Popular Tags Cars

2019 Dodge Journey

$23,245 - $35,545
Price Range (MSRP)
Dodge Journey

2019 Dodge Journey Review: No Longer A Serious Competitor

by Jay Traugott

Now passing the decade mark, the first-generation Dodge Journey has lived a long life. Unfortunately, in that time, it hasn't really evolved and has steadily fallen further and further behind the pack within the midsize crossover segment. The infotainment system is easy to use but horribly dated, and, in general, the Journey lacks many of the modern amenities that buyers have come to expect from family-focused SUVs. Similarly, the available safety suite lacks the advanced safety features that have become standard on newer vehicles. The only factors keeping the Journey in the running are its spacious interior and appealing price tag, but its poor fuel economy puts a dent in that argument. With rivals like the Honda CR-V and Kia Sorento taking the market by storm, we wouldn't blame you if the Dodge Journey missed a spot on your shortlist.

2019 Dodge Journey Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Journey?

Mechanically unchanged for the new year, the Journey slims down its trim levels by abandoning the SXT model and, instead, shuffling some features around to make the base-level SE more appealing. Some new additions to the SE include standard fog lights, tri-zone climate control, and LED taillights. The stronger V6 engine is also made available for the entry-level trim, along with the Blacktop Appearance Package. Ceramic Gray (also known as Destroyer Gray) has also been added to the standard color palette.

Pros and Cons

  • Very affordable for the segment
  • Comes standard with a third row of seats
  • Intuitive controls
  • Decent cargo space with the seats folded down
  • Underperforming engine options
  • Subpar fuel economy
  • Low-quality interior
  • Disappointing cargo space

Journey Exterior

The base SE models ride on 17-inch alloy wheels equipped with all-season tires, while 19-inch wheels are available on the Crossroad and GT trims. Automatic headlights are standard, along with daytime running lights and LED taillights. Fog lamps are present from the SE trim and up, and exhaust tips are available. The black grille bears the Dodge badge, as does the rear fascia. All models feature a liftgate flood lamp and a center high-mount stop lamp to improve safety and convenience at night.

2019 Dodge Journey Front View
2019 Dodge Journey Front View
2019 Dodge Journey Rear View
See All 2019 Dodge Journey Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Journey measures in at an imposing 192.4 inches long with a 113.8-inch wheelbase, and an overall height of 66.6 inches, with an additional 1.3 inches on the GT. At 72.2 inches, width is the same across the range. Both the SE and SE Value Package weigh 3,818 lbs in front-wheel-drive guise, while the similarly equipped Crossroad and GT weigh 4,054 lbs. The all-wheel-drive SE, Crossroad, and GT all weigh 4,238 lbs.

Exterior Colors

The color palette for the Dodge Journey comprises ten choices. The standard options include Pitch Black, Granite Pearl, Ceramic Gray, Billet, Contusion Blue, Redline, Blood Orange, Olive Green, and Vice White. White Noise will cost you an additional $500. Some restrictions are in place across the trim levels, with Contusion Blue and Olive Green not offered on the GT, while Blood Orange is not present on the SE Value Package.

  • White Noise Tri-Coat
  • Blood Orange Clearcoat
  • Billet Clearcoat
  • Granite Pearlcoat
  • Pitch Black Clearcoat
  • Redline 2 Coat Pearl
  • Vice White
  • Contusion Blue Pearlcoat
  • Destroyer Gray Clearcoat
  • Olive Green Pearlcoat

Journey Performance

The base 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine is hardly worth mentioning, as it delivers truly lackluster performance. With more than 4,000 lbs to motivate, the middling inline-four engine simply can't cope. It gets the SUV rolling, eventually, but don't expect to hit the 60 mph mark in under 10 seconds. Opt for the available 283-hp V6, and you can finally coax a little bit of fire out of the bulky vehicle, but it's still not eager to get its weighty behind in motion.

Even with the V6 and slightly better six-speed transmission, a 0 to 60 mph time of almost nine seconds is still about the best you can hope for, and pushing it to reach its top speed might not be worth having to deal with the engine's incessant complaints. A fully equipped Dodge Journey can only tow a measly 2,500 lbs, significantly less than most rivals, which average around 3,500 lbs or more.

