We were provided with a new 2013 Dodge Journey Crew to use for our family road trip to and through California.
This was a big trip for all of us that had a lot going on, so it was important we had a vehicle that could accommodate our 5 person family plus all of our luggage and things for a 2 week road trip away from home trip. We went to Sea World, LEGOLAND California, Knott’s Berry Farm, Medieval Times, Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland & California Adventure, and a bunch of other stops in the Southern California area. We had fun at the Queen Mary in Long Beach and checked out Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum which also gave us time to check out the walk of fame. We then visited Yosemite National Park and Valley, and then made our way for a few days in San Francisco at Fisherman Wharf and checked out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not San Francisco and Marvelous Mirror Maze, Aquarium of the Bay, and the 50 year old Wax Museum At Fisherman’s Wharf along with some other popular attractions destinations.
When you are on a trip that takes you 1000 or even hundreds of miles from home, it is important you bring everything you need. With 2 small children and a baby, we need a lot. We own a 7 passenger utility vehicle and the Journey Crew fit the requirements which must include all wheel drive.
From our opinion, we liked the Dodge Journey a lot. It had every feature you could think such as the heated seats and steering wheel for the cold temperatures that we had and at times had to deal with. The rear backup camera and sensors made it easy with a loaded back, and the 110volt plug socket was great for using just about anything we needed. We ended up using the remote start feature which was great and the touch start was also a nice touch.
What we thought was the best tech feature was the Uconnect Touch 8.4 inch touchscreen radio, navigation and control panel. It sits right in the dash and its accessible for real use. It gives full control over the stereo, climate controls, accessories like the heated options and 120volt output sockets, a excellent navigation system powered by Garmin, and other convenient features such as weather, places of interest that worked in the middle of nowhere thanks to Sirius. Plus it was matched with an Alpine sound system.
The Navigation system was super important on our road trip. We did a lot of driving, seeing and doing a lot of things in a lot of places so it was nice to have a GPS that was easy to use. Thanks to its large 8.4 inch bright screen it was easy to see what we needed to and it also had adjustable dimming capability for nighttime or daytime driving. We could set up a final destination and input side routes as needed, it had so many uses it was great. We used it to get to our intended places, but also to find stores and food when needed. When you have been driving, last thing you want to do is waste time finding places. Time was very valuable and in all ways this was a fun car for our trip.
The interior provided the room we needed. We used the entire 2nd row for the kids which includes, 2 car seats but luckily the Journey featured built in booster seats which cut back on one chair. The Journey we had included the 2nd row DVD entertainment system and there was also AV jacks to plug in your own systems like an Xbox 360. The kids were kept occupied with their toys and their Nintendo 3DS’ and with the extra cargo room we could keep what we need around. The rear also had separate heat and cooling controls which was good on the long trip for keeping everybody comfortable. And the Uconnect gave us the ability to see and control the rear entertainment system and climate controls and could even lock the kids out of them entirely.
The Dodge Journey Crew we used had the 283 horsepower Pentastar V6 that was more than enough to haul us and our stuff but was also as smooth as riding in a sedan. We had the power to get going and pass as needed with no problems. And we even put the AWD to work when we encountered some snow and ice in Lake Arrowhead and Yosemite National Park. I never one time worried and if you drive on snow and ice you know it is nothing to take lightly.
The interior was quiet and road noise was very minimal which is nice for any trip, especially ones that put you in a car for more than 10 hours. But with the Alpine Stereo sound system we had no problem with noise. We brought our iPod which plugged right into the USB jack via the iPod cable and was easy to control with the Uconnect and showed the music info came right on the screen. We also had Sirius radio which kept us occupied for a little time when we were in out of civilization.
As the drivers leg room was very good and we are 5’ 7” to 5’ 11”. The seats were comfortable and had motorized controls. The Driver instrument display had a cool computer display that had a lot of information from vehicle monitors to a heads up of distances and direction for GPS. We liked watching our fuel and after running a MPG test it was right on. We got on average 20-23 MPG on the highway with a loaded car doing an average 75mph. City was 15-20mpg depending on where we were. We were happy with the MPG.
When it came to cargo and storage we had a lot of room. There are 4 hidden compartments with one under the passenger seat, 1 each under the rear 2 outer seats, and a large one in the rear. Every space came in handy!
The overall look of our ride for those 2 weeks was sleek and the pearl flake was catchy in the sunlight we got to enjoy. It had some 19inch rims which just added to its city and urban uses. Whether it was driving on the bumpy city roads or cruising out on the open highways, this car had the power and the refinement to let us get to where we were going efficiently and in comfort.
All in all it was a great trip, in a great car!
We were provided with a travel stipend and 2012 Dodge Journey to try.