Dodge Journey: defying the stereotype
As far as I’m concerned, American cars never fail to disappoint when applied to British roads. The propensity for bulky and wasteful Goliaths, designed solely to intimidate other road users, leaves this driver a bit cold. In these eco-conscious’ 90s, vehicles are hailed for their excellent MPG ratings, low carbon emissions, and for keeping things small. On the contrary, American vehicles that have reached these shores are often ridiculed for their great sensitivity; all gigantic, 0.6 miles per gallon, giants that drink gasoline and smoke that do not attract the most delicate British constitution.
With this in mind, I could barely muster the whisper of excitement from a mosquito when they told me I was going to test drive the new Dodge Journey. Without even seeing an image or footage of this vehicle, I had automatically painted a visual picture of what it would look like in my mind. It would be a huge and noisy 4X4, taking into account neither the environment nor the pedestrians. He would drive like an incontinent Ox; relentlessly uncooperative and slow at best.
I kept these preset opinions firmly in mind until I was faced with the Dodge Journey in reality. My suspicions were correct; it was big … very big. A more redeeming feature was the sportier curves, which I assumed had permeated the design drawings of every automaker except those across the Atlantic. Despite hating the look of most 4X4s, I found myself warming up a bit with the Journey’s bulky volume.
The interior of the Dodge Journey was a bit more surprising. The interior was positively European in their attention to detail. The functional dash and elevated driving position make the Dodge Journey a pleasant place to meet.
The controversial issue of manipulation has also been addressed. While spending a stay along some of the more dangerous country roads near my house, the Dodge Journey responded splendidly. None of the hairpin turns required harsh braking or violent maneuvering and most could be taken at a speed similar to that of a saloon.