By KBB.com Editors
Based on the same D-segment platform as the Avenger, the 2009 Dodge Journey is a new crossover utility vehicle that fits in between the compact Caliber and family-hauling Grand Caravan. The Journey provides the utility of an SUV, the passenger capacity of a minivan, the driving characteristics of a car and has a multitude of storage bins and spaces. Making its debut into the crossover marketplace, the Journey compares favorably with the Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota RAV4, and it's especially ideal for those with families, or those looking to start new families, as it offers different trim levels with a choice of seating configurations and amenities that should suit a variety of needs and budgets.
If you're looking for minivan utility and storage space, without the minivan look, the Journey is a viable option. With its available third-row seating, it offers more room than the Ford Escape and Chevy Equinox.
The Dodge Journey lacks in interior quality compared to other cars in its class. The dashboard and paneling and available leather seating are not the Journey's strong points.
According to Dodge, the all-new Journey is a "right-sized" crossover, which fills the needs of young singles or families with children with its available seven-passenger capacity and many storage solutions for numerous types of cargo, big or small.
Driving Impressions The 2009 Dodge Journey indeed drives like a car, but with the comfort and space of an SUV. On our test drive its tall ride height didn't affect stability much...as the suspension had a good amount of firmness to handle corners but was still comfortable, as compared to the rugged stiffness of the Ford Escape. The four-cylinder engine was peppy and had enough power to get us up moderate inclines, but the V6 seemed to be a better fit, although not as powerful as the V6 in the Toyota RAV4. We also appreciated all the convenient storage spaces. The Chill Zone beverage cooler above the glove box kept drinks cold surprisingly well, and the second-row in-floor bins, that were holding snacks, didn't leak a single drop of melted ice-water during a two-hour drive along bumpy back roads.
Flip 'n Stow Storage
The front passenger-seat cushion flips forward to expose a big storage bin that can hide valuables from prying eyes, or just keep things in place.
In-Floor Storage Bins
Behind the front seats are two bins in the floor that can accommodate up to twelve 12-ounce cans and ice -- or whatever else you can put in there. The bins have locking lids and are removable for easy cleaning.
The spacious cabin of the Dodge Journey is lined with soft-skin paneling and chrome trim accents, is available with cloth, YES essentials stain-resistant fabric or two-toned leather seating and can accommodate up to seven occupants, depending upon the trim level. The front passenger seat, second and third rows fold flat for nine feet of load capacity, and in-floor storage bins are located in the second row and rear cargo areas. Other convenient features include the available Flip 'n Stow compartment in the front passenger seat and the Tilt 'n Slide feature, with which the second-row seats fold upward and slide forward to allow third-row access.Exterior
For a crossover, the Dodge Journey is fairly large, with a wheelbase almost ten inches longer than those of the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, which allows for more cargo and third-row room. The Journey has an aggressive look, with its sculpted wheel arches and angled beltline giving it a sportier, SUV-like appearance. The front of the Journey exudes muscularity, with a signature Dodge crosshair chrome grille and Ram's-head stamp in between quad-halogen headlamps and available fog lamps. To finish off the look, the composite lightweight rear liftgate has an integrated spoiler that provides form and function, improving the Journey's aerodynamics.
A base 2009 Dodge Journey comes with a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine with a four-speed automatic transmission, four wheel anti-lock disc brakes, power steering, power windows, power locks, air conditioning, Chill Zone beverage storage, AM/FM radio with a six-disc CD changer and six speakers, second-row in-floor storage and a rear-cargo area covered storage bin. Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side-curtain airbags in all rows, Electronic Stability Program and Electronic Roll Mitigation.
Available options for the Dodge Journey are a MyGIG infotainment system, UConnect Hands-free Communication, ParkView rear back-up camera, navigation, rear-seat eight-inch screen, wireless headphones and video remote control, six premium speakers with subwoofer and 368-watt amplifier, third-row seating, Tilt 'n Slide second-row seats, Flip 'n Stow compartment, automatic temperature control and heated front seats. These options are made available by opting for certain packages.
