By on February 22, 2008

dg009_014jn.jpgBack in 2004, Chrysler thought it had a segment-busting winner with the Pacifica. Neither car, minivan, nor SUV, the luxurious large “crossover” was supposed to play a key role in Chrysler’s planned move upscale. Buyers lined-up none deep for Chrysler’s bloated station wagon. The automaker was forced to de-content, discount and discontinue the disastrous distraction. Stunned by the Pacfica-shaped sales sinkhole, it took Chrysler another five years to field another three-row crossover. The 2009 Dodge Journey is in many ways the anti-Pacifica. Will it be any more successful?

With its chiseled lines and pillbox-on-wheels proportions, people noticed the Pacifica (even if most didn’t like what they saw). In comparison, the Journey’s boxy—but not boxy enough to make a statement—exterior is totally, completely, utterly forgettable. Even with flared fenders, the Journey has no curb appeal whatsoever. In fact, the Journey’s so unrelentingly bland that it manages to appear much smaller than it actually is.

dg009_021jn.jpgThe Pacifica’s Mercedes-lite interior was the most upscale to ever grace a modern Chrysler. You’ll find no such luxury cues inside the new Dodge Journey (fake chrome highlights don’t count). Yes, there’s a bit of style, with a high-contrast color scheme and a few artfully curving surfaces. And the instrument panel upper is finger sink soft. But all the bits attached to it, including the protruding center stack, are straight from the bargain basement. It looks, feels and smells cheap.

Chastened by the Pacifica’s failure, Chrysler prioritized function over form. Innovative storage compartments fill every nook and cranny of the Journey’s cabin: under the front passenger seat, under the floor in the second row, under the cargo floor, inside the doors, pretty much everywhere you look. For larger cargo, every seat save the driver’s folds flat.

But budget cutting must have ravaged the human factors department; the driving position is an ergonomic abomination. The steering wheel rim obstructs the temperature gauge and the right half of the tach, and the optional rearview monitor is positioned at knee level. Get the nav, though, and the screen moves to the top of the center stack; apparently the legal department remains intact.

dg009_004jn.jpgConsistent with the current ChryCo style, the seats could not be more lacking in contour. The second-row split bench (Captains need not apply) bi-folds to clear a narrow path to the third row. Unfortunately, third row accommodations are tighter than . . . well, you know what I mean. If any soul should dare trespass thereabouts, arguments are guaranteed. The second row is only roomy enough for adults when ratcheted all the way back—which eliminates any (as in any) third row leg room.

The Dodge Journey is offered with your choice of two powerplants: a 173-horse 2.4-liter four hitched to a four-speed automatic or a 235-horse 3.5-liter V6 connected to a six-speed slushbox. (Only the latter is available with all-wheel drive.) Motorvating two tons of crossover, the Journey’s V6 provides sufficient acceleration but few thrills- unless you’re turned on by mild torque steer. The 4.0-liter powerplant from the minivans would have made things more interesting, but that doesn’t seem to be the theme here.

dg009_048jn.jpgThat said, you can order the Dodge Journey with a (woo-hoo!) performance suspension and 19-inch alloys. Our test Journey had the touring suspension and 17s. Thus shod, the Journey feels very much like a 7/8-scale minivan. The amount of body lean is acceptable for a three-row family-hauler, and the chassis is sufficiently poised to keep the driver out of trouble.

Not that the driver will seek trouble. The somewhat heavy steering feels exceptionally numb. And speaking of Novocain, the Journey’s driving experience is the only aspect of the vehicle that’s more forgettable than the exterior styling. The upside: bumps and other road imperfections are nicely absorbed. The performance suspension won’t fix the steering, but it could well deprive the Journey of this single dynamic strength.

And then there’s quality control . . .

The V6 tester had a quarter-inch of water in the front passenger floorboard (promptly extracted via shop vac). The source was soon revealed, as a gurgle could periodically be heard from the perimeter of the sunroof and water rained down from the overhead console throughout the test drive. Get this: it wasn’t raining outside the car at the time; it had rained the previous day.

dg009_012jn.jpgThe Dodge Journey is everything the Pacifica was not; it’s forgettable, functional and designed to sell for a low price. But Chrysler has failed to realize that today’s CUV buyers aren’t looking for one thing or the other. They don’t want form at the expense of function or function at the expense of form. They want both, AND comfort AND reliability. Plenty of other crossovers deliver all four. The Dodge Journey is destined to be no more visible in the sales charts than it is on the road.

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104 Comments on “2009 Dodge Journey Review...”


  • avatar
    L47_V8

    I sat in both of the floor-model Journeys at NAIAS last month. I was appalled. The fact that the Chinese cars downstairs had better build quality sealed the deal. I predicted, then and there, that Chrysler will soon be out of business, or at the very least, a completely different business compared to how it exists now.

    It managed to make the Sebring and Caliber seem high quality by comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      INSTANT

      Dies randomly less than 2000 kms
      Barely 2000 kms and it is randomly just dying on the road. About 20 times over the last few days. Called our salesman & dealership service mgr admitted to other similiar cases, but they have no fix. No offer to call us when a fix is available. Now I am on the internet looking for a solution. I am very pi$$ed about this. Chrysler/Forgot strikes again. Never again.

  • avatar

    From the original press photos, I thought the Journey looked like a step up from the Avenger/Sebring, but I agree with the above poster…the production model is terrible inside. I really feel bad for Chrysler right now if this is the best they can do. The lower trim level they had at NAIAS looked particularly terrible inside.

  • avatar
    WildBill

    Low price? Edmunds says $22,360 or so. At that they might have some buyers, if they can get past the cheap look. Looks like a tall minivan… their minivan might be the better deal after many years of refinements. I got soured on Chrysler after an ’88 Dakota had more mechanical problems than all the cars I’d owned up to that time COMBINED. I’m surprise they haven’t gone down the tubes up to now.

  • avatar
    rollingwreck

    $22,360?! Can anyone give a single reason why you wouldn’t for the same money buy a Subaru instead? If there aren’t $1-3k incentives on this car in a hurry, i’d be stunned.

    Stick a fork in them, ChryCo is done.

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    rollingwreck :
    February 22nd, 2008 at 9:34 am

    $22,360?! Can anyone give a single reason why you wouldn’t for the same money buy a Subaru instead? If there aren’t $1-3k incentives on this car in a hurry, i’d be stunned.

    Stick a fork in them, ChryCo is done.

    Dodge’s website claims the Journey starts a $19,985.

    For either $20k or $22k, you get a four-cylinder, FWD wagon.

    As stated in the review, to even get AWD, you have no choice but to step up to the V6 model ($22,985 to start), and then option it with AWD (now, at the SXT trim with AWD – the cheapest AWD model offered – we’re up to $25,530).

    This still doesn’t include options like a roof rack, steering wheel audio controls, upgraded sound, rear air, or the third row.

    At this price, it’s simply not going to sell.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that Chrysler spent $1B to develop this pig, when Mitsubishi was designing an almost exact copy at the same time on the same platform, and doing a much better job of it.

    Given its limited development resources, why didn’t Chrysler just license the Outlander, stick a Ram grill on it, and call it a day? A better vehicle at lower cost, no?

