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#22

in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $9,242 - $14,111
Original MSRP: $20,925 - $29,335
MPG: 19 City / 25 Hwy
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2009 Dodge Journey Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Dodge Journey provides a smooth and predictable ride. Most say that it's not all that exciting to drive, although the ride is smooth and quiet. Reviewers complained that the base engine is sluggish, and some wrote that the steering leaves something to be desired.

  • "One thing's certain: the V-6 Dodge Journey's dynamic performance beats that of the Ford Edge. Unlike the Edge, it's not trucky-heavy, with one-third of the Journey's body-structure, by weight, made of high-strength steel." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Journey is pleasant to drive, and V-6 models have a sportier feel than one might suspect. There is quick, rather firm steering with decent road feel. The rather soft ride is carlike. Handling is good, as is braking -- although the pedal occasionally felt as if it needed a more linear action." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The driving experience itself was unremarkable, but for one trait: The Journey may be one of the quietest rides in its class. Performance is acceptable in V-6 models, tepid in the basic four-cylinder version-tepidity that's aggravated by the hunting of the four-speed automatic." -- Car and Driver
  • "With either engine, the Journey offers a surprisingly quiet smooth ride. The rack-and-pinion steering gives you good road feel and when flying through back desert roads, the Journey buckled down and bit through the curves. It's fun to drive. And when was the last time you said that about a minivan?" -- Detroit News
  • "The driving experience is much like that of the Avenger, where there is minimal steering feel and a ride quality that spurs no enthusiasm. Although the optional sport package improves roll control, it's still not enough to make the driver of a Dodge Journey think of anything other than a minivan." --Road and Track

Acceleration and Power

The base Journey comes with a 2.4-liter, 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine, while the SXT and R/T get a 3.5-liter, 235-horsepower V6. According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive Journey gets 19/25 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel drive model gets 15/21 mpg city/highway. That's pretty low for a V6-powered crossover.

  • "The four-cylinder engine was peppy and had enough power to get us up moderate inclines, but the V6 seemed to be a better fit, although not as powerful as the V6 in the Toyota RAV4." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "If the Journey is used mainly for running errands and chauffeuring kids, the four-cylinder engine is adequate. But load it up with people and things for a road trip and this engine will be disappointing." -- MSN
  • "The 3.5-liter V-6 provides plenty of power. Acceleration is quick and I never felt a need for more juice. The six-speed transmission glided through the gears and I liked using the Dodge Auto Stick, clicking through the gears manually." -- Detroit News
  • "On the road, the V-6 feels ideally suited to the 4,000-plus lb. Journey. There is enough power to pass efficiently and cruise easily. The predicted gas mileage is on the low end of average in what is admittedly an underachieving segment." -- AutoMedia.com

Handling and Braking

The new Journey features an independent front and rear suspension, rack and pinion steering, and disc brakes in the front and rear. Test drivers say that the ride is smooth and body roll is controlled, but handling isn't very sporty.

  • "Given the Journey's near 4,000-pound curb weight it's not a corner carver, but the ride is nice and tight and the steering responsive. MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link independent suspension in back give Journey a sedan-like feel." -- MSN
  • "Journey seemed sure-footed, though neither steering nor handling were terribly responsive. The ride is well-cushioned, even on rough surfaces." -- Arizona Republic
  • "Journey handles very competently. While it doesn't have the planted feel of a sedan with a low center of gravity, it also doesn't feel tippy like some big SUVs." -- About.com
  • "Like most of the interactions between driver and vehicle, braking feel is almost nonexistent, lacking the reassuring feedback you'd expect from a similar vehicle. Weighting aside, the four-wheel disc brakes get the job done." -- Jalopnik
  • "Steering is true if not too crisp, even with the supposed 'performance' steering of the R/T." -- Car and Driver
  • "Fast on its feet, the new Journey is surprisingly agile with less than anticipated body roll. We even took the opportunity to veer off-road and try to upset the suspension on some of Nevada's best unkempt sand and dirt roads. The Dodge Journey had no problem keeping up with any challenge we threw at it." -- Road & Travel

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