The Bottom Line
The Dodge Journey returns unchanged for 2010 after its debut as a 2009 model. Journey is less pure SUV than minivan alternative, with a host of minivan-like amenities. Unfortunately, the Journey's driving experience is less than thrilling, with disconnected steering feel and numb handling. Journey competes with the Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-7 on one end, and the Ford Flex, Mazda CX-9, GMC Acadia/Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse on the other (pricier) end, and should be compared with the Mazda5 and Kia Rondo for small minivan functionality.
- Minivan utility in an SUV package.
- Innovative storage.
- Decent highway mileage.
- Disconnected driving experience.
- Thrashy engine.
- Disappointing interior fit and finish.
- Base prices from $20,845 to $29,745
- Engine: 2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder (SE); 3.5 liter V6 (SXT, Crew, R/T)
- Horsepower: 173 @ 6,000 rpm (I-4); 235 @ 6,400 rpm (V6)
- Torque: 166 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm (I-4); 232 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm (V6)
- Curb Weight: 3,801 - 4,233
- Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway (I-4 FWD); 16/24 (V6 FWD); 15/23 (V6 AWD)
- Wheelbase: 113.8” Vehicle Length: 192.4” Width: 72.2” Height: 66.6”
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles basic; 5 years/100,000 miles powertrain
- Cargo: 64.0 cubic feet Luggage: 31.6 cubic feet
- Transmission: 4-speed AT with FWD (I-4); 6-speed AT with FWD or AWD (V6)
Guide Review - 2010 Dodge Journey
Some drivers just can't handle the minivan. They'll do anything to avoid it, even though it might be the most practical vehicle for their needs. Dodge, one of the minivan pioneers with the Grand Caravan, believes that they have the answer for the minivan-averse: the Dodge Journey.
Introduced as a 2009 model, the Journey is a minivan in SUV clothing. It has most of the classic minivan features, spare one: no sliding side doors.
Let's talk about the good first. Journey has some of the most innovative interior packaging you'll find on a crossover vehicle, particularly when it comes to family-friendly features. Journey is available with a third row seat, which brings seating capacity to seven. The second row features integrated child booster seats on the outboard seating positions, which will be fantastic for growing families. There's clever underfloor storage beneath the flip and fold second row, and under-seat storage as well. Everywhere you look in Journey there are nooks and crannies, cubbies and pockets perfect for holding the stuff a family totes on the road.
Next, let's talk about the okay. Fit and finish inside the Journey is just that: okay. The dash and other plastics on the vehicle are serviceable, but not all that attractive to the touch. The interior design leaves me uninspired in terms of style. The exterior design is a bit generic, and barely escapes the minivan silhouette.My test vehicle was the "sporty" R/T trim level with a 3.5 liter V6 engine labeled "high output," connected to a six-speed automatic transmission, the same engine/transmission combination which is standard on the top of the line SXT. A 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder engine is standard in the base model SE. All-wheel drive is optional with the V6.
Finally, we come to the bad. Journey is no fun to drive, due to poor steering feel and a suspension that allows too much body roll and delivers little confidence. Journey lumbers through curves, and thunks over bumps. It's a driving experience that lives up to the worst of minivan cliches, in a bad way.
Journey's pricing puts it in competition with compact SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Chevy Equinox, but its size puts it up against the GMC Acadia, Ford Flex and Toyota Highlander. Unfortunately, it doesn't match up well to any of its competition, sitting in between well-defined categories into a no-man's land. If Journey's driving experience was better, if it was more fun to drive, it might win over a few more buyers. As it is, this is one Journey that is hard to love.
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