    Back in the day, Chrysler had a strong reputation for its engineering. Later, when that was gone, they developed the capability to bring innovative vehicles to market. Now, that’s gone, and the cupboard is bare.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I read a lot of articles about cars on line, magazines, etc. but I didn’t even know this thing existed. The first time I ever heard of the Journey was when they gave one away to the MVP of the NHL all star game. I’m still not sure what it is.

    Fitting, a car nobody cares about being sponsored by a league nobody cares about. I love hockey, myself. Dodge, not so much anymore.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    In 30 years the Pacifica will be fondly remembered by various orphan collectors- and for good reason. I liked the fact that it was a reasonable driver, with decent power, and forgive my lack of inbred taste, but I thought the two I rented for 1000 mile trips with 6 onboard, performed well and were well built to boot, with no problems at all, if you don’t count spilled juice. They handled as well as anything of its ilk could be expected to, and cruised through the Rockies without a blip. I was a little surprised by the price point, but after looking a little, I found they weren’t that unreasonable. If I still had 6 at home, I certainly would have purchased one, as, in my opinion, the Merc’s, at 25% more money were the only real alternative when they first came out. Of course, four years later the CUV segment had evolved, and the equation had changed, but that doesn’t change my favorable first impressions. It could have been made successful, but with no R&D $$$$ coming from Stuttgart, the writing was on the wall. Too bad.

  • avatar
    ash78

    If it were $25k+ for the four-banger, I’d understand the criticisms. But at around $20k (probably including some discounts), it looks like a pretty good value on paper, at least for those needing basic transport for 4+ people.

    May not be a looker, but it beats the hell out of the Kia Rondo, IMHO. And maybe the Edge…

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    Did anyone hear about the Valentine’s Day promo sponsored by the Dodge Journey? You and your significant other were supposed to agree to get married in Times Square on national TV (though I never heard any more about it – I suppose it never got aired), and the winning couple would recieve a Journey, a personal concert by the band Journey, and a cruise.

    Of course, the TV companion never aired, and the Journey deal fell through, so Dodge hired the next best thing: an unknown Journey cover band. Talk about a failed marketing exercise.

  • avatar

    I guess all the stories about bad morale and poor working conditions under the Daimler Chrysler regime are true – another half-a**ed effort emerges. What on earth are they developing under Cerberus management?

  • avatar

    Nicely done, Mr. Karesh. The Journey is a much better effort in the fit/finish department than every other modern Chrysler, but its still far behind the rest of Detroit and Japan. I was surprised at how dull the Journey was when I scoped it out at the NAIAS. And what little face time it had with the Media.

    Still, I can’t get Steve Perry’s voice outta my head.

    Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feelin’!

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    ash78 :
    February 22nd, 2008 at 9:59 am

    If it were $25k+ for the four-banger, I’d understand the criticisms. But at around $20k (probably including some discounts), it looks like a pretty good value on paper, at least for those needing basic transport for 4+ people.

    May not be a looker, but it beats the hell out of the Kia Rondo, IMHO. And maybe the Edge…

    The problem is, the Rondo’s interior is incomparably better, the base four cylinder version starts at $16 grand, and a completely loaded V6 EX goes for around $2,000 more than the most basic four cylinder Journey (around $22,000).

  • avatar
    rollingwreck

    L47_V8 :
    February 22nd, 2008 at 10:03 am

    The problem is, the Rondo’s interior is incomparably better, the base four cylinder version starts at $16 grand, and a completely loaded V6 EX goes for around $2,000 more than the most basic four cylinder Journey (around $22,000).

    The bigger problem is that there is now a risk premium that needs to be built in to any Chrysler purchase. That is, there is a relatively high probability that the company will go tits-up during the useful service lifetime of this car (say 8 years? i can’t imagine it running much longer past that..) And even if Chrysler manages to survive the warranty period, if they bite the dust shortly thereafter, resale on this car will be unfathomably poor.

    If it were my own money, i’d feel uneasy paying any more than $15k for one of these, and even at that price it would take some fancy explaining to the wife as to why it is a “good buy”.

    I’m guessing 90% of these things are destined for the rental fleet.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    The Pacifica was a fine vehicle but the problem was the power and the price. When equiped with AWD the Pacifica with a load was a total dog until the 4.0l engine was introduced. The 4.0l is better but is still somewhat lacking in power. When Chysler introduced the Pacifica it made the mistake of believing their costumer wanted more expensive Chyslers. WRONG! Chysler is/was the bargin brand of very nice looking but cheaply built and priced cars. The folks that shopped Chysler basically knew what they were getting for the price they were paying, a nice looking feature rich vehicle with a short lifespan at a low price. The kind of car you enjoy for about 3 years and dump.
    The Pacifica violated that business model by entering the market at around $35,000 to $40,000 for the well equiped models. Even the majority of loyal Chysler customers were not willing to commit to a Chysler product at that price. If they were willing to pay over $35,000 for a car they knew they could actually upgrade from the Chysler brand.

    What a shame because the Pacifica is an excellent vehicle for what it is. This is about the perfect vehicle for a long road trip with more than two passangers aboard. It was stylish in design (in and out), it was well built, and it could carry a major load. If this thing had come from Honda or Toyota I believe it would HAVE been a hit.

  • avatar
    Buick61

    I miss the Pacifica…

  • avatar
    blautens

    Great choice for a review. Can’t wait to see at next time I’m at Enterprise and give it a spin for a couple days.

    I’m guessing this slots (in size) right between a Highlander and a RAV4 (Or Pilot and CR-V)?

    Why would they bring a knife to a gunfight? This is such a competitive category (CUV) that it almost seems like they’d be better off saving the development money and putting it in other products that need it and avoiding this category entirely.

  • avatar
    NickR

    What a shame because the Pacifica is an excellent vehicle for what it is. This is about the perfect vehicle for a long road trip with more than two passangers aboard. It was stylish in design (in and out), it was well built, and it could carry a major load.

    I agree with that sentiment. I needed a roomy vehicle to take my wife, my parents, and I and on a lengthy drive, and I rented a Pacifica. It had decent style for the segment, tons of room, and the interior, while not fancy, was perfectly suitable for the vehicles intended purpose. BUT it had the most primitive drivetrain I’ve experienced in a post-80s vehicle. A 60′s era slant six or 318 coupled to slushbox from the same era would have put it to shame. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

  • avatar
    m.apfelbeck

    I don’t understand how this is anything other than a slightly smaller minivan without the sliding door?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Why is it that whenever I see the pentastar in the center of a steering wheel I just assume it’ll be a crap interior? I guess 30 years of training…..

    Chrysler’s future is in rebadging other makers’ vehicles….most likely Nissan? Only Jeep has any individual brand potential. With the exception of when the Hemi first came out, I’ve never heard anyone aspire to a Chrysler product. That’s pretty sad. I don’t blame Cerebus…I blame Daimler. At least they got burned for billions for stripping the soul out of a company.

  • avatar
    stentil

    Since the Journey is clearly the Pacifica’s replacement, I will comment briefly on the unlamented latter. I’ve been a passenger in the Pacifica, with leather. It is the most comfortable, quiet, safe vehicle I have ever encountered. Boggles the mind why it failed, except perhaps it was too heavy and lacked a 3d row. The Pacifica was marketed against the Explorer when it should have been marketed against the more compact CUVs. Third row be darned…

    At the very least, Chrysler should have transplanted the Pacifica’s interior into the Journey. Then perhaps it could have cut corners in places people wouldn’t see.

