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Dodge Journey 2010 Review


Holden has unveiled a new Commodore running on fuel that is up to 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent petrol. Caltex is opening its first E85 pumps around the country with up to 100 to be available by next year.

The good news is that apart from ethanol being cleaner and greener than petrol, the fuel company vows the new fuel will be "priced significantly below unleaded petrol."

Unlike diesel or hybrid cars, you don't have to pay a premium for the E85 compatibility. And unlike LPG, which is also cheaper than petrol, you won't need to lose most of your boot space for a tank. However you will need to buy a car whose engine is equipped to run E85. Apart from the upcoming Commodores and some Saabs, Dodge's Journey people mover and its sister Chrysler Sebring Cabrio share an E85 compatible engine.


Priced about the same as many of its competitors, the flexible-fuel Journey could become a thrifty option for families once you have somewhere to fill up.

With the Journey range priced from $36,990 to $46,990, we tested the mid-range $41,990 2.7-litre petrol V6 R/T. That's the same price as the glamour-leader among people movers, Honda’s Odyssey, significantly cheaper than the class-leading Toyota Tarago but a few thousand dollars dearer than the base Kia Carnival at $35,990.

While the Journey is seen as a seven-seater, it’s really a 5+2 as there's not much leg room in the third row for anyone other than small children, and in this mode there's also very little boot space. The seats are easy to manoeuvre by a lever, making it flexible for a variety of uses and for family access.

Integrated child booster seats come standard with the extra row, eliminating a need to carry child seats. There are plenty of cupholders, side and front row central storage compartments, a cooler in the glovebox, but it misses front row armrests.

The sound system is good without being great; the reversing camera is handy in a car of this size while features such as satellite navigation and TV screens in the back of the front row headrests are available as options.

When you can buy E85 you will need to buy more to go the same distance than a petrol car would travel, as ethanol has less energy. The saving is in its cheaper pump price.


The 2.7-litre engine puts out 136kW/256Nm, slightly better than the Odyssey and the huge Hyundai iMax, but well below the V6 Tarago and V6 Grand Carnival. It has a workhorse six-speed auto gearbox. In full petrol use it averages a claimed 10.3l/100km, though in city traffic that leaps to 15L. Without an E85 pump to be found we couldn't test that figure.


There are people movers that look like vans, some that look like mini-buses, others that resemble wagons and none that look like sports cars. The Journey is unique because it can easily be taken for an SUV. Its high stance, squarish shape and the Dodge grille give it more macho looks than its competitors.

Drivers buy people movers out of necessity rather than desire. For those who don't have large families, coach sports teams or run a chauffeur service, it’s easy to look down at many bland people movers. But not the American Journey, its tougher looks give it a meaner presence on the road.


There's plenty of the basic essential safety gear on board with Electronic Stability Control, brake assist, front and side airbags among the standard equipment. The SUV-like high seating position is also a bonus to see ahead in traffic. It's a pity the features don't extend to an automatic opening rear hatch on this model as it is heavy to lift and high to reach when you need to close it.


The Dodge is a keen worker. I first tested it under light load as the sole occupant and it showed spritely acceleration and a smooth and comfortable drive, even on notorious bumps and potholes.

It also got loaded up with boxes and gear to help move house. Although it felt more sluggish as would be expected it showed some guts when laden. In fact the drive was better with some weight on board. It made the car more stable on the road.

One concern is how noisy it us under acceleration from a standing start, with the engine roaring as it searches for the next gear.

VERDICT: The Journey is a versatile, competent people mover with good looks and comfortable ride. I just wish it had armrests. Its E85 fuel-compatibility may prove to be a sleeper for boosting sales.


Price: $41,990
Engine: 2.7L/V6 136kW/256Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Economy: 10.3L/100km (official), 14.9L/100km (tested)

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

R/T 2.7L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $8,000 – 12,320 2010 Dodge Journey 2010 R/T Pricing and Specs
R/T CRD 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $11,000 – 16,060 2010 Dodge Journey 2010 R/T CRD Pricing and Specs
SXT 2.7L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $7,000 – 10,890 2010 Dodge Journey 2010 SXT Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 28 car listings in the last 6 months

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