Dodge has had a rough couple of years, and if the Dodge Journey’s performance is any indication, things aren’t getting any better. There is even some speculation that that FCA may not keep Dodge up and running beyond 2023. This may go some way toward explaining the stagnant design and overall poor reliability ratings for the Dodge Journey.
According to Car and Driver, just about the only good thing to be said about the Journey is that it is priced significantly lower than other vehicles in its class. As a practical vehicle from point A to point B, it could be a cost-effective option if it was sufficiently reliable. We broke down the Journey’s reliability ratings to get a better idea of exactly what drivers can expect for the least expensive seven-seat SUV on the market.
Substandard reliability and safety
Consumer Reports has only formally rated the Journey’s reliability for the 2012 model, and it was their lowest possible rating. Consumer satisfaction has consistently been at the lowest level for every recorded year. In keeping with these trends, Consumer Report’s predicted reliability and customer satisfaction ratings for the 2020 Journey are only 2 out of 5, so it doesn’t appear that they expect much improvement over previous years’ performance.
When it comes to vehicle safety, the Dodge Journey once again fell short. The Journey’s NHTSA safety ratings were acceptable with four and five star ratings across the board. The IIHS, however, gave the SUV low marks for front driver-side crashworthiness, headlights, and child seats.
The vehicle’s structure and safety cage on the driver’s side performed very poorly in crash tests. In addition, the IIHS found that both high and low beam headlights offered poor peripheral visibility, and failed all 4 tests on curved roads.
Child seat anchors received a marginal rating, with straps designed to be shared, thereby limiting the number of child seats that can be safely installed in the vehicle. With these kinds of ratings, the Journey’s reliability and safety are nothing to write home about.
You get what you pay for with the Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey is priced significantly lower than other 3-row SUVs on the market, and it can be hard for customers to say no to the low pricing and late season discounts. However, while everyone likes a good deal, the overwhelming majority of reviewers say you get what you pay for. When it comes to the Journey, cheaper isn’t always better.
Car and Driver’s review outlines a laundry list of the Journey’s unimpressive features, from its poor engine performance to its clunky transmission and the worst EPA fuel economy ratings in its class. The interior is equally unexceptional, with the smallest amount of cargo space for this category, crowded third-row seating, and cheap, outdated features.
The infotainment system is very basic, with no access to Android Auto or Apple Car Play. It is no surprise that the price is low, but reviewers don’t see this vehicle as any sort of bargain.
Will the Dodge Journey’s reliability improve?
The 2020 Dodge Journey was released with fewer trims, and Dodge further removed the V6 engine and 4-wheeldrive options, leaving only the poorly performing V4. Coupled with the outdated design and lack of investment in upgrades, it seems that predictions of Dodge’s imminent dissolution may be accurate.
After FCA separated Dodge’s best selling vehicle, the Ram pickup into its own category, FCA invested in vast improvements and upgrades. Its dedication to improving the Ram further highlights FCA’s general indifference toward the remaining Dodge lineup.
Unless they launch a complete redesign, it is doubtful that FCA will invest in enough enhancements to effectively improve the Journey’s reliability and overall performance in the future.