  • avatar

    Very nice review.

    After the Caliber, I wouldn’t be expecting anything of Dodge. I made plenty of fun of the Neon in its time (“hi”), and I used to think it was pretty dorky looking. It was, but dorky-cute. This thing is, as Michael suggests, oh so forgettable.

  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    At the LA Auto Show’s press day we were allowed to sit in the Journey, but only myself and a company rep from Land Rover were actually looking at the car… The interior of that one wasn’t as bad, the somber all-grey color scheme made the interior look very last generation VW, which I didn’t think was a bad thing. The exterior however I didn’t like at all. The best moment however had to have been when I turned to the LR guy and said “Not really competition eh?” he said, “Well, I don’t know” looked at my name badge (TTAC) and said, “nope, none at all.”

  • avatar

    I think the gauge cluster and cowl was ripped straight from a 1989 Sundance.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    I’ll just echo the sentiments on the late, lamented Pacifica.

    I rented one as well and found it a great vehicle for 4 people and their gear. Smooth, quiet, and decent handling (for what is is).

    The biggest issue was the fact that it was underpowered. By the time they bought out the 4.0L engine/6-speed auto, it was too late. The 3.5L/4-speed auto was not up to snuff in a vehicle in that class.

    Their initial roll-out was a big reason why the Pac failed. When potential customers went to the dealer, they came face-to-face with a $35-40K price tag.

    They are bargains in the used-car market, however, and if I needed another big vehicle, I’d look at one.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    I’d probably rent one of these for the family if I were on vacation but I’d never burn my hard earned money on one.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    Build the Wrangler and the Viper and throw the rest of the tooling away.

  • avatar
    crackers

    With the introduction of this third-world vehicle, the new management at Chrysler has proven itself to be just as clueless as the old management – they haven’t learned a thing! This thing should never had made it to the factory floor. And now Chrysler will go begging to the government for a bailout.

  • avatar

    A bit more on the Pacifica: it has a third row, just a very tight, very hard to access one. Also, no seven-pass option. And people didn’t care for the 300-like short greenhouse; they buy SUVs to see out of. Unless they’re Hummers.

    I pesonally liked the looks of the Pacifica, but soon learned that most people had a different opinion.

    With the Journey, the more I look at the front end, the more I see K-Car.

  • avatar
    dwford

    “Even the majority of loyal Chysler customers were not willing to commit to a Chysler product at that price. If they were willing to pay over $35,000 for a car they knew they could actually upgrade from the Chysler brand.”

    This is a problem common to all the domestics, which is why everything is built to a price. They know if they build at the same quality as the imports, they’d have to charge the same and no one would buy.

    Try to sell a Fusion without discounting. The line “this is already $3000 cheaper than the Camry” doesn’t fly too far, even for a Ford loyalist.

  • avatar
    peoplewatching04

    I just saw the press photos of the Journey. My mom’s old 1985 Dodge Aries called- it wants its dashboard back. Chrysler is like the Britney Spears of the automotive world. You think it’s hit rock bottom and then it finds a new and inventive way to define the term and sink to new lows. If this is the best they can do, and it’s safe to say that this is a product destined for rental fleets, bargain bins, and stupid people, I don’t know why they brought it to market at all. Right after Chrysler started cutting budgets in the “quality” department, they must have slashed the marketing research team as well.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    To be fair, there is a lifetime powertrain warranty on this and all Chrysler vehichles (Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler).

    Given the reasonable base price and a few incentives, I think this would be a pretty good deal for someone looking to buy basic transportation for a family of 5 or 6.

    Of course, it’s possible that Chrysler won’t last long enough to honor that warranty past 5 years anyways but still… I think any review of a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep has to mention that lifetime powertrain warranty.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    “Why would they bring a knife to a gunfight? This is such a competitive category (CUV) that it almost seems like they’d be better off saving the development money and putting it in other products that need it and avoiding this category entirely.”

    I don’t see why the D3 don’t all do this. Just offer vehicles in a few catagories, do them well, and rebuild the reputation. They’d sell fewer cars for now, but they just might survive to prosper.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Overpriced by 4k. ’nuff said

  • avatar
    miked

    NICKNICK – they don’t need to throw the tooling away, a judge will just keep it from them…

  • avatar
    BKW

    How many Chrysler products actually sell at MSRP? Around here: none.

    For example, there have been multiple dealer ads running for over a year for Ram Quad Cabs for 15 grand or less. That’s not 15 grand off sticker, that’s 15 grand plus tax and license. Ad sources: LA Times / San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

    The Journey: Overpriced by 4K on purpose to cover the rebate costs Chrysler will offer to the sheep, hoping to sell enough of the rolling piles of misery to break even. GM and Ford are famous for doing the same damn thing.

    Is there any relationship between the slow selling R Class Mercedes and the Pacifica? To me, they look to have the same roots.

    Read the fine print of Chrysler’s Lifetime Warranty. I wonder how many ppl that buy one a those vehicles will actually follow Chryslers guidelines to keep that warranty valid.

    How many ppl today actually read their owners manuals and warranty info? The internet enthusiasts websites are full of ppl asking the dumbest of questions imaginable pertaining to their newly new bought vehicles.

    btw: First Chrysler Hemi: 1951.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Chrysler’s cost structure is far too high compared to most of their international competitors. Chrysler has the misfortune of having very high labor costs coupled with a guaranteed contract that doesn’t bring wages and benefits to a competitive level. The CAW, and the high exposure to the loonie is also hurting Chrysler’s bottom line as well.

    To make matters worse, their product line is also by the worst of the former ‘Big 3′ by a very substantial margin. Other than the Wrangler and perhaps the Grand Caravan, there is not a single competitive model in Chrysler’s line-up. In fact most of their products are so cheap in material quality that they are more reminiscent of a three year old Kia model than a contemporary vehicle.

    They will most likely need to have a global partner in order to get themselves out of the current mess. The Journey is just another proverbial nail in the German built coffin.

    By the way, I believe the Journey is actually considered to be more of a replacement for the short wheelbase Caravan/Voyager than the Pacifica.

  • avatar
    TreyV

    Wow, this thing is so far under the radar I’ve never even heard of it. Which would actually make it one of Chrysler’s better products. Since, you know, it’s just a dud, rather a wretched dud.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    Qusus,

    What good’s a “lifetime” warranty if the company goes bust three years after your purchase?

    Great review, Michael. I’m in agreement with those who thought the Pacifica was an overlooked contender. Solid-feeling, smooth-handling, and comfortable, it likely makes a great used purchase, what with Chrysler’s frightful depreciation curve.

    As for the Journey, I’ve had two words for anyone who’s trumpeted it as Chrysler’s savior: Avenger-based. Anyone who’s rented the sedan knows what a mess this CUV was bound to be.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Yet another rental company special from the Big 2.8 rears its ugly head.

    If not for fleet sales, Detroit would have stopped producing cars long ago. Full-size pickups/SUVs were the only thing keeping them afloat. But with US gas prices gone batshit, even that can’t save them now.

  • avatar
    MPLS

    I realize exterior styling is subjective, but damn, the Journey sures is ugly. On the other hand, the interior is improvement by Chrysler standards. However, that is not saying much.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    BKW–

    What are the stipulations to keeping the warranty valid?

