Overview

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Overview (Final Score: C)

People who need the spacious capability of a minivan but want to avoid its stigma are immediately attracted to the Journey. This crossover features the availability of all-wheel drive and the ride height of an SUV, but contains the 3-row spaciousness and wide-opening doors of a minivan family hauler.

For 2017 not much has changed with the Dodge Journey, which is now long overdue for a redesign. Refreshed in 2011, the Journey has largely been the same since its introduction two years before that. In automotive terms, that makes the 2017 Journey quite old. In reality the only downsides for that age are its somewhat dated exterior look. The Journey is otherwise as good or better than most other options on the market.

For growing families that need plenty of seating to haul the soccer team and band members around, the 2017 Dodge Journey is a great choice. The Journey is budget-friendly, well-designed and very safe.

What We Love About the 2017 Dodge Journey:


  • Great interior for roominess and versatility

  • Nicely-matched V6 powertrain for the Journey's size

  • Family and budget friendly all around


 

What We Don't Love About the 2017 Dodge Journey:


  • Dated exterior design that's oddly half minivan, half crossover

  • Reliability expectation not very high

  • Four-cylinder base engine is very underpowered


 

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Exterior View (7/10)

The 2017 Dodge Journey isn't the best looker in the parking lot. It's a bit of a holdover from a previous time when station wagon looks were out and square, and flat-paneled sport utilities were in. Square proportions were the norm in the early 2000s and the Journey definitely carries that look today.

The square build has its advantages and is one of the reasons the Journey's interior is so spacious. The overall design of the Journey is softer and less muscular than its larger Dodge Durango sibling. This gives the Journey a less aggressive and more minivan-ish appeal overall.

Most of the 2017 Journey's style is in the front fascia, which is very much akin to the face of the Durango. The dodge cross divides the grille into four sections and a heavy bumper and wide lower intake finish the aggressive look of Dodge up front. The headlamps on the Journey are a big bigger than the fascia's size would ask for and the hood is less bulged. Both of these elements soften the aggression.

It's a good look that, frankly, gets lost with the rest of the Journey's flat-panel, square design.

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Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (9/10)

Inside the 2017 Journey is excellent with a lot of quality materials and smart texture use. The tone is balanced and space creating. There are storage spaces for gadgets and gear throughout the cabin, making the Journey one of the most family-friendly we've seen outside of the minivan realm. Even the Dodge quirk of storage bins in the floor ahead of the second-row seating is present in the Journey, adding a bit more space than would otherwise be expected.

Smart items that parents will appreciate include integrated booster seats for the second row and easy-access LATCH locks for child safety seats in four of the Journey's five rear-seating positions. Access to the third row via the split between captain's chairs in the second is very good as well.

Seating throughout the Journey is good, with the front seats seeing some roomy design and plenty of comfort. Gauges and controls are ready to hand for the driver and a wide berth of leg and shoulder room greets both the driver and front passenger. The second row is also roomy, with a lot of head and legroom for even the big and tall. The third row, available in most trims, is largely just for children but boasts good seating for the segment.

Cargo space in the 2017 Dodge Journey is a huge 67.6 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. Access to that is from a wide-opening, squared rear hatch that boasts a fairly low loading height and a nice, flat surface.

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Technology (10/10)

Technology in the 2017 Dodge Journey is based on Chrysler's latest Uconnect system, which comes in a couple of flavors in the Journey. The base equipment has basic connectivity such as Bluetooth and radio, but the upgrade comes with a nice-sized 8.4-inch touchscreen that boasts one of the best infotainment options on the market.

The most telling upgrade that this 8.4-inch screen includes is the large, easy readout it comes with. Uconnect is also one of the only infotainment systems that allows voice-to-text for sending text messages on the go, making texting truly hands-free. Navigation and smartphone apps integration are also included in the upgraded Uconnect infotainment.

Voice control for infotainment is one of the best we've seen. Though it's sometimes clunky, it's always functional. This is one of the best infotainment systems we've seen so far.

Fuel Economy (9/10)

The 2017 Journey is EPA-rated at 21 mpg combined with its base engine and front-wheel drive configuration. The EPA rates that engine at 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

This lowers to 19 mpg combined when the V6 upgrade is added. The AWD V6 has similar returns with 19 mpg combined from 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

In the real world, our V6-powered, AWD-equipped Journey averaged 19 mpg overall, doing better on the highway than expected with the EPA's 24 mpg number being surpassed routinely. We feel that most drivers in the 2017 Journey can expect to see EPA estimates or better in their everyday driving with this vehicle.

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Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (7/10)

The 2017 Dodge Journey has seen a bit of an upgrade to its expected reliability from the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study, going from a low "The Rest" score to a middling "About Average" score. This hasn't raised our expectations for good reliability with the Journey, and this remains a serious weak point for the vehicle.

