2009 Dodge Journey SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Dodge Journey SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Dodge Journey Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 235 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Dodge Journey

  • The 2009 Dodge Journey is the brand's long-overdue pitch to buyers who want minivan conveniences without the minivan stigma. It's versatile and spacious, but it doesn't really stand out against more polished competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Minivan-like interior conveniences, plenty of advanced entertainment and communications options, quiet highway ride.

  • Cons

    Some down-market interior trim, lackluster driving dynamics.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Dodge Journey is an all-new midsize crossover SUV derived from the Avenger sedan and capable of seating up to seven passengers.

Full 2009 Dodge Journey Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Dodge Journey is an all-new midsize crossover SUV derived from the Avenger sedan and capable of seating up to seven passengers.


A late arrival on the bustling midsize crossover SUV scene, the 2009 Dodge Journey serves as a timely stand-in for Chrysler's departed short-wheelbase minivans. The Journey is related to the Avenger and Chrysler Sebring midsize sedans, but thanks in part to a 4.9-inch-longer wheelbase, it offers ample room for up to seven occupants.

The Journey excels on the inside, where the influence of Chrysler's minivans is unmistakable. From the Flip 'n Stow storage compartment under the front passenger seat to the Chill Zone glovebox beverage cooler, the Journey is loaded with clever, well-conceived minivan-style conveniences. It can also be had with MyGIG, Chrysler's hard-drive-based navigation and entertainment system.

Pricing is one of the Journey's strengths, as even the base SE model is fairly well-equipped and slips in just beneath the $20,000 mark. Unfortunately, however, the standard four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission aren't quite up to the task of motivating the hefty SE's 3,800 pounds with anything close to authority. The uplevel SXT and R/T models fare a bit better, thanks to a more capable V6 engine and six-speed automatic, but there's little doubt that athletic prowess isn't the Journey's strong suit. Even the sport-styled R/T comes off less planted and certainly less fun to drive than some of its rivals.

Overall, the 2009 Dodge Journey gets the basics right -- it's attractive, quiet and reasonably spacious. But it falls a bit short in a few key areas. Its interior is less refined than those found in competitors like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota RAV4, for instance. It's also less enjoyable to drive than the Mitsubishi Outlander and not as roomy as the Ford Taurus X. Still, the Journey's attractive pricing and interior amenities will likely make it worth a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A midsize crossover SUV, the 2009 Dodge Journey comes in SE, SXT and R/T trim levels. All models have seating for five or, with the optional 50/50-split folding third-row bench available on the SXT and R/T, seven.

The base SE comes with 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, a six-speaker stereo with a six-disc CD/MP3 changer, and full power accessories. The midgrade SXT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, heated side mirrors, a trip computer, keyless entry, enhanced interior storage, stain-resistant cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 115-volt power outlet and satellite radio. Finally, the top-drawer R/T features 19-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls and a remote engine-start system.

Dodge bundles most of the Journey's optional features into packages, and one can get much of the upper trim levels' features as options for the lower trims. Other major options include a chrome appearance package, Bluetooth, auxiliary rear air-conditioning/heating, a rear-seat entertainment system and the MyGIG hard-drive-based navigation and entertainment system with a back-up camera.

Powertrains and Performance

The base-model Journey SE comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated for 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. Uplevel SXT and R/T trim levels employ a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 235 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. It's matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. On these trim levels, buyers have a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The EPA gives an AWD Journey a 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway fuel economy estimate, about average for this segment.


Every 2009 Journey includes antilock disc brakes, traction control, rollover-sensing stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags for all three rows. A rearview camera and hands-free communication system are optional, as are very handy built-in second-row child booster seats, a first in this segment.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the 2009 Dodge Journey offers somewhat less passenger and cargo space than such rivals as the Toyota Highlander, the overall impression is of a bright, reasonably spacious, straightforward family hauler. The Journey will accommodate as many as seven occupants in decent comfort; second- and third-row seats feature reclining backs, and the second-row seats also slide fore and aft, allowing parents to scoot small children closer to the front seats. Access to the third-row seats is a breeze, easily accomplished by older kids, with only an easy pull of a lever required to operate the second-row seats' tilt-and-slide mechanism. There's also obvious influence from Chrysler's minivans, as the Journey's interior is awash in cupholders, lidded storage bins and cubbyholes, including tubs beneath the second-row floor and an ingenious compartment beneath the front passenger seat. Maximum cargo capacity is 67.6 cubic feet, a bit less than what's available from other midsize crossovers.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Journey is no lightweight, with even the base SE model tipping the scales at a hefty 3,800 pounds. The standard four-cylinder engine from the Avenger sedan, although reasonably frugal, is simply out of its league here. The V6 in the SXT and R/T models is decidedly more appropriate, returning decent acceleration and passing power.