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    iNeon :
    February 23rd, 2008 at 6:53 am

    BKW–

    What are the stipulations to keeping the warranty valid?

    I’m sure you’d have to have every single service done at exactly the time/mileage called for on the maintenance schedule, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d have to have it done by a Chrysler dealer to be eligible for the lifetime warranty (though the Magnusson-Moss act may apply).

    Also, keep in mind it’s a limited powertrain warranty, not exactly bumper-to-bumper. Lots of other expensive things can go wrong with the car that would never fall under this warranty, especially given Chrysler’s notoriously shoddy build quality.

  • avatar
    murphysamber

    My wife to be and I sat in this at NAIAS last month as well. She really seemed to like it. It was at that very moment that I realized I that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with someone who has no taste. And she’s with me, so I’m not feeling very good about myself right now. Damn you Dodge.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    If this is the answer, what was the question?

  • avatar
    iNeon

    The warranty is valid only if the owner has the automobile inspected(at no cost) by Chrysler every 60 months.

    That is the only fine print I’ve ever seen in all interactions with Chrysler. I visit often, and was quite pleased with the Journey. It really seemed to my(first-generation neon driving)eyes to be a well-packaged, well-priced vehicle. $20,450 is not an unreasonable price for a 5-passenger wagon with two uncomfortable jump-seats in back. How much did Land-Rover people pay for those Discoveries that needed valve jobs by 70k miles? Were they covered under warranty when it happened?

    No doubt, Chrysler will present the owner with a laundry list of things that need to be repaired(by Chrysler,at great cost) for the warranty to remain in effect, but to be fair– this warranty has not become valid for any owner of any automobile, and can’t be scrutinized just yet because of that.

    It’s quite the promise, I don’t dispute that.

  • avatar

    Chrysler is intent on dooming themselves.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I wasn’t aware of this vehicle till I read this review, now I’m aware of it and relatively certain it is to be avoided.

  • avatar
    big_gms

    Say what you will about the exterior styling, it’s still a helluva lot better looking than the abomination known as the Caliber. I’ll even go so far as to say that the exterior looks okay. I haven’t seen one in person yet, but from the photos, the interior looks awful. The seats and certain elements of the dashboard-the instrument cluster, for instance-look like they were ripped right out of a 1987 Dodge Shadow. Did they find a Shadow in the junkyard to use for design inspiration? Were they trying to go for an Eighties retro look inside? Just what the hell were they thinking with the interior? Were they thinking at all when they designed the interior? It’s mind boggling. I’m no Chrysler fan, but I actually feel sorry for them (sort of) and I wish them the best of luck-they’re really going to need it.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    It’s interesting that one of the main points of derision about the Journey is the interior, since Chrysler supposedly knows about and was going to address this very issue in all of their new vehicle lines.

    In fact, I thought the 300 had just recently gotten a new ‘improved’ interior with upgraded materials but Chrysler was having substantial problems getting the pieces from their supplier so the lower line cars were going to have to make do with the old door trim panels.

  • avatar
    red dawg

    I have a good feeling (and i may be wrong?) but as fast as this vehicle seems to have been developed and rushed to market, i’m sure EVERY corner was cut EVERYWHERE possible. There are better built and conceived cross-overs on the market. The fact the dash was cobbled together (most likely) from the company parts bin proves this. Is there anything unique to the Journey in this dash??? Looks like the pentastar boys are well on the road to a date with the nearest bankruptcy court. Too bad they aren’t like FoMoCo and GM, both of with have had corporate yard sales to raise cash. Chrysler hasn’t got any assests worth selling. Let alone finding a sucker to buy it (the asset).

    And, if this vehicle is a replacement for the short wheel base Chrysler mini-vans (as some have stated), then why bother build it?? Isn’t Chrysler just taking customers from one of it’s products and putting them in a another?? Especially when both vehicles basically do the SAME things with the same cargo and people capacity???? Tjhe only difference between the Journey and the current Chrysler mini-vans in the Journey doesn’t have sliding rear doors. With vehicles like this, Is it any wonder the domestics are in trouble???

  • avatar

    No it will not be successful. People buy a mini van for the space. Suv because of its style with a small percentage for the ability to 4 wheel. The cross over doesn’t have a demographic demand to stir a buzz. http://hotcookies.net

  • avatar
    BTEFan

    I think the best thing about the Dodge Journey is the fact that it is named after an awesome 80s band. I found this on CarConnection that makes me laugh..
    http://www.thecarconnection.com/blog/?p=746

    An Ode to the Dodge Journey using lyrics and titles from Journey songs.

    “Someday, love will find you…break those chains that bind you!”
    Well, maybe someday quality interiors will find Dodge.

  • avatar
    Christopher

    I was actually impressed with the look of this car in person. In pictures it looks pretty tame, but in person I thought it was pretty nice looking. I don’t hate crossovers, so I don’t have that visceral reaction that most of you here seem to have.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    Just about any decent sized city in this country has a Saturday automotive section ad w/’07 Grand Caravans for $11,999. If burdened by a litter of crying brats, why would I forgoe that deal for the Journey? Silly Chrysler…you deserve to go tatta’s up.

  • avatar

    How? I have to ask how the author came by this 2009 Journey? Did he attend the media introduction in Las Vegas or did he obtain the vehicle from Chrysler PR directly. When did this test drive occur?

    There are very few ways to obtain a Journey at the moment. I would be curious to learn how you did?

  • avatar
    Blair

    I guess I’m in the minority but I actually like it. I saw it a few weeks ago at an auto show and even though it’s unmistakably a dodge it still has a unique body style. I also liked the interior layout and it could be a good option for someone in the market for a car.

  • avatar
    davey49

    rollingwreck- you wouldn’t get a Subaru because they’re teeny tiny. They’re too small for one person, much less 4.
    Blair- I like it too
    They’ll sell more of these than GMC sells Acadias.

  • avatar
    windswords

    First off I like the Pacifica. But if some of you liked it as much as your comments say you would have bought one and the model would not be discontinued. But let’s talk about what was wrong with it. I rented one for my trip home last Thanksgiving. Good points: nice interior materials, nice ride, solid feel, good safety features, nice exterior. Bad points, not the most ergonomic layout (some controls were in odd positions like they were afterthoughts, typical German design? I don’t know), terrible view out the rear, huge blind spot, small third row and tight access to it. This is really a big 4 passenger car that can carry a lot of cargo and sometimes (for short trips), 6 passengers (hopefully they are small) and much less cargo.

    The Pacifica is too heavy (not good for MPG) and too expensive (Mercedes parts are not cheap, and Daimler didn’t give them to Chrysler for free).

    The Journey on the other hand is much cheaper to build, has a better ergonomic layout, way more storage features, will get better gas mileage, and LOOKS like an SUV/CUV (the Pacifica never did). Bottom line – they will sell more than the Pacifica, and make more money from each one (yes, even with the discounts – they’re made at the PT Cruiser factory in Mexico – low wages). That factory is a flex facitliy. They can build PT’s at the same time. If the Journey is a flop they can just build more PT’s.

    davey49 is right – they will sell more fo these than Acadias.

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    Jerzjt :
    February 25th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    How? I have to ask how the author came by this 2009 Journey? Did he attend the media introduction in Las Vegas or did he obtain the vehicle from Chrysler PR directly. When did this test drive occur?

