Added storage is found below deck, behind the third row, and just aft of the first row. Floor bins in row two (removable for cleaning) can hold ice/drinks or any valuables that you'd prefer to keep out of site. The second-row seats also slide up/back to apportion more room for people or cargo, and they can be outfitted with available, integrated child booster seats. At full push-back, the second row can hold adults, though it's a snug fit if those ahead of you are tall. Stowage spots in the first row include the conventional (map pockets, glove box, covered center console) and the unconventional.
The latter are standard on Crossroad Plus and RT models, and both have to do with the front passenger seat. First, it folds flat forward, to allow reeeally long items (ladder, surfboard or what-have-you) to be stored inside, with the hatch closed. Also, the bottom cushion is front-hinged and flips up to reveal hidden, in-seat storage.
All models have soft materials on the touch points. Crossroad Plus and RT trim levels include leather upholstery. The Popular Equipment package ($1,250) further boosts the comfort factor with heated front seats and steering wheel (along with high beam daytime DRLs, security alarm, automatic headlamps, universal garage door opener and a remote start system). With its large, (8.4 inches) legible touchscreen and uncomplicated controls, Chrysler's Uconnect remains one of the better designed access systems for infotainment that you'll find.
Driver visibility is generally good in all directions, though the slab shaped, second row seat headrests take a bite out of the rear view. A partial fix is included in the Navigation and Back-up Camera Group ($1,195), as it adds both a rear park assist and back-up camera (along with a Garmin navigation system and Sirius XM traffic and travel). A blind spot monitoring system would be helpful to combat typical, rear blind spots, but unfortunately, it isn't offered.
Standard on all but the top, R/T trim is a 2.4L four-cylinder, paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. It generates 173 horsepower and 166 lb. ft. of torque, and the EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 mpg's city/26 highway. The four feels underpowered in Journey, and performance isn't helped by the outmoded four-speed transmission. For those reasons (and the fact that AWD isn't available with the 2.4L), the V-6 is the engine of choice. Linked to a six-speed automatic, it's listed at 283 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque. Towing capacity is rated at 2,500 lb. As you would expect, with 100 h.p. more and nearly the same advantage in lb. ft. of torque, the V-6 is far livelier than the four, and provides suitable performance for the job at hand. The six is expected to return 19/26 (FWD); 16/24 (AWD). While the mileage numbers for either motor aren't class-topping, the bottom line in the Journey engine comparison is this: The difference in performance between the four and six is noticeable; the difference in fuel economy is negligible.
Journey's on-demand, AWD system shifts power from its default, front-wheel-drive to the rear wheels as needed to enhance handling on dry roads, and traction on slippery ones. Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control ride assist in maintaining grip, when road conditions deteriorate. Journey feels its 4,238 lb. curb weight when cornering briskly. Handling is safe and predictable, but not sporty. Ride comfort is quite good.
Dodge trimmed the model line from seven to five for 2016 — SE, SXT, Crossroad, Crossroad Plus and R/T versions are offered. Journey's MSRP ranges from $20,995 (for an SE with FWD) to $33,695 (for an R/T with AWD).