Trucks & SUVs

Why Would Anyone Buy a Dodge Journey Instead of Another Midsized SUV?

SUVs can be an expensive purchase, so it’s important to pick the right one. It may not be worth saving a few bucks but then ending up with an SUV you don’t love. The 2020 Dodge Journey is one SUV dud that buyers may want to skip over. With its poor reviews, other SUVs, both new and used, are probably a better option.

Poor ratings for the 2020 Dodge Journey

U.S. News & World Report ranks the 2020 Dodge Journey #22 on its list of midsized SUVs, which puts it last on the list. The Journey also placed #60 in crossover SUVs and #26 in SUVs with three rows. U.S. News & World Report also gave the Journey an overall rating of just 5.6 out of 10, based on 60 different metrics.

While it has a low starting price, it also has what U.S. News & World Report calls a “lackluster engine, poor predicted reliability rating, and subpar cargo space.”

Added to that, it also has “slow acceleration,” “dull handling,” and “limited safety features,” which combined make this sound like an unappealing vehicle. The review even comes right out and says that the 2020 Journey “isn’t a good midsize SUV.” Its competitors do a better job with handling, technology, and active safety features.

The 2020 Dodge Journey’s powertrain

The 2020 Journey has only one engine, and that is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder generating 172 hp. It’s matched with a four-speed automatic transmission.

The Journey gives a smooth ride, but it does have a lot of body lean when going around corners. The 2020 model year now has an optional Popular Equipment Group package, but it offers fewer trim levels than in the past (with just two now), doesn’t offer all-wheel drive anymore, and no longer has its V6 engine option.

Interior and cargo space

The interior gets mixed reviews. The first two rows are spacious, but the third row is cramped. Some reviews find the interior materials to be high quality, and others think there are too many hard plastics.

The 2020 Journey has less cargo space than most competitors, with 10.7 cubic feet behind the third row, 37 cubic feet when the third row is folded down, and 67.6 cubic feet when both rows are folded down.

Technology and safety

U.S. News & World Report points out that the Journey has a “user-friendly infotainment system,” although it’s not compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The standard touchscreen is 4.3 inches, but an 8.4-inch touchscreen is available. The 2020 Journey only includes one USB port, and its only advanced safety features are a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

Not available in every state

The Dodge Journey first appeared for the 2009 model year and hasn’t been redesigned since then. It was refreshed for 2011, and for 2018, the third row became standard.

The 2020 Journey, along with the Grand Caravan, isn’t available for sale in California or the 12 other states that follow California’s emissions standards. That includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The Dodge Journey is still expected to survive to the 2021 model year, but a replacement SUV may be coming for 2022.

Ratings for competitors

The top three midsized SUVs on U.S. News & World Report’s list are the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, and the 2020 Kia Telluride. For buyers considering the 2020 Dodge Journey, U.S. News & World Report recommends the Honda CR-V (a compact SUV) or Kia Sorento instead.

U.S. News & World Report even suggests considering a used Journey rather than the 2020 model. The older ones offer more features and have an even lower price. The 2020 Dodge Journey has a starting price of $23,495.

Kelley Blue Book suggests that a fair purchase price for a used 2019 Journey starts at $16,512. For comparison, a 2020 Kia Sorento starts at $26,990, while a used 2019 Sorento has a fair purchase price starting at $18,878. With a used one-year-old SUV selling for less than the new 2020 Dodge Journey, buyers may want to go with the used option to get a better SUV while saving money.