On the last three Fridays of every month, Graeme Fletcher combines manufacturers’ incentives from with resale value, dependability and overall ratings to find you the best deal for your money in new cars. This week, we look at mid-sized crossovers with all-wheel-drive. The hot deals are on the 2018 Dodge Journey SXT, Kia Sorento EX Turbo and Mitsubishi Outlander SE.
2018 Dodge Journey
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $34,095
Dodge Canada Incentive*: $4,250
Unhaggle Savings: $750
Total Savings: $5,000
Mandatory Fees (Freight, Govt. Fees): $1,935
Total Before Tax: $31,030 –
The three-row Dodge Journey continues into 2018 with little change — that has been the story pretty much since it introduction in 2009. As a result, the Journey is beginning to show its age, especially when it comes to the desirable safety equipment – with the exception of a back-up camera, it has none. No blind spot monitoring, no lane departure warning and no pre-collision warning system.
The featured SXT AWD model does include FCA’s Uconnect 3 infotainment system with an 8.3-inch touchscreen and navigation — it remains one of the easiest to master on the market. The rest of the cabin is well-finished and has the content required. Space-wise, with all three rows upright there’s 303 litres of cargo space. Folding the third and second rows flat reveals 1,048 and 1,914 litres, respectively.
While the base engine is an anemic 2.4-litre four-cylinder, the uplevel SXT earns a 3.6L V6 engine that pushes 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission and all four wheels. The combination brings a run from rest to 100 kilometres an hour of 7.4 seconds, an average fuel economy rating of 12.4 L/100 kilometres and a towing capacity of 1,134 kilograms.
The on-demand AWD system powers the front wheels until they begin to lose traction. At that point, power is shuttled rearward as needed. However, under heavy acceleration from a standstill, the torque is sent rearward in a pre-emptive move to improve the launch characteristics. But the Journey is, first and foremost, more of a highway cruiser than it is a corner carver. Through a fast corner there is quite a lot of body roll and the steering has a sluggish feel, so the temptation to play racer is effectively damped.
The Journey SXT arrives with a combined Unhaggle discount of $5,000 and a pre-tax sticker price of $31,030.
2018 Kia Sorento
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $35,995
Kia Canada Incentive*: $2,250
Unhaggle Savings: $500
Total Savings: $2,750
Mandatory Fees (Freight, Govt. Fees): $1,880
Total Before Tax: $35,125 –
The Kia Sorento continues into 2018 with some minor changes, all of which are aimed at improving an already smart package. The featured EX model arrives with a boatload of equipment — leather seats with 14-way power adjustment for the driver, along with an infotainment system that looks after all phone and media functions system with a seven-inch touchscreen, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The one item the EX lacks is a power-adjustable passenger seat.
Space is abundant, with lots of rear room for three adults and 1,077 litres of cargo. Folding the middle row flat bumps the capacity to 2,066 litres. The area is also nicely squared-off, so the bulk of the space is usable. For those wanting seating for more than five, the V6-powered Sorento offer a third row.
Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a back-up camera with rear parking sensors are standard fare. Forward collision alert with autonomous braking and lane departure warning require moving up to the SX, which bumps the cost of entry by around $6,500.
The featured EX Turbo arrives with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that makes 240 horsepower and, more importantly, 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,450 rpm. The early entry of peak torque means that lag off the line is minimal. It works with a six-speed automatic and a good all-wheel-drive system. The combination brings a run from zero to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds, an average fuel economy of 11 L/100 kilometres and a towing capacity of 1,591 kilograms.
The Sorento’s Dynamax all-wheel-drive system was co-developed with Magna, giving it a Canadian connection. It is a smart pro-active system that shuttles the power around seamlessly. On a dry road, 90 per cent of the power goes to the front wheels. However, by monitoring a number of sensors, it begins to change the power split before the wheels break traction. It also has a lock mode for very slippery surfaces.
Unlike many crossovers, the Sorento is not shy about tackling a faster corner. There is minimal body roll and the response to steering input is both fast and accurate. The flip side is a comfortable highway ride.
The featured Sorento is priced at $35,125 after a combined Unhaggle discount of $2,750.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $32,298
Mitsubishi Canada Incentive*: $1,700
Unhaggle Savings: $1,000
Total Savings: $2,700
Mandatory Fees (Freight, Govt. Fees): $1,840
Total Before Tax: $31,438 –
The three-row Mitsubishi Outlander continues into 2018 with some option juggling and a few extra features. The thrust, however, remains the same — it is an affordable crossover with room for up to seven riders, although the third row really is only for kids. With all three rows in use, the Outlander accommodates 292 litres of cargo. That grows to 968 litres with the third row flat and 1,792 with the middle and third rows folded.
The cabin is nicely appointed, albeit with hard plastics, and it gets an infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen as standard equipment. It supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert requires adding the $1,700 Touring package — but it also includes a power moonroof and heated mirrors. Lane-departure warning, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian warning, and adaptive cruise control are only offered on the top-level GT S-AWC, which adds around $3,500 to the SE’s price tag.
The featured model arrives with a 3.0L V6 engine that makes 224 horsepower and 215 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic and Mitsubishi’s all-wheel-drive system, which it calls all-wheel-control (AWC). The combination brings a run from rest to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds, an average fuel economy of 10.6 L/100 kilometres and a towing capacity of 1,591 kilograms. One of the Outlander’s stronger assets is its 10-year, 160,000-kilometre powertrain warranty — it outstrips most by a margin.
The all-wheel control arrives with a mode selector with 4WD ECO, Auto and Lock settings. For the most part leave it in auto and let it take care of itself, as it is proficient at putting the power where it’s needed. The lock mode comes into its own on a very slippery road.
In the ride and handling department, the Outlander is well balanced — a comfortable highway ride with responsive handling. There is some body roll through a corner, but the suspension takes a set quickly and the response to steering input is fast and it has a connected feel.
The Outlander SE has a sticker price of $31,438 after a combined Unhaggle discount of $2,700.
Transport Canada does not list any recalls for these three CUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Journey as Good for the moderate front overlap and side impact crash tests, roof strength and head restraint/seats tests. However, the small front overlap crash test and headlight performance are rated Poor and there is no score for forward collision prevention. The Sorento is a Top Safety Pick Plus with Good scores for all crash tests, a Superior score for forward collision prevention and an Acceptable rating for headlight performance. The Outlander earns the same ratings as the Sorento making it another Top Safety Pick Plus.
The projected resale value of these mid-sized crossovers in 2022, after being driven an average of 20,000 kilometres per year, is $8,890 for the Journey, $12,190 for the Sorento and $10,740 for the Outlander.
The Journey is rapidly getting left behind, which rules it out as the hot deal. The other two mid-sized crossovers rate well for reliability and crash performance. The hot deal is the Sorento; it brings a wealth of equipment, decent resale value and a solid reputation reliability that’s supported by the fact Kia has won the J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Survey for the past two years, a study that ranks automakers by the fewest thing gone wrong in the first 90 days of ownership.