Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Review - A Journey Back To Dodge - Page 2

Dodge4The meaty and leather wrapped tiller is on a reach and rake adjustable column, and if it was heated as well, I couldn't find the switch. All seats in the R/T are leathered up, with the second row adjustable for angle and and can be moved forward and aft as well. Vision from the driver's pew (leather clad and heated, thank you kindly) is broad, obscured to the rear by the fold down DVD screen when in action. Perhaps rear seat passengers would be better suited with headrest screens as that's a real safety issue.

What isn't an issue is the 8.4 inch navitainment touchscreen; it's largely intuitive, controls most of the onboard functions and is linked, in the R/T's case, to a thumping Alpine audio system with a decent depth and clarity. DVD playback is also visible when the car is in park however the controls didn't seem to always work in conjunction with the disc menus. Set and forget aircon for the rear seats, LED lighting a another storage locker in the mid row centre fold down add value to the family package.

The GPS system was also largely user friendly however the search parameters seem a bit arse about when dialling in an address. For the driver there's a handy info screen, operated by steering wheel mounted buttons, with info such as fuel consumption, messages from the bluetooth linked phone and tyre pressure. That last one made a lot of difference as the front left seemed well under the other three. Going from 28 psi to 36psi helped the ride, especially with the load onboard. dodge5Having said that, with the usefulness of the rear under cover cargo space coming into play, on the Pacific Highway on NSW's south coast, the rear did bottom out onto the bumpstops a few times thanks to the undulations.

Under normal circumstances, the meaty rubber (225/55/19s) provided grip like superglue and it's mostly neutral handling. Feedback through the tiller is reasonable but sometimes felt isolated from the road, feeling somewhat numb on centre although loads up nicely offcentre. Noise from the tyres and wind was fairly muted, allowing good conversation levels and, for the kids, no need to ramp up the quite nice sounding headphones. Dive and squat were well controlled under heavy braking and hard acceleration plus body roll was minimal when tossed around. The brakes themselves lacked bite, however that could be more to do with the 2000kg plus load they needed to haul in.

dodge6At $36500 (RRP + ORCs) for the R/T ($32500 for the SXT), you'll get a three year/one hundred thousand kilometre warranty. It's extraordinarily good value with the DVD, plenty of room and trim levels, but let down, badly, by the "hole" in the fuel tank and the occasional indifference of the transmission. There's no doubt in my mind that it's a flexible, usable, family vehicle but one that could improve with the option of a low revving, torquey, diesel, a diet and a less restrained transmission.

[This blog \ review was published with aproval by Dave Conole of a wheel thing, you can read more of Dave's reviews at a wheel thing]

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