. We even took the opportunity to veer off-road and try to upset the suspension on some of Nevada’s best unkempt sand and dirt roads. The Dodge Journey had no problem keeping up with any challenge we threw at it. Safety is paramount with the new Journey, a total of six airbags provide occupant protection. Electronic Stability Control along with Anti-lock brakes and brake assist is standard. All supply added control when needed. Optional ParkView Rear Camera makes backing up easier and trailer sway control makes towing less stressful.

Inside, the Dodge Journey is awash with innovation and first-class appeal. Storage is the theme here, as unique bins hold anything from multiple pop cans to laptops, sunglasses and CD’s. There is even a secret compartment located under the passenger seat cushion, the perfect location for hiding valuables from prying eyes.

Reinventing the destination is something Las Vegas continues to do with each new decade. Dodge, on the other hand, plans to make it all about the Journey. Time will tell which of the two is most successful.

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