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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Arts and Design : Frankfurt 2007 -- Journey Makes Me Stop Believin'

Back to beautiful terrorist-targeted Frankfurt Germany for their major car show and another new design unveiling, the 2009 Dodge Journey. Originally named the "Crew", Dodge's marketing folks seem to have been inspired by the season finale of The Sopranos. Now if only they could whack the designers responsible for this bland entry into the crossover not an SUV and not a car market. Unlike Ford, GM and Nissan's designs, Dodge has taken the safe road and come up with something utterly indistinct.

Other than the toned-down crosshair grille this could be any car company's product. It's not a disaster but Chrysler was on the cutting edge of design not so long ago. The cliched lower body indent that tapers out in the front bumpers, the equally cliched big wheel opening flares (clumsily detailed), the rising shoulder line, the unrelieved slab-like side surfaces all add up to ho-hum. The best thing here is the interesting headlight treatment.

From the rear there is even less distinctiveness, the shoulders below the rear window having been done much more successfully by Mazda among others.

The real disaster zone is the interior which looks like the worst of the 1980's with chintzy chrome trim and unimaginative surfaces thrown together with little thought. The instrument binnacle looks like something out of an '81 K-Car. Chrysler must do better if it expects to survive it's latest crisis.

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