    There are very few ways to obtain a Journey at the moment. I would be curious to learn how you did?

    Our very small local Chrysler/Dodge dealer (not even in the top 100 new car sellers in the state) has four on their lot right now, and has had at least one for two weeks. They aren’t rare.

  • avatar

    As mentioned in yesterday’s podcast, a Chrysler spinmeister (one of my favorites) called TTAC; ’cause they were worried that Mr. Karesh had tested a press vehicle.

    This underscores the value of TTAC’s policy (however unintentional originally) of testing NON-press vehicles for review.

    Other than Consumer Reports, every other auto review site tests carefully prepared press vehicles. That includes Edmunds, Car & Driver, Winding Road, The Car Connection, MSN Autos. All of them.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    “The Journey on the other hand is much cheaper to build, has a better ergonomic layout, way more storage features, will get better gas mileage, and LOOKS like an SUV/CUV (the Pacifica never did). Bottom line – they will sell more than the Pacifica, and make more money from each one (yes, even with the discounts – they’re made at the PT Cruiser factory in Mexico – low wages). That factory is a flex facitliy. They can build PT’s at the same time. If the Journey is a flop they can just build more PT’s.”

    You left out the two most important factors.

    1) The driving experience.

    2) The quality of the vehicle.

    I like CUV’s just about as much as I like Chinese scooters. They’re riddled with pointless compromises and offer a piss poor bang for your buck.

    This one is by far the blandest of them all. After looking at the thing and sitting in it on a brief and sterile drive, I wanted to get out a pair of drumsticks and start hitting all the cheap exterior and interior panels. Just to see if I could perhaps make a song out of all the strange hollow materials that are in this vehicle.

    A last generation Caravan Sport would represent a far better value. Thanks to Chrysler, you can pretty much get a two year old one with 30k on it for about half the price of this Journey.

    For half the price, you get 95% of the virtues and a much nicer exterior design to boot. You also get a third row that can be used by normal sized people for a long period of time. The Journey seats in the third row were actually worse than the outgoing Caravan model that was released in 2001.

    Somehow, I see this vehicle becoming a best seller at Enterprise Rent-A-Car within eighteen months.

  • avatar
    davey49

    The driving experience doesn’t matter much.
    The quality is good enough. Superb “quality” would cost $10K more and be the Pacifica.
    If you start to use words like bland and sterile your not the Journey’s customer.
    You can bet it will be at rental counters. They make a lot of money selling cars to rental agencies.
    If it weren’t for Alamo, Budget, Dollar et al Chrysler would’ve been out of business a long time ago.

  • avatar
    chamar

    Wait .. they spend 1B on this car?

    I am sure a six year old would have had done a far less disaster of a job.

    IF anything this car is a step and a half down from the Pacifica, which the owners could atleast justify owning.

  • avatar
    CommanderFish

    I’d like to point out that this car is a carry-over from the Daimler days. There wasn’t much the Cerberus management could do with it when it got to their hands besides cut out the Chrysler variant that was supposed to happen.

    As a Mopar fan, I’m hoping and praying that this is the last piece of utter BS that I’m going to have to put up with from my favorite car company.

  • avatar
    hbrar98

    I bought Journey on sunday March 30 and 2nd day at 80km engine light came on and very rough to drive, looks like something wrong with transmission. Today is 3rd day April 03 and no answer from dealer yet. Everyone be carefull before you buy this p…o…s, you know what I mean not happy at all.

  • avatar
    trish608

    I’m reading all these comments, and wondering why someone would write a review of a car that they only sat in. I’m a 33 YO female, married no kids and just bought the Journey. And have to say, When reading the reviews, I’m like what the hell are these people talking about? That car drives excellent! I just turned in my 2004 Chevy Trailblazer, and have to tell you that the Journey drives 1000% better then the Trailblazer. You feel like you are driving a car. And yes the interior is Cheap looking, but for $25.000 what do you expect? Before I bought the Journey,I test drove the, Edge, CRV, and Santa fe. I have to say the ride and drive on the Journey was much better. Oh and as for looks, I have had people stop me at the supermarket and tell me that it’s a nice looking car.

  • avatar
    javiertm

    I just bought a Dodge Journey SXT version and I’m pretty satisfied. I checked on the lookalikes at Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet and Nissan; and Dodge went a lot further in equipment and driving. The only negative thing I felt is the gas consumption, it’s a little high for the 6 cyl engine, but since I bought it the rate has been going up and hope it keeps that way. By the way, I was Ford 100% but this new SUV made me change my mind, so please folks, let’s give Dodge a chance and if you haven’t been behind the wheels of a Journey…just don’t write your comment !!!

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The Motoring 2008 Dodge Journey TV review found two areas worthy of criticism. The clock display is small and the V6 engine thirsty. It scored in the 80th percentile.

  • avatar
    alsk91

    i just got a journey for my 17th birthday, and granted it’s only my second car, but i absolutely fell in love with it. i live in a rural area with a lot of unpaved roads and it handles extremely well.
    both my parents have nice cars that i have driven (cadillacs) and i would say this car is definitely right up with them.
    the only problem i found with it is that the bumper is made of an extremely cheap plastic material and is completely hollow. if i ever got in an accident the entire thing would just fall off.
    overall im extremely pleased with this car. and ive even gotten compliments on it in the parking lot of my school, the grocery store, and the mall.
    i would say that most of the sales for this car will be for new couples, or 18-24 year olds in college. which is what i got it for. plus i think its adorable. big enough to feel safe in, but small enough to easily control.
    i think you all should give it another try.

  • avatar
    thutcheson

    I bought a Dodge Journey at United in Dyersburg, TN. After one week I had to return for a new shock. I also have problems with the wipers but they didn’t fix them while I was in their shop. I have brake noise and called United and was told that it is the humidity. Yeh right! None of my other vehicles have brake noise in the same humidity. I also have a hard shift in the transmission but guess what? I was told by United’s service manager that they could not check my transmission because the light is not on per Chrysler. Now I have a check engine oil light that comes on for a minute when I crank it up. DO NOT BUY A DODGE JOURNEY especially in DYERSBURG, TN.

  • avatar
    Deano53

    In a word, it is horrible. I rented one on a recent business trip. I disliked it intensely the moment I saw it and hated it the entire time I drove it. This is what the new Chrysler thinks we need? God, now they are going to destroy the Grand Cherokee too. Thanks Nardelli – you screwed HD, now it looks like you will put the stake in Chrysler too. What a waste.

  • avatar
    thestig

    Here’s the deal with Chrysler: I’ve had a 96 Chrysler Sebring JXI, a 98 Dodge Stratus ES v6, a 2004 Dodge Intrepid SE v6, and a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and never had a single problem with build quality, powertrain, or electrics. I put a minimum of 100,000 on every one of my Chryslers (except the Jeep – it’s at 77,000) and never had them in the shop for anything serious. Keep up on your maintainence…both mechanical and cosmetic, and you should never have a problem with your Chrysler car.

    The Journey is next on my shopping list. I’ve test driven it (the RT v6) and would say that yes, you can tell that it was built to a price…but you’re also saving money over similar Honda, Toyo, FoMo, or GM cars. A lot of the Journey’s features aren’t even available on other cars in this class. I don’t consider the Kia Rondo competition at all for the Journey. It looks bloated, too tall, and its from Korea! The only decent products to come out of Korea are TV’s and washing machines. I can’t believe they sold any Rondo’s at all!

