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 JC on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very nice riding car"
Cons: "too expensive to repair"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I've owned car since 2010 and I've replaced 5 air sensor valve stems at way to much money. Also, have had a lot of trouble with air conditioning, with having to replace almost the whole unit front and back. To me not a smart way to have the back unit. Way to much money to repair."
14 people out of 28 found this review helpful
By mikie on Wednesday, September 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "For a wagon, fun to drive"
Cons: "Transmission - Mopar USED to have industries' best"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I liked everything about this car from the beginning, with the possible exception of the 6-speed transmission; it has a tendency to shift lazily into first gear after a stop, causing the car to jump slightly like being tapped lightly from behind. It moves swiftly thru the gears and shifts smoothly. It gets aprx 19-22 mpg in town and 23-25 mpg on the road at 70 mph. In mts of Colorado, at 65mph, she can get 28 mph. II will definitely buy another Dodge product!"
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By lq on Thursday, August 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,250overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Pros:Excellent Ride Quality, Storage Options"
Cons: "Cons:Third row seating cramped, city mpg subpar"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Have had my 2014 Journey for a month and am very pleased so far. Auto critics have groused about the 2.4L engine, but it suits the needs of average drivers fine. Love all the storage options and the dashboard layout. Those who are looking for adult third row seating need to look elsewhere, however. and city mileage is not great ( I drive 65/35 highway however, so my mpg experience has been fine-25.0 combined)."
9 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Sam on Saturday, August 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "third row seat, blue tooth, sirrus radio"
Cons: "bad on tires, very little storage in rear"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have had nothing but issues with this car from day one. Had to have new tires replaced at 12,000 and 22,000 miles. Even though we are told the car is 100% aligned it constantly pulls to the left when you are driving. A lot of road noise as well and is a gas guzzler."
11 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By tagmatt on Friday, August 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Third Row, Compact, A/C and Heat, Acceleration"
Cons: "Automatic AWD, First Model Year (many issues)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Quick Background: I bought this car looking for a family size vehicle with a third row and all-wheel drive (for winter since I live in the northeast). This was my first family car purchase and my goal was to stay away from minivan's and get a third row on a budget. I bought this car used at 50,000 miles and paid WAY to much for it (first time buying from a car dealership). It has had multiple issues since purchased and as such I have had to replace all four rotors (they were warped), all four brake pads (burnt out), the coolant tank (it cracked), and a fuel-related pump. I have also had to replace the front ball-joints which is a known issue for basically all Chrysler-based cars so I can't exactly count that against this car specifically. I have also had multiple tire issues (flat's, slow leaks) but that's really Kumho's fault so I can't completely blame Dodge. What I didn't realize when I got this car is that it has "automatic" AWD. This means there is no way to manually turn on the AWD, basically rendering the AWD useless unless the car is stuck in a snowbank. My advice from this: stay away from ANY automatic AWD cars, make sure you can manually turn it on before purchasing. I also didn't realize this was the first year Dodge introduced the Journey model. My advice from this: stay away from cars in their first (maybe even second) model year. Now that that's out of the way here's some things I liked about this car. Having a third row is really handy if you happen to have a third child (it just so happened to me). Because of child car seats, we actually have one seat up in the third row and the other down so we can load one child in through the trunk. It's not much fun, but it works. There's a good amount of storage even though it is a compact SUV. Speaking of which, being fairly compact is also handy when dealing with parking and such. Basically this car is good at getting my family from point A to point B but past that it's not much to get excited about."
16 people out of 33 found this review helpful
By trae on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,288overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "bearly any cargo space with using 3rd row seating"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love this car. I have owned a used 2009 and traded in for a new 2013. I am short and the car fits me perfectly. I am not a mini van kind of mom but do wish I had more cargo space when back row is being used. Thats the only reason why I regret not buying a caravan. My 2009 had an electrical plug but not my 2013, which would have be nice."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful