2009 Dodge Journey Review

Pros & Cons

  • Minivan-like interior conveniences, plenty of advanced entertainment and communications options, quiet highway ride.
  • Some down-market interior trim, lackluster driving dynamics.
List Price Range
$2,900 - $9,295

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2009 Dodge Journey models

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.

2009 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Dodge Journey.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

DO NOT BUY!!!
ccknezevich,10/22/2014
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!!
jtdupuis,08/14/2014
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.
JUNK!!!
lettau,02/12/2013
Don't buy this car. check engine light came on three times in one month, wiring harness replaced twice, window components, starter and then 2 weeks later the rack and pinion went. Chrysler won't do a thing about it. don't buy this car. I went back to dealer and they wouldn't help either.
melted spark plugs
Todd,05/18/2016
SE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
This is my parents car. 1rst problem as with many other vehicles it's the first model year. biggest issue happened while driving them on a moderate trip (a few hundred mile round trip) the car started losing power. All gauges read fine. Eventually the check engine light came on so I got off the highway and pulled into a garage. the mechanic plugged in and checked the codes. Computer showed a misfire on cyl. 2. When he tried to pull the plug it would not come out. After some effort on his part it finally came out. To our surprise the end of the plug was melted away (gone, no electrode, nothing). He checked the other plugs which were fine. After cleaning the threads he put in new plugs and cleared the codes (all 1 of them). Car started and ran fine. A few weeks later it happened again. But this time 2 plugs were melted away and a 3rd showing damaged. They took it to the dealer, who said it was caused by overheating and stated that it would not be covered due to abusive driving, saying they should have shut the car down when the temp gauge went up. Only problem their is that the temp gauge never went up to show overheating nor did the check engine light come on until the plugs were already damaged. {Now for why, the cooling system has 2 thermostats an upper and a lower. The upper regulates the temperature of the head and the lower for the heater and the rest of engine. The upper thermostat went bad and stuck in the closed position, problem here is that the computer only has a sensor for the lower thermostat and the same goes for the temp gauge.} We called dodge and they were sticking to the dealers diagnosis and cause. In the end I had to have a new/used engine in. I explained the issue to the garage that did the work (obviously not the dealer {Browns of Greenfield, MA} and they seem confused or thought I was until I picked it up. They saw what I was talking about and agreed on the poor engineering/design. Buyer Beware.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2009 Dodge Journey features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2009 Dodge Journey

Used 2009 Dodge Journey Overview

The Used 2009 Dodge Journey is offered in the following submodels: Journey SUV. Available styles include SE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A), SXT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), R/T 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SXT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and R/T 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Dodge Journey?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Dodge Journey trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Dodge Journey SXT is priced between $5,937 and$9,295 with odometer readings between 77018 and120869 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Dodge Journey SE is priced between $2,900 and$2,900 with odometer readings between 146625 and202478 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Dodge Journey R/T is priced between $6,995 and$6,995 with odometer readings between 121056 and121056 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Dodge Journeys are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Dodge Journey for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2009 Journeys listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $2,900 and mileage as low as 77018 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Dodge Journey.

Can't find a used 2009 Dodge Journeys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Journey for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $8,171.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 8 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $16,752.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Journey for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,527.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $22,171.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Dodge Journey?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Dodge lease specials
Check out Dodge Journey lease specials