There comes a point in our lives when we all fly off the handle. It can happen when we’re still young and ready to believe anything or when we’re old and the voice of those young’uns make us instinctively say nasty, insensitive thoughts.
Temporary insanity comes and goes with the seasons. With that I am about to recommend a
car truckster minivan lame duck vehicle that has a surprisingly good fit for one type of buyer in particular: Those with large families who want a new car but don’t really give a shit about cars.
all-new still leftover and molderizing 2015 Dodge Journey with the American Value Package is a kind-of-okay vehicle in much the same way as a basic Windows Phone is a perfectly good device for those who just want to text, talk and have easy email access.
You need to do the basics of driving? Just want a slightly higher seating position? Do you need to seat three kids across who are at least two years apart? The Dodge Journey may just be the perfect no-name shoe to satisfy your non-exciting driving experience.
I’ll be brutally blunt folks. The Journey is basic, humdrum, and pretty much as generic as you can get if you’re looking for a vehicle that’s already served as a bare-bones 2008 crossover. It’s not very pretty and it sure as hell ain’t fun. But you can get it in blue and it’s big where it counts, which apparently matters to thousands of people. Like most Mitsubishis, this is the vehicle that no enthusiast ever recommends because every other competitor already surpassed it five years ago.
Every. Single. One.
Yet I’m recommending it for the automotive apathetic. Right here. Right now. Why?
Take that inflated windshield sticker and knock five grand off. According to TrueCar, a new 2015 Dodge Journey with the American Value Package starts at only $14,700 in Powder Spring, Georgia. That’s how much you can get a basic Journey before adding incentives. Do you already own a Chrysler? Are you a lease junkie? The TrueCar total can pretty much fall through the floor and straight into new car nirvana at only $11,790. That’s a $9,900 discount off an MSRP that may or may not be jacked back up once the local dealer does his bogus fee happy dance.
That’s insane. But does it exist? Is the Journey a unicorn that, in the real world, requires you purchase a boatload of features in the four-figure range? Possibly, and I’m getting more than a bit suspicious after doing a fair bit of research.
My neighborhood Chrysler dealership, which was just acquired by a dealership conglomerate
because they couldn’t sell cars, still has over 250 current model year FCA vehicles and nearly 500 additional units with “2016” in multiple colors witten with neon marker on their windshields. Thankfully, they were wise enough during this recent year not to invest too heavily in Journeys. The mega dealer on the other side of Atlanta is actually showing 50 of these American Value Package 2015 models for an asking price that is well north of $20,000.
To be diplomatic about it, I know that the mega dealer isn’t actually that bad (except maybe their IT department), and I know my local Chrysler dealer definitely isn’t that good. Then again, neither is this version of the Journey, so it all equals out. The 2015 Dodge Journey (to nowhere) offers an archaic 4-speed automatic mated to a 2.4-liter engine that dates all the way back to 2006. This happens to be the exact powertrain combination that guided a million heavily decontented Sebrings, Stratuses and Calibers into the gates of federal bankruptcy, and it also launched a half-million rental quality Chrysler 200s, Jeep Patriots and Jeep Compasses into Chrysler’s post-bankruptcy existence. It’s proven to be, well, cheaper than a worn out mop as far as vehicle powertrains are concerned.
Is this Dodge Journey worth the money? Can it even be bought for only $12,000 and change if you opt for the well-regarded UConnect upgrade? Or is this just another case of certain dealers and TrueCar offering cars that are the equivalent of a modern day fake war story?
What says you?