During Motor Trend's 2012 SUV of the Year testing they very impressed with the new 2012 Dodge Journey and its 3.6-liter 283-hp V-6. The I-4 on the other hand was an engine they said to avoid. That didn't stop Dodge from expanding its availability. According to Dodge, the 2012 Journey SXT will now be available with the base 2.4-liter I-4 and its four-speed automatic gearbox.

Previously only available on the Journey AVP and SE, the 2.4-liter I-4 will now be standard on the Journey SXT. Bolted to a four-speed automatic transmission and available only in front-wheel drive, the 173-hp and 166 lb-ft of torque four-banger returns 19/26 mpg city/highway. The more powerful and refined V-6 on the other hand returns an EPA estimated 17/25 mpg city/highway for front-drive models, and 16/24 mpg city/highway for all-wheel drive models.

Though we'd by and large tend to avoid I-4 powered Journeys, adding it to the hot-selling SXT trim level does have a bonus. Chiefly, is that it lowers the cost-of-entry for buyers looking to get the goodies the Journey SXT adds over the Journey SE; the cost of entry for the Journey SXT drops from $25,395 to $23,895.The Pentastar V-6 will still be available on the Journey SXT at the same price as before.

Dodge will also be offering third-row seating at no extra cost on new 2012 Journeys for the month of March.

Source: Dodge