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.