Why Would Anyone Ever Recommend The Dodge Journey?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
why would anyone ever recommend the dodge journey

There comes a point in our lives when we all fly off the handle. It can happen when we’re still young and ready to believe anything or when we’re old and the voice of those young’uns make us instinctively say nasty, insensitive thoughts.

Temporary insanity comes and goes with the seasons. With that I am about to recommend a [s]car[/s] [s]truckster[/s] [s]minivan[/s] lame duck vehicle that has a surprisingly good fit for one type of buyer in particular: Those with large families who want a new car but don’t really give a shit about cars.

The [s]all-new[/s] still leftover and molderizing 2015 Dodge Journey with the American Value Package is a kind-of-okay vehicle in much the same way as a basic Windows Phone is a perfectly good device for those who just want to text, talk and have easy email access.

You need to do the basics of driving? Just want a slightly higher seating position? Do you need to seat three kids across who are at least two years apart? The Dodge Journey may just be the perfect no-name shoe to satisfy your non-exciting driving experience.

Still better than CUE

I’ll be brutally blunt folks. The Journey is basic, humdrum, and pretty much as generic as you can get if you’re looking for a vehicle that’s already served as a bare-bones 2008 crossover. It’s not very pretty and it sure as hell ain’t fun. But you can get it in blue and it’s big where it counts, which apparently matters to thousands of people. Like most Mitsubishis, this is the vehicle that no enthusiast ever recommends because every other competitor already surpassed it five years ago.

Every. Single. One.

Yet I’m recommending it for the automotive apathetic. Right here. Right now. Why?

Take that inflated windshield sticker and knock five grand off. According to TrueCar, a new 2015 Dodge Journey with the American Value Package starts at only $14,700 in Powder Spring, Georgia. That’s how much you can get a basic Journey before adding incentives. Do you already own a Chrysler? Are you a lease junkie? The TrueCar total can pretty much fall through the floor and straight into new car nirvana at only $11,790. That’s a $9,900 discount off an MSRP that may or may not be jacked back up once the local dealer does his bogus fee happy dance.

That’s insane. But does it exist? Is the Journey a unicorn that, in the real world, requires you purchase a boatload of features in the four-figure range? Possibly, and I’m getting more than a bit suspicious after doing a fair bit of research.

My neighborhood Chrysler dealership, which was just acquired by a dealership conglomerate [s]because they couldn’t sell cars[/s], still has over 250 current model year FCA vehicles and nearly 500 additional units with “2016” in multiple colors witten with neon marker on their windshields. Thankfully, they were wise enough during this recent year not to invest too heavily in Journeys. The mega dealer on the other side of Atlanta is actually showing 50 of these American Value Package 2015 models for an asking price that is well north of $20,000.

Welcome To The House Of Stain!

To be diplomatic about it, I know that the mega dealer isn’t actually that bad (except maybe their IT department), and I know my local Chrysler dealer definitely isn’t that good. Then again, neither is this version of the Journey, so it all equals out. The 2015 Dodge Journey (to nowhere) offers an archaic 4-speed automatic mated to a 2.4-liter engine that dates all the way back to 2006. This happens to be the exact powertrain combination that guided a million heavily decontented Sebrings, Stratuses and Calibers into the gates of federal bankruptcy, and it also launched a half-million rental quality Chrysler 200s, Jeep Patriots and Jeep Compasses into Chrysler’s post-bankruptcy existence. It’s proven to be, well, cheaper than a worn out mop as far as vehicle powertrains are concerned.

Is this Dodge Journey worth the money? Can it even be bought for only $12,000 and change if you opt for the well-regarded UConnect upgrade? Or is this just another case of certain dealers and TrueCar offering cars that are the equivalent of a modern day fake war story?

What says you?

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2 of 108 comments
  • JLGOLDEN JLGOLDEN on Mar 11, 2016

    Two people I know bought a Journey: 2013 and 2015 models, both purchased new. Both buyers are credit & cash strapped, car-dumb (meant lovingly but with mountains of truth) and they are not sensitive to some of the Journey's characteristics (things which would make most of us crazy, dissatisfied). The Journey's pricing, seating configuration, and features-per dollar are likeable qualities. I recommended the 2013 as an upgrade for a single mother whose rural lifestyle with chickens, dogs, a farm, and 3 kids was killing her 2013 Veloster. The 2015 Journey was for a 70-year-old relative who needed easy ingress-egress and whose mobility restrictions were no longer suited to a Ram 1500 for which he'd overpaid... just 18 months prior. Roll that negative equity into the deal, and drive home your shiny new car today!

  • Zeus01 Zeus01 on Mar 12, 2016

    Not sure why anyone in their right mind would buy a Journey, but I know why my brother did: Two years ago he was closing the deal on a new 2014 Ford Escape 2.0L Ecoboost. After haggling to a price agreement he bolted for a work assignment leaving his wife to sign all of the paperwork. But later he received a text from her. The agreed-upon monthly payment hadn't changed. But the amortization date was no longer five years but rather, seven. The dealer tried to sneak that little change past the wife but she was too savvy to allow that. Brother was so incensed at being screwed after four straight vehicles purchased from the same dealer that he left work and bought his Journey from the dealership next door 15 minutes later. He's not sorry he passed up the Ford, but he's now regretting the Journey.

  • Cprescott Ford killed the TRANSit because it identified itself as a station wagon.
  • Crtfour I live in East Tennessee where most of the time driving is pretty low stress. But for work I have the misfortune of passing through Atlanta every 3-4 months. And passing through downtown you have to change lanes and merge so many times I still can't seem to keep it straight. On my last trip I ended up in an exit only lane ; the lane next to me where I had to get into was stopped so I was blocking the exit lane with this guy behind me blowing his horn and flashing his lights. I finally managed to get over finally allowing this guy to floor it and be on it's way. I consider myself a good driver with the exception of passing through there.
  • Pishta Those 80 B2000's were very Ford Courier like but the 81's had a completely new for Mazda dash. Less pods, more integration in one window. These didn't get the F motor until 84(?) only with the B2200 option. Single wall beds had lost of rust through issues. The 80 Quad headlamp grill was very rare, I dont rememeer seeing but one growing up.
  • FreedMike So it has transited out of existence here...
  • TheEndlessEnigma Self fulfilling prophesy. Ford spends virtually nothing on sales and marketing for the Transit....then scratches their collective heads not understand why it doesn't sell to their assumed objectives. If you do not market the vehicle, it will not sell. Pretty simple to understand really. Ford sure is working hard to make itself a niche automobile company, trucks and SUV's only. But that's OK, Kia/Hyundai/Toyota/Honda and yes even Volkswagen & Nissan are more than happy to sell to those customers Ford is apparently happy to walk away from.