When it comes to making a big purchase like a car, buyer’s remorse affects many consumers. Feeling some regret after shelling out thousands of dollars for a vehicle is completely understandable. But what if you bought one that was seemed like a good buy and you were still sorry afterward?
On a Reddit post, participants asked salespeople which vehicle caused buyers the most post-purchase regret. Was it the Jeep Compass, with its poor Consumer Reports ratings? Or, the pre-electrified Chevy Spark because of excessive oil burning? The answer is neither one, but this vehicle consistently makes the list of cars that buyers most regret buying.
The vehicle that causes the most buyer’s remorse
According to a consensus of posters on the reddit.com thread, the Dodge Journey is the vehicle behind so much buyer regret. At $24,990, the 2020 Journey certainly is the cheapest new three-row SUV on the market, and it has been for more than a decade. Dodge dealerships have also offered significant rebates and discounts on this vehicle, so the price alone has attracted many buyers.
One poster said she thought that this seven-seater would be a cheaper and more appealing option than a minivan. Her husband also wanted a vehicle that would function as a family hauler. From those perspectives, the Dodge Journey sounds like a reasonable choice.
But what makes these buyers sorry after they bring this SUV home?
The same poster said that cheap materials, poor engineering, and expensive repairs made the Dodge Journey a terrible vehicle to own. She related that her family had owned two Dodge Journeys. The first one was a 2009 model, the first year the Journey was made. It seemed to be relatively problem-free for this family, although many other owners have had problems with this model year.
But this family replaced it with an upper trim level 2016 model, which turned out to be much worse: failing windshield wiper pumps, a costly, drawn-out repair that involved taking out the transmission to reach an inexpensive coolant system component, and a lot of road noise.
Several salespeople in the thread agreed with this poster that customers snapped up the Dodge Journey because it was inexpensive. But then they got rid of it because of the exact same troubles that the poster who owned two Journeys had.
What do the reviewers say?
To get another take on the 2020 Dodge Journey, we’ll look at what the reviewers at Car and Driver, Kelley Blue Book, and Consumer Reports think about it. Also, we’ll check out the SUV’s safety ratings.
A major problem, according to Car and Driver reviewers, is just how disappointingly underpowered the Dodge Journey is. With a curb weight of over 4,000 pounds, it’s pushed by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated with only a four-speed automatic transmission. The engine makes only 172 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque.
This engine also has one of the worst EPA estimates compared to rivals with similar powertrains, C and D reviewers note. Its fuel economy is 19 mpg and 25 mpg highway.
The Journey lacks the advanced safety features that would put it on par with some of its rivals. But Dodge has added rear parking assist to the SUV this year. But C and D reviewers liked its low price, comfortable ride, and cabin space enough for a big family. Overall, they gave the Journey a two out of five rating.
Kelley Blue Book experts approved of the Journey’s plentiful storage space and good Uconnect infotainment system. They didn’t like its poor resale value compared to its competitors nor its somewhat outdated design. KBB reviewers rated the 2020 Dodge Journey 2.9 stars out of five.
Consumer Reports did not have an overall score for this year’s Dodge Journey because it wasn’t tested. But reviewers did give it a predicted reliability score of two out of five and a predicted owner satisfaction score of two out of five.
The NHTSA gave the 2020 Dodge Journey a four-star rating overall. The IIHS evaluated its small overlap front on the driver-side and headlights as “poor”. The SUV’s child seat anchors rated as “marginal” in ease of use.
What else should you know if you want to buy a Dodge Journey?
As recently as last year, an optional 3.6-liter V6 engine mated with a six-speed automatic was available. It produced 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and was a far better choice for hauling more passengers and cargo. Buyers who want a new model this year won’t have this choice.
Besides the V6 no longer being available, buyers won’t be able to select an AWD option that had been a drivetrain choice in past years. Another cut this year is two available trim levels from prior years, leaving only the base model SE Value and the formerly mid-level Crossroad trim for 2020. If you want any of these options, you might take a look at a recent-year used model.
The new Dodge Journey is an acceptable – maybe even a practical – choice for a growing family on a budget. But it’s good to keep the comments about buyer’s remorse on Reddit and the mixed reviews in mind before you buy one.