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What Ever Happened to the Dodge Journey?

Dodge Journey

Dodge has been one of the leading SUV manufacturers for a decade, bringing popular models such as Durango, Charger, and RAM to the limelight. It is no surprise that average American families would choose Dodge thanks to its fair-priced cars and trucks. But since the car-manufacturing industry is fast-evolving, companies like Dodge had to shape up or ship out. The company decided to quit producing more of Journeys, focusing on improving interior features instead.

The Rise

You might have heard of the Dodge Journey SUV models for the first time during their launch in 2011. However, the motor vehicle production company began production in 2009 with five-seater vehicles. It was an average family car of five people.

1. Journey’s first-generation SUVs

The first generation of the Journey vehicles landed on the roads from 2009 to 2011. According to Dan Cummins, these cars boasted low-lying frames, making them perfect for families looking to enjoy stress-free rides without making hefty payments.

2. Journey’s second-generation SUVs

The second generation of Journey to hit the roads between 2012 and 2013 boasted a sporty appearance. Dodge’s motive was to attract baby boomers and millennials with an SUV with 287 horsepower. It didn’t take long before Journey’s diehards realized the perks that came with driving a state-of-the-art muscle Dodge SUV.

3. Journey’s third-generation SUVs

Between 2014 and 2020, Dodge saw it fit to focus on the interior for its third-generation SUVs. Anyone with such a car could enjoy quality-assuring features like insulated seats and avant-garde touchscreen display. These models are still up for grabs for anyone who takes pride in such features.

The fall

Dodge introduced its first-generation car in 2009, branding it Journey. According to Motor Biscuit, Journey is what every American family would want because it has more space to accommodate everyone and is affordable. Low MSRP was its biggest selling point. However, it still received average ratings and reviews from critics and consumers. After producing Journey SUVs for more than a decade, Dodge decided that it was time to call it quits. While Dodge has tried upgrading third-generation models in the past few years, they weren’t enough to get good reviews. Dodge released its final model in 2020. Its manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $23,675, making it ideal for a budget-conscious user looking to enjoy SUV privileges with ultra-modern features. The 2020 Journey is more like a refurbishment for the 2009 model year. It has a 2.4L 16-valve four-cylinder engine, giving it more power to navigate the four-speed automatic transmission. Dodge remodeled its suspension system, upgraded interior features, and added a new V6 engine. The 2018 Journey, on the other hand, has its extra third-row seating remodeled. According to US NEWS Best Cars, the 2019 model and its predecessors are far better than the 2020 Journey. Below are the drawbacks that Journey’s users faced;


Low-quality interior

According to customer reviews from U.S. News, reviewers noted that the interiors felt substandard than other brands released the same year. Not only did they feel cheap, but also uncomfortable. It was like buying a hamburger with no ham, only vegetables. These reviews came from people who had driven Dodge Journey for 3-5 years. That meant they had to pay more for replacements and other charges.

A fuel guzzler

The 2009 Journey has two engine capacities: the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V6. While Dodge claims that its cars boast fuel economy, the bigger engine guzzles more gas than usual. It goes to prove that “cheap is expensive.” You pay the little initial cost but end up paying thousands of dollars repairing and fueling it.

Nonperforming brakes

Ever tried driving the 2009 Journey for 30,000 miles then tried hitting the brakes? If yes, you probably noticed how inefficient they were. That means you will need to spend around $400 replacing the brake pads and rotors because they wear out fast.

Ignition problems

You’ve probably faced ignition problems if you have the first-generation of the Journey models. You might have noticed that the engine wouldn’t start automatically. So, that meant you checked the batteries to determine if there was any electrical problem. Your only solution was to start the car in Neutral while applying the brakes.

Electrical problems

Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of Dodge Journey is refusing to turn over. It’s like the car wakes up one day and decides to misbehave, while other times it will behave. It determines how your driving experience will turn out, not the other way around. It will cost you about $620 to repair it. That also involves replacing the key fobs and the starter motor.

Engine mishaps

After some years of driving the Dodge Journey 2009, you may notice your engine making ticking sounds or refusing to use up the oil without giving you a warning. You may also experience problems when igniting it. It’s like the engine gets exhausted after covering 44,000 miles. From there, issues like power steering cutting off, brakes failing, and the clunking noises from the engine start.


Journey has attracted eight recalls of all Dodge’s models, proving it’s an unworthy road vehicle. Most recalls were airbag control mishaps, engine, and electric fail, substandard interior features, front door wiring, ignition mishaps, and reverse wiring steering system.

Was stopping the production the right thing to do?

No company is 100% perfect as human errors happen all the time. Due to the numerous complaints raised from users and reviewers over the past years, it was about time Dodge Journey exited the car manufacturing industry. Its MSRP might have been its most significant selling point. However, users argue that they’ve spent thousands of dollars repairing and replacing various vehicle parts. While Dodge might have tried to improve its product’s features, it didn’t register well with people who’ve tried them. It was about time it ventured into something else other than manufacturing SUV trucks and cars. Will Dodge make a comeback, or is it “the end of the road” for them? Only time will tell.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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