Established in 1900, Dodge is no new kid the block. As a result, the company has had plenty of time to refine its portfolio to a handful of great products, like the Challenger. A true muscle car, a range of models exist to satisfy every enthusiast. For example, the SXT packing a six-cylinder motor that can still achieve 30 MPG. The Journey mid-size crossover, on the other hand, can fit the whole gang seating seven passengers, is configurable to open up to 67.6 cubic feet of cargo space and includes available all-wheel drive. More below.
Enthusiasts were thrilled when Dodge announced the return of the Challenger a little over a decade ago. The third-generation muscle car is still going strong, wearing a 1970s inspired look reinterpreted for the modern age with a split front grille and power bulge hood on the outside, and high sill center console on the inside. Sold in a mind-boggling 10 different trim levels, the most famous is the HEMI V8-endowed SRT Hellcat churning out 707 horsepower.
For the mainstream consumer, the SXT utilizes a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, which generates 305 horsepower and at the same time achieving an aforementioned 30 miles per gallon. It’s not less fun either, boasting a sport button capable of altering vehicle dynamics and shift points enhancing performance-oriented driving, and steering wheel paddle shifters.
Buyers looking at this mid-size SUV are getting extra bang for their buck as starting last year, all R/T receive the same aggressive front fascia treatment as the range-topping SRTs — i.e. a hood with a built-in center air inlet, bumper spoiler housing a cold-air ducting system and LED fog lamps. There’s a lot of extra standard equipment now as well, such as park assist sensors, electric liftgate, backup camera, and Capri leather bucket seats.
Similar to the Challenger, an entry-level SXT grade is offered running the 3.6-liter V6, here making 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and able to tow up to 6,200 pounds. The R/T’s 5.7-liter V8 bumps output up to 360, and the SRT to 475 featuring a 6.4-liter version of the HEMI.
Branded as “America’s most versatile crossover,” the Journey is certainly a jack-of-all-trades. For starters, optional three-row seating means no one ever needs to get left behind on road trips. Safety is often top of mind while shopping the family-hauler segment and all the bases are covered: in addition to AWD, occupants benefit from electronic stability and all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation, brake assist, side-curtain airbags, and trailer sway control.
Storage space is something both drivers and passengers can never get enough of, and the Journey has this in spades. There’s a big bin with side nets underneath the dashboard, a deep one in the center console below the armrest, hidden removable bins in the floor ahead of the middle row, and more. Are rising fuel prices a concern? Then the 173-horse four-cylinder, complemented by a four-speed auto gearbox may be a sound choice.