2018 Dodge Journey Review in Albuquerque, NM

See how the Dodge Journey takes practicality up a notch

Can an SUV ever be too practical? The Dodge Journey wants to find out.

This compact-ish SUV packs three rows of seating into its cabin. It finds and equips a huge list of tech and connectivity features. It optimizes a lightweight and less-than-thirsty engine to extend its driving range. And it does all of it at a price that other three-row small SUVs can't even begin to touch. You can get a pretty well-equipped Journey, with some nice trimmings, for less than $25,000. That's pretty wild in the SUV world these days.

The new Journey offers four trim levels--SE, SXT, Crossroad, and GT models--and all come standard with seating for seven passengers.

Exterior style and design

The Journey's design is not a knockout, like the Charger. It's not a sleek slider, like the Challenger. It's not a hulking bodybuilder, like the Durango. It's actually pretty subdued, and a little modest, compared to the rest of the lineup. But, plenty of standout, iconic design features--like Ring of Fire LED taillamps, a crosshair grille, and the classic square-jawed look of an SUV that knows how to handle itself--come together to make the Journey an undeniable member of the Dodge family.

The recent generation may look a heck of a lot like the first generation, but maybe that's not a bad thing--maybe Dodge just knows what they're doing.

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.

Interior: seating, features, and options

Dodge puts a high priority on its interiors--which is why the Journey is such a great option for families. Thoughtful touches, like integrated second-row child booster seats, complement a full array of comfortable and ergonomically-designed chairs. If you're not carrying passengers in the third row, the Tilt 'n Slide™ second-row seats can be moved back to increase legroom for the riders in the middle. If you do need to add a surprise sixth or seventh guest, though, you can slide the seats back up, and tilt the seatbacks to make for easy access into the third row. It's one of the most versatile seating systems in the Dodge lineup.

But it's not all stoic practicality. Dodge cares for your comfort, too, with options like:

  • Available heated front seats
  • Available heated steering wheel
  • Soft-touch door panels and armrests
  • In-floor storage cubby in the cargo floor
  • Watertight second-row in-floor storage

Interior material and color options include Strobe and Sedoso Cloth in Black or Light Frost Beige, and Capri Leather Trim in Black with multiple accent options.

Engine options and AWD

If you've gotten this far wondering, "Wow, how is this nice SUV so affordable?" ... we're about to see. Base Dodge Journey models give you about 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque from a standard 2.4-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine that's paired to just a four-speed automatic transmission. In the modern days of turbos and ten-speeds, this powertrain isn't exactly state-of-the-art. But, it's solid and reliable, and it gives the Journey an impressive total driving range of more than 500 miles.

So, you may not feel your heart pounding--but you won't run out of gas before you hit your destination when you head off on a weekend trip.

If you really need a little blast of that cardio-inducing exhilaration, though, the Journey is available with a boosted powerhouse: up to 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from an optional 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that you'll find on models like the GT. This engine ditches the 4-speed for an updated six-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick (Dodge's cool manual-shifting technology that uses the actual stick instead of paddles) that's smoother, and a lot more fun to drive.

Opt for a model with Dodge All-Wheel-Drive System for advanced capability and traction--and ask about available package options for towing and hauling. When properly-equipped, the Journey is good for up to 2,500 pounds of towing power. It's good for basic trips, "pocket campers", and small trailers. If you own big gear that'll need to be towed all around the state, you might want to consider the Durango instead.

Comprehensive warranty coverage

While it's great to have flashy good looks and some fun features, at the end of the day you just want an SUV that's going to be able to take care of you. The three-row Journey SUV comes standard with Dodge's confident and comprehensive warranty coverage for all models.

For your mechanics, components, buttons, switches, and thingamabobs, you're covered by a transferable 3-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty (whichever milestone comes first) that even includes towing services to the nearest Dodge dealership. Why does transferability matter? Think of how much money you can save by charging small inspections or repairs to the warranty--that's value. And it's a value that you can roll into the price of the SUV should you decide to sell your Journey within that time period.

For your engines, transmissions, and drive systems, you're covered by a 5-Year/60,000-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty (again, whichever milestone comes first) that's also transferable, and also includes towing services. Most components of the powertrain of the covered, but it's unlikely you'll even need to take advantage of this--Dodge is known for making good, solid engines, and its engineering is one of the driving factors that its stayed as a top performance brand in this country.

 
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