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#12

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $19,995 - $30,895
Invoice: $19,730 - $29,358
MPG: 19 City / 26 Hwy
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Dodge Journey Performance

Critics say that buyers should skip the 2014 Dodge Journey's underpowered four-cylinder engine and go for the V6 option, which they say delivers ample power in most situations. Both models receive subpar fuel economy estimates, but the V6-powered Journey’s numbers are only slightly less than those of the four-cylinder model. Most auto reviewers say the 2014 Dodge Journey has adequate handling around corners, but that it doesn't quite live up to the sporty driving dynamics of some rivals.

  • "If you want to spruce up the Journey's performance, the R/T model's more responsive suspension and powerful standard V6 make shuttling the kids to school quite enjoyable." -- AutoTrader
  • "Accordingly, we'd avoid the four-cylinder entirely and step up to the 3.6-liter V6, which feels potent in any situation. Unfortunately, fuel economy is still below average, and the six-speed automatic transmission can be slow to respond when a downshift is needed." -- Edmunds
  • "Although the 2013 Dodge Journey might look as though it would ride and handle like a tall SUV, the feeling we experienced seemed more in keeping with a well-mannered wagon." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Dodge Journey comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and a four-speed automatic transmission. A 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 283 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission are available on upper trims. The base Journey trails the class in fuel efficiency with an estimated 19/26 mpg city/highway. Rivals like the Nissan Rogue and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport earn significantly better numbers.

The four-cylinder Dodge Journey receives criticism from automotive journalists who say its acceleration is dull. Test drivers say that buyers should opt for the V6 engine, which has plenty of power for typical driving conditions. Reviewers note that the V6 Journey doesn't sacrifice much fuel efficiency for its more potent performance. The front-wheel drive V6 model gets 17/25 mpg city/highway, which is still poor for the class, but only slightly less than the four-cylinder Journey's estimates.

  • "A lackluster four-cylinder engine is by far the weakest link on the 2014 Dodge Journey. Not only is acceleration sluggish on this version, fuel economy is well below average for this class mainly due to Dodge's continued use of an outdated four-speed automatic transmission." -- Edmunds
  • "Most buyers will want to skip the anemic four and opt for the strong 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which serves up 283-horsepower and 260 lb-ft. Mated to a six-speed automatic, the Pentastar returns almost the same mileage as the smaller mill - 17/25 mpg - in front-wheel-drive form, while an optional all-wheel-drive system lowers efficiency to 16/24 mpg." -- Left Lane News
  • "A big plus is the Journey's optional 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is one of the best on the market and delivers generous power with smooth operation and noteworthy fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Some reviewers say that the 2014 Dodge Journey has a soft, car-like ride, and that it cruises over uneven pavement and rugged roads with ease. However, others write that while the Dodge Journey's handling is adequate, buyers should consider compact SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 for sportier handling.

  • "The Journey's high driving position and angled steering column may bring school buses to mind. Fortunately, the Journey's dynamics are much better, as this car-based crossover has no trouble navigating rutted roads and tight streets. Underneath, the Journey is related to the Dodge Avenger sedan, and it shares that car's soft, quiet ride on the highway." -- AutoTrader
  • "On the move, the Journey is competent for the class, with a smooth ride and secure handling. That said, we'd steer you toward a CR-V, Santa Fe or Sorento if ride comfort is your priority, while the Mazda 5, CX-5 or Escape would get our vote if you're looking for a utility vehicle with a sportier handling feel." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2014 Dodge Journey certainly looks like an upright SUV, but the first time behind the wheel will prove it drives like a very competent car. The suspension has the compliance to deal with all sorts of bumps and bad pavement yet, on those curving mountain roads or even just freeway onramps, it has a level of firmness and control that keeps the Journey cornering securely and with a minimum of bobbing and weaving." -- Kelley Blue Book
Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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