    I don’t expect a car in this category to boast excellent driving dynamics…it’s a people mover. If you want a car with excellent driving dynamics…buy a BMW X3 and pay a 50% premium over the journey. If you want a flexible car at a reasonible price…look at the Journey.

    I don’t understand what the problem is with the interior. I think it’s contemporary and compliments the exterior design well.

    Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Don’t rely on what people say in online forums. Go to your Dodge dealer and test drive one for yourself. It’s a good car and great value for money.

  • avatar
    kmac171

    I bought this vehicle in March 08 and thought I had found one hell of a car… WRONG!! The gas mileage sucks, the trans shift hard from first to second and from second to first. I actually jerks forward as you come to a stop and they say “oh thats normal for that transmission” When I do about 70mph I hear a buzzing noise from the lower windshield. I told them it’s the cowel. They told me they could not reproduce the noise. I left the service dept. and on the parkway at 70mph Bzzzzzzzzzzz! Now when I turn the key off and the headlights had been on I get a quick flash as if there was a short of some sort in the dash lights. Also, the left front headlight burned out after the first month and melted the connector. They told my wife everything was fine until I went it. Dodge made a nice looking rather inexpensive crossover, but they didn’t use good parts if you ask me. Next time I will go with the new Honda Pickup.

  • avatar
    lovethiscar

    Well, I have to disagree with everyone’s comments. I have a Dodge Journey – and I absolutely love it. It is not a thing like what you are describing – it has a smooth ride, it does not smell “cheap”, and is so much better than my previous car. I really hate when people jump on the negative bandwagon – you don’t have to say something bad about a car just because someone else did. I haven’t had one single problem with my car – nothing like people have posted up here. And it has plenty of curb appeal – the 20 inch rims, a beautiful dark gray metallic color, a sunroof, and a very sleek design…can’t you people find anything better to do? Half of you probably couldn’t even afford this car – and it doesn’t have a thing to do with the price. The price was very reasonable and my payment is very low. Move on!

  • avatar
    thutcheson

    First of all to lovethisaar If you have a payment book then sounds like your the one who could not afford a journey. I’ve had 4 recalls so far on my 2009 Journey. The last recall was 2 days ago. My Journey was at the dealership last week because I would hear a noise when I turned left. Guess what? They could not find it. A week later they call me with a recall notice on a noise when you make a left turn caused by the power steering resevor. 6 trips to the shop so far with my 2009 Dodge Journey and it’s not even 2009 yet. DO NOT BUY ONE!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    lovethiscar

    What makes you think that I couldn’t afford a Journey? I bought one of the top models and it’s well within my budget, but thanks for your concern, sweetie. Yes, I’ve had the recalls on my car as well. I hadn’t had any of the problems that were mentioned, but you know what? I went to a good enough service department that all was fixed within an hour. Don’t lash out on others because you have a pessimistic mind to go along with a bad service department. Better luck next time! Until then, I’ll enjoy my awesome Journey while you whine.

  • avatar
    humphrbn

    My wife and I actually won a Journey in the Dodge “journey of a lifetime contest”. We were married at the Chicago auto show and had a great time with it. We really like the car but have had a recall for a power steering reservoir. But here is our latest problem.

    We went to the grocery store, got groceries, and then came out to our car. We inserted the key into the ignition and it wouldn’t turn. We had it towed to the dealership and they said something with the ignition system wouldn’t work because of the cold.

    Anyone else had this problem? We are currently in a rental because the part is on back order, so I can only assume other people are having this problem.

  • avatar
    lovethiscar

    I haven’t had that problem with the ignition at all – and it’s been cold here. Sounds like maybe there is a problem with that specific car – I haven’t seen any Journey’s have that problem either.

  • avatar
    philsliltj

    My wife and I are currently looking at the 09 Journey. I have always been a MOPAR guy and that will NEVER change! She is driving a Maliboo Classic right now and if you all wanna talk about a heap! I am test driving the Journey tomorrow and am looking forward to it. We have 2 girls (5 & 10) and if you have kids then you know that long trips can take their toll…on us. The 3rd row will come in handy. Everyone here talks about how cheap these vehicles are made and I can’t believe the negative attitudes you have. Have you actually driven this car? sat in it? LOOKED at it in person? You can believe that the AWD V6 is what we’ll get. Who cares if you can “afford” it, that really has nothing to do with the quality. I have a Chevy truck, Dodge truck, Jeep Wrangler and this non-exciting Maliboo. My Chevy has 186K on it with minor repairs (fuel pump, heater core, belt and brakes). The Dodge kicks ass! Minor repairs there as well (water pump, belt, intake gaskets). My Jeep is well…a Jeep, never touched the motor but I do need new exhaust manifolds. The Maliboo is a great running car, I just don’t feel “excited” about hopping in it. It is very bland, but then again its a base model. I suggest you all get out of your anti-Detroit mind set and start looking into any American built vehicle. And by the way- Kia’s are horrible cars! Buy a Chevy Ford or Dodge!

  • avatar
    thutcheson

    Buy a Journey if you want but you have been warned. I bought one in April. 6 recalls so far. Still have hard shift in transmission and brake noise that Dodge won’t fix because they can’t seem to find the problem. The best part about my 2009 Journey is the color. DOES ANYBODY ELSE HAVE HARD SHIFT IN TRANS AND BRAKE NOISE????

  • avatar
    rawainwr

    My inlaws have this car. They have had problems with it not starting. They have heard noises from the stereo when the car is not on and no key in it. The dealer has replaced the battery, the stereo and told them they left the lights on. On that occasion they ate their words when the car did not start when they picked it up. Personally I think there is a control module/programming issue telling the stereo to operate (drawing power) when the vehicle is not in use. Has anyone else had this issue? Anyone successfully had it resolved or know if Chrysler is working on this issue because I can not see the dealer ever being able to resolve this at their level.

  • avatar
    kmac171

    I have an 09 Journey as well and have had several problems with it, everything from transmission shifting to howling from the cowl.

    The long and short is I met a rep. from Chrysler on another forum who scheduled an engineer from Chrysler to meet me at my dealer to ride along. They also provided me with a loaner which how funny turned out to be an 09 Journey.

    The car went in on 12/16/08 and was returned on 1/2/09. I got the generic “could not duplicate”, “it’s normal”, etc… The loaner did nothing that my car is doing, so the crap is just that CRAP!

    The one thing I did figure out on mine was that the erratic shifting on the highway is not the trans. I believe what is happening is that while driving the car appears to have trouble accelerating smoothly so you have to push harder on the gas and that causes the car to appear to be shifting. Today is Monday so I will be calling that person from Chrysler to rectify this matter.

    My suggestion is to continue to go to the dealer again, and again, and again until the hate you so much that they will do whatever it takes to get you out of their faces.

    http://www.dodgejourneyforum.com/

    Check out this forum.

    As for the man looking to purchase this car, I would hold off for now or if you need a vehicle asap then look elsewhere.

    Kmac171

  • avatar
    ronster71

    I rented a Dodge Journey just last week, and I had a VERY scary experience (please reply to this post if any has experienced this).

