By on April 25, 2016

2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad

The Dodge Journey often finds itself the butt of jokes and scornful taunts, like here, or here, but all laughs fade away eventually, and besides, Fiat-Chrysler’s archaic crossover is due for a platform swap this fall.

Not so fast.

An anonymous FCA source just told Automotive News that the Journey won’t shed its dated platform as planned, and might soldier on with its old bones for another two years — at least.

The Journey rides atop the FC platform, a relic of the DaimlerChrysler days that once underpinned the forgettable Dodge Caliber. Even then, it was just an updated version of an older platform jointly created by DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi Motors.

After living the FC lifestyle since its début in 2009, the Journey planned to adopt the CUSW platform found underneath the Jeep Cherokee. The FCA source claims that 2017 and 2018 Journeys now have a body code that indicates the presence of the JC platform.

If true, it’s likely the result of FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s vague plans to build the next generation of the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 on the cheap in Mexico, via a partnership with another automaker. The next-generation Journey had Mexico in mind for an assembly location.

Journey sales hit a record high last year, so Marchionne probably feels he won’t lose much if he delays the platform swap in order to deal with his company’s small car money drain problem.

There are many ways the Journey could be refreshed without a new platform — many, many ways, some might say. The base Journey’s paleolithic four-speed automatic is an obvious candidate for the dustbin, while the model’s current styling may as well be a blank canvass for a design that actually stirs human emotion.

[Image: FCA US LLC]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

58 Comments on “Is Dodge Extending the JC Platform’s Incredible Journey?...”


  • avatar
    JimInRadfordVA

    Will the new transmission still be made of paper mache, or are they upgrading to toad crap and waxed paper?

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    If it is selling well in other countries, why bother blowing all that money? Besides the new Pacifica will draw most traffic into the showrooms

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Any day now guys. Srsly. Got to save that sweet Jeep monies for alfa.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I talked about how it might tarnish Dodge’s brand when people are given Journeys for rentals, but on the other hand, it pretty much prints money…especially in terms of fleet sales. As with the Wrangler, the tooling and development costs are paid for, and it’s easy profit. Especially because they lost a bundle making the Dart and 200, why not squeeze a bit of extra money out of an old product?

  • avatar

    The Journey SOAKS UP POTHOLES.

    If it works don’t F it up!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    In 2008, the Journey sold ~47K units in the US.

    Last year, it sold over 100K. And it’s at 25K through 2016 Q1.

    Assuming it’s selling profitably, which I can’t imagine it isn’t as it was outdated at its debut, this is a poster child example of the old adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Granted, I am certain its strengths lie in its transaction parameters (i.e. its already crazy low price and FCA’s enduring appetite for credit liberties) and not the fact that people are loving this thing. Though if someone is coming out of an old Dodge Nitro or something they probably just don’t know any better.

  • avatar

    On a side note: don’t F with the Ly/ Lx platform.

    The Ghibli’s platform sux.

    Harsh ride. Worse than the SRT model’s 20’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I got to try out a Ghibli. Other than the Ferrari DNA, I did not find a reason to purchase one over one of its more-commonplace rivals.

      • 0 avatar

        Ghibli is a worse choice than a luxury trim 300.

        A complete loser against a new E-class.

        • 0 avatar
          McGilligan

          Kyree- One reason to chose it over it’s more commonplace rivals is how common those rivals are. For someone dropping CAD $100k on a car, walking into an MB dealership and waiting for the salesman to finish the paperwork on 12 CLAs, 8 GLAs and a handful of C250s doesn’t elicit any joy. Buying a E Class is routine, mundane, unexciting (to say nothing of a BMW dealership).
          Walking into a Ferrari dealership is the antithesis of that.
          In my condo building there are countless BMWs, MBs, Lexus, and Audi. There is one Ghibli and I’m sure for the owner that means something.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            This is true. To a lesser extent, Jaguar and Porsche have similar appeal. So would Alfa Romeo, if the brand could hurry up and sell a volume car in the U.S. sometime this century…

