Rumor Mill: Dodge Journey Revival Back on the Table?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Dwford Dwford on Nov 27, 2019

    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.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Nov 27, 2019

    Swap in Pentastar and 6-speed auto and keep selling it forever. Who wouldn't want a usefully big car with a Pentastar for the price of a tiny Hyundai?

    • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Dec 04, 2019

      Sounds like the Pentastar is being replaced with an inline 6 but you couls sell them all day long until that actually takes place. We saw one tank on the rental Pacifica get better than 33mpg on a long highway stretch. The Journey should do as well or better.

  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.
  • Joe65688619 I agree there should be more sedans, but recognize the trend. There's still a market for performance oriented-drivers. IMHO a low budget sedan will always be outsold by a low budget SUV. But a sports sedan, or a well executed mid-level sedan (the Accord and Camry) work. Smaller market for large sedans except I think for an older population. What I'm hoping to see is some consolidation across brands - the TLX for example is not selling well, but if it was offered only in the up-level configurations it would not be competing with it's Honda sibling. I know that makes the market smaller and niche, but that was the original purpose of the "luxury" brands - badge-engineering an existing platform at a relatively lower cost than a different car and sell it with a higher margin for buyers willing and able to pay for them. Also creates some "brand cachet." But smart buyers know that simple badging and slightly better interiors are usually not worth the cost. Put the innovative tech in the higher-end brands first, differentiate they drivetrain so it's "better" (the RDX sells well for Acura, same motor and tranmission, added turbo which makes a notable difference compared to the CRV). The sedan in many Western European countries is the "family car" as opposed to micro and compact crossovers (which still sell big, but can usually seat no more than a compact sedan).