Chrysler has launched the Dodge Journey in right-hand-drive form here in the UK, effectively replacing the short-wheelbase Voyager in its line-up.

Unlike the Voyager, which was built for Europe and other export markets by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, the Journey comes from a US plant fully assembled. Chrysler has also switched European supply of the redesigned Grand Voyager (Town and Country in the US) from Austria to the US as it gradually phases out overseas assembly as models run out.

The UK-specification Dodge Journey has 5+2 seating as standard range-wide and, like the Voyager, almost all models are turbodiesel powered.

While the final Voyagers had 2.5- and 2.8-litre VM Motori diesels, with relatively high CO2 emissions (203 and 225g/km respectively), which placed them in the highest annual road tax and company car benefit-in kind tax bands here in the UK, the Journey gets a 140hp Volkswagen turbodiesel with six-speed manual or twin clutch sequential automatic transmissions and much reduced CO2 emissions of 170-186g/km.

The sole Journey petrol (manual only) model has a 2.4-litre Chrysler World Engine emitting 209g/km of CO2; down from the 2.4-litre petrol Voyager's 234g, which will reduce the taxes paid by owners of this version as well.

Fuel consumption of the UK versions on the 'official' EU 'combined' test cycle ranges from 32mpg for the base 2.4 petrol to 40.4 (TD auto) and 43.5 (TD manual).

As with the Voyager, Chrysler has chosen what in the US would be called a 'nicely equipped' specification for the base SE petrol and diesel manual-only models which get three-zone climate control, tilt and telescope steering wheel, tyre pressure monitoring, power-folding and heated door mirrors, electric windows and six-disc CD with MP3 compatible sound system as standard.

The manual/auto SXT adds extra equipment while the auto-only RT variant has some body colour exterior parts and standard leather trim amongst other goodies.

Key options offered range-wide include Chysler's MyGIG audio, video, navigation and rear camera system with out without rear seat DVD player.

Federico Goretti, managing director of Chrysler UK, said: "The Dodge Journey is aimed at families that need the functionality and utility of an MPV, but don't want the look of a traditional people carrier.

"The diesel engine offers great performance and economy and this means that the Journey takes on the practicality of an MPV with the overall fuel efficiency of a passenger car. The design of the Journey is like nothing else on the road and builds on the success we have had with our other Dodge vehicles - Caliber, Avenger and Nitro - in the UK, which all combine a striking design with incredible value for money."

Prices range from GBP16,995 to GBP22,995 (about US$31,700-$43,000) which, Chrysler UK claims, is around 10% better value than similarly-equipped key competitors.

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