2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
This year, we are saying good-bye to a lot of vehicles as manufacturers trim the fat on their line-ups. One of the vehicles we're bidding farewell to in 2021 is the Dodge Journey . The Journey's journey began in 2008, and quite honestly, the vehicle has not changed much in that time. Unfortunately, this budget-friendly crossover just hasn't kept up with the times. After a mid-cyle refresh in 2011, the Journey just sank into oblivion.
Now, here we are, with Dodge making the cut to the Journey in order to keep with a tighter budget than what it had in 2008. For 2020, every powertrain was cut from the line-up save for the base 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine. Dodge also took away all-wheel drive as an option. Therefore, there was no fond farewell with a cool limited trim or anything.
So, what do we really have to compare the 2020 Dodge Journey to? Well, there is the 2021 Dodge Durango left over if you want an actual SUV. Unfortunately, it is quite a bit pricier than the Journey. On the plus side, you get a massive infotainment screen, 4WD for excellent off-roading capabilities, and the option of buying the high-octane SRT Hellcat Durango (which gets a whopping 710 hp).
The 2020 Dodge Journey might still be a vehicle to consider buying. Let's take a look at what its trim levels offer, which trim might be right for you, its technology, how it performs, its safety and reliability ratings, what the interior is like, and what your alternatives are in 2021.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
The 2020 Dodge Journey comes in just two trim levels: the base SE Value and the Crossroad . Both are powered by the same 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine that generates 173 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. A 4-speed automatic transmission comes equipped, and the drivetrain is front-wheel only.
If you go for the SE Value, you get a relatively bland, short list of features. The cloth seats are manually adjustable, and there are wheel covers on the 17-inch steel wheels. A tiny 4.3-inch touchscreen display comes with the vehicle, as does a 6-speaker sound system. The Blacktop Package - which is only available on the SE Value - adds black aluminum wheels and black accents on the body. The SE Value Popular Entertainment Group will give you a gear shift knob and steering wheel wrapped in leather, a power adjustable driver's seat, a tri-zone automatic climate control system, and satellite radio.
Upgrading to the Crossroad gets you a few more creature comforts. The power driver's seat becomes standard, and the seats get switched to leather upholstery instead of cloth. The infotainment touchscreen gets swapped out for a bigger 8.4-inch model, and a sunroof comes equipped too. On the exterior, you get 19-inch alloy wheels and body-colored side mirror housing. Opting for the Popular Equipment Group additionally equips an upgraded sound system, built-in navigation, a heated steering wheel, and heated front seats.
If you are going to look at the 2021 Durango instead, it comes in multiple trim levels: the SXT, SXT Plus, GT, GT Plus, R/T, Citadel, SRT 392, and the all-new SRT Hellcat . The base SXT starts you with a 3.6-L V6 engine that makes 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. There is a load-leveling rear suspension, 7-inch touchscreen, and smartphone app integration. The GT adds a power liftgate, power driver's seat, and 20-inch wheels. Upping to the Citadel gives you vinyl and leather upholstery and an 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation.
Want more power? The R/T has a 5.7-L V8 engine that puts forth 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Features include optional AWD and standard upgraded brakes. The SRT 392 has a 6.4-L V8 that gets 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The upholstery gets upgraded, and ventilated front seats are standard. Finally, the SRT Hellcat has that impressive 710-hp V8. Features include larger front brake rotors and a freshly designed front fascia.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
If you have the money, blow it on the Durango SRT Hellcat. This SUV is massively powerful (albeit not as fuel-efficient) and is just downright fun to drive. Anything with "Hellcat" attached to it generally is. But if you go for the Journey, the Crossroad trim is more sensible. It gives you more features for a reasonable cost.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
Technology in the Journey is basic. The Crossroad has the better infotainment system with the bigger display. Smartphone app integration comes standard, allowing you to sync your phone's apps with the infotainment system. If you don't like the Crossroad's built-in navigation, just switch over to your preferred phone app.
How Does It Perform?
The Journey is not a great performer. The archaic 4-cylinder and 4-speed transmission are bland. Acceleration is sluggish, and steering is uninspiring in its lack of feedback. At least the brakes are easy to modulate while driving around town. They're way too squishy during panic stops though. Rounding through curves is sloppy at best, and you'll feel the body roll.
Also, the cabin gets a lot of noise coming in. The driver's seat lacks proper support too.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
NHTSA assigned the 2020 Journey 4/5 stars overall, citing issues with the frontal crash barrier and rollover risk. What should be noted here is that owners of Journeys say it can be unreliable. Even the 2018s were ending up in shops just months after being bought. Electrical issues are common, as are mechanical ones.
What's the Interior Like?
External visibility is excellent, but that's the sole shining spot for the interior. Cargo space is just average, and legroom is subpar. The larger infotainment system is easy to use, but the base screen is way too small. As far as quality goes, everything is hard plastics and cheap materials.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
The Durango is one obvious alternative here, but other people might like the Honda CR-V as an alternative. The CR-V is known for its excellent fuel efficiency and high-quality design, inside and out.
Note: All Dodge Journey lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.