On the open road, the Journey is tranquil enough, but it often feels insubstantial and fussy. Body roll, even in the sporty R/T model, is disconcerting at times. Standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes provide good stopping power, but more pedal feel would be appreciated.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

A lemon - run far

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Journey SXT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I have owned this car for 2 years and have changed the BRAKES/ROTORS/CALIPERS 3X, and they need to be changed again! This car also has an INTERMITTENT START. I received in August 2014 a Recall notice from Dodge regarding the "ON" position in the ignition but in the recall notice it states "THEY HAVE NO PARTS AVAILABLE TO FIX AND WILL CONTACT US WHEN THEY ARE AVAILABLE". Well its nearly 3 months later and still haven't heard from DODGE on this issue - so the fact that my car still intermittently starts, DODGE COULD CARELSS! Today, the ESP traction light came on! In the first 4 months of owning this car, the thermostat and anti-freeze tank went out and had to be changed! THIS IS A LEMON

Do not buy!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Journey SXT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

So I read the reviews before I bought my 2009 Dodge Journey in May of 2012. I have had this car now for 2 1/2 years and it seems there is always an issue. Multiple batteries, changing the brakes nearly every 10,000 miles, tires are awful, I have had to replace some type of wheel sensor, the key fob doesn't always works so sometimes my car won't crank right away. Electrical problems where the alarm goes off and takes a while to make it stop. This car has been a nightmare.. not to mention, the value. I still owe 15k and it's not even worth 9k. It loses so much value every year.. and for good reason. If you buy this vehicle after reading this review.. don't say you weren't warned!

Run away!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Journey SXT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Bought this car brand new in 2009. I have had the transmission replaced once, I am on my third set of brakes and fourth set of tires. I just ate the cost to replace the motor mount, and now I am having problems with the starter. Needless to say, I will never ever ever ever by a Chrysler-brand vehicle again. I can understand having a finnicky vehicle, but this is too much. Almost $6,500 in repairs and maintenance in 5 years...mostly repairs. I'll never buy Dodge again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2009 dodge journey complaint and

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Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Journey SE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

My 2009 Dodge Journey SE was having problems starting. It got to the point that it stopped starting all together. I had the battery replaced and that worked for a while. I finally found a shop that diagnosed the problem and they replaced the: Power Integrated Distribution Module RL692302-AE. They got the part from the Dodge Dealer which cost me $919.00. but it was worth it to get this problem solved. This have solved my problem with my Journey starting. I just wanted to let others know what the problem was for me. maybe this will help someone else. Happy and riding again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Run. run hard, run fast.

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Journey SXT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

This car is a nightmare. Overheating, electrical issues, I swear this car has a mind of it's own. It chugs gas, eats brakes, decides if it wants to accelerate or not, and what is so bad about downshifting? You have to jam the gas pedal into the floorboard, and maybe then (and that's a very strong maybe) it will start to pick up speed. I am not sure what I'll have to do to get out of this car, but at this point, any risk is worth it.

Everything that could go wrong,

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Journey SXT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I purchased my 2009 Journey SXT in July 2008 and have had problems ever since. I have wierd noises coming from the back by the exhaust pipes, the car will not start sometimes until I move the shifter in and out of park, the brakes are horrible (having to replace them every 12,000 miles or so) and now the sound I had in the front is now a blown out motor mount. This car has been to the dealers so many times and they could never figure out any of the problems. Once it is paid for, I am selling it!! No more "US" made cars for me!! Oh and I get shocked every time I get in and out of the car!!

Talk About The 2009 Journey

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Read more about the 2009 Dodge Journey

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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