2018 Dodge Journey

2018 Dodge Journey Review

The Journey is an affordable way to get three rows of seating, but not much more.
3 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Will Kaufman
Edmunds Editor

The Dodge Journey could very well be the car that time forgot. It debuted back in 2009 and has been pretty much the same vehicle since. While this longevity is admirable and speaks to the inherent goodness of the Journey's design concept, there's no denying that it's behind the times in quite a few areas.

As in previous years, the 2018 version of the Journey has three rows and a low price, but it lacks quite a few of the safety features buyers might expect, even when fully optioned. Its base engine is a truly underwhelming four-cylinder paired to an outdated four-speed automatic, and the combo results in subpar fuel economy. A stronger V6 is available, but even so equipped the Journey can't keep up with other three-row SUVs.

It's not all bad news for the Journey. We like the ride quality, and the seats are comfortable all around. The 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system included on upper trims is also a solid system, although it sadly has not been upgraded to the latest version that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

The Journey will get you where you're going, and will do so for less money than many competitors. But overall we think you'll be happier with vehicles such as the Kia Sorento, GMC Acadia or new Volkswagen Tiguan.



what's new

For 2018, the Journey's third-row seat is now standard on all trim levels.

we recommend

Buyers looking for zero-frills practicality should be satisfied with the Journey SE with the Popular Equipment and Connectivity packages, which get you Bluetooth, rear-seat ventilation, overhead storage and a few other practicalities. But we think the best option for long-term livability will be the Crossroad with the Driver Convenience package. That gets you the Uconnect infotainment system, all the practical features plus a few luxuries and a backup camera. Whatever Journey you buy, make sure to get the 3.6-liter V6.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Dodge Journey comes in four trim levels, with two engine options and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The base SE and SXT are pretty bare bones, lacking even bluetooth as a standard feature. Stepping up to the Crossroad gets you many of the same standard features you expect from entry-level trims on other vehicles. The range-topping GT gives you those features plus leather and a standard V6.

All four Journey trims come standard with front-wheel drive and, excluding the GT, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (173 hp, 166 lb-ft of torque) paired with a four-speed automatic. Opting for all-wheel drive (or the front-wheel-drive Journey GT) gets you a 3.6-liter V6 (283 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is also available as a stand-alone option for the SXT and Journey trims.

Standard feature highlights for the Journey SE include 17-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split second-row seats (with slide and recline), dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition and entry, and a six-speaker sound system with a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface.

Options packages include the Connectivity package (Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port, voice commands and a leather-wrapped steering wheel), the Popular Equipment package (three-zone temperature control with rear-seat vents, a conversation mirror, overhead console storage, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel) and the Comfort/Convenience package (a power-adjustable driver seat).

Moving up to the SXT adds 17-inch alloy wheels and contents of the Connectivity and Popular Equipment packages. A Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen package gets you the desirable 8.4-inch touchscreen plus adds three-zone automatic climate control, aimable interior lamps, overhead console storage, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The SXT's Premium package adds satellite radio, a conversation mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel and the power-adjustable driver seat.

The Dodge Journey Crossroad comes with 19-inch black-painted alloy wheels and the contents of the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen package. Further options include leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rear-seat entertainment system, a premium six-speaker stereo system with subwoofer, navigation, a sunroof and the Driver Convenience package (a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and a universal garage door opener).

The range-topping GT trim gets 19-inch alloys, remote start, a security alarm, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, and the premium stereo system. Additional options are largely the same as for the Crossroad, but a Trailer Tow Prep package, which adds a hitch and four-pin wiring connector, is also available.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2014 Dodge Journey SXT Plus (3.6L V6 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Dodge Journey has received some revisions, including an improved infotainment interface and standard third-row seating. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Dodge Journey, however.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.0 / 5.0

Driving

2.5 / 5.0

Acceleration2.5 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering2.5 / 5.0
Handling2.5 / 5.0
Drivability3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.0 / 5.0
Roominess3.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0
Quality2.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The Journey's competitors are more responsive and refined. Opting for the V6 engine is a must given the weak base four-cylinder. Even with the V6, the Journey's acceleration is still below average.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 feels robust, but zero to 60 mph took 7.8 seconds in our tests, which is slower than most rivals with similar engine upgrades. It's better than the weak and inefficient base four-cylinder.

braking

edmunds rating
In our panic-stop brake test, the Journey needed 124 feet to stop from 60 mph. That's a slightly longer than average distance. We also noted significant nosedive and some squirming. But the pedal has a comfortingly firm feel around town.

steering

edmunds rating
The steering is slow, so expect to turn the wheel a lot. There's also no real feedback to speak of. It makes most rivals feel lithe by comparison.

handling

edmunds rating
The Journey feels bigger and heavier than other small SUVs. There's lots of body roll through corners, and it doesn't feel planted or instill much confidence. It's definitely more of a highway hauler.

drivability

edmunds rating
The automatic transmission is too quick to upshift in most situations and too slow to downshift on steep grades. Otherwise, the Journey is perfectly pleasant to drive. But others do it better.

comfort

edmunds rating
Though lacking in other areas, your family should be plenty comfortable in the Dodge Journey. While some competitors offer more rear legroom, the seats' adjustability is a bonus. It's a good road-trip vehicle.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The six-way power driver's seat (fore/aft, tilt, height) with manual recline was supportive and comfortable during a four-hour drive. The back seat reclines and slides, which is a nice feature.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The ride was controlled on undulating pavement, and it didn't get harsh even on the truly rough stuff. The Journey feels solid and secure on the freeway and would make a good long-distance vehicle.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
The Journey is impressively quiet most of the time. But the slow-reacting transmission causes excessive engine revving on any kind of a climb.

interior

edmunds rating
Although the Journey is midsize on the outside, its interior has roughly the same passenger and cargo space as compact SUVs such as the Ford Escape or Chevrolet Equinox, but less than a Honda CR-V. In total, a decent family-ready cabin.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The 8.4-inch touchscreen features large virtual buttons and understandable menus — it's easy to use. Radio and climate controls, however, are annoyingly jumbled together.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The vehicle and seat height, as well as door size, are typical for a compact SUV. You won't need running boards to get the kids inside.

roominess

edmunds rating
You'll find more legroom in a Honda CR-V or a Chevy Equinox. Rear headroom is sufficient, but tall folks will be staring at the back end of the sunroof. The third row is for little kids only.

visibility

edmunds rating
Big windshield pillars and enormous rear headrests limit visibility, and it can be difficult to see over the front of the Journey when parking. The rearview camera display is large, but resolution is poor.

quality

edmunds rating
In spite of some questionable construction, material quality is above average with soft touch points and solid switchgear.

utility

Hidden compartments under the cargo area, passenger seat and back seat floor compensate for the tiny glovebox. The rear load floor is high, making it harder to lift and load heavy items. With all the seats folded down, maximum cargo capacity is average for a small crossover SUV.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.