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 Steve on Thursday, December 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, user friendly, motor"
Cons: "Wish it came standard with GPS navigation"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have driven this vehicle for 2 round trips. Each round trip was 1700 miles. The cloth seats are very comfortable. Plenty of space for a child, three dogs, gifts, and inclement weather survival items in the storage compartments. We just bought another one because we liked the first one so much. First one is SXT FWD and the second is SXT AWD. The FWD accelerates very fast, climbs hills easy, really quiet ride, and handles like a nimble car. The AWD doesnt accelerate as quickly (nature of AWD), extermely quiet and comfortable ride, and definately feel in grabbing the road (traction not an issue). The AWD feels/handles like my wide and heavy muscle car, except it obvously doesnt accelerate as quickly."
10 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By romeomom on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice smooth ride"
Cons: "terrible gas mileage and no cigarette package"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The transmission had to be replaced twice. All of the electrical wiring had to be replaced. And even still my windows do not go up and down properly when it is cold. I love the ability to get up to highway speeds quickly, and how smoothly it runs at those speeds. I love the third row seating and all of the storage space and spaces it has."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By chuga chuga on Tuesday, December 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "heated seating/steering wheel, and assist handles."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"i've been driving lease vehicles for over 30+ years constantly. this was the car for my wife and I to drive during retirement. we had selected the 6 cylinder engine with the added maintenance agreements as well. along with what we needed for creature comforts-this car is well worth the investment. we have had this car for over a half year-and it works very well for our needs. hope that this helps."
10 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Elizamart on Sunday, December 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "System tells you when you need maintenance."
Cons: "A little on the expensive side!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I can't imagine anyone not liking this vehicle. It has all the bells and whistles. Keyless start and entry, backup camera, u-connect. I love this vehicle. The interior fabric is very nice, the u-connect system is fairly easy to use(regardless of what other people say). It just takes some exploring to figure everything out. I have only had one problem with it in almost 4 years (the battery died right after we got it). Handles very well in winter conditions."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Jaymista on Saturday, November 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, lots of storage, quiet"
Cons: "big pillars, donut spare tire"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I owned a 2009 Dodge Journey SXT and I was very satisfied with that one so I went with a 2012 Journey Crew a couple of years ago. I have had only one problem and a warning light came on but I could still drive it as normally so I took it to the dealer who, under warranty, installed a new oil pump. It was not a common problem. I put on new brake shoes a couple of months ago at the dealer's suggestion. Other than those two items, my Journey has been completely free of problems. It drives smooth and powerful. I can pass on the road when I want to and I have driven it satisfactory in all kinds of weather. I use it sometimes to drive a 1500 lb. small RV trailer with no problems but I drive it a bit slower around 55-60 mph. My wife loves driving the Journey as well. It is relatively easy on gas in my opinion (26-28 mpg Canadian)."
15 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By ldupree on Tuesday, November 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I was really surprised with how much I got for the price. I wish that I would have gotten a 6 cylinder though. I feel like the 6 cyl. would be easier getting up hills. I get great mpg though. On road trips I have gotten up to 29 mpg which is amazing for an SUV."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful