2018 Dodge JourneyShould you buy? Well, it depends..
What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Dodge Journey no longer comes equipped with two rows of seating, with all models now including the formerly optional third row. That is an upgrade, as the third row can easily be folded down to match the outgoing two-row model’s cargo space. The stylish Blacktop appearance package is now available across all trim lines for 2018 as well.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Dodge Journey – The Pros
1. Three Rows of Seating
In terms of cost per seat, it is hard to beat the Journey. Not a lot of other mid-size crossovers offer a third row, and none of them come anywhere near the price point of the 2018 Dodge Journey. This makes the car a perfect minivan alternative, especially given that it beats most of those vehicles on price as well.
2. Very Inexpensive
Even if maximizing your seating capacity is not the reason you are considering a Dodge Journey, its price point is still very attractive. It is easily the cheapest mid-size crossover one can buy, and is a less-expensive alternative to many compact SUVs as well. Buyers looking to pick up a mid-size car on a compact budget will love the Journey’s low price point.
3. Nice Infotainment System
The Uconnect system available on the Journey is an outstanding gem among automotive infotainment control systems available today. It has a large screen and a good set of premium features, such as Apple CarPlay. It is also very straightforward to use, making it a perfect system for all levels of technical knowledge.
4. Interior Versatility
The 2018 Journey may not come with a two-row option anymore, but its interior is still very versatile and has many useful options for many purposes. The third and second row fold down with ease and create a flat cargo surface, for example. Another is the integrated child seat boosters for the second row that are available as an optional feature.
5. Good Passenger Comfort
It is clear that the 2018 Dodge Journey has really been designed with people in mind, thanks to its nicely cushioned seats and a soft ride that keeps the passengers undisturbed throughout. Both of the front rows offer plentiful space, and the second row can actually slide to balance the legroom between the second and the third row.
6. Minivan Touches
Alongside the moving second row and the flat-folding seats, many features common to minivans make the 2018 Dodge Journey a very good choice as a family vehicle. Little storage areas are liberally spaced throughout the car, making keeping snacks, utility items and emergency cleanup supplies at hand very easy. The seats and the upholstery are very easy to clean and are resistant to wear and tear.
7. Good Handling
Despite being a large seven-person vehicle, the Journey manages to handle nicely with either of the available powertrains. It feels more like a compact crossover or a raised wagon when driven, and the body roll is kept to a minimum. The car retains a hydraulic power steering system, unlike many other crossovers which have switched to all-electric setups. That gives the steering a more natural and connected feel, and good built-in feedback.
8. Powerful V-6 Option
The 2018 Dodge Journey is available with either a four-cylinder or a V-6 engine. While the four-cylinder is adequate for most uses, more performance-minded drivers will like the good sound and the powerful force of the 283 horsepower that the 3.6-liter engine offers. The good handling of the car is a great match for the V-6 models’ power.
9. Available All-wheel Drive
The Dodge Journey is one of the few seven-seat vehicles that can be equipped with an all-wheel drive system, automatically putting it into consideration for anyone who lives in an area prone to severe weather. The all-wheel drive system can be included in any of the trim lines equipped with a V-6 engine, and adds a lot of value given the Journey's price point.
10. Neat Blacktop Appearance Package
The base Dodge Journey is a fairly attractive vehicle, but not one that is going to win beauty contests, but the Blacktop Appearance package, now available on any Journey model, nicely elevates its style and profile. It blacks out the side mirrors, the central grille and the roof rails, as well as adding distinctive all-black aluminium wheels for a stylish and sporty look.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Dodge Journey – The Cons
1. Poor Safety Scores
The 2018 Dodge Journey is not a favorite with either of the major US-based crash testing agencies: it has a ‘Poor’ front crash test score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a four-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Both put it below average for safety in its segment.
2. Unresponsive Transmissions
The aging four- and six-speed automatic transmissions offered on the Dodge Journey are very much behind the times, offering rather slow response to acceleration. This is especially apparent with the four-cylinder engine, which feels significantly less powerful than it is due to the sluggish four-speed transmission it is stuck with.
3. Very Outdated
Most generations of cars are updated on average every five years, but the Dodge Journey is rapidly approaching double that without a significant update. Compared to most of its competitors, the 2018 Dodge Journey feels very much behind the times.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
The 2018 Dodge Journey is a mid-size crossover, and so it faces off against other SUVs in that class, including the likes of the Subaru Forester and the Toyota Highlander. The Forester offers a more dynamic driving experience than the Journey, and comes standard with all-wheel drive. The Journey, however, is slightly less expensive and comes with a third row, which is impossible to get in a Forester. The Toyota Highlander comes with a lot more options than the Journey and has a similar amount of space, but its driving performance is not nearly as refined and its entry-level models are nearly as expensive as a fully-loaded Journey.
The 2018 Dodge Journey is a car with a relatively clear mission: offer a comfortable and versatile driving experience for when you need to transport up to seven people. It manages to do that very well, and comes in at well below the average price one would pay to accomplish that in any other vehicle. Its age may put it behind some other models, but it remains an excellent value for the services that it offers.
• Why buy a 2017 Dodge Journey? w/ pros vs cons