2019 Dodge Journey Front View Driving
2019 Dodge Journey Rear View Driving
2019 Dodge Journey In Motion

Engine and Transmission

The standard engine on the SE Value Package, SE, and Crossroad is the 2.4-liter 16-valve dual VVT inline-four, which develops 173 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. Power is directed to the front wheels only in the SE Value Package, while the SE and Crossroad each offer available four-wheel-drive. This underpowered engine is inadequate for such a large vehicle, providing slothful acceleration and making merging or passing on the highway a test of patience and endurance.

The more powerful 24-valve V6 engine displaces 3.6 liters and comes standard on the GT model - the V6 is optionally available on the SE and Crossroad trims, while the V6 can be paired with all-wheel-drive in any of these three trims. You might think that solid outputs of 283 hp and 260 lb-ft would provide a significant improvement in performance, but it still fails to impress. The throttle is jumpy but quickly loses steam until the revs hit the red, when the engine finally feels obliged to make a genuine effort to get the SUV moving. Highway passing is possible with this engine if you don't mind the loud whine of a V6 engine pushed past the redline.

The standard front-wheel-drive models come equipped with an antique four-speed automatic transmission, while a barely more advanced six-speed automatic gearbox rows the gears on the all-wheel-drive variants. Neither transmission performs particularly well, but the six-speed is a smidge better.

  • Engines
    2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas, 3.6-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    4-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

It may be a good thing that the Journey struggles to get up to speed because once it gets there, the steering becomes quite difficult to manage. Keeping the SUV pointed straight on the highway requires constant correction from the driver due to the poor on-center feel. Steering response is also slow around corners, with feedback almost non-existent. The only time steering feels manageable is at parking lot speeds, where the lightness of the wheel actually works in its favor. The brakes are as hit and miss as the steering, being light around town at lower speeds, but grabby at higher speeds. In an emergency stop, the brakes can bring the heavy SUV to a halt in 132 feet from 60 mph, which is rather average for the segment.

The excessive weight and imposing dimensions of the Journey lend themselves to some seriously disconcerting handling characteristics, even in a segment already known for its subpar corner-carving standards. The bulky SUV sloppily leans into turns, quickly losing its grip on the road, although you'd never see it coming thanks to the terrible communication between the tires and the steering wheel. This is definitely a vehicle designed with low-speed town driving in mind; but, even then, the slow acceleration and mulish transmission make for a very unpleasant experience. Add to this the mediocre seat comfort and less than impressive noise insulation, and you have yourself a recipe for perpetual annoyance.

Journey Gas Mileage

When equipped with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive, the Journey gets an EPA-estimated 19/25/21 mpg over the city/highway/combined cycles. The thirstier V6 engine gets only 17/25/19 mpg in its front-wheel guise, while opting for the all-wheel drivetrain will slightly reduce this efficiency to 16/24/19 mpg. This is below the segment average, with rivals like the Kia Sorento getting 22/29/25 mpg, while the pack-leading Honda CR-V achieves 26/32/28 mpg. Equipped with a 20.5-gallon tank and burning regular gasoline, the Dodge can cover up to 430 miles between gas station visits.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    20.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 19/25 mpg
* 2019 Dodge Journey SE Value Package FWD

Journey Interior

The interior leaves much to be desired, with low-grade materials and poor build quality present throughout the cabin. Its styling doesn't seem to have changed much since its release in 2009, and both the infotainment system and available safety features are below segment expectations. No smartphone integration is offered, and advanced driver-assist features are almost non-existent. On the plus side, the interior is quite spacious for a midsize SUV, especially considering it comes standard with a third row of seats. However, cargo capacity suffers for this extra seating, meaning that you will need to fold down the third row - potentially the second row as well - to store anything more than a single day's worth of groceries.

2019 Dodge Journey Infotainment System
2019 Dodge Journey Steering Wheel Controls
2019 Dodge Journey Front View
See All 2019 Dodge Journey Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

As standard, there is seating for up to seven inside the cabin. As is common for the segment, the front seats are extremely spacious and offer enough adjustability for most drivers to find a comfortable position, while the second-row seats also manage to supply a decent amount of room. The third row is tight for even smaller children and still requires that you move the second-row seats forward to make some extra space. Ingress and egress are easy for the front and second-row seats, but reaching the third-row seats requires quite a bit of finesse and time.

