Weekend Athlete: 2009 Dodge Journey

The Journey is a three-row crossover, which isn't normally the type of car I go for. I'm not the week-long athlete, after all, so I don't need so much space all the time. That's not to say, though, that there aren't some nice features for Weekend Athlete to be found in the Journey.

Obviously, there's plenty of room. The bike and camping gear fit great, and the bike goes in fine by itself, as you'd expect. No wheels need to be removed.

What's interesting is that there's precious little room behind the third row when it's up. So if you're going to take seven folks along with you, you'd better be going to play soccer. There's not enough room back there for camping or lacrosse gear, or even a large picnic. Take five people, flop the third row and then you're fine.

Speaking of flopping seats, the third row goes up and down easily, but the second row has a goofy arrangement that requires you to use two hands. That's never going to be a good thing with me, so I have to mark it down for that.

Still, the room inside is good, the load floor didn't seem too high and the cargo opening was wide and tall enough to handle things.

I didn't have time for an extensive test — see our expert review for that — but I liked how the steering was weighted and found the ride very nice. There are some blind spots, particularly thanks to the wide A-pillar, but I don't knock points off for that. It's just something you need to be aware of if you test drive it.

Weekend Athlete Scores (Out of 10)

Ease of loading gear – 7: It's a big vehicle, so you'd expect it to swallow stuff easily.

Ease of seat operation — 4: Stupid, stupid, stupid two-handed actuation. Plus the second row is very heavy to lift.

Bike hauling ­– 7: It's good, but for as long as this is — 192.4 inches — that's a no-brainer.

Locker room cred — 6: I think it's got a nice look for a large SUV. It's too big for me to take to the races, but if you had kids maybe it'd work for you.

All-around — 6: If only the seats were a little easier to flip, that would help things tremendously.

Cars.com Expert Review of the 2009 Dodge Journey

More From Cars.com