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.
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 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)."
5 people out of 8 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."
10 people out of 18 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."
13 people out of 30 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."
By ACE on Tuesday, August 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent Handling and Engine Power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This vehicle went beyond our expectations, we took a road trip this summer from Texas to Illinois back down to Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and back to Texas. We covered 11 states and drove about 3500 miles. We also went from 0 Feet above see level to above 6500 above sea level. In regards to performance we did no have an issue, it managed to keep a smooth and fast ride up hill and lots of power going up the Smokey Mountains. It does have lots of power and allows you to get out of a Jam when you need to punch the gas. We have 2 children a 10 year old and a 6 year old and they managed to have enough space to carry all their gear in the back seat. The cargo bins in front of the rear seats came in handy to keep all DVD movies and our kids gear , we also used one of them as a cooler and managed to keep all of their snacks handy. Cargo area was big enough to carry 8 pieces of luggage and all souvenirs accumulated on our 2 week vacation. Nice Journey Dodge!"
By TC on Monday, August 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Get the 6Cyl for speed when U need it! I did! :)"
Cons: "Nothing major, just a few improvements needed!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Pros: The seats are quite comfortable for long trips, beyond comparison! No 'tin can' feeling on the road. The outer color of 'storm gray' reduces all glare in hot terrain. The size of the moon/sun roof is surprisingly large and controls are quiet. The tire traction and front-end suspension do their jobs very, very well, for a real smooth ride. The backup camera is a nice feature. The on screen hands-free calling and sound system controls are safe and handy while driving. The options for door locks and so much more adds value. The interior leather is high quality and stands up to 'people' quite nicely. The added carpet overlays are great preservers. The factory tires are much better quality than I expected. I love how the 'vehicle info' gives so much detailed information on the engine. I know what is going on for a change! Engine hours is a great reality check too. The Sirius XM is for FREE, year one!(It should be for two years on a new car)! I have had many vehicles in my lifetime, but this one is certainly the most versatile I have had. I like to buy things that take a truck, but I don't really need one 95% of the time with this vehicle. I'm still finding things out about my car. It is definitely equipped with some great features! Cons: The side view mirrors control needs updating with more range of motion for short people, so the rear mirror is not too far out of range to see properly. There needs to be larger/more AC vents. The driver seat needs to have truly separate positioning control patterns. (Why are all the visors so ridiculously little, and not just on this car?) The lumbar support is not 'as' adjustable as it should be. The carpeting on/in the cargo area is so thin, it is sadly very substandard. The speaker system could be much, much better for the price. Factory wipers are in need of higher quality and better functioning. The backup camera does not need to beep when vehicle has stopped. Dodge should provide new car buyers with a good leather conditioner for the seating,w/ gloves to maintain it. With the warming seats and steering wheel, the directions for maintaining these needs to be emphasized for warranty's sake. The windows could be tinted a bit darker, legally. If Dodge included a step ladder to reach the roof for cleaning, that would be awesome!"