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Sedoso cloth in Light Frost Beige or black is standard on the SE Value Package and SE trims. Black Capri leather with sport mesh inserts and Light Slate Gray accent stitching is standard on the Crossroad, while black Capri leather with Light Slate Gray accent stitching is optional. The top-tier GT is appointed in black Capri leather with perforated inserts and red accent stitching. The dash and door panels present more hard plastics than more smartly-trimmed rivals.

Journey Trunk and Cargo Space

Despite the impressive interior space provided by the Journey, the cargo space is less than impressive, with a small 10.7 cubic feet available when all the seats are in place. This is well below average for the segment, and barely enough room for groceries, let alone luggage or larger items. Thankfully, the second- and third-row seats fold down flat to free up a total of 67.6 cubic feet of cargo space. To compete with most rivals, the third-row seats would need to be folded down most of the time - this is when these seats are most useful, anyway, considering the lack of space for passengers.

On the plus side, there is plenty of small-item storage available throughout the cabin in the form of storage bins under the passenger seat cushion and in the second-row floor, as well as large door pockets and a spacious center armrest bin.

2019 Dodge Journey Rear View
2019 Dodge Journey Rear View
2019 Dodge Journey Front View

Journey Infotainment and Features

Features

In general, the range lacks the extent of available and optional features that you'll find in rival offerings. Standard features inside the Journey include cruise control, a rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, power windows, dual-zone climate control, four 12-volt power outlets, and 60/40 split-folding second-row seats. Available features include rear parking assist, a six-way power driver's seat, a 115-volt power outlet, a security alarm, heated front seats, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a sunroof, and towing accouterments.

Infotainment

A 4.3-inch touchscreen display is fitted to the base-level SUV, supporting AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback. The standard screen is quite small, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are glaring omissions. Also included are a single USB port, an auxiliary input jack, and a six-speaker sound system. Available on the upper trims or as part of optional packages, is the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth, SiriusXM, and additional USB ports, as well as a premium six-speaker sound system with subwoofer and amplifier.

Journey Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power awarded the 2018 Journey a disappointing 64 out of 100 for dependability, making it one of the worst-ranking SUVs in the segment - we don't expect the 2019 edition to fare any better. The Dodge was recalled in 2018 for insufficient coating on the rear brake caliper pistons, for faulty voltage regulators, and also for problems with the cruise control. The Journey comes with a 36,000-mile/36-month basic warranty, and a 60,000-mile/60-month powertrain warranty and roadside assist.

Journey Safety

The NHTSA rates the Journey at four stars out of five for safety, while the IIHS gives it a rating of Good in every crash test except for the small overlap at the front driver-side, which was given a rating of Poor.

Key Safety Features

Only the most basic of safety features come standard on the Dodge Journey. These include electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, speed control, a rearview camera, and six airbags: dual front, front knee, front side, and side curtain. Rear parking assist is also available. None of the packages or standalone features offer any of the advanced driver-assist safety features that buyers expect from a modern-day family crossover SUV.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Dodge Journey a good SUV?

The Dodge Journey was a good SUV when it was launched more than a decade ago. Since then, it has seen few real improvements to the original design, and many features that are becoming standard requirements on newer vehicles have not been incorporated into the Journey via yearly updates. There are almost no advanced safety features to speak of, and the outdated infotainment system does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. The interior also looks as out of date as the feature-count, while the styling is in desperate need of an overhaul.

Where the Journey does impress is in its spaciousness inside the cabin, but this only applies to passengers in the first two rows as there is little cargo room to speak of; and, third-row seating is cramped. Add to this the SUV's poor towing capacity, and you don't have a good daily hauler on your hands. When you compound these glaring shortcomings with a severely underperforming base engine, an only average second available engine, and the handling characteristics of a drunken hippo on roller skates, you have a crossover SUV that simply can't compete with more modern rivals. It is definitely time for a journey, but rather one of introspection, as Dodge takes the Journey's few good qualities and applies it to a new edition that can actually compete with the youthful competition.

What's the Price of the 2019 Dodge Journey?

The economy-level SE Value Package has a set price of $23,245 since it does not offer the option of adding packages. The SE starts at $23,895, while the mid-tier Crossroad will cost you $4,450 more, at $28,345. Getting behind the wheel of the top-of-the-range GT will set you back $33,645. The all-wheel-drive variants of the SE, Crossroad, and GT cost $23,295, $31,845, and $35,545, respectively. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and Dodge's $1,495 destination charge. Overall, the Journey is one of the cheapest midsize crossovers available, but in too many instances, you get the low quality you are paying for.

