Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,600 – $24,400*


2009 Dodge Journey Front


2009 Dodge Journey Rear


2009 Dodge Journey Interior


2009 Dodge Journey Profile


2011 Dodge Journey Front


2011 Dodge Journey Rear


2011 Dodge Journey Profile

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Cargo room
  • Front-seat space/comfort
  • Steering/handling (SXT and R/T)
Cons:
  • Acceleration (4-cylinder)
  • Fuel economy (V6)
  • Rear visibility
  • Steering/handling (SE)

With Journey, Dodge finally had an SUV that appealed more to families than to folks looking for a tow vehicle. When powered by the available V6, this Recommended pick is a moderately sporty people-mover with clever storage options and, with the available third-row seat, space for up to seven. Though cabin decor is a bit austere, Dodge priced Journey aggressively as a new vehicle and made most expected safety features standard. Note that four-cylinder models have too little power and overly soft suspension tuning.

Overview

With the 2009 introduction of the Journey, Dodge finally entered the crossover SUV market. Built in Mexico, Journey slotted between Dodge’s Nitro and Durango midsize sport-utility vehicles. Unlike Nitro and Durango, Journey was a car-type SUV that sat lower to the ground and had a less off-road-capable drivetrain and suspension than those vehicles. Journey seated five in base trim and up to seven with the Flexible Seating Group that included a 50/50 split third-row seat. Three models were offered. The base SE had a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine with a four-speed automatic transmission, and came only with front-wheel drive. Uplevel SXT and R/T models used a 235-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with six-speed automatic, and were available with either front- or all-wheel drive. Base SE models had 16-inch wheels. Front-drive SXTs had 17-inch wheels and a sport suspension. All-wheel-drive SXTs and all R/Ts had 19-inch wheels and a more performance-oriented suspension.

Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags that covered all seating rows, and front side airbags. Storage features included an available flat-folding front passenger seat with an under-cushion storage bin, additional bins in the second-row foot well, and under-floor storage in the cargo area. Also available were second-row seats with built-in child-safety cushions, a beverage-chilling glovebox, and a navigation system. Chrysler’s Uconnect multimedia suite, which had a 20-gigabyte hard drive for storing pictures or digital music files, was optional. So was a navigation system that included real-time traffic information. Rivals to the Journey included the Honda Pilot, Kia Rondo, and Toyota Highlander.

Yearly Updates

2010 Journey
Several modest changes marked the 2010 models. The highway mileage estimate for the V6 engine increased by 1 mpg, and a fuel-saver indicator with “Eco” lamp went into the instrument cluster. The optional video entertainment system got a 9-inch screen. Remote keyless entry became standard in the SE model. Active head restraints for front occupants were standard across the board. A cooled glovebox was standard on all models. Optional Uconnect included a 30-gigabyte hard drive.
2011 Journey
The 2011 Dodge Journey underwent a substantial freshening that included revised exterior styling, a new interior and V6 engine, and new trim level names of Express, Mainstreet, R/T, Crew, and Lux.
2012 Journey
Trim levels for the 2012 Dodge Journey were changed to American Value Package, SE, SXT, Crew, and R/T.
2013 Journey
Journey saw mostly minor revisions for 2013. The entry-level American Value Package was one of the least expensive SUVs of any size.
2014 Journey
For 2014, the Crew model was replaced by Limited. Otherwise, little was changed.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Four-cylinder and V6 engines have been available for the Journey. Four-cylinder models hold a 2.4-liter four rated at 173 horsepower mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Early V6 editions had a 235-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic, but that engine was swapped for a 283-hp 3.6-liter V6 for 2011. Journey models come with either front-drive or all-wheel drive.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/144
Engine HP 173
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 166
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

19/25

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/215
Engine HP 235
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 232
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

15/23

16.1

dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/220
Engine HP 283
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

17/25

1. 16/24 w/ AWD.

Road Test

Acceleration depends on engine choice. With the four-cylinder engine, Journey struggles to gather passing and merging power, but it keeps up with urban traffic acceptably well. With a V6, it has adequate power for any situation. Transmission behavior in tested V6 models has been inconsistent-some showed quick downshifts for more power, while others were more leisurely.

Fuel economy falls short of frugal. AWD V6 Journeys have averaged 17.8 to 18.3 mpg. Four-cylinder models and those with the 3.6-liter V6 use regular-grade gasoline, but Chrysler recommends mid-grade 89 octane for the 3.5-liter V6. Note that all-wheel-drive models have a 21.1-gallon fuel tank, while front-drive versions have a 20.5-gallon tank.

Ride quality scores best in all-wheel-drive V6 Journeys. All models tested have filtered out road imperfections with commendable ease. SE models have the smallest wheels and tires and the softest suspension tuning. As such, they are prone to float over larger dips and swells. AWD SXT and R/T models are better composed overall.

All Journeys have responsive steering with little on-center sloppiness. Softly sprung SE models suffer from a surprising amount of lean in cornering. SXT and R/T models are better poised around corners. All models have responsive brakes with reassuring pedal feel.

Road noise is well muted, even on coarse pavement. Neither engine sounds quite as refined as rival four-cylinder or V6 powertrains, but they’re not annoyingly loud either.

