2020: The Dodge Journey's Last Dance?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2020 the dodge journeys last dance

We’ve already looked at the Nissan Sentra today, so it’s time to focus on the Dodge Journey. Yes, we’re all about the common man here at TTAC.

If it somehow escaped your attention, and we’re not sure how it could, we’re here to tell you that the Journey will stage a return for 2020, continuing a lineage that’s attracted only minor changes since the model’s appearance at the tail end of the Bush administration. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but Fiat Chrysler has a way of changing plans at the last minute.

You’ll recall that the Journey was to gain a new generation in late 2016, some three years ago. Then, we were told that the deferred next-gen Journey would make an appearance in 2019, possibly borne by the sporty platform found beneath the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Many of you probably lost sleep for several nights following that report.

Well, 2019 came and the only gift awaiting Journey lovers was a culling of trims. Fast-forward a year and we have the 2020 Journey: the same smallish midsize crossover as before, now offered only as a four-cylinder, front-drive vehicle with a four-speed automatic. For some reason, this author is immediately reminded of last night’s Dodge Stratus-themed Twitter convo.

According to FCA, the 2020 Journey will be available only in SE Value and Crossroad trim, and only with the company’s ancient 2.4-liter four-banger, a mill good for 172 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. Gone is the optional 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and all-wheel drive. Offering a standard four-speed auto certainly makes the Journey an exclusive creature in 2020, though perhaps not the kind of creature lusted after by autophiles the world over.

As your author is indeed a common man himself, he can claim to know two people with four-year-old Journeys in their driveways, one of them a base four-cylinder/four-speed model, the other a six-cylinder/six-speed version. The former Journey had its fully rotted oil pan replaced this summer; the latter, its front wheel bearings, and the back window shattered when the owner’s son slammed the front driver’s side door.

Make of that what you will.

Certainly, the eradication of so many build configurations points to a looming discontinuation. With no reliable word on a second life for the nameplate, we’re forced into believing that 2020 is the Journey’s last dance. Automotive News‘ product pipeline suggests the Journey’s long road could come to an end with the coming model year, with the model possibly replaced by a larger, three-row Dodge crossover in 2022.

In a July interview with Automobile, Dodge brand boss Tim Kuniskis didn’t breathe a word about a Journey replacement — in fact, he suggested the model might live longer than we assume.

“I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it’s perfectly aligned with the direction that the brand’s headed,” Kuniskis said, “but it’s a great-looking car in a great segment that sells extremely well, so I see no problem with Journey.” He added that the Journey, with its low starting price, will “fill a bit of a gap” after Dodge stops building the ancient Grand Caravan.

Well, the Caravan’s last year is also expected to be 2020, so does that mean we can expect a 2021 Journey? It’s quite likely. Fiat Chrysler dueling mantras are “If it works, keep building it,” and “If it’s really profitable, build more.” How else to explain the proliferation of Jeep Wrangler variants and the continuation of Ram’s previous-gen half-ton as the 1500 Classic?

So, that’s it. The base Journey of your dreams will remain available for another year, and maybe more.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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2 of 64 comments
  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Sep 27, 2019

    There's a fire engine red one in my area with blackened trim pieces where ordinarily there would be some tacky fake chrome. It kind of catches my eye, even if it's not a vehicle I need. Then again, red will always draw my attention as it's my favorite color.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Sep 29, 2019

    When I accidentally contacted a STOP sign stanchion in a local Kroger parking lot a week before the first anniversary of my taking delivery of my 2013 Accord, Enterprise gifted me a Dodge Avenger with that powertrain while the Honda was in the body shop. Worst car I’ve ever driven! That droning, wheezy motor was the worst of it, with the utterly lifeless steering and a symphony of interior rattles adding to the misery! The refreshed 1st-generation Compass I had a few years later after my car was bumped in front of my parents’ house was only better because the six-speed cut down the din of the 2.4 lump. To paraphrase Jay Leno: what in the he11 were they thinking?

  • Golden2husky 78 Concept is pretty awesome to me -
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