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As evidenced by golf, low scores don’t always spell disaster. However, the 2020 Dodge Journey is a bit of a mixed bag, as it has the lowest marks in a pair of significant categories.

Notably, Dodge discontinued the Journey, along with the lowly Grand Caravan, for the 2021 model year. But savvy shoppers may wonder if the 2020 Journey might be somewhat of a hidden gem.

This three-row SUV is quite the enigma in the automotive industry. The Journey isn’t notorious for winning awards, yet many shoppers consider buying one due to its affordability. 

It comes as no surprise that some major automotive outlets rated the 2020 Dodge Journey the worst vehicle in its class. But its starting MSRP of $23,675 makes it the most affordable midsize SUV on the market.

Does the Journey deserve a second look? Let’s break down what we know about the often-forgotten model so you can make a smarter buying decision.

Can you pass up this affordable price?

A blue 2020 Dodge Journey driving through snow
The 2020 Dodge Journey in action | Photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

If you have a tight budget and need to transport your large family, then the 2020 Dodge Journey might be for you.

It’s easy to argue to buy higher-rated models like the Honda CR-V over the Dodge Journey. But this line of thinking simply won’t work for everyone. Some drivers need the extra seating that the Journey provides.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is slightly more expensive than the Journey, as it starts at $24,895. However, it’s classified as a compact SUV and one of the worst family vehicles on the market.

Dodge trimmed the Journey’s offerings down to two trims for the 2020 model. The entry-level SE Value isn’t rich with features. But it ultimately serves its intended purpose by providing the seating and space families need. 

The Journey’s standard infotainment system is extremely intuitive. However, its touchscreen display is only 4.3 inches, and it lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Additionally, it offers a 10.7-cubic-foot cargo hold and a total of 67.6 cubic feet of max storage space. While this isn’t amazing for a midsize SUV, it beats out other affordable three-row rivals like the Outlander.

Meanwhile, the top-tier Crossroad model adds luxurious appointments, such as leather seats and a heated steering wheel. However, at a starting price of $28,595, it’s no longer a bargain-bin option – thus, defeating its purpose.

Why is the 2020 Dodge Journey the worst-ranked midsize SUV?

The U.S. News & World Report listed the Journey last among the 22 midsize SUVs on the market. Additionally, the publication gave this affordable vehicle a rating of 5.7/10. In comparison, the Nissan Pathfinder finished in 21st place with a relatively decent score of 6.9.

Why does this model fall so far behind the pack? U.S. News claims the Journey has an assortment of problems, ranging from lackluster driving dynamics to a short list of safety features. The 2020 Dodge Journey’s poor predicted reliability rating doesn’t do it any favors, either.

Dodge dropped the Journey’s available V6 engine, so shoppers may only opt for an uninspiring four-cylinder. This powerplant manages to produce just 173 hp, and its EPA-estimated 21 MPG city/highway combined won’t ‘wow’ anyone. Unfortunately, an all-wheel-drive system is not available.

Car and Driver’s review of the midsize SUV corroborated U.S News’ evaluation, giving the 2020 Journey a 3.5/10 rating. The publication hit the nail on the head, praising the Journey for its spacious cabin, practicality, and affordable price. 

However, Car and Driver rightfully called out the Journey’s many problems. The publication echoed similar concerns of dull performance and lack of safety features. But it also mentioned how tech-savvy families would feel out of place inside this SUV.

The 2020 Dodge Journey only has a single USB port, making it so the kids in the back must remember to keep their devices charged before they leave home. Plus, the absence of smartphone integration is greatly felt, as most rivals come standard with these features.

Should you buy this affordable family vehicle?

We can see why some families would consider purchasing a new 2020 Dodge Journey, despite its flaws. You’ll get a roomy SUV with no mileage on it, and it’ll be backed by a manufacturer warranty.
However, you may be better off either spending a few thousand dollars more or buying a Certified Pre-Owned model. Another three-row SUV to consider would be the Kia Sorento. 2020 iterations start at only $26,990 – if you can still find one on dealership lots. However, the Sorento incurred a price increase for 2021, which may put it out of the range of affordability for some consumers.


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