Major gauges are large and generally easy to read, though the thick steering wheel blocks the view of some dials. Models with the available hard drive, but without navigation, suffer from a screen set too low on the dashboard to be read easily at a glance. That screen also washes out in even moderate daylight. Likewise, all audio controls sit too low for easy access. On models equipped with navigation, the screen is located at the top of the dashboard for vastly improved visibility.

Generally handsome cabin decor is marred by excessive use of hard plastics and unpadded materials. Early test models exhibited poor fit and finish with misaligned interior panels. Dodge appeared to address assembly issues, as more recent test models have exhibited none of the panel gaps and other fit/finish problems that plagued initial versions. The available leather upholstery goes a great distance towards improving the general ambiance, but nearly all class competitors come off as more upscale.

Supportive front seats with ample headroom and legroom make the Journey long-trip friendly. The standard tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel is a nice touch. Visibility to the rear corners is restricted by thick roof pillars, and the available fold-from-the-ceiling DVD screen completely blocks the view aft when in use.

The second row provides more than adequate legroom for six-footers, though headroom is limited for anyone much taller. Knee clearance gets tight when the seats are moved far back. The third-row seat is sized for kids only, though the sliding second-row seat can increase legroom somewhat. The available booster seats are a boon for families with children who have outgrown their car seats.

In addition to the deep center console and upper and lower glove boxes, a Journey may be equipped with a storage box under the front passenger-side seat cushion, small-item compartment, and two good-sized footwell storage compartments in the second row. A large, deep storage tray might also be found beneath the rear load floor. Seven-passenger models make do with a smaller rear compartment, limited to the area behind the rear bench. Note that the front passenger seat folds flat to create an impressive load floor. Second- and third-row seats fold flat easily and feature long tether straps for pulling the seats back up without having to climb inside. A pop-out flashlight in the cargo area is a handy convenience.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Dodge Journey SXT w/AWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 61

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.8 192.4 72.2 66.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
67.6 21.1 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 39.9 40.8 33.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 Journey 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Climate control
Description: Air may come from the vents, although the HVAC system is turned off, due to the fresh air/recirculate air door hanging open which can often be closed by turning the blower on and off. Reprogramming the HVAC module is a permanent fix. (2009)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Rough engine idle after a cold start may be imperceptible to the driver, but may illuminate the check engine light, requiring reprogramming the powertrain control module. (2010)
Oil leak
Description: Oil-filter housing may leak oil.
Steering noise
Description: Honking, moaning, or grinding sounds when accelerating and making left turns requires replacement of the power steering pump reservoir. (2009)
Fuel door
Description: The nozzle may click off repeatedly when refueling. If allowing the engine to idle 60 seconds before shutting it down does not help, the fuel tank needs replacement. (2009)

Recall History

2009 Journey with 3.5L V6
Description: Engine wiring harness may contact left transaxle mount; damaged harness could result in engine compartment fire.
2009 Journey
Description: New adhesive used in powertrain control-module manufacturing process could cause printed circuit board on some vehicles to break, possibly causing engine to stall.
2009 Journey without optional 115-volt auxiliary power outlet
Description: An unused electrical connector may become corroded and could short-circuit; if fuse does not blow, connector could overheat and potentially catch fire.
2009 Journey
Description: Wiring on some vehicles may be reversed on steering-column control module driver’s airbag squib connector, preventing airbag from deploying as intended.
2009 Journey
Description: The wires within the front door wire harnesses may fatigue and break, which can interrupt the circuits for the side impact sensor(s), resulting in an airbag warning lamp illumination and loss of side crash sensing capability. In the event of a crash, the side airbag may not deploy, reducing the protection intended for the occupant and increasing the risk of injuries.
2010 Journey
Description: Some of these vehicles may experience a separation at the crimped end of the power steering pressure hose assembly. Leaked power steering fluid onto hot engine components could cause a fire.
2010 Journey
Description: Some vehicles may experience inadvertent ignition key displacement from the run to accessory position while driving causing the engine to shut off. Engine shut off while driving could increase the risk of a crash.
2011 Journey
Description: Vehicles may have been built with a missing or incorrectly installed steering column pivot rivet. This could compromise the ability of the steering column to support the occupant loads in the event of a frontal crash, decreasing the effectiveness of the frontal impact safety system. As a result, the condition may increase the potential for injury in a frontal crash.
2011-14 Journey with 2.4-liter engine
Description: Engine cover may detach and contact exhaust manifold where it could catch fire.
2012 Journey with 3.6L engine
Description: Due to debris inside engine block, engine may experience connecting rod bearing failure with may lead to engine seizure and could increase risk of a crash.
2012 Journey
Description: Some vehicles were assembled with contaminated brake fluid that may degrade sealing components within the brake system, resulting in loss of braking ability.
2012 Journey with 3.6-liter engine
Description: Connecting rod bearing failure could lead to engine seizure.
2012-14 Journey
Description: Water may enter the wiring harness for the antilock brake and antiskid systems causing malfunction.
2014 Journey
Description: Tire placard contains inaccurate seating and weight capacity information.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.