You might think that a compact, seven-passenger crossover that’s been around for the past decade would be a tried-and-true combination for reliability and practicality. With some manufacturers and models, like a Toyota RAV4 or Kia Sorento, you would be right, however, if you’re thinking of the Dodge Journey, you would be wrong.
The Journey didn’t quite make the journey
The Dodge Journey was introduced in 2009 and it’s still around in 2020. While we can applaud any car for making it this long, we would more than likely start a slow clap for the Dodge Journey in hopes that it would take its final bow soon. When it debuted, the Journey received some pretty good reviews and consumers ratings, mostly for its handy features and “right-sized” cabin.
However, its cheap interior plastics and build quality didn’t quite live up to the competition in the budding crossover segment. We can’t blame it too much, especially when it’s going up against the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe, both of which were stalwarts in the class at the time of the Journey’s inception.
To give Dodge some credit, though, the Journey did have some creative features like “Flip n’ Stow” storage, in which the front passenger seat cushion flips forward to reveal a storage compartment, as well as in-floor storage bins located in the second-row floor space that provided a nifty way to store food, drinks, and whatever else needed concealing.
Overall, the Dodge Journey looked great on paper, and it still does, but what’s wrong with it?
The Dodge Journey is like a 12-year-old hound dog that’s been loyal all its life and begrudgingly lifts its tired head as you walk by and give it a reassuring pat. You’re aware of its potential, but you just don’t want to let it go. That’s how we see the 2020 Dodge Journey; it’s still there, but it probably shouldn’t be.
There are still some redeeming qualities; the Journey is available in front or all-wheel-drive configurations and any small-amount of prospective buyers can opt for a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter V6. With the latter choice, the crossover is able to tow up to 2,500 pounds and there are a couple of different suspension choices (touring or sport), which allows for more driving feedback and all-around sportier driving experience.
The seven-seat configuration is now standard and it still has smart features like the built-in child booster seats and in-floor cargo storage, in addition to the other features mentioned above. However, it’s gotten terrible reviews in its latest iteration, mainly due to its aging body style that hasn’t been refreshed in over 7 years. The Car Connection’s latest review said it best: “The 2020 Dodge Journey is as uninspiring to look at as it is to operate.”
Speaking of operating, the Journey isn’t that much fun to drive, either. Multiple reviews have dinged it for its lack of availability of a V6 with all-wheel-drive configuration as well as it’s “ponderous handling and unresponsive transmission.”
Furthermore, Consumer Reports gave it a 2 out of 5 on the reliability scale and a 2 out of 5 for “Overall Owner Satisfaction.” Did we say it looked good on paper?
Why is it still around?
We don’t really know, and although the Dodge Journey pricing starts at around $23,000, which is low for a 7-seat crossover, we can’t really recommend it. Ultimately, the Journey’s dated body style, old powertrains, and cheap interior materials have overshadowed it’s low entry cost and handy features over time. And while it could make a decent used car purchase for those that need the space, we think it’s time for the Journey to come to end.