The 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad Plus is a value-packed addition to the CUV lineup with more standard features than the Crossroad from 2015. The Journey lineup for 2016 has been reduced from seven models to five with Crossroad still available as a two-row for five passengers while the added Crossroad Plus comes standard with three rows for seven passengers at a lower price than the Crossroad in 2015.
It was just a few months back that we had a 2015 Journey Crossroad FWD for a week of driving around Central Texas. In full disclosure, we will tell you we have been fans of the Journey since its introduction in 2011. Our test drive of the 2015 version did nothing to diminish our view and, in fact, strengthened our conviction that the Journey Crossroad may just be the best value in a mid-size CUV offering three-rows of seating, two engine choices and either FWD or AWD for under $35,000.
(You can read our September review by clicking on the “Suggested Links” at the end of this story)
The 2016 Journey arrived at dealerships in early Fall and the Dodge brothers were quick to get us a 2016 Dodge Journey to test – this time the new Crossroad Plus model – again equipped with the V6 powertrain and the FWD configuration. And to be sure we were looking ‘apples to apples’, they sent the 2016 in the same Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat exterior with Black interior.
For 2016 the Journey looks much like the 2015, maintaining its sculpted, clean, aggressive lines and front fascia that sports the signature Dodge brand “split crosshair” grille. All models feature a more aggressive lower front fascia and a rear fascia with integrated, dual bright exhaust tips (V-6 only) with the Crossroad and Crossroad Plus offering unique front and rear lower fascias. Their bold “ring of fire” LED tail lamps have a distinctive style out back, while their standard 19-inch aluminum wheels complete the dramatic styling statement.
Journey Crossroad Plus
The 2016 Journey Crossroad Plus we tested this Fall was essentially the same as the Crossroad from the 2015 model year with the exception that the third row of seating is now standard and also includes leather seats with sport mesh inserts, black leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, the class-exclusive 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen radio with voice command and Bluetooth, power driver’s seat and a fold-flat front passenger seat with in-seat storage.
For 2015, the Crossroad FWD MSRP was $26,595. For 2016, with more standard features, the Crossroad Plus is $500 less at $25,095. Equipping it with the same options and packages from 2015 including the 3.6L V6 powertrain, Crossroad Equipment package, Popular Equipment package, Navigation and Backup Camera package plus the Second Row Integrated Child Booster Seats – our 2016 Crossroad Plus priced, including delivery, at $32,560.
Do the math, more in the 2016 Crossroad Plus for $600 less than the Crossroad in 2015.
2016 Crossroad Plus Drive Commentary
This Crossroad Plus arrived just in time to be our transportation for a 4-day weekend trip from Austin to Matagorda Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The weekend was a weather disaster including heavy rains, high winds and flooding – serious flooding – closing roads and washing out bridges. And all of that was during our attempt to get out of Austin.
The 19-inch wheels plus the high command seating for the driver made navigation of serious water over the road surprisingly easy. The 8.4N Uconnect Garmin Navigation with Sirus Traffic and Sirius TravelLink were spot-on revising and managing routings more than a dozen times in the first hour of our trip. The USB ports supported our smartphone and tablets which we had tuned to active radar weather screens as well as back up information from emergency management sources.
The Crossroad Plus never hesitated as we traveled minor country roads between Austin and the Gulf we did not know existed, running through towns we had never heard of – and after losing only two hours overall, got to the beach at Matagorda that evening. Just in time to get hit by another huge storm rolling across the causeway (on its way to Houston) for the last three miles. Despite the high winds and driving rain, the Crossroad Plus moved steadily along the narrow causeway road and got us safely to our destination.
Covering over 600 miles in the Crossroad Plus, we found it to be exceptionally comfortable and quiet on both local roads and highways given the conditions. Dropping the third row seating flat, we had more than enough room for all of our gear for the weekend beneath the cargo cover. Speaking of those third row seats, we did get a little time on the beach and flipping the third row seats to face the back under the hatch, we did enjoy a nice sunset after the storm passed. On the way home, we loaded up with fresh shrimp, packing them in ice in the under-floor storage lockers in front of the second row seating.
Oh yes, we did need to gas up on the way home so we used the 8.4N Uconnect Navigation system to find the cheapest gas which turned out to be a Buckees (its a Texas thing) in Wharton, Texas for $1.71 a gallon. For the record, the Pentastar V6 matched to the 6-speed automatic is rated at 19 mpg (combined) in the Crossroad Plus FWD. Even with the storm conditions on our trip out, our round trip fuel economy was a commendable 21.9 mpg.
Rethinking AWD vs FWD
Earlier this year, in our review of the 2015 Journey Crossroad FWD, we told you we would not recommend spending the money for the AWD, as the FWD is a very roadworthy Crossroad built on a sturdy platform with a Touring suspension balanced well on 19-inch wheels. Enhanced with electronic stability control, all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation, and Brake Assist we still think FWD is plenty good enough, but there are places and time across the country, where the extra grip of AWD makes sense.
AWD in the 2016 Journey Crossroad Plus will set you back another $3,500 – bringing the price of the Crossroad Plus we tested to $36,060. So what do you get by going to AWD? Simply, you get an on demand traction system that, augmented by a performance tuned suspension, will add to the handling capability of the Journey for those who live in the Snow Belt or rainy parts of the country,
As an ‘on demand’ system, only the front wheels are powered until power to the rear wheels is needed to maximize fuel efficiency. All-wheel drive also is used on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving. This system provides added traction on snow, ice and other low traction surfaces without having to be switched on and off.
When traveling faster than 25 mph, the Journey’s electronically controlled coupling (ECC) for the AWD sends torque to the rear wheels when cornering with the throttle open making turning easier with more control. At speeds greater than 53 mph, the control system delivers minimal torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions for better fuel economy.
When you can get as capable, comfortable and well equipped seven-passenger crossover as the 2016 Journey Crossroad Plus including AWD – for right at $36,000, why would you not?
Frankly, living down here in Texas, we like the Crossroad Plus just fine in FWD – loaded nicely – for the $32,560. If we were living to the North a ways where snow, ice and heavy rains are more routine, the Crossroad Plus AWD at $36,060 would be our choice. You decide which works for you.