    On Tuesday morning, it was about 5 degrees in Chicago, a very cold morning. I started the car and let it warm up for about five minutes. I placed my five-month old son safely in the back car seat to take him to our babysitter. As I reversed out of my driveway, I noticed that as I applied the brakes, the car would not stop as continued to move about another 10 feet. At first, I thought it was just the snow and ice causing this to happen. I as began to drive forward, I would apply the brakes, and again the Journey would not come to a complete stop unless I pumped the brakes violently. Long story short, I decided not to drive this car any further and had the car rental facility send me an import (Mazda) to replace the Journey.

    Has anyone experienced this before? In retrospect, maybe I should have warmed up the car longer to allow for the brake fluid to defrost, but I travel for a living, and I drive a LOT of cars, and no matter how cold it is outside, I have NEVER experienced any car rental where the brakes DID NOT work because of the cold weather.

    Be forewarned before purchasing this vehicle. I don’t mean to bash this car, but I really felt like I put my son and myself in danger by what I thought to be a safe and reliable car.

  • avatar
    robertplattbell

    “I’ve had a 96 Chrysler Sebring JXI, a 98 Dodge Stratus ES v6, a 2004 Dodge Intrepid SE v6, and a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. . . I put a minimum of 100,000 on every one of my Chryslers.”

    I think the Obama Administration should consider your experience as a substitute for waterboarding.

    Although this still would probably violate the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the Constition.

    100,000 miles in Chrysler. My back hurts just thinking about it.

  • avatar
    robertplattbell

    “Has anyone experienced this before? In retrospect, maybe I should have warmed up the car longer to allow for the brake fluid to defrost, but I travel for a living, and I drive a LOT of cars, and no matter how cold it is outside, I have NEVER experienced any car rental where the brakes DID NOT work because of the cold weather.”

    Brake fluid does not need to “defrost”. What probably happend was a defect or damage to your car – a broken or cracked brake hose or line, or more likely (from your description) a failed or failing master cylinder.

    I’d chalk that one up to “shit happens” more than to some design flaw.

  • avatar
    elenina67

    Ehy, I’m european (from Italy, home of beautiful cars, but we can’t afford a Ferrari, plus the kids wouldn’t fit in!!), and the Journey here has just arrived. My hubby and I are planning to buy it, we believe it will meet european taste pretty much. The looks are great as for the exterior. The interiors are essential but not poor, and there’s lots of room for kids, pets, luggages. I don’t understand why you americans do not value your products. In Europe similar crossover cost at least 10K € more (talking about € non $, and that makes 30% more of a difference!). I think in Europe your journey will boost the sales!!

  • avatar
    ErRoc

    Love the Journey. As stated by OP the steering is off, it rolls a bit, but what the hell would I be buying this for? Street Racing? It does its job EXTREMELY well, which is bring people and their things around conviniently, while looking very good doing it I might add.

    I suggest the 3.5, not the smaller 2.4 due to its lack of power. R/T has a nice interior, it’s no Lexus, but it’s great for the price.

    Weird location for the radio/navigation is a small concern.

  • avatar
    kmac171

    Eroc, Hope you don’t live anywhere that it snows. We had about 10″ today and the car can’t keep traction to save it’s life. ESP or autostick it didn’t matter NO TRACTION. I can understand if there was ice, but it’s snow. Good luck…

  • avatar
    Fun_nurse4u

    I own a 2009 Dodge Journey XLT and I bought it in May 2008 and I love my vehicle a lot. It is front wheel drive and I have had absolutely no trouble with traction in the snow.I live in the East Kootenays in British Columbia Canada and believe me, we know what snow is here and my Journey goes great in the snow. I shopped around for a year prior to buying the Journey. I have a son who is 6ft.2in. tall and a husband who is 6ft.and huge in the shoulders, and I have a 11 yr. old son who is a goalie. So I needed a vehicle, that could not only haul all of us, but one that was economical for travelling. Guess what the 2009 Dodge Journey met all requirements.

  • avatar
    Fun_nurse4u

    my mom is right the Journey is a awsom car I am a goalie and wen ever we go on a long road trip to like calgary or leftbridg the car never has problems.So if you had problems you likely drovit with a broken thing or a screwd up trany or somthing.Always check evry thing ounce evry week and you wont have theas problems.

  • avatar
    jonbosley

    I have noticed that most of the bad comments are from none Journey owners. I have just bought one and love it. The reviewer of the Journey fails to tell people that it handles very well, holds the road very well for example in high winds, has one of the best MPH per gallons in its class. Fails to tell people that you can add many options and still buy at a better price then many in its class.It gives a nice smooth quite ride, comparing it to my wife’s Blazer is night and day. Comments like “But budget cutting must have ravaged the human factors department; the driving position is an ergonomic abomination”, (er no, maybe if you are a 2ft dwarf), equals an unjust bad review, ignore it. Bottom line Dodge have produced a good SUV at a very good price. Reviewer needs to get another job.

  • avatar
    kmac171

    Jon,

    I happen to own the Journey and I stick by “MY” statement that it is a piece of shit!!! Now that being said, this thing is not an SUV, it’s a crossover. The gas mileage is average, it is not the greatest in the crossover class. It may or may not be in the suv class, I don’t know for sure because I have a crossover Journey. As for the handling in high wind again it is average, but try a fast start from a stand still and see what happens. I’ll tell you what happens, your front tires will slip before good traction happens, and this small problem could get you killed if your attempting to pull into traffic. Only that I don’t want to type forever my opinion stands, THIS CROSSOVER SUCKS!!!

    Find my other posts and see what mine is doing and not doing.

    YOU’LL SEE!!!!

  • avatar

    I’m about to open a whole new proverbial can-of-worms, but here goes: I’ve just bought my 10th Chrysler product, a 2009 Journey SXT. Since 1974,
    combined total of 1,600,000 kms (that’s 1 Mio miles for the metrically challenged) with 2 Valiants, 1 Volaré, 4 Voyagers and 2 Caravans….and the only mechanical problem costing more than $100, was a speed-sensor on one of the Caravans. The last 4 vans were top-of-the line FWD’s, factory spec’d. I’ve driven all these vehicles mostly in Northeastern Canada & US, i.e. areas prone to hard winters and lousy roads. Mind you, PM’s diligently @ every 4,000 miles. The average fuel consumption on my last Caravan SXT over 5 years was 24 mpg with a 60/40 highway/city split, with speeds up to 68 mph on the freeways – but without using cruise-control (never do). With this type of positive Chrysler product experience, it will be most interesting to find out how the Journey will fare. I’ll promise to post regular updates. Who knows, it might end up being the last Chrysler I’ll ever buy…..but I doubt it.

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    Can we PLEASE stop calling Station Wagons, “Cross-Overs”!!!! It’s like calling a Janitor a Custodial Engineer.

  • avatar
    commando1

    Never knew of the Journey till I read about it here. What does that tell you?

  • avatar

    nor me

  • avatar
    potatoe

    I just wanted to say I bought my first new car in over 15 years and it was a Journey and my opinion is it is the best thing I ever done.

