After is redesign in 2011, the Dodge Journey, armed with a retuned suspension, new V-6 engine, and new interior, with a new PowerNet electrical architecture, was equipped with smaller base engines and a manual transmission, and sent to Fiat’s strongholds as the Fiat Freemont. The Freemont enjoyed strong popularity from the start, and in January 2012, Freemont production was around 60% of Journey.
The Fiat Freemont has moderately different suspension tuning and cosmetic changes to make it more consistent with other Fiats. There are multiple trim levels: in Germany, in 2012, these were base, Urban, Lounge, and Express. Express was the only one with a gasoline engine, the V6, and it was all wheel drive only. The manual transmission was available only with the two diesels (140 and 170 hp) and front wheel drive; the automatic was available with the 170 hp diesel and V6, but only with all wheel drive.
The Fiat Freemont is built by Chrysler at the Toluca plant. The Dodge Journey was withdrawn from Europe as the Fiat version launched; under 6,000 Journeys were sold in the first ten months of 2010. Freemont easily beat that number by a considerable margin.
The Freemont has an optional touch-screen command center, which includes navigation, dual zone climate controls, and the ability to check gas prices. Four models are available with user-friendly touch-key categories, helping to make connecting and controlling personal devices simple, intuitive, and customizable.
At 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, the Fiat Freemont’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is smooth when driven normally, but when pushed, the transmission reacts quickly and the V6 becomes a screamer. The 2.0 is likely the most popular engine, though, due to its high gas mileage.
K. Oellinger sent the following data from Germany (2012 model year). Prices exclude tax, which is substantial (taxes in Germany include charges for health coverage). All engines conform to Euro 5 emissions.
* Provided for convenience of American readers but due to differences in measurement techniques this is not directly comparable to American gas mileage figures.** As converted on February 10, 2012, not including any taxes or gas mileage penalties.
The Freemont’s version of the Fiat 2.0 MultiJet has peak power of 170 hp (125 kW) at 4,000 rpm, with a hefty 258 lb-ft of torque (350 Nm) available at 1,750 rpm. In countries with power-based taxation, a lower output diesel is available.
The engine has a cast iron block with aluminum heads with dual overhead camshafts, roller cam followers, and four valves per cylinder. The common rail system has up to 1,600 bar fuel pressure, and can handle multiple injection events with post-injection and combustion-rate shaping for particulate filter control. A variable geometry turbocharger (pioneered by Chrysler decades ago, under the name “Turbo IV”) cuts turbo lag, while cooled EGR cuts emissions and fuel usage. A fully balanced, forged crankshaft cuts deflection and vibration. Balance shafts cut vibration, while a right-side engine mount brace stiffens the mounting.
A larger instrument cluster has a standard electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) in the center of the new gauges. The center console has more cushioning on the tilt-and-slide armrest; under the lid is a larger center storage bin with a 12-volt outlet and USB port where owners can hook up and hide their iPod or generic MP3 player.
To increase comfort, the design team changed the seats and moved the shifter and cupholders, making them easier to reach, and added a larger front storage bin with side nets. The three-spoke steering wheel has integrated controls. The climate controls are on the touch screen, but physical controls are also provided underneath it for distraction-free driving. iPods are now much better integrated into the system; and the USB port is lit at night.
Freemont has safety and security features including active head restraints, electronic stability control (ESC) with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation and brake assist, new driver-side knee blocker air bag, supplemental side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, supplemental front-seat-mounted side air bags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, LATCH child seat anchor system and trailer sway control.
K. Oellinger pointed out that the Fiat Freemont V6 is the most powerful standard-production (e.g. not Tuning or Abarth) Fiat ever. It is, as Dan Minick predicted, the successor to the Fiat Ulysse.
Dodge Journey Crew Review • Journey Lux Review
Head Room: R1, 40.8; R2, 39.2; R3, 37.7Hip Room: R1, 53.8; R2, 54.4; R3, 40.0Leg Room: R1, 40.8; R2, 33.6; R3, 23.4Shoulder: R1, 57.5; R2, 56.9; R3, 51.1(R1 = Row 1 [front], etc.)Trunk Lift-Over Height: 30.8
Base Curb Weight: 3907 lbFuel Tank Capacity: 20.5 gallonsTowing Capacity: 2500 lb, maxWeight distribution: 58/42Turning Diameter: 38.0 feetWheelbase: 113.8Running Ground Clearance: 7.2”
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