“This particular Journey is a much better looking vehicle than I had anticipated and I’m impressed…”

Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California.

For 2015, Dodge introduces a new breed of Journey.

One that has more visual appeal, lots of power and a few features to keep your drive exciting, even when it isn’t.

Enter the Crossroad AWD edition. It’s clad in a Redline exterior pearl paint, and sparkles under the Californian sun or any sun for that matter.

Thanks to distinctive front and rear fascias with Platinum Chrome accents, Platinum Chrome side sills, Platinum Chrome roof rails, dark-tinted headlamps and tail lamps, and unique 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels, it tends to garner looks from all passersby.

This particular Journey is a much better looking vehicle than I had anticipated and I’m impressed with how it has evolved since its introduction in 2009. But it’s not just looks alone that make this crossover one of the best selling products in the Dodge lineup, and one that has earned numerous accolades.

Inside, a visually stimulating cabin also welcomes the driver and passengers.

First off, leather seats with sport mesh inserts come standard. Then you have Liquid Graphite appliques, a 213.4mm (8.4-inch) Uconnect touchscreen and a power driver’s seat and passenger fold flat seat with in-seat storage.

The in-seat storage is a feature I found exceptionally handy, particularly when I wanted to tuck away some miscellaneous items I purchased along the road. Or I wanted to keep my snacks out of the sun when driving hours on end in California!

Along the undulating SoCal roads, it was quite handy to have the 3.6L, Pentastar V6 engine under its hood for that extra bit of power I used climbing hills. It comes with a healthy helping of 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that shifts with ease and smoothness.

Additionally, the Crossroad version has a temperate nature and one that is pleasant to drive for long hauls. It absorbs road imperfections without jarring the passengers inside.

The only snag comes when you want to accelerate quickly to pass someone. There’s a generous helping of torque steer so make sure you give yourself enough room in the lane to accommodate for it. Yes, it’s an all-wheel drive, so it’s not, by nature, prone to this type of action, but this particular vehicle was.

Despite its size, it doesn’t feel like a chore to manouevre. Especially when navigating through the In-n-Out Burger drive-thru for a pre road trip delicacy. Though there were only three people in the cabin of the Journey at any given time, there is room for up to seven people.

Furthermore, the third and second row fold down easily to load or unload larger ticket items, such as a road bike I had rented while in the Palm Springs area. When it comes to cargo space, behind the second row seats, you have a generous 1,000L, and behind the third row – when they are up – there’s 300L.

Ingress and egress is also a strong feature of the Journey. Despite its SUV DNA, the seats aren’t so high off the ground that it requires passengers, both young and young at heart, to hoist themselves up and in.

And I can’t forget to mention just how great it is to work with the Uconnect infotainment system. Entering in a destination into the navigation is probably the most intuitive and user-friendly in the industry. The 8.4-inch screen is large and therefore doesn’t require me to take my eyes off the road for longer than necessary.

Music through the speakers – via the SiriusXM stations or my playlists – kept me grooving even in rush hour traffic. With the countless kilometres logged on this Dodge, it wasn’t too hard to find much joy in this new Journey.

In fact, it was quite a treat.

The base MSRP of the 2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad AWD is $35,395.

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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