By on April 20, 2016

2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad, Image: FCA

I rented a Dodge Journey last week.

It had a 2.4 liter Tigershark motor, which is also found in other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles automobiles. It also had a four-speed automatic transmission. This made it feel slow.

Most of the interior was plastic. It didn’t feel good in my hands.

I also thought the stereo system was bad.

There was no bluetooth in the car. It was also missing automatic headlights. I didn’t like that.

It had a storage compartment in the front passenger seat. You could probably store things in it.

It had a third row of seating. I don’t think anybody but very small children could fit back there.

Here’s a link to all the specs that Dodge says the car has. This is the link.

The ride quality was acceptable. Seats were ok. I didn’t feel sore at all after I drove it for two hours at a time.

Fuel economy was not bad. I observed 24 mpg combined, but I also drive faster than most people.

The interior was very drab. I spilled a fruit punch Rockstar in it, and I think that made it better.

It was easy to see out of the car in all directions.

I think that poor people who need to carry more than four people in a car would like this car. Unless they like minivans, then they should get a Caravan.

It costs $24,895, but I doubt anybody actually pays that for it.

What do you think of the Dodge Journey? Tell us in the comments.

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165 Comments on “2016 Dodge Journey SXT Rental Review...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Wow. 2016 car with

    4 speed auto
    No bluetooth (!!!!!!)

    Did it have drum brakes in the back? Airbag for the driver only? Those seatbelts that would slide in a track from front to back? Jesus effing Christ man.

    But it is a new (lower rates) SUV that can seat 7 and probably goes out the door for like $18K fully equipped (never mind the subprime rates or near decade long terms).

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      My ’16 Cruze Limited has rear drum brakes. I forgot how awful they are after driving with discs for so long. My last drum brake car as a DD was my 01 Ford Focus ZX3.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Just for the record the 2016 NG Cruze has rear disks. The new 2017 Hyundai Elantra has rear drum brakes in contrast.

      • 0 avatar
        bills79jeep

        ‘I forgot how awful they are after driving with discs for so long.’

        Genuinely curious: What kind of driving were you doing where you noticed the difference? Track? Mountains?

        My biggest issue with rear drums is that they aren’t as easy to DIY service as discs. Then again, rear disc parking brake drums are a PITA…

        • 0 avatar
          Lack Thereof

          The difference in stopping power or fade is never going to be noticed, even for a large car. It’s the confidence-inspiring pedal feel when you first step in to the brake, that’s what sells rear discs.

          With rear drums, no matter how well-adjusted the shoes are, there will always be some amount of slack in the system that you feel in the top of the pedal travel. 4-wheel discs, on the other hand, are just there right at the top of the stroke, all the time. When I get out of my rear-drum DD and into an unfamiliar 4-wheel-disc car, my first couple of stops are always extremely abrupt due to the lesser pedal travel.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I disagree. My mother still drives a ’99 Sunfire GT with rear drums. I adjust the shoes at every seasonal tire change and that car has the best brake pedal feel of any vehicle I’ve driven apart from the Formula Mazda race car I drove about ten years ago. I’m not even exaggerating. There’s almost no flex or mush or dead travel to the pedal.

            However, back when I thought that those things really did self-adjust and required no maintenance, the brake pedal didn’t feel very good, and it was obvious that the front brakes were doing all the work.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Drums vs discs at the rear really shouldn’t make a difference in a small economy car where the rears do very little to stop the car. The Cruze is heavy, but not that heavy.

        They are, I agree, a pain to service, but they also last longer and don’t take damage like discs do.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          drums are fine for the rear brakes of a non-performance vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I don’t like the feel of rear drum brakes after driving with discs.Or maybe it’s the way the braking system in the Cruze modulates. Either way, when I’ve had to stop quickly, I didn’t like it. It’s subjective, I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        How are you driving a Cruze that you’ll even *notice* the rear brakes?

        The front ones do almost all the work – that’s why so many compact cars still have drums in the back.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          (Per comment above, I’d blame the way the whole system works, not the fact of it having drums, yes.

          I mean, I have a Corolla with rear drums, and its brakes are excellent.)

    • 0 avatar
      badreligion702

      Wow, the 2012 Fiat 500 we just bought for my daughter has 4 wheel discs, 7 airbags, a six speed auto and bluetooth. It is a decently loaded Lounge model though.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I don’t think any FCA car has auto headlights, because most of the dim-bulbs I see who have newer cars that drive around at times when sane people have their lights on drive FCA vehicles. Yes – I take notice of what these knuckleheads drive, too!

    Funny how that works.

    I can’t help but think that FCA is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, so much for GM hate because there is someone lower on the ol’ totem pole!

    Kudos! One review with no profanity. Congratulations.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      +1 on the “no profanity!”
      Love the, um, brevity of this review! Just the facts, man!

