$17,810 - $26,006

2018 Dodge Journey Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.5

The 2018 Dodge Journey is perhaps the least athletic vehicle in the class. The base engine is weak and noisy, and the available V6, while better, is hardly a standout. On winding roads, the Journey can hold its own, but it feels unwieldy. One plus is that this Dodge rides smoothly.

  • "Overall, the Journey feels heavier than many other crossovers and doesn't inspire much driver confidence." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Those accustomed to older, truck-based SUVs will be quite pleased with the way Dodge's Journey crossover SUV for 2016 rides and drives. A unit body and advanced suspension setup help the Journey return car-like driving characteristics similar to a tall-riding station wagon, which is essentially what the Journey is." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Big enough to be useful yet not too big to be unmanageable, the Journey should strike many families as perfectly sized. If you want to spruce up the Journey's performance, the R/T model's more responsive suspension and powerful standard V6 make shuttling the kids to school quite enjoyable." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The Journey features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine that produces 173 horsepower. It’s mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. This engine feels overmatched on the highway or with a full complement of passengers, and it’s loud. The transmission also underwhelms because of its poorly timed shifting.

A 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 283 horsepower is available. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine moves the Journey more easily, but acceleration is still unimpressive.

With its base engine, the Journey gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Those are average ratings for a midsize SUV. The available V6 is only marginally worse, earning 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

  • "The Journey's competitors are more responsive and refined. Opting for the V6 engine is a must given the weak base four-cylinder. Even with the V6, the Journey's acceleration is still below average." -- Edmunds
  • Although we found the 173-horsepower 4-cylinder engine adequate with two people aboard, any additional bodies or cargo demands the Pentastar V6, which delivers an additional 100 horsepower and nearly the same fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Demerits? Just two, really, though we admit that they're pretty significant. First, the base powertrain is a 2.4-liter inline-4 that generates unpleasant noises and lackluster acceleration, especially as it is paired with an unrefined, efficiency-sapping 4-speed automatic transmission." -- Autotrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The Journey comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available. While this Dodge is perfectly capable of handling winding roads, it feels bigger than it is, and there’s a lot of body lean around turns. Ride quality is generally high, and road imperfections often go unnoticed.

  • The Journey feels bigger and heavier than other small SUVs. There's lots of body roll through corners, and it doesn't feel planted or instill much confidence. It's definitely more of a highway hauler." -- Edmunds
  • "Confident on highway runs and surprisingly agile over narrow, twisting roads, the Journey is devoid of the bobbing and weaving one might experience in a truck-based SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "The Journey's high driving position and angled steering column may bring school buses to mind. Fortunately, the Journey's dynamics are much better, as this car-based crossover has no trouble navigating rutted roads and tight streets." -- Autotrader (2015)

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