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- Highs Low entry-level pricing, spacious and practical interior, comfortable highway ride.
- Lows Underpowered engine choices, ponderous handling, substandard interior materials.
- Verdict The 2018 Dodge Journey provides budget pricing and a reasonable amount of space to haul people and cargo, but most rivals best it in comfort and convenience features.
With a host of newer and better crossovers available in the marketplace, the only compelling reason to buy the Dodge Journey is its low price. The base Journey relies on a decade-old platform, and its standard features list is short. Working up through the Journey lineup nets ever increasing equipment levels, but at no point does this ancient carryall become desirable or competitive. If three rows of seating and a bargain price are your only requirements, look no further. But if substance is what you seek, take a look at such rivals as the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, or Mazda CX-9.
What's New for 2018?
Dodge hasn’t changed much on the mid-size Journey for 2018, but it has simplified the lineup by dropping the Crossroad Plus trim and has made last year’s optional third-row seat standard for 2018. Otherwise, a new 19-inch wheel design that Dodge calls Black Noise is now available on the Crossroad trim, and the brand’s popular Blacktop package—gloss-black exterior mirrors, grille, wheels, and roof rails—is now available on SE, SXT, and GT models.
- SE: $24,390
- SXT: $28,290
- Crossroad: $29,390
- GT: $34,490
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The base Journey comes with an underpowered 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an ancient four-speed automatic transmission. Some extra cash can score you a more up-to-date 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic, but even that combination lags behind the competition in acceleration. We’ve never tested a four-cylinder Journey, but we can confidently say that its 173 horsepower won’t be enough to adequately power this two-ton SUV. Even the 283-hp V-6 model we tested was the slowest among its competitors. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available with the V-6. The Journey’s numb, ponderous handling and unresponsive transmission leave it far from achieving top marks for drivability. It wallows in corners with lots of body roll and imprecise steering. The benefit of this softness, however, is a comfortable ride on the freeway.
EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the "Compare Side-by-Side" tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Journey’s cabin is far from upscale, but its simple controls are easy to use. Fitting anyone in the third row—even children—requires compromises from those in the second row. Cheap-feeling bits, such as a plasticky shifter and hollow-sounding interior door-trim panels, are especially disappointing. We’d prefer more support from the soft and flat front seats. The second-row split bench is accommodating enough to seat three across. Practicality is one of the few areas where the Journey shines: its interior is easily configurable, and it has tons of cubby storage for odds and ends.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Journey comes with the same easy-to-use Uconnect touchscreen as many other Dodge products. However, only the optional system with its larger 8.4-inch screen incorporates the latest connectivity features. The Journey’s standard infotainment setup uses a small 4.3-inch touchscreen with only the basics: AM/FM radio, a USB port, and an auxiliary audio jack. The upgraded system adds SiriusXM radio, a CD player, and MP3 capability. Neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto is offered, and there’s only a single USB port up front.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.