    It handles smoothly, lots of storage (perfect for camping and long road trips); the 3rd row seating was great for my stepdaughter and her friends. The temperature controls for the back seats are awesome, the steering wheel controls are prefect for when you are in traffic you don’t have to worries about taking your eyes off the road. The only issue I have it the sunglass storage mechanism broke but a little magnetic ($5) fixed the problem

    Before I purchased this TRUCK (please don’t call it a mini van or station wagon, it is far from either of those), I test drove many SUVs and cars, my opinion the Mitsubishi Endeavour is wayyyy over priced for nothing, I mean, the whole thing is cheap and made out of plastic starting at 26K (yeah right) that doesn’t include half the options that the Journey’s base model comes with, it didn’t handle bumps or turns a smoothly as the Journey and the whole base interior was black, another issues is it comes with a 4 speed automatic transmission that the bozo at the dealership didn’t mention it, and after the test drive didn’t even know how to work it. Sorry I might have purchase the Lancer (great car btw), I test drove but, I really don’t feel right buying a car off of someone who knows less about it then me.

    The Ford Flex looks like crap, I would have test drove it but I just couldn’t see my self cruising down the road with a big chrome grill, lets save that for the drug dealers, gang members and the other people who really want a Cadillac or Lincoln but can’t afford it. To be honest, I really feel for the only things good coming out of that company is the Mustang and have you seen what they have done with the new 2010 (the point of it was to have the retro look, not they seem to be going back to the junk Mustangs of the early 2000s), and what about those other crappy looking crossovers/SUVs that other companies have Nissan Murano (what awful colours, horrible lines, doesn’t handle well at all), Hyundai Tuscan/Santa Fe (would have considered this almost comparable to the Journey but shame of them for getting rid of the 3rd row seating option in 2009 as well as offering less options for a high price), Honda Element (don’t even go there), Toyota Rav all overpriced SUV whose base models start at around 20k plus (if you want a simple options like another colour it cost you an extra $300, different interior to bad you have to have our ugly beige).

    Besides all of this, I am a firm believer in supporting the North American car industry, with many people buying overpriced Japanese, Korean, Chinese vehicles (btw, I would be concerned that they too might be the victims of lead paint) this is why our car companies are having such difficulties.

    The Journey is great for a Family, it has the convenience of a minivan all while looking and feeling like a TRUCK.

  • avatar

    Update from my post of March 30/09….
    I’ve now driven the 2009 Journey SXT some 33,000 km since its purchase. I’m still happy with my choice…..average fuel consumption (with a 60/40 split highway/city) is 10.7 L/100 km (23 mpg), however true highway consumption is at a much more acceptable 8.9 L/100 km (26.3 mpg).
    I find a huge difference in the cost of preventive maintenance over my previous Grand Caravans. An oil change at the dealer where I purchased the vehicle will set me back on average $75.00, whereas 3rd party OLF providers will charge an average of $53.
    Strangely, though, a Chrysler Dealer in Quebec (Drummondville) charged me a meagre $32.00 for an oil change including hooking-up the computer to the ECU to verify for any potential codes (they said it was part of the warranty to do this).
    The Journey has one very annoying problem that the dealer has not been able to rectify to my satisfaction yet: It suffers from “Panic Attacks”, i.e. the panic alarm will activate for no reasons what-so-ever. The car can be parked with the keys untouched on a dresser, and suddenly the anti-theft alarm goes off full blast. Nothing will make it stop….even starting the engine, placing the shifter into drive (or reverse) and moving the car for a few hundred yards will not stop the honking. Only after about 10 minutes it will stop on its own. I’ve asked the dealer to reprogram the ECU (essentially removing the alarm feature), but they claim that the computer is not programmed to allow for this feature. Then I asked that the wire leading to the horn be disconnected. Can’t be done….engine will not start if that wire is not connected. This is a great annoyance, especially since no federal laws (Canadian or US) mandate Panic Alarms. (Horns are mandatory, but panic alarms are not….then why does Chrysler program their cars in this manner).
    One other problem I’ve run into concerns winter tires: I recommend that anyone who plans on purchasing a Journey and intends to mount winter tires, should opt for 17″ wheel sizes. According to the Chrylser dealer, 19″ winter tires ARE NOT AVAILABLE in North America at the moment. My Journey was delivered with 19″ cast aluminum wheels. When told that no such winter rubber sizes are available, I wanted to purchase 17″ rims (the other size spec’d for this vehicle), but was told by the dealer that Chrysler has no after-market 17″ rims available due to its financial problems earlier this year. The parts manager searched for 16″ rims which would accommodate the Journey’s disc-brake rotors and did indeed find a set of 4 steel rims of that size and corresponding Uniroyal winter tires…..this exercise set me back some $1,500!!!
    (However, strangely enough, Chrysler dealers in Quebec do actually sell Journeys with 19″ rims AND corresponding winter tires…..so, I’m really confused….was I screwed by my dealer or do Quebec dealers have sources unheard of anywhere else in the country???….I’ve seen these 19″ rims/winter tires on these Journeys’ in Quebec, so its not a case of being told one thing). The new rims and winter rubber work well so far, but the dealer failed to adjust the lighting alignment….as the car now sits about 1.5″ lower, it has detrimentally affected the headlight reach and I would have expected these professionals to understand this and make the necessary adjustments….but, I’m probably expecting too much….after all, they are “just” mechanics!
    That said, I’ve not regretted the Journey purchase yet. It’s a very pleasant car to drive, the R-Stick works just like a “Jake” brake on a truck….lol. With the flip-down front passenger seat-back feature, I get a nice little “working table” and with the rear bench seat-backs folded down, I gain just about the same space as with the Grand Caravan.
    Winter is upon us in Ontario and I will update this blog come April with a detailed report on the Journey’s behaviour through the dark months of the year.
    ~aap~

  • avatar
    Joel

    It looks like a bigger Isusu Axiom.  Whether that is a good thing or not is up for decision, as the Axiom wasn’t the biggest seller.

  • avatar
    dmrdano

    I’ll be the weirdo and admit I love the look and versatility of the interior.  V6 and AWD would be perfect for me.  (My favorite car I ever owned was a Colt Vista which really was the first CUV I can think of.)  All that said, execution on this car was bad.  I have been a Dodge boy since the mid-80′s, but I am quietly riding off into the sunset…

  • avatar

    I have had my 2009 Dodge Journey for three years now and I have 72,000 kms. on it. I find it the best vehicle I have ever owned. The only serious problem I had was I had to get my brakes shoes and rotors renewed and I subsequently got my money back from Chrysler for the work was considered too premature for the age of the vehicle. I have the V6 235 HP engine and get around 22 mpg Canadian gallons. If I drive speed limits, I get much better mileage. The only complaints I would have with the interior are the seats could look better and the coffee holders are a bit low for me. It has lots of storage area, drives quiet, and passes anything on the road when I want to pass. I would recommend anyone buying a new vehicle to take a good look at the 2011 journey with the new Pentastar V6 engine. It offers 50 more HP with slightly better mileage.

  • avatar
    Kdwitt

    It’s rather funny how wrong all these nay sayers were and are. The Jouney has not only become the number one selling Cross Over here in Canada. Better yet has been the Top pick by the IIHS for safety. The all new 2011 Journey is an amazing upgrade with the all new soft touch panels, to the amazing standard features including touch screen audio and climate controls.

    With all this being said… If your looking for the best vehicle at the best price. Trust me, stop by at your local Chrsyler Dodge Jeep dealers and have a good look for yourself. For all those who made silly conclusions, you too should take a better look of what this vehicle has become. Trust me when I say this.. “this is the best over all Utility vehicle you will ever buy”


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