By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 6.0
The 2017 Dodge Journey may not be the sexiest 7-passenger crossover SUV on the market, but there is no denying its value and versatility. A 4-cylinder Dodge Journey starts just under $22,500, undercutting newer rivals like the Kia Sorrento, Toyota Highlander and Hyundai Santa Fe. We think the 4-cylinder is too weak for this vehicle, however, and base models are sparsely optioned. If you’re going to do it right, get the 283-horsepower V6 and a mid-level trim such as the Crossroad. Add in all-wheel drive and you’ll have a comfortable, capable crossover SUV big enough to hold the kids and all their stuff, powerful enough to haul them with confidence and flexible enough to serve as everything from errand runner to weekend warrior.
If you need room for seven passengers but your budget is saying “compact SUV only,” the 4-cylinder Dodge Journey for 2017 is the answer. Highly versatile and offering a number of options, it’s easy to get into a nicely equipped Journey and still keep the price around $26,000.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2017, the Dodge Journey R/T is dropped in favor of a new Journey GT trim. The Crossroad trim receives new satin-carbon wheel finish, while two new colors are added to the Journey’s color palette: Spitfire Orange and Rhino Clear Coat.
Though labeled an SUV, Dodge’s 2017 Journey is really a comfortable crossover SUV with a very car-like demeanor. The Journey’s unibody construction and advanced suspension help it absorb road imperfections...
... and tackle tight turns with ease, making this 7-passenger crossover SUV feel more like a tall station wagon. We appreciate the Journey’s upright seating position and found the front seats to be supportive and comfortable, even after driving long distances. In twisting turns, the Journey’s steering feels precise and the wheel nicely weighted. There is lean when pushed hard, but it’s not as excessive as one might experience in a truck-based SUV. While the 4-cylinder’s 173 horsepower can move the Journey even when fully loaded, it doesn’t do so enthusiastically. That job is best left to the optional 283-horsepower V6 with 6-speed transmission, which offers superior power yet manages nearly identical fuel-economy estimates as the smaller 4-cylinder.
When it comes to cargo management, the 2017 Dodge Journey is one of the most flexible and innovative SUVs anywhere. There are hidden storage bins beneath the 2nd-row floor and another under the front-passenger seat, which also folds flat, allowing cargo to fit right up to the dashboard’s edge.
3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V6 ENGINE
The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine is one of the smoothest, most fuel-efficient V6’s in the crossover-SUV segment. It also loves to run. Available on the SE, SXT and Crossroad trims and standard on the 2017 Dodge Journey GT, this engine is worth every penny the extra cost.
The 2017 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 2017 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 2017 Dodge Journey 7-passenger crossover SUV is available in a five trims, from the base SE to the top-line GT. At its most basic, the Dodge Journey SUV 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 Bluetooth is optional. 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 Dodge’s 2017 Journey crossover SUV. 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, Premium 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 2017 Journey crossover SUV. Standard on all but the GT 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 the GT trim, where it is standard. 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 more modern 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: 19/25 mpg
3.6-liter V6 (Opt. SE AWD, SXT, Crossroad and std. on GT)
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)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
For 2017, the Dodge Journey has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $22,300, including destination charge. Mid-level versions such as the SXT and Crossroad are in the mid- to upper-$20,000 range, while a top-line GT 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. 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, Mazda CX-9 and Honda CR-V.