2018 Dodge Journey

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MSRP: $22,995 - 34,995

2018 Dodge Journey Review

The 2018 Dodge Journey stands out for all the wrong reasons. Almost every other SUV is more athletic, and many of them also have nicer interiors than this Dodge. That's why the Journey finishes at the bottom of our midsize SUV rankings.

7.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.5
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 8.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth ride
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Extremely low price
  • Unimpressive engines
  • Below-average cargo space
  • Lower safety score than rivals
  • Fewer tech features than competitors

Is the Dodge Journey a Good SUV?

The Dodge Journey is not a good SUV. It has a well-built cabin and user-friendly infotainment technology, but those are about the only positives. Most other midsize SUVs have roomier cabins, more technology, and a more modern look and feel than the Journey. This Dodge also has unimpressive engines and just average fuel economy for the class.

Should I Buy the Dodge Journey?

There's really no argument for buying the Journey aside from the fact that it's cheaper than every rival. Instead, you should look at other midsize SUVs. The Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander, and Chevrolet Traverse all rank much higher than the Journey.

Compare the Journey, Santa Fe, and Highlander »

Should I Buy a New or Used Dodge Journey?

The 2018 Dodge Journey is part of a generation that began with the 2009 model year. Aside from a refresh in 2011, there haven't been many major changes to this vehicle. Dodge revamped the trim lineup for 2016 by cutting the AVP and Limited trims and adding the Crossroad Plus. It also lowered the price of some trims. For 2017, there was another trim shuffle, as the GT replaced the R/T as the highest trim. For 2018, Dodge again updated the trim lineup by cutting it down to four models. Also, a third-row seat is standard for 2018.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Journey. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016 Dodge Journey and 2017 Dodge Journey. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Journey »

We Did the Research for You: 55 Reviews Analyzed

Instead of spending your free time doing car research, why not let the experts at U.S. News do it for you? Our reviews combine quantifiable data (such as crash test results and reliability ratings) with professional test driver opinions to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current generation, which spans the 2009 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for more than a decade, and we have more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To keep our reviews objective, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Dodge Journey Cost?

The Journey is the least expensive vehicle in the class, and it costs at least a few thousand dollars less than most competitors. The base trim (the Journey SE) starts around $22,800, and the top trim (the Journey GT) starts around $33,000. Even the GT’s starting price is less than some rivals’ base price, and it costs far less than most rivals’ top trims. Of course, it’s important to note that the Journey also provides fewer features and creature comforts than nearly every other midsize SUV.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Dodge deals page.

Dodge Journey Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Dodge Journey or Hyundai Santa Fe?

The Hyundai Santa Fe has more standard features than the Journey, including a rearview camera and satellite radio. It also offers features the Journey doesn't, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Hyundai gives you a choice between the 3-row Santa Fe and the 2-row Santa Fe Sport, each with a different powertrain lineup. The Hyundai has more cargo space than its Dodge rival in either body style, and it earns better safety scores. Despite its higher price tag, the Santa Fe is clearly the better choice.

Which Is Better: Dodge Journey or Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander has a much higher starting price than the Journey, but as one of the highest-rated vehicles in the class, it's absolutely worth the difference. The Highlander has a roomier cargo hold than the Journey, and it has more standard driver assistance features than almost every classmate. The 3-row Highlander also seats one more person than the Journey (eight versus seven). The Toyota has a more upscale cabin, and it gets better fuel economy while providing a quiet, cushioned ride. Go with the Highlander.

Which Is Better: Dodge Journey or Chevrolet Traverse?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Chevrolet Traverse represents a much better buying option than the Journey. The Chevy comfortably seats eight people, and its cargo hold dwarfs the Dodge's. The Traverse’s upscale interior has standard connectivity features the Journey doesn't offer. The standard V6 engine in the Traverse is more powerful than either Journey engine, and the Traverse also provides a smooth ride and composed handling. Choose the Traverse over the Journey.

Compare the Journey, Santa Fe, and Highlander »

Journey Interior

How Many People Does the Journey Seat?

The Journey seats seven people. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the second row can accommodate most adults. The third row is only suitable for children, however. You won’t feel cramped in the Journey, but rivals provide more legroom.

Journey and Car Seats

The Journey has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The connectors aren’t as easy to use as those in some rivals. The tether anchors can be confused with other hardware, and the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats.

An easier alternative to the LATCH connectors are the integrated booster seats that are available for the second row.

Journey Interior Quality

Though it hasn’t been redesigned in years, the Journey still has an attractive interior that is generally well-built. There are soft-touch materials across many cabin surfaces.

Journey Cargo Space

The Journey doesn’t have as much cargo space as most competitors. It has just under 11 cubic feet behind the third-row seats and a maximum capacity of 67.6 cubic feet. With all seats in use, you’ll have enough room for several shopping bags but not much in the way of larger items. Fold all the seats down, and you’ll have room for sporting gear and even some furniture, though you’ll then only have room for one passenger.

Journey Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 4.3-inch touch screen. Available features include tri-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a six-speaker Alpine premium audio system, a DVD player with a 9-inch screen, and an upgraded Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touch screen and navigation.

