$7,623 - $11,302

2012 Dodge Journey Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Dodge Journey was new.


Performance: 7.4

Overall, reviewers like the performance from the 2012 Dodge Journey. They say power from the new V6 engine is good, but complain about the underpowered four-cylinder engine that’s standard on the lowest two trims. The Journey’s handling and braking gets praise across the board for being accurate and responsive.

  • "Solid, quiet, and composed, the Journey is a surprisingly capable family hauler. It's time to put the four-cylinder out to pasture, but the six makes competitive power." -- Car and Driver
  • "On the move, the Journey is competent for the class, with a reasonably smooth ride and secure handling." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The American Value Package and SE trims have a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that makes 173 horsepower. That engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Reviewers say it’s underpowered and that its EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings are too low for a powertrain this slow. Front-wheel-drive models get 19/26 mpg city/highway.

All other trims get a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 283 horsepower. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Reviewers like this engine better and say it has enough power to hustle the Journey onto freeways with no problem. The V6 gets 17/25 mpg city/highway in two-wheel drive and 16/24 mpg with all-wheel drive.

  • “Journey's V6 is strong from a stop and easily keeps up with highway traffic. The smooth and alert 6-speed automatic transmission is quick to deliver more power." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The four-cylinder engine found in the base 2012 Dodge Journey SE just doesn't have enough power to get this heavy crossover moving. It also doesn't provide the fuel economy to justify its dawdling pace." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the 2012 Journey is a crossover that rides smoothly, with a planted feel. Reviewers also say the steering is direct and nicely weighted, though a few say it is too light. The Journey is no sports car, but overall, reviewers think it is pleasant to drive, doesn’t lean much during cornering and has responsive brakes.

  • "Journey feels composed over small bumps, but the Crew model's 19-inch wheels make the ride feel somewhat harsh over larger pavement imperfections. Most models ride on smaller 17s. … Steering is alert and reactive. Journey feels fairly poised when cornering; little lean is noticeable. All models have responsive brakes with a reassuring pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The interior wasn't the only thing that was overhauled last year. Changes to the suspension and steering gear completely transformed the driving experience. Handling feels much more confident, and the ride, while not silky-smooth, is still quite good. The steering is now much more precise and predictable, with a light but still nicely weighted feel to it." -- Edmunds
  • "Our test Journey rode smoothly and confidently and gripped well through curves. Its steering is still very light and devoid of sports car feel, but it is certainly more confidence-inspiring than its chief rival, the Toyota Highlander." -- Left Lane News

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