As of this writing, there have been no major recalls for the 2017 Journey.

Safety (8/10)

Safety remains a strong point for the 2017 Dodge Journey. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Journey four stars overall (out of five) with four-star ratings for both frontal and rollover tests and five stars for side crash impacts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Journey with best-available "Good" scores for all tests except the small overlap front-test results, which resulted in a "Poor" rating (the worst possible). That latter result is low, but bad results for this test are common in larger vehicles.

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Performance (8/10)

There are two engine options for the 2017 Journey. The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that's found throughout the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep lineup of vehicles. The Tigershark engine outputs 173 horsepower and 166 foot pounds of torque in the Journey and is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that, frankly, does the engine no favors in terms of performance.

Outside of the extremely fuel economy minded, the 4-cylinder option for the Journey is probably not going to satisfy anyone with its performance. It gets the job done but doesn't give any flare or confidence while doing so. The goods are with the upgrade option.

The upgrade is a 3.6-liter V6 (Pentastar) that is also common throughout the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep line. This engine outputs 283 horses and 260 lb-ft in the Journey and runs through a much more sophisticated 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine is very well matched to the Journey and does very nicely in it.

Front-wheel drive is standard in the Journey and all-wheel drive is optional with the V6 upgrade.

On the road the 2017 Journey is competent and well-mannered. It's also much quieter inside, especially at highway speeds, than its shape or price point might indicate. That surprising aspect goes a long way toward giving the Journey an upgraded feel without the premium cost normally associated with that. The 4-cylinder often struggles to maintain freeway speeds and the transmission can be noisy at times. The V6 has none of those issues, with smooth shifting and a quiet presence unless pressed.

Around town the Dodge Journey is maneuverable and absorbs low-speed bumps very well. It's more nimble than might be expected too. Off the pavement, the Journey adds a little goodness with its AWD option and its capability on dirt roads leads us to believe that it will do well in inclement weather too.

Pricing and Value (9/10)

There's a lot of bang for the dollars spent on the 2017 Dodge Journey. Most buyers will find themselves underneath the $30,000 point when purchasing a well-equipped Journey and will be happy for it. The Journey offers a lot of space and comfort for the money.

Resale values for the Journey are not particularly high, thanks to the vehicle's dated looks and reputation for unreliability. On the used market most of the issues a Journey will have had will be worked out. So buyers are still looking for these family-friendly machines as an option.

There are few on the market that can compete with the Journey's family sized goodness and efficiency in such an ergonomic package. Not at this price point.

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Total Score and Competitive Comparison (61/80, 76%)

The 3-row crossover market is competitive and full of offerings, but none of them can match the Journey's price point for the ergonomics it offers. Close competitors include minivans such as the Toyota Sienna (which also offers AWD) and the Chrysler Pacifica. Both are excellent choices, but neither can be had for anything close to the Journey's selling price. The Kia Sorento crossover has an excellent return on investment that makes it price-comparable to the Journey and its class-leading warranty may put it over the top for some shoppers.

In the end there are no real competitors to the 2017 Dodge Journey, thanks to its low cost of entry, excellent ergonomics and upscale interior feel. The Journey may seem a little dated with its exterior look and reliability might be a concern for some, but when it's all tallied, the 2017 Journey offers a lot for not much money and brings more to the table than do most of its new-design competitors.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - AWD
SE SE AWD V6 AWD 26795
SXT SXT AWD V6 AWD 28995
Crossroad Crossroad AWD V6 AWD 30495
Crossroad Plus Crossroad Plus AWD V6 AWD 30495
GT GT AWD V6 AWD 33895
SUV - FWD
SE SE FWD 4 Cylinder FWD 21195
SXT SXT FWD 4 Cylinder FWD 25495
Crossroad Crossroad FWD 4 Cylinder FWD 26995
Crossroad Plus Crossroad Plus FWD 4 Cylinder FWD 26995
GT GT FWD V6 FWD 31995

Comparison of 2017 Dodge Journey with Similar Cars

2017 Dodge Journey MSRP Invoice
2017 Dodge Journey $21,195 $21,097
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2017 Jeep Compass $19,940 $19,818 2017 Dodge Journey VS 2017 Jeep Compass
2017 Subaru Forester $22,595 $21,363 2017 Dodge Journey VS 2017 Subaru Forester
2017 Chevrolet Trax $21,000 $20,160 2017 Dodge Journey VS 2017 Chevrolet Trax
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport $19,795 $19,135 2017 Dodge Journey VS 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2017 Dodge Journey ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2017 Dodge Journey rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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