Uconnect is one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems you’ll find, and the responsive touch screen has sharp graphics. However, the Journey lacks smartphone connectivity features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are available in many rivals.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Journey Performance

Journey Engine: 2 Choices, and Neither Is Great

The Journey comes standard with a 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine that embodies disappointment. It fails to impress under ideal conditions, and its performance only gets worse if you have a car full of people or cargo. A 283-horsepower V6 is available. It still has lackluster acceleration, but it doesn’t feel strained like the base engine.

Journey Gas Mileage: About Average

The Journey gets 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with its base engine. With the V6, those ratings drop to 17/25 mpg city/highway. With the base engine, you’ll spend about as much on gas each year driving the Journey as you would rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Chevrolet Traverse, and that’s when both competitors are equipped with V6 engines.

Journey Ride and Handling: Comfortable and Capable

The Journey rides smoothly even over rough roads. It feels bigger than it actually is, and there is noticeable body roll around turns. Despite these issues, the Journey is relatively nimble.

Read more about performance »

Journey Reliability

Is the Dodge Journey Reliable?

The 2018 Journey has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That's an average rating among all new cars. Most other midsize SUVs have the same or better ratings.

Dodge Journey Warranty

Dodge backs the Journey with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Many midsize SUVs have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

Journey Safety

Journey Crash Test Results

The 2018 Dodge Journey hasn’t been fully crash tested yet, but it earned four out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s frontal crash and rollover tests. It earned a rating of Good (the highest rating) in four Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, though it received a Poor rating (the lowest rating) in the driver-side small overlap front test.

Journey Safety Features

The Journey doesn’t have any standard driver assistance features, but a rearview camera and rear parking sensors are available. Many rivals offer more advanced active safety features like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning.

Read more about safety »

Which Dodge Journey Model Is Right for Me?

Dodge (part of the Fiat Chrysler brand, which also includes Jeep) offers the Journey in four trims: SE, SXT, Crossroad, and GT. A four-cylinder engine is standard, though a V6 is available. All Journey models come standard with front-wheel drive, but you can add all-wheel drive to any trim for $1,900-$4,400 (to add AWD you must also upgrade to the V6 engine).

The lower Journey trims don’t offer many features, so they’re best for buyers on a tight budget. The Crossroad offers the best value in the lineup. It’s available with just about every feature you can get in the Journey, and its starting price is about $4,400 less than the top-level GT trim’s.

Dodge Journey SE

The Journey SE is the base trim, and it has a starting price of $22,795. Standard features include a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, push-button start, and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 4.3-inch touch screen. You can add the V6 engine and all-wheel drive for $4,400.

There are several option packages, but most are just styling upgrades, though the Connectivity Group ($795) adds Bluetooth. You can also add integrated child booster seats for the second row for $265.

Dodge Journey SXT

The Journey SXT starts at $25,695. The SXT doesn’t have any more standard features than the base trim, but it does have more options. The V6 engine is a $1,700 upgrade.

This trim offers the Connectivity Group for the same price as the base trim. You can also get the Uconnect 8.4 Touch Screen Radio Group ($895), which adds tri-zone automatic climate control and an upgraded Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touch screen. The Premium Group ($1,095) adds a power-adjustable driver’s seat and a security alarm.

Dodge Journey Crossroad

The Journey Crossroad has a starting price of $27,895. On top of the lower trims’ features, the Crossroad comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, satellite radio, and an upgraded Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touch screen and voice recognition. As with the SXT, the V6 engine is a $1,700 upgrade.

The Driver Convenience Group ($695) adds a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. The Family Entertainment Group ($1,345) adds second-row child booster seats, a six-speaker Alpine audio system, and a second-row 9-inch video screen.

The Popular Equipment Group ($1,350) includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start. The Nav & Sun Group ($1,845) adds a sunroof, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and an upgraded Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touch screen and navigation.

Dodge Journey GT

The Journey GT starts at $32,995. The GT is the only trim to come standard with the V6 engine. It also comes with a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and an Alpine audio system.

The GT offers the Driver Convenience Group, Family Entertainment Group, and Nav & Sun Group, and all for the same prices as in the Crossroad trim. It also offers the Navigation and Back-Up Camera Group for $1,295, which includes tri-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and an upgraded Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touch screen and navigation.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Dodge deals page.

See 2018 Dodge Journey specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Dodge Journey isn’t a good choice compared to its competitors. Its powertrains are among the least impressive in the class, and many rivals’ interiors have more to offer. The biggest selling point for this vehicle is its low base price, but like many things in life, you get what you pay for. For these reasons and others, the Journey finishes near the bottom of our midsize SUV rankings.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Dodge Journey could very well be the car that time forgot. It debuted back in 2009 and has been pretty much the same vehicle since. While this longevity is admirable and speaks to the inherent goodness of the Journey's design concept, there's no denying that it's behind the times in quite a few areas. …The Journey will get you where you're going, and will do so for less money than many competitors. But overall we think you'll be happier with vehicles such as the Kia Sorento, GMC Acadia or new Volkswagen Tiguan." -- Edmunds
  • "So although the Journey is a perfectly pleasant family vehicle you can likely get a good deal on, most other crossover SUVs will probably be more appealing." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Two words best sum up the 2016 Dodge Journey's success: 'versatility and value.' With a price starting just under $22,000, the Journey undercuts more expensive rivals like the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Pilot. Granted, two of the three come standard with a V6 engine, and the 4-cylinder Journey has neither the power nor the features (Bluetooth isn't even standard) to compete with the above-mentioned group." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
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