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Almost every FCA vehicle has auto lights standard or as an option. Higher end models have auto high beam as well (even on the Dart). I’m no fan of FCA vehicles, but making stupid stuff up is pretty old.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        I wish you were right, SC5door. My fully loaded Dodge Caravan R/T lacks auto headlights, even though it has a twilight sensor and all necessary wiring. I haven’t yet bought the Town & Country switch that literally replaces mine.

        • 0 avatar
          TCragg

          My loaded 2016 Grand Caravan R/T has auto headlights, as did the Crew Plus model that I looked at. It appears that Crew and below do not have auto headlights. I’m in Canada, so perhaps US R/T models do not come with them standard.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          What year?

          Internet says the R/T has auto lights standard at least as far back as 2014.

          In 2013 (and presumably before) it’s part of a package, but I’d expect “fully loaded” to include that.

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        Thanks…I was going to mention that…low rent rentals generally come with less equipment than most sold on showroom floors. I looked into a 2013 model for my wife, the RT model, and it was quite well equipped, leather, etc. Ended up going with the new Titanium Escape…mainly because of the sucky color choice my wife and mother in law (who lives with us) made…I wouldn’t dis the Journey that much…the test drive model we drove was a V6, 6 speed trans…now they have the 8 speed I believe. Smooth, plenty of power, and very well equipped…

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        For the record, I wasn’t making up “stupid stuff”. It is what I have observed in the last four years.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      My Charger has auto lights, but I don’t like how they work (they react WAY too slowly to changes in conditions) so I turned them off.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        My ’15 Charger has auto lights as well as auto high beams. At least in my car, the sensor is fast enough to turn the lights on when I pull into the garage or drive under a long underpass.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          On my 2014, it takes about 60 seconds for the auto lights to turn on and 120+ seconds for them to turn off.

          I dont think there are any timer settings for the auto lights in uConnect so they either improved the system with the 2015 refresh or mine is broken (very possible!).

          • 0 avatar
            OzCop

            Most of that stuff is programmable…of course you danged near have to be a computer programmer to get through it…

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            ajla

            I had this very same issue with my Mazda 6.
            I spoke to mazda about it and was told to bring it it..the sensitivity timing on this can be adjusted.
            I did and they adjusted to be the setting most sensitive to changes.
            Working good now.

            Just FYI.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Any sensitivity setting in the navigation area for the auto lights?

          • 0 avatar
            LXbuilder

            Yes your car does have timer settings in U-connect just as my 2013 Charger does. (Mine work great)
            As stated by someone else here, pretty much every FCA product has available or standard auto headlamps, seems some web commenters love to perpetuate B.S.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        ajla

        I had this very same issue with my Mazda 6.
        I spoke to mazda about it and was told to bring it it..the sensitivity timing on this can be adjusted.
        I did and they adjusted to be the setting most sensitive to changes.
        Working good now.

        Just FYI.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        they all have some sort of “hysteresis” programmed in to prevent the lights from constantly turning on and off, e.g. when going under overpasses. frequent cycling is especially killer for arc lamps like HIDs.

        • 0 avatar

          This is why when you need lights during the day, like rain or fog, I always use the running lights plus fogs. One of my cars will trigger the DRL and Fog and Running Lights, but let me selectively switch on and off the HID.

          the BMW even retains center halogens, unused, except for DRL or flash to pass…..

          Turning them on wears them out, not leaving them on….

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        My 14 Challenger has auto lights and they’re fast enough to respond to freeway underpasses. They stay on for a little while afterward, I’m not sure how long.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      “I don’t think any FCA car has auto headlights”

      Wrong! I know (not think) that Jeep, for starters, has them.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      FCA vehicles don’t need auto headlights in Canada at least since their daytime running lights are by far the brightest on the road and look like high beams during the day.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    couldn’t help hearing this review in my mind in the voice of Ben Stein.

  • avatar
    paulinvegas

    I feel bad for the fruit punch Rockstar.

  • avatar
    Jason

    “I needed a vehicle and this was one.”

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It’s a decent enough car, fundamentally: it’s nicely packaged (for a three-row crossover) and drives well, but it’s also from the end of the Daimler reign of terror and, like the Compatriber or Avenbring, shows it in many ways.

    I did like the built-in child seats in the second row. That’s a nice touch.

    Other than that, yeah, the Grand Caravan is better in every way.

  • avatar
    ThirdOwner

    This review was written via Twitter.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    I took one of these through Rocky Mountain National Park. It was either a Journey or a Corolla, for a family of 4 going on vacation for a week. I prayed to all deities that the Dodge had the Pentastar, but got the 4-pot.

    I’ve never pinned a throttle to the floor for so long in my life as I did in this POS, including on a track or driving an emergency vehicle. Even in Denver, this thing was dangerously slow fully loaded (this isn’t something I say lightly – a G1 Honda Insight is in my personal fleet). At higher elevations, I was getting smoked by fully loaded tractor trailers. In its defense, it never hiccuped even spending hours above 4k RPMs.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Well, half-hearted why-did-they-even-bother efforts like this would motivate me to get out of the car business if I were Sergio, so I guess I can’t blame him for that.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Journey sales have been up every year since its 2008 release. I think they sold 120K of these last year. “If it aint broke”

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        When everyone else is trying to get $30-40k for a crossover, FCA has somewhere to shine. If your going to have a life sucking vehicle, might as well pay as little as possible for it.

        • 0 avatar
          bills79jeep

          Hey, wasn’t that the slogan for the Patriot and Compass?

        • 0 avatar
          gespo04

          Dodge is basically beating Mitsubishi at their own game. The thing is, Dodge can theoretically keep making cars that are significantly cheaper/worse than the competition because their higher end products (Hellcat, trailhawk, SRT, etc.) are actually worth a damn. People buy cheap dodges over cheap Mitsubishis because A. Murica, and B. the Dodge brand has a significant perceived value.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “B. the Dodge brand has a significant perceived value.”

            Oh yes, whenever I see an Avenger or a Sebring or clapped out Durango my mind goes “Oh the excellence!”

  • avatar
    rev0lver

    It’s a cheap 7 passenger vehicle that isn’t a mini van. I think every second house in my neighbourhood has one.

    I recall talking to one neighbour who was driving along at 50 km/h and had her front wheel fall off.

    You get what you pay for sometimes.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      RevOlver,
      You need to move into a better neighborhood, I think I have seen one of these a month maybe in metro NY.

      • 0 avatar

        There’s one I see parked in my neighborhood.

        It has state government plates.

        I think the Journey is to state/local governments what a stripped white Cherokee with a plastic grill was in 2000.

      • 0 avatar
        rev0lver

        seth1065,

        I live in a typical suburban neighbourhood. These vehicles, for whatever reason, are quite popular in Canada.

        Sometimes people just want the cheapest vehicle that meets their needs.

        • 0 avatar
          scott25

          It’s true, if you spend a lot of time in small-mid-sized town Ontario, you could be forgiven for thinking the Journey is the best selling-non pickup in Canada. There are thousands.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Except for the same money as the cheap Journeys, you can get a Grand Caravan that isn’t absolutely gutless, and has way more room. And you’ve got weird priorities if a sad hubcap’d Journey gives off the sort of image you’d like, but a minivan is somehow off limits.

          By the time you get the V6 it needs, you’re at nearly $30k, and with AWD, you’re over $35k, which is getting direly close to some much better options if you’re stuck on a crossover.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I agree…they are very popular in the Ozark mountains.
      But then again, so are the Patriots, Compasses and Avengers!

      They are cheap, affordable modes of transportation and likely attained without much down payment and live for a thousands years…like t seems all cars, trucks and vans do in them hills.

      They seem to keep cars longer than other folks homes.

    • 0 avatar
      Liger

      My friend had a loaded Journey, and the right rear brake rotor broke off while she was driving down the road. It was a total POS, but it rode really quiet.

  • avatar
    srh

    I rented a Dodge Journey SXT a couple weekends ago. I had asked Hertz for an SUV (“Toyota 4-Runner or similar”) and they gave me the Journey. I protested, they won.

    Not an exaggeration to say this was perhaps the worst powertrain I’ve ever driven. I was driving from Sacramento to Tahoe and, with two people and a couple pairs of skis, it had a tough time holding 70MPH with the accelerator floored. Using the sport-shift didn’t help. It simply did not have enough power to climb highway grades even at low elevation.

    Everything else about the car was ho-hum. Space was tight for such a large vehicle. I couldn’t fit my skis in the back, even with the seat down, without them sticking up into the front seat area. Ridiculous.

    I don’t know what the Journey retails for, but whatever it is, it’s too much.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I’ve never seen a 4Runner as a rental, does that actually happen or is that just a lead on to trick people into these crossovers.

      • 0 avatar
        crtfour

        I’ve seen them at Hertz. Last week I reserved a “4-runner or similar” as well and got a Chrysler 300 as they were out of “4-runner or similar” SUV’s. They wouldn’t give me the Porsche Cayenne sitting there. Oh well, worth a try. Glad I didn’t get a Journey though.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You better have received a discount, because as much as they charge for “premium SUV” stuff, not receiving an SUV at all is pretty egregious. Especially true since you likely chose an SUV for a particular renty-reason.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I’ve had a 4Runner 4wd SR5 twice as a rental from Avis, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Rode like a Cadillac compared to my ’96. They’ve been my favorite rentals hands down, but then again I’m the resident 4Runner/Toyota fanboy so take that with a big grain of salt.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I had the very same rental a couple of weeks ago. Refrigerator white. No Bluetooth or auto headlights either, yet they somehow found the money for a proximity key (it was probably consolidated options to save money, actually). It was all they had, but I swapped it the very next day.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      How’d you swap it if it was all they had? Did an employee swap their personal car for it? Lol

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Well, the next day, they had other cars. They gave me a 2016 Kia Sorento V6 AWD, which is a better car in every way I can think of. Unfortunately, the Kia developed a recurring flat-tire issue, and now I have this silly Jeep Cherokee Limited, which has a great design and lovely features…but is overweight and struggles to find the power to get out of its own way. Also, it has a very tall loading floor that I’m sure really cuts down on the utility aspect.

    • 0 avatar

      That “not a key” as we call it, is just a way for them to save money. Once everyone went with the chip in key to stop theft, it was a short step to “why bother with a key at all if the real security is the chip”.

      At first, it was an upsell option, but now, it is just cheaper to eliminate a full lockset from the steering column. I hate the “not a key” fob…..

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Regardless of whether they’re included to impress customers or to save money, I love proximity keys. No more digging in my pocket, and fishing the key out from under other keys, change, etc., while I’m carrying a bunch of junk.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I truly appreciate them in the winter. No taking off my gloves to get in a pocket for the remote. With or without things I’m carrying (seems like there’s always something to carry), fishing keys out at -2 degrees is painful.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        My base model Challenger has the “not a key”. The little green screen that tells you the MPG, your speed, and other info says “Depress brake and push button to start” before you turn it, even though my car has no such feature.

        I LOL everytime I read it.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          If you purchased it used, it’s probably something that was reprogrammed incorrectly, like a mis-entered computer variable…assuming it’s the pre-2015. After 2015, I believe FCA’s new corporate smart key became standard equipment.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            In a Challenger, I do believe they’ve been equipped with a standard Daimler-Style key as well as the little plug-in to make it a proximity key since 2011.

            Our porter used to take them out of the cars and customers would complain.

  • avatar
    velvet fog

    We had one as a rental too. My wife, who is not a car person, noticed two things –
    – The extremely cheap interior
    – The groan it made every time you tried to accelerate, like it was saying Noooooo

    I was just glad I paid for it with rental points instead of cash.

    By the end of the week, every time the engine groaned, she would chime in with a Noooooo until it stopped.

  • avatar
    Discoman

    I have owned a Dodge Journey for 2 years.

    It has a 3.6 Pentastar with 6 speed auto. Decent power and reliable. Couldn’t imagine a smaller engine with 2 fewer cogs.

    Ordered the driver convenience group with heated leather steering wheel. Interior is not so plasticky feeling.

    Ordered the 8″ Uconnect system. Stereo is decent.

    Uconnect has bluetooth. Car has automatic headlights.

    Storage compartments are useful.

    I did not find the need for third row, so I did not spend the money on it.

    I can drive the car for 4 hours and not get tired. It is a fairly quiet car on the highway.

    V6 gets 19 in town, 24 on highway. Not the best, but not too bad. It doesn’t stand out in the crowd, so one can generally go faster without being noticed…

    Interior is okay. Driver convenience package helps over the base model interior.

    Visibility is good.

    If you need to haul more than 5, get a minivan.

    I paid less than 25K for what I got.

    If I had rented what you ended up renting, I probably would never have bought one.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, the Journey is 50x better with the V6 and UConnect. I drove a fairly well optioned V6 between Montreal and NYC (and back again) and it’s a comfortable, powerful enough, quiet enough, well-equipped enough vehicle. I don’t know about long-term ownership, but over 12 hours of driving, it was totally fine.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      “It doesn’t stand out in the crowd, so one can generally go faster without being noticed…”

      Pure placebo. This is only relevant if radar guns all of a sudden judged how flashy a car was before it judged the speed. Aggressive driving well over the limit is what gets you. The last data I saw of the top ticketed vehicles (normalized by registration numbers) was half full of mundane cars. Sporty cars driven by young people were obviously high on the list, but that is because sporty cars driven by young people are regularly driven aggressively.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s because you can pull over EVERY Ferrari twice and still not have 3% of the number of tickets given to Camry drivers. There are just so many.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Well, note, he said “normalized by registration numbers”.

          Thus, ticket *rate*, not number.

          I believe it; when it’s a normal speed trap, they’re just waiting for a big enough number on the laser.

          The ticket numbers are what matter, not what kind or color your car is.

          (Now, for ones where they just happen to eyeball you and decide to pop the laser/radar, that’s another matter.

          That small proportion of stops, a boring car might help.

          I mean, I swear my w115 Mercedes was *invisible* to policemen; just looking at it one got the idea there was no possible way it could be exceeding the speed limit.)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            He edited this comment considerably from the initial version I responded to. Here is the original version.

            ““It doesn’t stand out in the crowd, so one can generally go faster without being noticed…”

            Pure placebo. This is only relevant if radar guns all of a sudden judged how flashy a car was before it judged the speed. Aggressive driving well over the limit is what gets you. The last data I saw had some vanilla midsize sedan had the highest speeding ticket rates.”

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Semi-related trivia: The Journey is sold in Europe as the Fiat Freemont, with a diesel and manual, of course.

    Honestly, I’m not surprised the Journey does so well in Middle America. It’s big-ish, but not bloated; it gets “good enough” MPG, and it still has a little bit of that muscular Dodge look without breaking out of the “safe” mold.

  • avatar
    DubTee1480

    This is in response to the criticisms of the 2016 Mustang convertible and 2016 Accord Sport 6MT reviews isn’t it…

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I chuckled the moment I opened the page and saw the format of the text. For a vehicle with as little effort seemingly put into its design and development, this monotone list of attributes is about the perfect review.

    The Corolla is grateful that there is another vehicle for which a 4cyl 4spd powertrain is an even worse idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Good catch on the review format.

      In reality the 5 seater Journey is almost perfect as a 2nd car driven by young adults/teens. Good visibility, lots of useful bins/space, ‘big’ enough to be regarded as safe and not enough power to get itself into trouble.

      Growing up in suburban Scarboro, ‘wealthy’ families got the largest car with the smallest engine as the 2nd car. Generally a low model Chev or Pontiac or Plymouth with a 6 cylinder and 4 doors.

      The only problems with the base Journey are that they should include 4 wheel discs and all the supplementary safety features such as stability control, it should have Bluetooth standard and they should increase the MSRP by about $2k and then put about $1k into much better parts.

      Forget about plastic interiors, etc. It is only going to be used to haul pets, groceries, kids to and from sports and eventually young partiers.

      Still finishing at or near the bottom of most reliability reports is not a good thing, regardless of cost. Otherwise, I would put one in my driveway without hesitation.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    why would anyone buy this rather than a FCA minivan which is a good product and I think can be bought for around the same $$$. You guys are scaring me I may need to rent a mini van for a NJ to Iowa trip and I do not want to get one of these.

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    OK, I will say it first: You just hate it because it is not a Ford.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Best. Review. Ever. –

    – said Steven Wright

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    It appears as though this review was written on diazepam or equivalent.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This passes as a “review”?

  • avatar
    legacygt

    The Journey is the best Dodge Avenger you can buy. I will also say that the interior was much improved when they did a refresh from the original. But compared to just about any other car sold today, it’s pretty awful. As bad as your example was, it’s even more embarrassing that they sell one with an R/T badge on the back.
    It’s a little sad what’s going on at Dodge. In the Charger, Challenger and Durango they have a few cars that are competitive and/or interesting. But they’re talking about losing the Durango and have already lost the Grand Caravan. This means that a mass market brand will be coming to market with a RWD sedan, a ponycar and an aging 3 row car that with an undersized engine and 4 speed auto. What’s a Dodge dealer to do?

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Never order a Journey with the base 4 cylinder for starters.

    • 0 avatar

      I like the “best Avenger you can buy” line. I think the appeal of the Journey is the same as of the Avenger – it’s basically a new CUV for used CUV money. You get the advantages of a new car warranty and new car finance rates. If you just need transportation, and don’t want to spend time trying to figure out if a used car is a good buy or a mechanical wreck, it’s a good option.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        My fiance’s friend’s family of Vietnamese immigrants bought their medical-school bound daughters a pair of lower-trim new Avengers, I’m sure they got a smoking deal on them. And for how these cars get abused on midwestern roads and all the dings they get in apartment and hospital parking lots, it makes sense to me. Ditto the Journey. If a Grand Caravan is simply too big or you must have AWD, then this is a good choice. Aside from size though, I see no reason to not spring for a Grand Caravan AVP for the low-low price of $16-17k. That gets you a Pentastar/6A combination atleast, and a ton more versatility.

    • 0 avatar
      Liger

      Project Alpha was implemented over 10 years ago. So almost all Dodge stores are Dodge/Ram/Chrysler/Jeep stores now.

  • avatar
    economist

    He stuck to the facts, removed all his usual commentary, and kept most of his opinions to himself. He gave (some of) the B&B what they wanted. Best of all, no one will be offended by this review!

    • 0 avatar
      FOG

      I was offended by the flippant, monotone, approach to the article. Very stereotypical and uninformed. I was surprised to see who the author was.

      My 2014 Journey Crossroads(AWD) has 50,000 miles on it and my wife chose it over anything GM offered in the price range. She has only driven GM in the past. My family all work for one of the 3 Detroit car companies so the discounts were similar compared to GM and Ford. The only problem we have had with this car was a minor glitch with the cruise control light. It has been on two trips to Florida, a trip to Tennessee, and one to Chicago. It is a great vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        badreligion702

        You’re asking for an inspiring review from an uninspiring automobile. The only real benefits of it are being new, and having seating for 7. The Caravan is a much better vehicle for those though.

        • 0 avatar
          FOG

          I am not asking for an inspiring review, I am asking for a REAL review. What I read was meant to say, “It’s a Dodge so it is boring.” He didn’t slam the V6 Mustang or say, if it doesn’t have a V8 it isn’t really a Mustang. My personal experience with Chrysler products, dating back to my first Car, a 1972 ‘Cuda with 340 Magnum and 3 on the floor, has been mixed. We always love our first ride, but I wasn’t fooled while Chrysler was putting out rust bucket gas guzzlers. Now, I am impressed with the Journey and will be sad when they quit making it. To put 50,000 miles on a car and still have good brakes, excellent ride, and nice interior . It withstood kids, pets and heavy snow while getting decent mpgs. Bark drove a low-end fleet vehicle and cast a wide net of blah over the whole model. It is sadly what I have come to expect from car snobs.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    The Journey is incredibly popular in Quebec where I live. It’s everywhere.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Are these still on the road? I haven’t seen one in forever. I had no clue they are still manufactured. I know of one person that bought one and his is a POS with reliability issues that he overlooks because it has some stupidly long warranty which pays out like a hacked slot machine.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    First, let me say I have had Mopar vehicles all my life, save for a Cavalier and a 911. Even my little replica roadster has an LA in it.

    Now that that is out of the way, our pastor has one of these (2013) and we rode with him for something to eat. It was a 14 mile journey and the worst part was my butt fell asleep on the chiseled granite they have for a seat. Actually, that may have also been the best part.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Your pastor should start checking pay stubs to make sure people are paying their tithes, and then buy himself a new Escalade ESV…like my great-grandmother’s pastor did a couple of years ago.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    I liked your Mustang rental review much more, Bark! :)

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The fact that FCA still offers this with an old 2.4 engine tied to an even older 4 speed automatic tells me they could care a less about Dodge.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The Journey review seems to exemplify the term, “You get what you pay for”. It was conceived during the Daimler era as a replacement for the SWB Caravan as minivan sales were being overtaken by SUVs and the new, mid-size 2008 Grand Caravan/T&C became Chrysler’s sole ‘true’ minivan. Daimler’s Chrysler vehicles were routinely savaged for their cheapness, mainly over the low-quality interiors slathered with Tonka-level plastic everywhere. The current, entry-level, rental Journey seems to be no exception.

    OTOH, the Journey has, evidently, succeeded in its mission well enough, but I wonder how many 4-cylinder Journeys are fleet sales. I can’t imagine anyone but the most desperate civilian consumer buying one of those, with most opting for the Pentastar drivetrain.

    I would imagine the Journey’s days are numbered, though, as the FCA Pacifica replaces the Town & Country minivan and the Grand Caravan is replaced by some smaller, quasi-crossover that comes with an AWD option (which the Pacifica is also supposed to have at some point).

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Ha! I actually found this review rather amusing. Certainly appropriate for the subject matter. I’ve got to say I honestly think the Journey is one of the best-looking crossovers around, I prefer a boxy, minimalist “trucky” look over the overstyled, melted jellybean look everyone else goes with. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with a sparingly-optioned, old-tech utilitarian vehicle for a reasonable price. That being said, based on all the horror stories I’ve heard from friends and family about their various Chrysler products over the last 10 years, I wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The last Journey I drove had the V6, so wasn’t deathly slow, but was otherwise just as drab as this review indicates. The rental was in 2013, and the car was an embarrassment in the market then. It’s now 2016 and the car hasn’t improved in any respect.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    I dreaded having to write book reports when I was a kid, and by God did I know how to totally 1/2 a** it. Bark’s review reminded me of the book report one hated to write, or writing under influence of a heavy dose of Clonazepam. I’ll go with the former. I had a hippy crazy cat lady English teacher that hated males, particulary those that were masculine or were sons of cops. And dammit, I slacked hard for her C-.

    Henry David Thoreau lived in the woods for two years.

    He built a cabin to be close to nature.

    He wanted to immserse himself in nature.

    His cabin was small and he had a garden.

    He was not well liked by the local townspeople.

    He wrote about many themes; visitors, villages, something called higher laws, not eating meat, and the seasons.

    Thoreau was part of the transcendentalist movement that said that people should be self-reliant. It took him several years to write the book.

    I did not particularly care for this book, or his philosophy. He basically built a cabin on his friend’s land and stayed there for 2 years without having to work or raise a family. I would not recommend this to others.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      Post of the year.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Henry David Thoreau was a genius, patriot (refusing to pay taxes for the Spanish-American War), and righteous dude who correctly spelled out the hazards of excess and conspicuous waste.

      You err in transferring your resentment (righteous or not) for your teacher onto Thoreau.

      You could benefit from some soulful, simplified, reflective time at a place similar to Walden. You might just come away with a deep and enduring new-found respect for Thoreau.

      • 0 avatar
        Frank Galvin

        DW: Having been removed from the wretched hippy for some time, I do have an appreciation and respect for Thoreau. Without Civil Disobedience, MLK would not have written Letter From a Birmingham Jail. However, the teacher was an out of control professional activist who used Thoreau’s teaching as a club upon the head of certain males, including myself and my best friend (son of a cop). What could have been an interesting class and engagement was poisoned by her in class advocacy and crass behavior. And I choose to live in the sticks – for reasons similar to his.

      • 0 avatar
        rocketrodeo

        Thoreau didn’t pay taxes for the Spanish-American War for the same reason you and I didn’t. He wasn’t a taxpayer then.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Buy the poor guy a Cadillac…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Hilarious. I truly think this car is fully deserving of that kind of review, in all honesty.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I rented a higher trim version of one with a V6 a while ago – it honestly seemed like a decent low cost vehicle. I liked being able to watch trans temp, oil pressure, etc through the center color display. I’ve always like uConnect.

  • avatar
    ItsMeMartin

    I see the Journey as America’s Dacia Duster: the success of both of those models comes from being the cheapest models within a fashionable segment. I might be mistaken but the way I see it, both the Duster and the Journey seem to attract buyers who are willing to overlook certain shortcomings in quality and refinement for as long as they can be seen driving what constitutes the socially-approved automotive choice. Of course that certainly is not the only motivation for buying the Journey or the Duster – especially in Europe where neither the Fiat Freemont nor the Journey are as derided as the Dodge is in NA – but I think it could at least partially explain their popularity.

    Personally, I find the Journey interesting. It’s relatively cheap, spacious, and easy to use. The fact that it uses proven, even if ancient, technology indicates that it might be cheap to run in the long term, and probably won’t surprise the owner with high repair bills that seem to be all too common in cars laden with state-of-the-art tech.
    Sure, given the choice I would take the Grand Caravan over the Journey in a heartbeat but now that the GC is no longer produced, the Journey seems to represent decent value for how much it usually sells for. If I lived in the US and had approx. 20K to spend on a new car, the base Journey would definitely be on my radar.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I guess the reason it falls flat for us here in the B&B is that none of us is really scared to buy a used car. If I had $20K to spend, I (a) wouldn’t need a three-row SUV in the first place because I’m in my 20s and have no children, and (b) I could come up with some solid used cars that are far nicer.

      But I completely see your point. It’s not as agricultural as the Dacia Duster, but more or less occupies the same segment here. So do the smaller Jeep Patriot and Compass, which—for some reason—don’t annoy me as much as the Journey.

      • 0 avatar
        ItsMeMartin

        As for the B&B, I noticed a slightly different phenomenon: a surprising number of us are generally open to the idea of owning a used car, but only if it has a warranty still running. But since we’re talking $20K and thereabouts, your point stands, no doubt; that’s CPO territory right there.
        I think the disconnect between the Journey’s performance on the market and the B&B’s derision for it is also caused by the fact we also tend to overstate the importance of a car’s handling/feel/responsiveness to the general public.
        What’s interesting, the comments on Tim Cain’s Mazda article would suggest that a lot of us are actually aware that the public does not value sportiness etc. as much as we assume they do but I could bet some decent money that the next time a decidedly non-sporty car proves to sell surprisingly well, the B&B would be astonished at how that could be when so many “driver’s cars” (whatever that means) were available.
        Agreed on the Patriot/Compass – they are even closer to the Duster in terms of market positioning.
        Just like you, I’m childless and in my twenties (25 to be exact) but I, on the other hand, would love to own a people-hauler; preferably, a gold on tan Grand Caravan AVP. Just goes to show that we are not as homogenous as a group as we are believed to be, are we?

  • avatar
    A09

    I rented one from PIT in 2010. In the hills of Allegheny and Fayette counties, the power was sufficient with a little more throttle than normal. Ride was good. Interior was not good. A few trim panels were falling apart. I thought the flashlight in the cargo bay was gimmicky.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    It is a dirty rotten shame that post-bankruptcy they didn’t kill the 4 cyl and make the V6 standard.

    V6 + AWD makes this at least a decent Avenger wagon.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I like mine, but mine is loaded. I drive a 2015 Limited which replaced a 2012 Journey Crew that was less equipped than my current one, but much better optioned than Bark’s rental. Mine has the 3.6 liter engine, 8.4″ radio with Nav and Alpine speakers, moonroof, rear seat DVD, real leather, and 19″ wheels.

    Granted there are better vehicles out there, but all things considered I am satisfied with mine. My friends and family seem to like it too. So far, it’s been reliable.

    To me, it’s the ultimate anonymous vehicle. It does not attract unwanted attention from bystanders or cops (they never seem to notice when I’m speeding).

    So bottom line, it’s by no means the horrible vehicle some commentators portray. Someone above, I think it might have been Kyree, mentioned that they liked the Kia Sorento better. A friend that I have lunch with often owns one and I find its ride unacceptable: harsh on all but the smoothest of surfaces. Just MHO though.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Nice outline. Did the review get rejected?
    Read it in Ben Stein voice, then again in Droopy Dog. I like it more in the Droopy voice.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    When I hit the jump I was expecting to read only one more sentence.

    “It sucked.”

    The Dodge Journey is like FCA asked itself, “if GM was still building the U-Body minivans and never upgraded them after 2006, what could we sell that would be almost as bad, maybe even slightly worse.”

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    “It costs $24,895, but I doubt anybody actually pays that for it.”

    I’m not convinced that people paying less than sticker is the norm. Everyone I know that bought a new or CPO used car just paid sticker. The intention to buy the car at the listed price was made long before anyone ever spoke to a salesman. Especially on this car, 24,000 for a 3 row crossover is very competitive regardless of how plasticky the dashboard is.

    I gotta say though, I love this review. It’s not loaded with bullshit like opinions and the history of the brand and how this car doesn’t live up to it, or how it isn’t as nice as something much more expensive blah blah blah. Absolutely nobody can read this review and disagree with it. It is the truth about a car.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Kind of digging this minimalist writing approach here, Bark.

    It had four wheels.

    It had an engine.

    When you hit the ignition the engine comes to life.

    Turn the steering wheel and you can go in different directions.

    Press the brake pedal and the car stops.

    You can listen to music while you drive.

    Not much else to say about a car that sucked.

    (And, no, don’t read it in the Ben Stein voice…run it through that voice simulator that people use to produce You Tube videos. Perfect.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byhw3o8jVFg

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The 2.4L Tigershark is Roughy McGrumbley. I couldn’t deal with it in a car I was choosing to own.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    I like blunt articles. That read like this. So you can enjoy it. Like that.

    It’s almost lunch time. I can’t wait to go eat. Something cheap. So hungry.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    According to Dodge’s site, the radio in this SXT is called Radio 4.3.

    This begs the question – How crappy were versions of Radio 1-4.2?

    According to the audio section of the Journey’s site, there is no listing for how many speakers are included with Radio 4.3. There is a listing for “6 Premium speakers with subwoofer”, but this is what appears when you scan across to find if the Journey has this: “-”

    They should have just put a middle finger.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    My wife has a 2015 Journey (it’s a RT version). It’s not bad at all. But I can relate about the 2.4L. I have ’16 Jeep Patriot and it’s a slug. Now that’s a penalty box to be driving!

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    I think the Dodge Journey isn’t much better than the 1978 Dodge Aspen my best friend’s mom had when I was a kid.

    It had a 225ci Slant Six motor, which is also found in damn near every other Chrysler automobile made from 1960 to 1980. It also had a Torqueflite automatic transmission and a crap-ton of 1st-gen emissions controls. This made it very slow.

    Most of the interior was plastic, yet somehow, it was soft and comfortable.

    I thought the AM radio was bad, even though most of the music she played was good. There was actual music on AM back then, not just politicrap talk radio.

    Of course there was no bluetooth in the car, nor were there automatic headlights. People looked at the road when they drove, and when it got dark, they pulled the LIGHTS knob.

    It had two lockable storage compartments in the rear cargo area. We hid Star Wars action figures in them. One was the Rebel Base and the other was the Death Star.

    It did not have a third row of seating, but we rode back there anyway and felt perfectly safe.

    The ride quality was smoooooooth. Seats were great for jumping around on like a maniac, then falling asleep.

    Fuel economy must have been bad. My buddy’s mom complained about it all the time.

    The interior was a pleasant maroon vinyl. My buddy spilled McDonald’s fries in it, and his mom swatted his ass pretty hard.

    It was easy to see out of the car in all directions to wave and make goofy faces at other motorists.

    I think that poor people who need to carry more than four people in a car would like this car, if they made anything like it today.

    I don’t know what it cost, but my buddy’s mom missed the Cutlass she had before the Aspen. The Cutlass was rusty and beat-up, but it had a Rocket 350 and an FM radio, which made it better than the Aspen.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    I like how the effort put into this review parallels the amount of effort Daimler/Cerberus/Fiat put into the Journey during it’s eight(!) years on the market. Which is to say almost none whatsoever.

    I’m kinda depressed this thing still exists.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    After 6 yrs and 70k miles, the suspension is so sloppy that it’s downright dangerous, the brakes keep wearing out way too soon and the interior plastic is falling apart piece by piece, drive-train is still good.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Shame that you got that. My 2015 Journey has bluetooth, 7 seat, dual zone climate, 2.4l (so-so economy) and a 6 speed auto. Oh and its badged as a FIAT Freemont. I think somebody in FCA is keeping the goodies to themselves!

    As for the car it self. It was the best value for money 7 seater I could buy, AU$29,990 on the road. Amongst it’s breatheren, Kia/Hyundai/Holden & Ford. It was the cheapest. It shows in some areas, i.e. the fit of the plastics and finish aren’t up there. Some of the engineering solutions make you scratch your head eg. sound insulation in the front guards is literally stuffed into the gaps, it’s still not a “bad” car. It does it’s job without costing you the earth. Better that a “Great Wall” lower that the more expensive Hyundai’s & Kia’s

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    Hard to imagine a worse rental. My wife rented a Challenger to try out while on a business trip. (v6). Said it was a POS.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    was this a resignation letter?

  • avatar
    Von

    The writing style fit the car perfectly. The effort it took is about the same as the engineers that designed the car, the ones that built the car, and the ones that sell the car. Sad that a lot of people didn’t see the metaphor.

  • avatar
    09box

    My 09 Yaris had rear drum brakes. I never had any issues with them.

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