Engineered for commuting and good gas mileage, the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder provides a sufficient amount of power for the weight of this crossover, but the potent 3.5-liter V6 does the job even better. The 2.4-liter is fit outfitted with a four-speed automatic transmission, while the 3.5-liter has a six-speed.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25
235 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
232 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)
By darkeyes (TX) on Thursday, May 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "great storage"
Cons: "choppy ride and noisy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"car needed the front brakes, rotors and pads replaced at 15000 miles. Chrysler covered almost all the cost. This should not have been necessary. The car has choppy ride and is somewhat noisy. Gas mileage on the highway always averages 23.5 MPG. We have driven the car cross-country 3 times and find it to be adequate with lots of unique storage. We've only used the third row seat once, but like the extra storage space it provides. Our next car will probably be a minivan."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By retired in missouri (MO) on Monday, April 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "seats 5 adults 2 kids, lots of storage bins"
Cons: "Too many problems to list in 50 characters"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this vehicle new at the end of 2008, traded my 4X4 Ford Explorer for more seating and better gas mileage. Purchased a special "bumper to bumper as long as you own the car" maintenance plan. In 2009 windshield washer hosing had to be replaced (warranty covered it), also changed all four break pads and front rotors and all four 19" (only one manufacture sells this type at $1,100 a set)tires. In 2010 engine bolts broke, not covered by "bumper to bumper" plan; also replaced on set of tires and front break pads. In 2011, passenger side heat stopped working, not covered by plan, was reimbursed by dodge for one early break replacement after providing copies of receipts and filling out paperwork. In 2012, needed another set of 19" expensive tires, so instead used taxes and bought four 18" rims and tires for $1,100. This year, ERG sensor out (something to do with exhaust system) not covered by plan. I spend approximately 50% of my driving time on the highway for about 6 - 12 miles a day, and the rest is in and around town, I live about a mile down a well maintained dirt road. I don't drive it in the snow, because it has absolutely no traction, tires will spin at an intersection after it rains. What I might have saved in fuel costs, I have doubled in maintenance that dodge said was not covered. I get routine oil changes and lubes. I have had enough of dodge."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By dipstick (IL) on Sunday, April 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"bought in november 2012 and love the overall performance and reliability. beat all other competitors in price and standard features. looked at mazda,toyota,ford and honda and they all came up short in amenities and priced way too high to justify wasting money on their over hyped ' value'. averaging 21.5 mpg after 3000 miles and it continues to improve. 8.4 sat radio/climate screen, LED exterior/interior lighting, 3rd row seating and ease of operation makes this vehicle a competent SUV."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Harry (PA) on Saturday, April 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Spacious interior, power, versitle, great ride"
Cons: "rough downshifting, cornering, 3rd row flr height"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Here are the improvement that need made: First up is the powertrain. My particular CUV was one of the first shipped to the dealer for the model year, but the alignment was off when first purchased and the torque steer you can definitely feel on acceleration. The transmission downshift harder than normal. This is really noticed in the summer when the A/C is running and you are slowing coming to a stop. It also downshifts when trying to coast even going slightly downhill. Handling is ok. Definite body roll and a ton of under-steer. I have a lot of stop and go driving and so far the breaks are holding up pretty good. There is a start of some break fading and the pedal stiffness midway throw pedal pressing is starting to fade. Break dust is an issue in the rear tires though...they need to change to ceramics. The tire wear is not the greatest as I believe the factory tires will not make it to 35,000. They may for me since I drive about 100 miles a day, but that is about all the farther I see them lasting. Now the good stuff: The 3.6 has great power and great acceleration. The vehicle has more room than you think it has. I am still impress by when all I can fit in this vehicle. The seats are very comfortable. The third row seat are not meant for adult or people taller than about 5' 4" because fold flat seats and the raised floor. Also, sliding the second row is a little tuff to do. General maintenance is easy; changing oil and brakes. The filter is at the top left of the engine under the hood. The height of the vehicle make easy to get yourself and on oil pan under to drain."
By Ang (OK) on Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Has plenty of ports to charge personal devices"
Cons: "The AVP package lacks Bluetooth & Garage opener"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"So far I love my car! It handled like a dream runs quiet and rides great. Road trips are a awesome with this car."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Phil (AZ) on Friday, March 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a Great car with good gas milage for its size and utility. It can carry up to 7 passangers, tow a trailer, have luggage on the roof rack and still get 23 miles per gallon on the highway and in comfort. You cant't beat that. With a standard load and a cold air intake I get 27-30 MPG on the highway. That is great for a V6 SUV. For the price it out does the competition. Cost $2000-5000 less then anything in its class as equipt"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful