By KBB.com Editors
As part of Chrysler Corporation's massive full-line overhaul, the 2011 Dodge Journey has been given a thorough makeover that breathes new life (and respectability) into a vehicle many critics had given up for dead. Like so many Chrysler products of late, the original Dodge Journey was a well thought-out design that suffered from poor execution. Rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater, however, Dodge engineers looked to repair the Journey's weakest links, namely its suspension, interior and engine. In all three areas, the Dodge boys have hit a home run, creating a comfortable, quiet and well-built crossover with all the flair and sportiness we've come to expect from the brand.
If you need a vehicle with three-row seating, but a minivan is definitely out of the question, check out the 2011 Dodge Journey. The Journey has a large and versatile interior, and offers high-tech audio, navigation and connectivity features rarely found in this segment.
Although the 2011 Dodge Journey has been completely overhauled, those looking for a well-established vehicle with equally well-established reliability and resale ratings should probably look to the Toyota Highlander, Honda CR-V, or even the new Ford Explorer.
The 2011 Dodge Journey receives a new 283-horsepower V6 engine, a completely retuned suspension and steering setup, a gorgeous new interior, and an abundance of high-tech communication and connectivity features.
Driving Impressions The 2011 Dodge Journey doesn't drive like a tall SUV. In fact, it doesn't drive like any SUV or crossover we've been in lately. The new suspension and steering tuning...create a car-like ride that is comparable to some sport sedans. Turn-in is rapid, the steering responsive and body roll and lean are kept well in check. Remarkably, the same stiff suspension that allows for such good handling also returns a smooth and comfortable ride, even over harsh and uneven pavement. We placed people in all three rows for an extended period of time and found that front seat and second-row passengers had nothing but praise for their accommodations. The third-row occupants, however, were not as kind. They roundly agreed that the Journey's rear-most seat is best suited for children, and not for any great length of time. While the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine doesn't have to strain to move a lightly loaded Journey, Dodge was wise to make its Pentastar V6 standard in all but the base trim. This new Pentastar is one of the best V6 engines ever produced by Dodge, and may even rank as one of the best V6 engines of all time. From its abundant power to its excellent fuel economy, we found the 3.6-liter to be a real gem.
Flip 'n Stow Storage
The 2011 Dodge Journey's 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.
Comparing last year's interior to the one found in the 2011 Dodge Journey is like comparing night and day. The new interior is every bit as versatile as before, with a flush-folding third-row seat, Tilt 'n Slide second-row seating, and flat-folding front passenger seat. There's also loads of hidden storage space, including storage bins located under the second-row seats and the available Flip 'n Stow front seat. But, it's the new interior's overall execution that has us smiling. There are now five different trims with six different interior color choices. Soft touch material covers just about every touchable surface, and a handsome new three-spoke wheel plays host to controls for the cruise and audio. On upper-end R/T, Crew and LUX trims, an advanced Uconnect suite of communication and connectivity options abound, including Bluetooth and voice activated controls for navigation, audio and iPod. There's even a subscription option to Sirius Travel Link, which can provide updates for traffic, find the cheapest gas prices, plus report on sports scores, weather conditions and even movie times.Exterior
In the world of compact crossovers, the 2011 Dodge Journey is on the larger side of the spectrum. Its long body makes the Journey look like a big station wagon. When placed side-by-side next to the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, the Dodge Journey surpasses both by a good 10 inches. The 2011 Dodge Journey receives some new exterior styling, including a revised crosshair grille, a different lower air intake on V6 models, and a number of aggressive wheel designs that range from 16- to 19-inches in diameter. The Journey also sports new "ring of fire" LED tail lights and a less-angular rear fascia.
A base 2011 Dodge Journey Express comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission, power heated side mirrors, three 12-volt outlets, a 4.3-inch touch screen AM/FM radio with a single CD player, an audio input jack and USB port, second-row in-floor storage, and a rear-cargo area covered storage bin.
Beyond the base 2011 Dodge Journey Express, there are four other Dodge Journey trims: Mainstreet, Crew, R/T and LUX. All feature a 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Options vary by trim and include all-wheel drive, UConnect Hands-free Communication network, leather seating surfaces, ParkView rear back-up camera, ParkSense parking assist, navigation, power moonroof, six premium speakers with subwoofer and 368-watt amplifier, third-row seating, 17- and 19-inch wheels, three-zone automatic air conditioning, Tilt 'n Slide second-row seats, Flip 'n Stow compartment, and heated front seats.
Engineered for commuting and good gas mileage, the 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder provides a sufficient amount of power for the weight of this crossover, but the potent 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which pumps out 283 horsepower, is really the engine you'll want. Coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission, the 3.6-liter never fails to deliver power when asked, and once up to speed, requires only minimal fuel to keep the Journey cruising. The Journey's V6 is also E85 compatible.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26
283 horsepower @ 6350 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (FWD), 13/18 (FWD, E85)
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