Is Dodge Extending the JC Platform's Incredible Journey?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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is dodge extending the jc platform s incredible journey

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]

Steph Willems
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  • Metallicat Metallicat on Apr 25, 2016

    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.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Apr 26, 2016

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

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Apr 26, 2016

    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.

  • Johnster Johnster on Apr 26, 2016

    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.