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            I’d go for a Jag XF or a CPO Panamera or even a CTS V-Sport over the Ghibli if i wanted a mid-sized luxury sedan that wasn’t the “me too” E-class, 5-series, or A6. The Ghibli basically only brings Italian styling (and reliability) on top of re-engineered American platform with engines worked on by Ferrari. It’s certainly a unique package, and the lease deals are getting crazy cheap, but it just doesn’t seem nearly as good as the competitors from an objective perspective.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Why should they change it? It’s sells well, it’s paid for, it’s a better deal than every other crossover for sale, despite in V6 form, doing basically everything the competition does. Companies that have to change their vehicles often are basically saying that they’re building shoddy products to begin with. If you have something that’s good you don’t change it, it’s that simple.

    • 0 avatar
      rev0lver

      How’d that work out for Hummer ;)

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Actually quite well, sales increased from 1992 to the early 2000s when the price starting getting out of the range of many buyers, the duramax trucks didn’t do that great when alive but then again they were $150k vehicles, they have held their value fantastically. If it weren’t for regulations on big trucks they would surely have kept it alive seeing as they had completely redesigned the truck. The other two fit similarly into the same boat, except the H3 was about a year from redesign and the 2 only had 2 models years of the redesign in a faultering economy. Both the Alpha and updated 2 do phenomenal in respect to resale.
        Same principles apply but with a totally different segment.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    PS to FCA, free advice.

    When you -do- change platforms or do a major restyle, make this the Journey Classic for one year, and then CHANGE the name to something else. Like 200/Sebring, this name is entirely tarnished by this do-nothing-great block of a vehicle.

  • avatar
    FOG

    Ah the internet, where every idiot can try to be funny.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    So FCA’s strategy for Dodge is to pile crap high and sell it to subprime customers and rental companies. That’s great brand building right there.

  • avatar
    RS

    A little refresh on the interior and exterior, change up the standard content a little and sell ’em! Many buyers don’t care what transmission it has as long as it moves to their expectation and the price fits their budget.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Even GM knew it was time to kill the U-bodies before they got this far past their prime.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      For what it’s worth, the U-bodies were actually horrible vehicles, with very low build quality and (in the earlier days) poor safety ratings. The Journey, OTOH, is only horrible in being completely and utterly uninspired…but it is adequate.

      And, crucially, the U-bodies did not retain successful sales numbers. That’s what caused GM to get out of the traditional-minivan game and start selling the Lambda vehicles…which are minivans with hinged doors.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Maybe this conforms with a plan to kill off Dodge entirely. Ram Trucks have been removed from the mix so have commercial vehicles. What’s left after the Dodge Dart run, the Journey finally comes to an end after 2018 and the Dodge Caravan (think they are sill selling for another year or two), the Durango will need replacing by then, its been on sale since 2010/2011??. The Challenger and Charger are both long in the tooth. Look at the timing, these product runs will all be ending in a similar time frame.

    Has anyone seen any spy shots of upcoming Dodge vehicles? Is FCA investing in that division? Obviously just speculation, but seems like a legit plan. The 300 can cover fleet duty for the Charger, new 3 row Jeep wagoner can cover Durango. Jeep has covered the Journey with midsized SUV’s, Fiatsler is giving up on the dart.

    That was the whole point of removing the Ram truck’s from Dodge wasn’t it?? So Dodge could die….

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The Charger and Challenger still sell reasonably well and have their fans, fans who wouldn’t be swayed by an equivalent Chrysler model, real or hypothetical.

      That said, the rest of the product lineup is dying or has recently died. And killing off Dodge would be a rather harmless thing. Because FCA sells all its brands under the same houses, it wouldn’t even p*ss off dealers.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        I find it hard to believe they’d lose many Challenger buyers if they replaced with with a Chrysler [Barra]Cuda. Likewise a 300 with a bit more aggressive styling would probably soak up most Charger buyers.

        And the Durango is likely being replaced effectively by the Grand Wagoneer that’s in the works. It’s hard to see what the plan is for Dodge at this point, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it was killed off or turned back into the truck brand.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        In my neck of the woods there are lots of standalone Dodge dealers, Kyree. I can’t see them being real happy about losing 2/3 of their lines.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      They should keep the Chrysler line as a sorta luxury line.
      And keep Dodge as a economy/performance line.
      Just like Ford and Lincoln…see how well is that working???

      • 0 avatar
        frozenman

        Keep the platform, tweak the exterior a little, give it the seven slot grill and rename it the “Jeep Journey” for the win. Families need a Jeep too!

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Is there anything ever new at Chrysler?

    I mean what model isn’t driving around on tech and designs from the nineties?

    I’m almost afraid to look to closely at the Pacifica and find out it REALLY IS AN OLD PACIFICA…just with new clothes.

    But really…I hope it is a nice car.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I’m on my third Dodge Journey company car, a 2015, the first one having been a 2010 and the second one a 2012. The only problem I had with the first two was that they ate up brake pads, but I do drive in mostly stop-and-go traffic. However, I haven’t had that problem with the third one, so they must have fixed something.

    The issue I’ve had with the most recent reviews of the Journey and Steve Lang’s article of a few month’s back (Why Would Anyone Ever Recommend The Dodge Journey?), is that both were based on four cylinder, stripped versions of this vehicle. My 2010 and 2012 were mid-level-equipped V6 models; my 2015 is a loaded Limited with the V6 as well. I’ve rented the poorly equipped rental version, spec’d just like the one In the article, and can understand why the author (or anyone else) would have been so disappointed with it, but not all Journeys are like that.

    Allow me to make a comparison to what I think may be happening here: when I married my first wife in the early 1990’s, she owned a base model 1993 or 94 four cylinder Toyota Camry. I found it underpowered, disliked the way its upholstery felt, its mouse fur colored interior…I couldn’t stand that car! Lo and behold, we go vacation in Florida where her brother lived. For the two weeks we were there, he loaned us a Camry that he owned of the same model year as ours, except his was an XLE V6 with all the bells and whistles. What a revelation! It had great power, an outstanding stereo, a beautiful tan leather interior…I ended up loving that car!

    Bottom line, the way a vehicle is spec’d can make quite a difference. Don’t judge the Journey based just on a lousily equipped rental version.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      That was the main problem with the rental review of the Journey from the past weekend. It ripped the car rather than the cheap rental company that purchased the wrong spec (no bluetooth) vehicle. While the Journey is not what I would buy. I can see a market for a cheap vehicle of this type and not everyone needs or wants bluetooth. As long as bluetooth is available as an option ($1000 on the SXT models) the reviewer should have mentioned that and spent more time on his impressions of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My last Journey rental had the V6 and midlevel equipment levels. It didn’t change the fact that the car was unrefined, poorly built and rattly, and drove forgettably (if not terribly).

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      “Allow me to make a comparison to what I think may be happening here: when I married my first wife in the early 1990’s, …”

      For a minute there, I was really wondering where this comment was heading.

  • avatar

    As I said before, please keep in mind that the average Journey buyer is probably coming out of a Montana SV6, Galant, ’03 Murano with a s*it CVT, or something else very thoroughly used.

    A lot of Ram buyers (men) also just pump the wife into a Journey to justify him buying a 2500 6×6 Cummins Mega Cab Laramie Longhorn Steakhouse. “You can have a new car, too, honey. SE Journey FTW!”

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It’s a close call whether I’d rather have an ’03 Murano in good condition than a new Journey. My brother-in-law’s Murano of about that age has been excellent despite rough treatment.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I like to listen the maracas coming from the nether-regions of 02-05 Altimas at traffic lights when I’m driving through the hood… we’re moving up and out like the Jeffersons next week.

      I liked your or tres’ analogy of calling Journeys the “Obamaphones of cars,” it is quite fitting. I’ve driven around in my fiance’s friend’s Avenger SE around my current locale and I blend right in. Just need to get some cheap tints and bash up the front fender a bit to really make it look right.

      • 0 avatar

        If your bumper isn’t missing front clips, you just ain’t hip.

        If your hood-to-fender line doesn’t have a janky fit, you ain’t sh*t.

        If your struts ain’t creakin’ up a ruckus, you just some sorry-ass suckas.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “creakin’ up a ruckus”

          In my one year of living in the land of hoopties, the GMT330 (Jimmy, Blazer) and GMT360 (TrailBlazer, Envoy,etc) are hands down the worst offenders for an absolute cacophony of clanking, banging, and squeaking when flying down what passes for roads down here.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If wifey has any brains, she makes Mr. RAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM pop for a Lexus.

      No peace, no piece.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Here’s a trade, you guys fit the 6TE transmission to yours and send me a turbo/supercharger kit for my 2.4 for mine!

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Funny, when look at that red Journey accompanying the article, it doesn’t look that bad. New tranny, new interior and it could soldier on until Dodge is euthanized.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Of course it doesn’t look that bad. There’s only so much that can be done with a tall 4-door wagon, and that’s what SUVs/CUVs are. Compare the old, tired Journey to the hot-selling Volvo XC90 in a previous article. They’re differentiated by details, it’s just one template. If one doesn’t have the latest drivetrain, or suspension, or instrument panel electro-clutter, it’s old, and looks ugly.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    The Volvo is a lot more expensive though. I dont see what’s wrong with the above Journey but with the Pentastar and a 6 spd plus auto and maybe a slight lift? Would do well under $30k?

  • avatar
    Metallicat

    The V6 Journey, which we have 20 of at my workplace, generates 283
    hp at 6400 rpm according to the information I could fine online. Well, all of our Journey vehicles tend to short-shift even under full throttle, so the 1-2 shift occurs at around 5900 rpm. The 2-3 shift slightly higher, but nothing in the realm of 6400 rpm. What gives with this transmission? Also, when accelerating at full throttle, say in 2nd gear, and then backing off of the pedal, the car actually seems to actually begin to accelerate quicker. Everyone comments on this too. Full throttle acceleration is just okay, but back off on the pedal to say 3/4 throttle and it lurches forward like you just gave it a shot of juice and then it shifts up to the next gear. The second most voiced complaint is the unwillingness of the transmission to downshift into 1st gear after shifting into 2nd around a slow turn. Even at 5 mph it will not downshift! Worst engine / tranny combo I have sampled in a very long time.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    You know, with the Pentastar and an up to date transmission this might be a decent stealth car.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Dodge is slowly cornering the market on the bang-for-your-buck portion of the new vehicle market. Keeping a platform in production for a longer time with incremental updates is a huge money saver, and might be the smart move.

    Also, sometime the “all new” version of a vehicle ends up being a step backwards. Honda has done that multiple times in recent years.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The Dodge Journey (along with the Jeep Compass and the Jeep Patriot) needs to just go away. When FCA can get around to building something better on a new platform in a couple of years (if FCA is still in business) then it can come back.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • EBFlex: “ Or better yet, tell that same group that anyone under 18 is at so low risk of dying from Covid that the...
  • DC Bruce: Let’s remember how we got here. In the beginning FWD was limited to small cars like the VW Golf, the...
  • ToolGuy: There is probably a right way to do small cars, but it Doesn’t Happen in the U.S. market. Too Small =...
  • thornmark: >>And given their electronics and electrical issues, an EV from them should be a laugh riot after...
  • ToolGuy: Not a real Subaru: – No Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive – Not Subaru Safe – Not pet friendly...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber