Frankfurt 2007: Dodge Journey drops in Germany

. Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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Chrysler fired its biggest salvo yet in the CUV wars by officially unveiling the Dodge Journey in front of a throng of mildly interested in journalists. Truly, if you've seen one CUV, you've seen them all, and the Dodge Journey is all kinds of derivative. Coming from the automaker that brought us the Viper, Charger, Magnum and Challenger Concept in recent years, the Journey's design comes off as eminently safe. Perhaps Dodge is playing to the middle with this one, hoping to boost sales by appealing to the masses. What will sell the Journey are some of its clever interior storage solutions, including two bins in the floor directly behind the front seats, and more storage underneath the front passenger seat cushion. While the Journey could seat seven in a pinch thanks to its optional third row, it's obvious after having seen it in person that those venturing aft must be small and limber. What won't help the Journey is its powertrain lineup, which includes a 2.4L World Engine four-cylinder with unimpressive fuel economy, a 2.7L flex-fuel V6, and a 3.5L V6 that produces a meager 235 HP. The latter mill is mated to a six-speed automatic, but is still noticeably underpowered compared to other 3.5L V6 engines offered by its competitors while not delivering an appreciable gain in fuel economy to make up for it.

Europeans, however, can also choose 2.0L turbo diesel producing 140 HP and 229 ft-lbs. of torque, which is then mated to a trick dual-clutch six-speed automatic. Sigh... the grass sure is greener over here in Frankfurt, at least for Dodge Journey customers.