2018 Dodge Journey Review | Riverdale, UT

Dodge Journey Reviews Riverdale UT 

Time will tell the story of the unstoppable Dodge Journey SUV

There are kinds of SUVs that are truly unstoppable. They can go anywhere, and do anything. They can climb over big boulders, and bumble their way down lonely old dirt roads. They equip massive engines under the hood, V8s and big motors, and can tow the weight of a small house. They can carry entire families, or load in plywood sheets like it's their job. They're unstoppable.

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The Dodge Journey--with its effective compact size and efficiently-practical all-wheel-drive system--isn't really that kind of unstoppable.

It's a different kind of unstoppable, though; the kind that doesn't need to stop for as many fill-ups on a road trip; the kind that doesn't need to stop to pick up the non-essentials, because you had some extra room to pack them away before you left the house; the kind that still looks almost exactly the same as it did when it debuted, but pulls it off; the kind that hasn't retired yet in the face of growing rivalry, because even though it's not loudly proclaiming superiority, it's quietly making sales numbers quarter over quarter; it's the kind of unstoppable that'll make you stop and look again.

The most tempting thing about the Dodge Journey--from then to now, and probably for a lot of years down the road--is going to be its price. It's one of the most affordable midsize crossovers that you can buy right now, and it's the only SUV with three rows that'll cost you less than $24,000. Even the Nissan Rogue (which actually quietly retired its third-row option lately) got expensive quick if you wanted to cram a back row in there. New for 2018 MY and newer, the third-row seat is standard on all Journey SE, SXT, Crossroad, and GT models, making it an even bigger steal if value and passenger capacity are priority #1.

Subdued styling makes generic look good

The Dodge Journey debuted back in 2009. The newest generation looks--well, it looks a lot like it did in 2009. But, in the same way that Dodge gets away cleanly with recycling Challenger, Charger, and Durango designs, the Journey pulls off this look. Choosing clean lines and a timeless, square-jawed, man's-man style for your SUV is never a bad call, and while other automakers are dancing around the ideas of sport-backed crossovers and odd new aerodynamic shapes, the Journey continues to plug along with a classic look. And it's not a bad look, either. Of the drivers actively considering a three-row midsize crossover, few are going to complain about staunch fender flares and a solid, well-defined front end with Dodge's crosshair grille, or gripe about a massive rear window and a big, easy-open rear hatch that maximizes loading space for larger objects.

One thing the Journey lacks, that could be a fantastic addition, is the broad, track-inspired rear taillight bar that you'd find on models like the Durango, the Dart, or the Charger. In place of it, though, you can opt for Dodge's Ring of Fire LED taillamps. Overall, the design of the Journey is one that's not particularly fresh, hot, or avant-garde. But it's something better than that--it's a design that works.

Exterior colors for the Dodge Journey include Vice White, Granite Pearl-Coat, Billet Clear-Coat, Redline, Olive Green, Contusion Blue Pearl-Coat, Pitch Black Clear-Coat, White Noise Tri-Coat, Blood Orange Clear-Coat, and Bruiser Grey Clear-Coat.

Dodge Journey Powertrain Options

Under the hood, the powertrain options help to explain the very fair and competitive starting price of this three-row midsize crossover--base Dodge Journey models come standard with a 2.4-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine, that's good for 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque when paired to the Journey's standard four-speed automatic transmission. The four-speed is dated to say the least, but its smooth enough to give this roomy family SUV the ability to see up to 25 mpg on the highway--with a total highway driving range of more than 500 miles on a full fill-up.

Don't despair, though, if you were hoping for bolstered performance: every trim level in the Dodge Journey lineup can be equipped with FCA's award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which pairs to a more modern six-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick (read more about that below), and is good for 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Though front-wheel drive comes standard on the Dodge Journey, an all-wheel-drive system is available at every level. This front-favoring system is more efficient than other AWD systems on the market because it's able to send power to the front two wheels in ideal driving conditions. But, when the system senses a slip, power is pushed to the rear two wheels with the most traction to help stabilize the vehicle.

When properly-equipped with the right powertrain options, the Dodge Journey can tow up to 2,500 pounds--not the most in its class, but more than enough for the typical driver who only occasionally needs to tow a small trailer with lumber, some furniture, or a personal rec vehicle.

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How it feels to drive

This SUV is packing an efficient four-cylinder at base--so don't go into your Journey experience expecting to be pressed back into your seat, and your heart to skip a few beats with the pure thrill of acceleration. That's not really going to happen. However, here's what you can expect:

While the Journey's daily-driver-designed suspension can feel a little meandering in tight city traffic, it really comes alive for highway and freeway driving, and offers a cushy and comfortable feel that's perfect for those long trips down cruise-controlled roads. If you're looking to maximize fuel economy for short, around-town trips, the four-cylinder will be more than adequate; but, if you want more out of your SUV, the V6 is worth the upgrade.

The new Dodge Journey also offers what FCA calls its "AutoStick" feature, which gives you the fun of manual shifting--like a classic stick--without the flappy paddles that have become so popular in the industry. The AutoStick is a neat option for drivers who don't have a lot of experience with manual driving, because it takes care of you a little more than a standard manual, and can automatically  downshift if you don't shift down in time yourself. And, if you change your mind halfway down the highway, you can just push the shifter all the way to the right, hold it there, and it'll push your transmission back into full automatic mode.

It's a pretty exclusive feature to Dodge and select other FCA vehicles, and it really is a cool option to have on hand.

Dodge Journey warranty coverage

Along with a respectably affordable price, the Journey has another perk that'll make it particularly enticing to value-hungry shoppers: it's got a good warranty. And while a transferrable, full-coverage warranty isn't as sexy as horsepower, tech, or leather chairs--which one of those things are you going to want the most if you start having engine trouble? (If you answered: "smooth leather upholstery", you've likely never been stranded on the side of the road in extreme heat or cold or pouring rain. Get your priorities in order.)

 

Dodge sends off every new Journey with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic limited warranty that gives you bumper-to-bumper coverage, ranging from the body of the vehicle to the electrical system. This warranty is transferrable--which means that, in the event that you want to sell your new Journey within that time period, it'll be worth a little more to a buyer--and it even covers towing to the nearest Dodge dealership. For the powerhouse under the hood, your Journey is covered by a 5-Year/60,000-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, which is also transferable, also will include towing services, and covers most components in gas engines, transmissions, and drive systems.

While you may not be riding a wild thrill coaster of exhilaration when you drive a practical, reliable, comfortable, affordable new Dodge Journey--you can at least say that you've got the peace of mind.

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The wrap-up

Is the Dodge Journey right for you? That depends.

Do you want the most affordable crossover possible? Do you like the Dodge brand, and how its cars look? Do you need occasional seating for seven, but the Durango is just too darn big? And, do you want the ability to choose some truly unique exterior paint colors?

If so, the Journey is your guy.



Compare Dodge Journey vs Competition:

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