Monday, 27 August 2007

New Car: 2009 Dodge Journey

Meet the all new American alternative to a Ford S-Max, Vauxhall Zafira or Volkswagen Touran; this is the Dodge Journey, which will be introduced as a production model at the Frankfurt motor show in a fortnight and it wil go on sale in the UK early 2008.

This new seven-seat Dodge Journey MPV has been hitherto known to us by its development codename: Crew/NCC. It will replace the smallest version of Chrysler’s legendary Voyager minivan in the US car group’s UK model line-up.

Based on the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep platform that underpins at least five other models, the Journey is ostensibly a stretched Avenger; it sits on a 2890mm wheelbase, 124mm longer than an Avenger, enough to squeeze in a third-row of seats, which will be standard in the UK.

Rear space is claimed to be better than the Ford S-Max, allowing the Journey to sit just below the voluminous Grand Voyager in the brand line-up.

Interior flexibility and cabin storage are the Journey’s trump cards. The car’s second row of seats slide and feature Volvo-like pop-up child booster seats, and there’s a plethora of storage bins, including a pair of can-coolers in the rear floor able to store up to 12 drinks cans each.

Two engines options will be available — the VW-sourced 140bhp 2.0 diesel and a four-cylinder 145bhp 2.4-litre petrol shared with Mitsubishi — both of which already feature in Dodge’s models. Manual and auto boxes will be offered with both engines, the diesel with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the petrol with a less cutting-edge conventional four-speed auto. UK might not be offered the all-wheel drive V6 petrol version sold in the US.

Prices are promised to be “highly competitive,” starting at around £19,000 to match the entry-level Voyager rising to the early-£20ks for a top-spec SXT model.

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