I am still trying to convince my wife that minivans aren’t the automotive equivalent of a mayonnaise sandwich. They have a lot of redeeming qualities. The ability to haul 7 or 8. Sliding rear doors. Decent fuel economy and driving dynamics (when compared to truck-based SUVs, anyway). Optional AWD. They have all the makings of a superb family vehicle, and in fact, they are. Get past the 60-era toaster oven styling and you’ve got yourself a humdinger of a vehicle. Well, that’s exactly what Dodge designers tried to do with the Journey.
On the bright side, the Dodge boys managed to make the 2016 Journey look less minivan-y and a little more rugged. In fact, it was once dubbed “the man van.” I told my wife that and she replied, “hmmm, it is kinda manly.” Nowadays, the Chrysler Pacifica (another FCA) product has a series of commercials featuring comedian Jim Gaffigan referring to his “dad brand.” Don’t forget about the Toyota “swagger wagon” Sienna. Apparently, trying to appeal to men is something minivan designers – and marketers – have been trying to do for quite sometime.
Once inside, all that ruggedness is forgotten. The Journey is pure Dodge/Chrysler minivan. Comfortable? You betcha. Functional? Yep. Driving dynamics? None detected. Power comes from FCA’s 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 with 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed automatic, the engine churns out 16/24/19 mpg (city/hwy/combined) according to the EPA, about par for the segment, if not slightly below.
I won’t dwell on how the Journey drives, since that’s not what moves vehicles in this segment. It’s perfectly fine for someone who needs to haul a bunch of kiddos around in comfort and a bit of style. In fact, it is the most comfortable vehicle in the segment I’ve driven. I’ll also go on record and say the styling is, while subjective, quite pleasant. I will, however, complain about the shiny black dashboard that is so reflective your retinas will hate you on any given day, especially during typical commutes to or from work as the sun is rising or setting.
- Buy It,
- Lease It,
- Rent It,
- or Forget It,
The 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroads Plus gets a Lease It!
With a base price of $29,795, our tester came in at $34,660 including $995 for destination. You can easily spend much, much, much more for a fully loaded – or almost fully loaded – AWD minivan with a lot less exterior visual appeal. If you’re not yet onboard with minivans but are forced to get one, the Journey’s lines and proportions might help soften the blow to your manliness. But hey, just remember: a real man would not be ashamed to drive a minivan in the first place.
Check out this video of the Dodge Journey as Roman explores the question, “what is a man van and why did Dodge make one?”