2017 Dodge Journey GT Blacktop AWD(1184)

2017 Dodge Journey GT Blacktop AWD


This is the 2017 Dodge Journey GT Blacktop AWD.

During the years that Chrysler cars and trucks (Ram) were near bankruptcy a great leader was needed and Lee Iacocca stepped up to the plate. Then the subsequent purchase by German Giant Daimler Mercedes Benz was just what the doctor ordered in making further changes that were needed and have given vitality to a company that had been a cornerstone of the auto industry.

Lee Iacocca

Today the Big 3, GM, Ford and Chrysler, are not as important in the world as it was in the beginning of the 20th Century. The market began to shift to Asia and even Europe grew as well as consumers began to accept foreign products. Japanese products, early on, were junk. (The turnaround began in the early 1960s.) Demand and acceptance of foreign cars caused the shift away from cars ‘made in America’ was a movement.

Acceptance was fueled by growing costs to produce in America. Even discouraging import taxes couldn’t shake the resolve of the Japanese or deter Americans from purchasing foreign. Their labor costs were too competitive and their NON-union workers made Japanese cars hard to beat. So, I, and a huge number of ‘otherwise’ patriot Americans, were romanced by lower prices and better fuel economy.

Clearly it was the high cost then and now even Japanese cars are sometimes made in other countries as their own labor costs can be beat in Mexico, China and Korea. Both America and Japan have done what comes naturally in economics. They go elsewhere for reasonable labor cost. Result – Detroit has turned into one big Slum.

As friend Richard reminds me, “All error is self-correcting”. . . or “It is costly wisdom that’s bought by experience and experience is the name everyone gives their mistakes”. American car makers were king no more and had to compete, step up to rising gas prices by improving fuel economy. We’re back, but the cost was huge to American companies and American Jobs.

General Information:

It is assembled in Toluca, Mexico Parts – US/Canadian 27%, Mexico 62%; Engine and Transmission – USA; Classification is Small SUV; Cars from Dodge: Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey and Viper.

Handling & Performance:

VVT (for Variable Valve Timing) has been around for a long time and found its way into engine design first in Europe and then Asia. The US car makers we the holdouts for some strange reason. Buy now they have adopted this great engine design.

The principle is simple while complex at the same time. In internal combustion engines, variable valve timing (VVT) is the process of altering the timing of a valve lift event, and is often used to improve performance. These links will give videos for further explanation if interested.



Traditional in today’s world.

Fit and Finish:

As mentioned above, it has been a marvel of improvement in the years following Lee Iacocca saving Chrysler from the trash bin. It was saved and Lee’s work made a bridge to the future and resulted in Daimler Mercedes Benz acquiring control. That led to huge changes. The product was transformed for the good and continues to improve with the advent of the purchase by Fiat. I Believe Fiat will take the product to the next level and I suppose it only goes to show you two heads are better than one, even if they are both cabbage. In any case I have gone from a skeptic of Chrysler to an enthusiastic supporter of the brand.


There is no question that free enterprise delivers great value in any product. Today cars have never been cheaper. Hard to believe in one sense, $$$$$, relative to the increase in wages virtually all consumables are easily obtainable by all who want them.

Conveniences and comfort:

Standard models bring more than just basic features but priced in this class it doesn’t include my favorites such as all the driver assists becoming more common as the years pass. Lane assist and the other warning sensors usually accompanying smart cruise and other crash avoidance features for blind spot and cross traffic sensors. Consumers are beginning to expect such features in the $35 – 40,000 price range.

Consumer Recommendations:

The group here are all nice cars but the South Korean cars have captured my attention in recent years, particularly because I’m personally acquainted with their production process up close and personal, by visiting their production facilities. The character of the people make a difference to me as well. Perhaps other manufacturers will invite we journalists to get to know them better. Economics and government play a huge role in how a people are respected and respect themselves.

For example, in the cases like North and South Korea, North and South Vietnam, East and West Berlin as true in most all Eastern Europe and Western Europe. It gives you pause to reflect on how freedom changes the entire culture of any peoples. I guess you can’t appreciate good completely until you experience bad and can contrast the two.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Journey $35,000, Chevrolet Traverse $35,000, Ford Explorer $35,000, GMC Acadia $42,000, Dodge Durango $41,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $38,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $41,000, Kia Sorento $36,000.

Good News:

Affordable SUV versatility, smart fold away seats, a comfortable solid ride.

Bad News:

Nothing negative jumps out at me.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 VVT Engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, front, side and side curtain airbags all rows, remote entry and keyless start, security alarm, stability control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, traction control, Sirius XM satellite radio, 8.4” touchscreen display, 3-zone climate control air conditioning, heated steering wheel and front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power 6-way driver and fold flat passenger seat, passenger in-seat storage, second row in floor storage bins, 19” aluminum wheels, fog lights, power heated mirrors with manual fold away.

Gas Stats:

$2.89/ Gal avg. March 21, 2017

for more information.

16 City and 24 Highway MPG


MSRP $33,845.

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