The Dodge Journey carved out a niche in the ever-growing crossover segment by offering versatility and value. Falling somewhere between a compact and a midsize crossover size-wise means more storage space than the former with a smaller footprint than the latter. With seating for up to seven and a starting price under $21,000, the Journey offers a solid value for budget minded families even when loaded with features.
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2016 Dodge Journey Overview
What's New for 2016
This year marks a redesign for the Journey, as it will share a platform and some styling elements with the Chrysler 200 sedan.
Choosing Your Dodge Journey
With such a deep model lineup, it should come as no surprise that the Journey offers two engine choices. Standard on the American Value Package, ST, SXT, SXT Plus and Crossroads is a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine, accompanied by a four-speed automatic transmission that creates an adequate 173 horsepower. The second engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and delivers a boost to 283-horsepower. The V6 can be had with or without all-wheel drive.
The entry trim for the Journey is a very basic package that features remote keyless entry, electronic roll mitigation, trailer sway damping, halogen headlamps, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with six speakers and 4.3-inch touchscreen, dual-zone air conditioning, and anti-lock brakes.
Moving to the SE gives you the option to select all-wheel drive, upgrades to three-zone automatic climate control, and adds a rear heater. The Premium package, available for $795, adds a power six-way driver seat, power four-way lumbar adjust, and a security alarm. Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels may also be added.
The SXT builds on the SE by adding satellite radio capability, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a USB port, revised sport-themed fascia, fog lamps and a cargo net. Heated front seats may be added.
Focuses on upgrading the SXT by adding interior features including an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, leather-wrapped steering wheel, passenger in-seat storage, an overhead console and heated mirrors. A host of option packages include features like parking assist, a backup camera, overhead 9-inch video screens, a 368-Watt amplifier, and premium speakers with a subwoofer. A second-row seat with built-in child boosters is also available.
Choosing the Crossroad adds leather seats, a leather shift knob, revised fascia with headlamp and taillamp bezels, rear reclining seats and 19-inch wheels. Optional packages mirror those available for the SXT Plus.
Stepping up to the Limited trim adds the V6 with six-speed automatic transmission as well as a full leather interior, Bluetooth capability, a power 6-way driver seat and heated front seats. Optional packages again mirror those available for the SXT Plus.
The R/T is equipped nearly identically to the Limited with the exception of dimpled leather interior.
We consider the V6 an essential part of any version of this vehicle as it delivers much stronger acceleration and all-around performance than the four-cylinder. We also recommend considering the Navigation and Back-Up Camera Package as it adds parking assist, navigation and a few other nice features for only $1,095.
2016 Dodge Journey Review
Crossovers are a great way to avoid entering the minivan zone, particularly seven-seat rigs like the 2016 Dodge Journey. This crossover sits alongside the Dodge Grand Caravan and entices buyers to choose it instead of the soccer-mom-mobile next to it.
While the Journey does have a better image than minivans, it does fall flat in a lot of key areas.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2016 Dodge Journey starts out at a base price of $20,895 in the SE trim, making it a great value in the realm of seven-passenger crossovers. What’s more, this base model is far from stripped down, as it comes standard with:
- Power, heated side-view mirrors
- Dual-zone climate control
- Six-speaker audio system with a 4.3-inch touchscreen
- Premium cloth upholstery
The Journey can get quite luxurious in higher trim levels that include the SXT, Crossroad, Crossroad Plus, and R/T.
The optional 3.6-liter V6 engine is a great powerplant that delivers smooth performance and plenty of pep for the class. The automatic transmission handles shifting under heavy throttle nicely.
- 283-horsepower V6 is the way to go
- Responsive automatic transmission
- Nice balance of handling and ride quality
- We consider the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine a real sore spot in the Journey -- lethargic and wheezy. We'd simply avoid it.
- Steering is a tad too touchy
- Transmission performance is erratic at low rpms
- Tows just 2,500 pounds with the V6 and 1,000 pounds with the four-cylinder
A lot of thought went into this crossover’s interior design. We can praise the Journey's simple dash layout with large knobs, and use of high-quality materials throughout.
While we appreciate the functionality of the Journey’s cabin, the simplicity of its design lacks the panache you'll find in many other Dodges. It might be too plain for some tastes.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The features that this model packs are amazing. Even at its base level, the standard equipment is plentiful and desirable. Things just get better as you move up the trim level ladder.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
In today’s crossover game, 30 mpg highway is the new benchmark. Sadly, the Journey misses this by a long shot --the four-cylinder engine gets just 26 mpg highway and the V6 gets 25 mpg highway. A more advanced transmission and some tighter tuning of the engine should make it possible to hit 30 mpg in at least the four-cylinder model.
The Bottom Line
The Journey is a good compromise for those who need a minivan but refuse to buy one. As a crossover, however, it falls flat with bland styling inside and out, subpar towing capacity, and poor fuel economy.
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