Are you looking for an affordable crossover that has three rows of seats? The 2017 Dodge Journey checks both boxes. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
JOSH SADLIER: This is Edmunds Editor Josh Sadlier, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Dodge Journey. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Journey's a tough one to cover for us. It's kind of a crossover, kind of a wagon. You can get a third row seat in it, which is unusual for a vehicle in this price range. And there's a nice V-6 under the hood optionally. But there's also some epic misses with this vehicle including the standard four-cylinder engine. It's wheezy. It's not very fuel efficient, really outdated, and it comes with a four-speed automatic that's even more outdated. So you really have to be careful with the options you select with this vehicle. If you outfit it correctly, it's got a lot going for it. But if you take the dealer special, you might end up with some really undesirable elements by current standards. [MUSIC PLAYING] One thing every Journey has going for it is generous cargo capacity. You can see it's got kind of an elevated wagon body style. Pop the hatch, fold the seats down, plenty of room for your stuff. Inside the Journey, you can see this is a three-row version, a second row slides forward, not much leg room back there. This is more for the kids. But, again, if you're looking for a three-row option in this price range, not too many to choose from, and the Journey has you covered there. Speaking of interesting options on this vehicle, we've got to include the optional entertainment system. You see the flip down screen there, another very unusual feature in this class and at this price point. Up front, the 8.4 inch touch screen is another interesting option, but doesn't come on every Journey. And overall, the materials aren't really up to snuff. You can tell this is a dated vehicle by looking and poking round. Bottom line, the Journey offers three-row family transportation at a reasonable price. But you got to pick those options carefully, and certainly you want to shop around before you plunk your money down at the Dodge dealer. For more Edmunds expert rundowns, click the link to subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]
The 2017 Dodge Journey's strong suit is affordability, especially for a crossover vehicle with three rows of seating. Otherwise, with minor exceptions, it's hard to sing out many praises for this dated vehicle.
There have been few updates since the Journey first appeared in 2009. At the most fundamental level, no great claims are made for the refinement or performance of the base powertrain, which mates a relatively anemic four-cylinder engine to a behind-the-times four-speed automatic transmission. (Six-speed automatics are the rule in this segment.) And precise handling isn't one of the Journey's calling cards, either, as it brings pillowy characteristics to the task of negotiating a curvy road. Most rivals offer greater athleticism. The Journey started out with a nice design, and it still isn't bad-looking. So if your concerns are primarily budgetary, you'll probably overlook the lack of sophistication.
If only the Journey could compensate other shortcomings by delivering stellar fuel economy. But that isn't the case. Numbers range from an EPA-rated 21 mpg combined (19 city/25 highway) for the four-cylinder to 19 mpg combined (16 city/25 highway) for the V6 with all-wheel drive.
One bright spot is the optional V6 engine. So equipped, the Journey accelerates more assertively than most budget-priced crossovers, and fuel economy is barely affected. Throw in the available 8.4-inch touchscreen ? a longtime favorite of ours ? and the optional third-row seat and rear entertainment system, and you've got a pretty satisfying family vehicle that should still cost less than you expect.
Overall, though, the Journey remains a decidedly mixed bag, so we recommend taking a close look at other models. Our top pick among similar vehicles would be the Kia Sorento. Although it can get rather pricey, it also comes in two- or three-row specification and offers superior handling, features and interior refinement. If you don't need three rows, we'd point you to just about any other roomy small crossover SUV, including perennial favorites such as the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4.
Besides offering seating for five or seven passengers, the Journey is available in five trim levels. The SE has a reasonable level of standard equipment, while the SXT is sportier. The Crossroad and Crossroad Plus add increasing amounts of luxurious touches and creature comforts. Finally, the GT displays quite a bit of attitude while also delivering the most capability and driving satisfaction.
With the information available here, Edmunds can help you find the perfect 2017 Dodge Journey.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.