Rumor Mill: Dodge Journey Revival Back on the Table?
Just this past week, a base Dodge Journey that shacked up with a family member four years ago headed off to not-so-greener pastures. Life for the four-speed, front-drive crossover might not be easy at its new home, but at least it has a new, non-corroded oil pan.
That particular model is worth mentioning, as it’s one of only two Journey trims available for the 2020 model year. While the model’s future remains uncertain, a new report hints at a looming replacement for Dodge’s pedestrian people hauler.
Right, you say, rolling your eyes. I’ve heard this before.
We all have! Under a previous plan, Fiat Chrysler intended to move the Journey off its old bones and onto the Giorgio platform that underpins the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia. That was supposed to happen for the 2019 model year; clearly, it didn’t.
Eleven years after its debut, the Journey soldiers on with a lone powerplant (the ancient 2.4-liter four-cylinder) and an even more ancient four-speed auto, in either front-drive SE Value trim or all-wheel drive Crossroad guise (an apt name, as the Journey finds itself at a crossroads in its life).
According to sources who spoke to Mopar Insiders, a plan is afoot to replace the Journey with a brawnier, more Dodge-worthy successor. It’s the same plan as before, however, so take it with a grain of salt. If true, the replacement will offer a rear-drive layout and optional AWD, coupled with an athletic persona. Four-and six-cylinder engines are a given. The five-passenger vehicle is said to be about the size of a Stelvio, with distinctive Charger-esque styling.
If the Dodge brand is to continue to exist as a performance-oriented presence in FCA’s lineup, products like the Journey need to undergo an extreme makeover. The model’s also long past its best-before date. Groupe PSA CEO Carlos Tavares claims neither his company nor FCA plan to shed any brands in the looming merger and, with reports of a new three-row crossover in Dodge’s future, the brand’s two-row space will need attention.
However, in this era of efficiencies and consolidation, is it sensible to offer both a Journey and Durango? Will a new Journey, said to be offered in a muscle-bound Scat Pack variant, step on the other model’s toes? And what of the previously-rumored Italian production site and associated shipping costs?
Many questions and few answers. This Journey business remains unconfirmed, but it would be easy to speculate that Dodge will ultimately decide to go with a single two-row model, a single three-row model, and its existing Charger and Challenger passenger cars. The supposed timing of the next Journey backs this up. Production, sources say, isn’t expected until 2022 — around the same time the Durango’s current generation runs out.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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We shouldn't have any articles about future FCA products unless there is a spy photo of a prototype attached. Too much vaporware in FCA's 5 year plans.
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