The Dodge Journey could very well be the car that time forgot. It debuted back in 2009 and has been pretty much the same vehicle since. While this longevity is admirable and speaks to the inherent goodness of the Journey's design concept, there's no denying that it's behind the times in quite a few areas.
As in previous years, the 2018 version of the Journey has three rows and a low price, but it lacks quite a few of the safety features buyers might expect, even when fully optioned. Its base engine is a truly underwhelming four-cylinder paired to an outdated four-speed automatic, and the combo results in subpar fuel economy. A stronger V6 is available, but even so equipped the Journey can't keep up with other three-row SUVs.
It's not all bad news for the Journey. We like the ride quality, and the seats are comfortable all around. The 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system included on upper trims is also a solid system, although it sadly has not been upgraded to the latest version that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
The Journey will get you where you're going, and will do so for less money than many competitors. But overall we think you'll be happier with vehicles such as the Kia Sorento, GMC Acadia or new Volkswagen Tiguan.
The 2018 Dodge Journey comes in four trim levels, with two engine options and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The base SE and SXT are pretty bare bones, lacking even bluetooth as a standard feature. Stepping up to the Crossroad gets you many of the same standard features you expect from entry-level trims on other vehicles. The range-topping GT gives you those features plus leather and a standard V6.
All four Journey trims come standard with front-wheel drive and, excluding the GT, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (173 hp, 166 lb-ft of torque) paired with a four-speed automatic. Opting for all-wheel drive (or the front-wheel-drive Journey GT) gets you a 3.6-liter V6 (283 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is also available as a stand-alone option for the SXT and Journey trims.
Standard feature highlights for the Journey SE include 17-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split second-row seats (with slide and recline), dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition and entry, and a six-speaker sound system with a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface.
Options packages include the Connectivity package (Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port, voice commands and a leather-wrapped steering wheel), the Popular Equipment package (three-zone temperature control with rear-seat vents, a conversation mirror, overhead console storage, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel) and the Comfort/Convenience package (a power-adjustable driver seat).
Moving up to the SXT adds 17-inch alloy wheels and contents of the Connectivity and Popular Equipment packages. A Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen package gets you the desirable 8.4-inch touchscreen plus adds three-zone automatic climate control, aimable interior lamps, overhead console storage, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The SXT's Premium package adds satellite radio, a conversation mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel and the power-adjustable driver seat.
The Dodge Journey Crossroad comes with 19-inch black-painted alloy wheels and the contents of the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen package. Further options include leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rear-seat entertainment system, a premium six-speaker stereo system with subwoofer, navigation, a sunroof and the Driver Convenience package (a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and a universal garage door opener).
The range-topping GT trim gets 19-inch alloys, remote start, a security alarm, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, and the premium stereo system. Additional options are largely the same as for the Crossroad, but a Trailer Tow Prep package, which adds a hitch and four-pin wiring connector, is also available.