Dodge To Offer V-6, AWD on Journey SE Trim

What do you do when you have a decent midsize crossover that's a little long in the tooth, but generally underrated when compared to its competitors? You generate some interest in it however you can, and Dodge is trying to do just that by introducing new variants and trim levels of its Journey crossover.

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We've already seen Dodge introduce the new Journey Crossroad variant at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show; it's little more than an appearance package designed to make the Journey look more off-road-worthy. But this latest variant is perhaps more interesting: You can now get the Pentastar V-6 and all-wheel drive on the least expensive Journey, the SE trim level.

This effectively lowers the base price for an all-wheel-drive Journey by $1,800. The new 2014 Dodge Journey SE V-6 with all-wheel drive will start at $25,890, which is also $1,800 less than the SXT trim with all-wheel drive ($27,690) that's the next step up. All prices include a $995 destination fee. It is also a $3,400 price bump from the standard front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder Journey SE.

For the new price, you get 17-inch wheels, the 4.3-inch Uconnect touch-screen multimedia system, keyless entry and push-button start, and power windows, door locks and side mirrors. But the most valuable piece of equipment is likely the 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The fuel economy takes a hit, dropping to 16/24/19 mpg city/highway/combined from the four-cylinder's marginally more frugal 19/26/21 mpg, or even the V-6 front-wheel drive model's 17/25/19 mpg. Unfortunately, four-cylinder Journeys are not available with all-wheel drive.

The Journey had its best sales year ever in 2013, which is remarkable for a car as old as this one. For customers who like the Journey's comfortable interior and copious amount of cargo space, the addition of the V-6 all-wheel-drive variant to the budget SE model will be welcome news.

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