By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 6.1
Two words best sum up the 2016 Dodge Journey’s success: “versatility and value.” With a price starting just under $22,000, the Journey undercuts more expensive rivals like the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda Pilot. Granted, two of the three come standard with a V6 engine, and the 4-cylinder Journey has neither the power nor the features (Bluetooth isn’t even standard) to compete with the above-mentioned group. However, the Journey’s higher trim levels do come well appointed and can be equipped with one of the most powerful V6 engines in this class. Though aging, the 2016 Dodge Journey still has some surprises in store, such as clever in-floor storage and one of the best infotainment systems money can buy.
Those who need 7-passenger accommodations and are on a limited budget will appreciate the 4-cylinder engine offered on four of the five available Journey trims. The family-friendly Journey is extremely versatile with lots of places to hide cargo and precious items.
If you need a large 3rd-row seat, a Chevy Traverse or Honda Pilot makes a better choice. The Journey’s 4-cylinder engine and outdated 4-speed automatic are not the best choice for a 7-passenger SUV. Look to the Kia Sorento for a better 4-cylinder entry model, as well as a better warranty.
KBB Expert Ratings
2016 sees the entry-level AVP trim dropped and the model lineup reduced to just five trim levels. SE, SXT and Crossroad trims have lower base prices than last year, while a new Crossroad Plus trim builds on the success of the Crossroad by offering standard leather seating and the Uconnect 8.4-inch display.
Those accustomed to older, truck-based SUVs will be quite pleased with the way Dodge’s Journey crossover SUV for 2016 rides and drives. A unit body and advanced suspension setup help...
... the Journey return car-like driving characteristics similar to a tall-riding station wagon, which is essentially what the Journey is. Confident on highway runs and surprisingly agile over narrow, twisting roads, the Journey is devoid of the bobbing and weaving one might experience in a truck-based SUV. Although we found the 173-horsepower 4-cylinder engine adequate with two people aboard, any additional bodies or cargo demands the Pentastar V6, which delivers an additional 100 horsepower and nearly the same fuel economy. We like the Journey’s upright seating position and found the front seats to be remarkably supportive and comfortable, even after driving long distances.
Dodge’s Journey SUV for 2016 has numerous clever storage ideas. Not only does the rear seat fold flush, there are additional storage bins beneath the 2nd-row floor and front-passenger seat cushion. The same seat can fold flat to better accommodate long items such as a surfboard and skis.
3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V6 ENGINE
Dodge’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine is not only smooth and powerful, it also returns impressive fuel economy on par with the Journey’s smaller 4-cylinder engine.
The 2016 Dodge Journey's cabin is available in a 2-row, 5-passenger layout or as a 3-row, 7-passenger configuration. Passenger space for adults is commendable up front and good in the second row, but legroom is very tight in the third row, which is best left for kids or occasional use. One of the best features of the Journey is its available Uconnect infotainment system. In addition to a large and easy-to-use 8.4-inch touch screen centered in the dash, there are supplementary buttons for climate and audio that are simple to see and use.
Is it a sport-utility vehicle or the reincarnation of a station wagon? With the 2016 Journey from Dodge, its 192.4-inch length exceeds much of the competition, but Dodge's designers have given it exterior treatments such as the chrome-trimmed cross-hair grille and eye-catching aluminum-alloy wheel choices that keep it from being merely bland. If a more stylish look is important, opt for the R/T version, with its 19-inch wheels, monochromatic treatment and distinctive R/T labels. For a tougher-looking version, there's the Dodge Journey Crossroad, which features a faux skidplate, standard roof rails and blacked-out wheels.
The 2016 Dodge Journey 7-passenger crossover SUV is available in a five trims, from the base SE to the top-line R/T. At its most basic, the 2016 Journey includes dual-zone climate control, 4.3-inch touch-screen media center, keyless entry and push-button start, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and power windows and door locks. Entertainment is provided by a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with auxiliary and USB inputs, but no Bluetooth streaming as standard. Safety features include electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all rows.
Plenty of options can be had on the 2016 Journey. Among the more popular are 3-row seating (Flexible Seating Group), traction-enhancing all-wheel drive in lieu of the standard front-drive setup, an 8.4-inch touch-screen Uconnect infotainment system and navigation. Amenities that bring an upscale feel include leather seating, Infinity speakers, rear-seat video entertainment system with 9-inch screen and two wireless headphones, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and heated front seats and heated steering wheel. A Driver Convenience Group adds a rearview camera and distance-alert function when in reverse, but more advanced safety functions like blind-spot monitoring and automatic braking are not available.
Two engines are available for Dodge’s 2016 Journey crossover SUV. Standard on lower trims is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes an only-adequate 173 horsepower. The engine we recommend is the 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that is optional on all but base Dodge Journeys and standard in higher trims. The V6 is also your only choice if you require all-wheel drive (AWD) instead of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) to deal with inclement weather and slippery roads. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline. All Dodge Journeys use automatic transmissions, with the 4-cylinder stuck with an older-style 4-speed and the 6-cylinder using a newer 6-speed. The Journey's towing capacity is on the light end, limited to 1,000 pounds with the 4-cylinder and 2,500 with the V6.
2.4-liter inline-4 (SE, SXT, Crossroad)
173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg
3.6-liter V6 (SE, SXT, Crossroad, R/T)
283 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (FWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD)
The 2016 Dodge Journey has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $22,000, including destination charge. Better-equipped mid-level versions of the Journey such as the SXT and Crossroad are in the mid-$20,000 range, while a top-line R/T version with AWD reaches the mid-$30,000 level. At its base price, the Dodge Journey SE remains the lowest-priced midsize SUV, and even after climbing trims is a good value among midsize SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9 and Kia Sorento. The Mitsubishi Outlander with seating for seven is also a value leader among 3-row SUVs, but is smaller than the Journey. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Journey SUV. In the years ahead, the Journey's residual value is expected to be average, still lagging the Toyota Highlander.