It was a cool February morning that I was handed the keys of a new 2012 Journey R/T AWD crossover and asked to deliver it across town. It had just snowed for the previous two days leaving a nice snowy and slushy mess on the roads as the temperature hovered just below freezing. On the way to work I had driven a front wheel drive minivan that usually has great traction but found that it spun and had trouble getting started in the loose snow. I was looking forward to testing the AWD capabilities of the Journey R/T. The Journey that I drove had capacity for 5, but a 7 passenger option is available and is the roomiest 7 passenger in its class. With 2nd row Tilt’n Slide seating, and rear doors opening nearly 90 degrees, it’s also the most accessible.
The great thing about Dodge Journeys at all trim levels is the proximity keyless Enter’n Go and push button start. Never having to retrieve the keys from your pocket, especially when you are carrying packages is an excellent feature. Once in the driver’s seat I merely touched the brake pedal and pushed the start button and the Pentastar V6 jumped to life.
The first thing I noticed when I sat in the Journey was the comfort of the leather seats. They are contoured to fit your body and with the heated seat option it warmed up quickly. I also enjoyed exploring the large easy to navigate 8.4 inch U-Connect touch screen command center. I quickly found my favourite satellite radio station and turned it up. The model that I drove was equipped with U-Connect Bluetooth, Sirius Satellite and Garmin Navigation.
As I pulled out of the snow I noted the responsiveness of the V6 as it accelerated and nimbly cornered through the crowded dealership lot. There were no traction issues and I found the vehicle sure-footed in a tight situation. As I left the dealership and merged into moving traffic I noted the pile of snow that had accumulated in the merge lane but found there was no slippage as I sped to match the traffic travelling at 80km/hr.
The R/T is equipped with a 3.6 L Pentastar V6 with Variable Valve Timing that produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. This motor is rated as a Wards’ 10 best pick and has best in class power for mid-size crossovers. This engine is matched with a 6 speed automatic transmission, delivering a great combination of power and fuel efficiency. When merging in traffic or needing a quick burst of speed for passing, the Journey R/T delivers.
Continuing with my drive I noted on a section of winding roads how responsive the steering was and how the sport suspension handled quick lane changes and turns. At no point did I feel restricted in my driving style by power or handling limitations, and when a recent snow fall is thrown into the mix, the sure-footed AWD delivered road confidence.
When I arrived at my destination, I reversed the vehicle into a tight parking spot. I found the rear back up camera coupled with park assist, (sensors that warn of items approaching your rear bumper as you reverse), guided me to within inches of the vehicle behind me.
After my extended test drive of the Journey R/T I could easily see why Consumer Guide Automotive ranked the 2012 Journey a “Best Buy”, and the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada named it best SUV/CUV under $35,000. Journey was a 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick, with best in class storage and power. No wonder that Dodge Journey has become Canada`s #1 selling crossover.
By Darren P Somersall
Article Source: ezinearticles.com