2019 Dodge Journey Models

With the Dodge Journey, you get a choice of four trims: the SE Value Package, SE, Crossroad, and GT. A 2.4-liter inline-four engine, developing 173 hp and 166 lb-ft, powers the SE Value, SE, and Crossroad models. Standard on the GT, but available for the SE and Crossroad trims, is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers a more impressive 283 hp and 260 lb-ft. The SE Value, SE, Crossroad, and GT come standard with front-wheel-drive and a four-speed automatic gearbox. All-wheel-drive is offered on all but the SE Value trim, and is mated to a slightly better six-speed automatic transmission.

The SE Value Package comes standard with 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, dual-zone climate control, power accessories, a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker sound system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback, and a rearview camera. It offers no further upgrades as it is not compatible with any packages.

In addition to allowing you to choose from several packages, the SE also comes standard with power heated fold-away mirrors, fog lights, LED taillights, and tri-zone climate control. The Crossroad trim improves upon the basic kit with 19-inch alloy wheels, a touring-tuned suspension, automatic climate control, and a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen display. Added to the top-line GT is a premium sound system that includes a subwoofer and amplifier, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE Value Package
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
4-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,245
SE
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
3.6-liter V6 Gas
4-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$23,895
Crossroad
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
3.6-liter V6 Gas
4-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,345
GT
3.6-liter V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$33,645
See All 2019 Dodge Journey Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The Connectivity Group Package ($795) for the SE adds Uconnect voice command with Bluetooth, Radio 4.3S, SiriusXM, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Uconnect Radio Group Package ($895), also for the SE, upgrades to the 8.4-inch touchscreen while adding tri-zone automatic climate control, ParkSense rear parking assist, SiriusXM, and a humidity sensor. The Popular Equipment Group Package ($1,400) for the Crossroad trim adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, remote engine start, and a security alarm. Available to the Crossroad and GT models, the Family Entertainment Group Package ($1,445) installs dual overhead nine-inch video screens for the second-row seats.

What Dodge Journey Model Should I Buy?

Regardless of trim choice, there isn't much on offer across the Journey range, so you are going to need to tick a few boxes for optional features. This immediately rules out the SE Value Package. The Crossroad comes with standard leather upholstery and all the safety features available to the SUV, along with the upgraded infotainment suite. Popping on one of the navigation packages and adding ParkSense parking assist are worthwhile options, while the Premium Sound Package (only available for the Crossroad) will be appreciated by the family. Regardless of anything else, make sure you spring for the available 3.6-liter V6 engine.

2019 Dodge Journey Comparisons

2019 Dodge Journey
2019 Dodge Journey

2019 Dodge Journey vs Kia Sorento

Like the Journey, the Kia Sorento comes standard with seating for seven, and also like the Dodge, it is slightly smaller than other seven-seaters. For this reason, it suffers from the same internal spacing issues as the Journey, with the third-row seats serving as more as a novelty than truly usable passenger space. But while the Journey fails across the board, the Sorento makes up for this seating faux pax with a much more stylish interior, an abundance of safety features, and a more up-to-date infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base engine on the Sorento won't wow you, but the optional six-cylinder performs well and complements the SUV's much better handling characteristics. While still not an ideal daily driver due to the spacing issues and less-than-ideal cargo capacity, the Sorento blows the relic that is the Dodge Journey out of the water.

See Kia Sorento Review

2019 Dodge Journey vs Dodge Durango

The Dodge Durango sits a tier above the Journey in the SUV food-chain, with a heavier price tag and all the advantages that come with it. The engine options on the Durano are significantly stronger, with a throaty V8 on offer that throws out almost 400 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a sturdier frame, this gives the larger SUV the ability to tow more than three times as much as the Journey. With a more spacious interior, better cargo capacity, and a more up-to-date infotainment system that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Durango isn't just out of the Journey's league, it's playing a whole new ball game. It also shows up the smaller SUV's biggest weakness: non-existent driver-assist safety tech. And with a starting price of $30,195, it isn't crazy to consider the Durango as a viable alternative to the affordable Journey.

See Dodge Durango Review

Dodge Journey Popular Comparisons

See All 36 Comparisons