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2020 Dodge Journey Review

  • Cheap
  • Room for seven
  • Optional infotainment system
  • Roomy interior
  • Poor safety record
  • Few features
  • Dated styling and materials
  • No more V-6 or AWD
  • The Journey has many rivals that offer much better safety at similar prices—shop RAV4, CR-V, Escape, and Forester instead.

The ancient 2020 Dodge Journey is worth skipping in favor of almost any other new crossover SUV, and many used ones.

The 2020 Dodge Journey remains on sale after more than a decade since its last redesign. By keeping the Journey around largely unchanged since 2009, Dodge has stretched out the Journey to the limits of patience. It’s been surpassed by every new crossover SUV to come along in those years; its safety is a particular concern.

With an overall score of 3.2 out of 10, the 2020 Journey is of our lowest-rated vehicles.

For 2020, the Journey lineup is simplified to just two models, the SE Value trim and Crossroad. Also gone is the 3.6-liter V-6 engine as well as the option for all-wheel drive, which leaves just an anemic 4-cylinder under the hood and front-wheel drive. Rear parking sensors are now standard. A popular equipment package adds Bluetooth with voice command, tri-zone climate control, a power driver’s seat, cloth upholstery, and more to the SE Value trim and navigation, premium sound, and heated front seats and steering wheel to the Crossroad trim.

With the V-6 killed off, the Journey’s only engine is an overworked 2.4-liter inline-4 with 172 horsepower and front-wheel drive. An ancient 4-speed automatic sloshes through the gears, and while ride quality is fine, gas mileage (21 mpg combined) and handling leave a lot to be desired.

Besides its low price, the Journey’s only redeeming quality is its versatile interior, which offers surprising space and room for up to seven occupants in a compact package, though the third row is best used only for children.

Crash test scores negate its appeal as a cheap new family vehicle, however, with poor frontal scores from both the federal government and IIHS. Automatic emergency braking is nowhere to be found, and a rearview camera was only added when the government required it.

The 2020 Dodge Journey is as uninspiring to look at as it is to operate.

The 2020 Dodge Journey looks like a vehicle from 2009 with some more modern bits tacked on, because that’s exactly what it is. We give it 3 out of 10 here.

While it received a refresh around 7 years ago, the Journey’s styling is stale. At one point it was almost attractive, with a boxy exterior and off-road flourishes that were Subaru-esque, but every competitor has since surpassed it with more modern and more attractive looks.

The interior is similarly dated but is inoffensive at the very least. With black plastic and cloth as far as the eye can see, it’s also dark and dreary, but the optional front-and-center infotainment system is quite literally a bright spot.

The 2020 Dodge Journey is somehow worse than last year with the option for a V-6 and all-wheel-drive no longer available.

With the V-6 and all-wheel drive no longer available, the 2020 Dodge Journey is even less compelling than it was last year. We give it 2 out of 10 here.

We’re not sure why Dodge did away with the V-6, all-wheel-drive Journey, as it was the more popular model for all except rental fleets. Buyers are left with an anemic 2.4-liter inline-4 with 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, hardly enough to motivate the Journey’s 4,000-pound husk. What’s worse is the 4-speed automatic – even lowly micro cars like the Mitsubishi Mirage feature at least 5 gears – that somehow manages to be both sluggish and unmatched to the engine. Front-wheel drive is the only configuration now that all-wheel drive is gone, again limiting the Journey’s value proposition.

Ride quality is fine, but steering and body control feel as outdated as the platform. Nearly any other crossover offers a better driving experience.

Comfort & Quality
The 2020 Dodge Journey is one of the few compact crossover SUVs that can fit seven people, one of its few redeeming qualities.

Perhaps the 2020 Dodge Journey’s best quality other than its base price is the spacious interior with room for seven occupants. As such, we give it 6 out of 10, but would be remiss not to mention its questionable material quality in places.

The Journey is comfortable up front and in the middle row for four adults, and while front passenger seat occupants don’t get height adjustment, the rear seat does slide fore and aft. There’s also a third-row seat that’s best suitable for children, but at least the Journey offers seating for up to seven in a compact package, something only a handful of crossover SUVs can claim.

Up to 67.6 cubic feet of cargo room is available with both rear rows folded flat, but only 10.7 cubes are usable with the third-row seat in place, so make everyone pack light if you plan a road trip with more than five people.
The Journey also features decent room for small item storage, including convenient and covert bins under the second row’s floor. Material quality is OK, but hard plastics cover a lot of territory, and some interior trim has poor fit.

The 2020 Dodge Journey is one of the least safe new vehicles you can buy.

The 2020 Dodge Journey just isn’t up to modern safety standards, full stop. For that, we give it a lowest-possible score of 1 out of 10.

The NHTSA gives the Journey four stars out of five overall, which sounds okay at first, but comes with the caveat that nearly every one of the Journey’s competitors gets five stars. The IIHS is similarly concerned with its frontal crash test scores, giving a “Poor” rating for the small front overlap test on the driver’s side and another “Poor” for the halogen headlights.

Arguably worse is the fact that Dodge has never bothered to fit the Journey with any active safety features like automatic emergency braking, and only added rear parking sensors to the standard-equipment list this year. It earns a sole point for decent outward vision.

The 2020 Dodge Journey is somewhat well-equipped but is missing some desirable features.

Generally, old cars come with plenty of features to enhance their value. That’s not the case with the 2020 Dodge Journey, which gets 3 out of 10 here.

Beyond its lack of safety equipment and the removal of the V-6 engine option as well as all-wheel-drive, the 2020 Journey doesn’t offer much in the way of options. Down to two trims for this year – SE Value and Crossroad – the Journey includes automatic headlights, power mirrors, 17-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, power features, cloth upholstery, manually-adjusted seats, and a 4.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It’s cheap, sure, but you’ll want the popular equipment package, which adds tri-zone climate control, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a six-way power driver’s seat, and a few more features.

The Crossroad trim adds LED taillights, off-road styling cues, 19-inch aluminum wheels, the second-row in-floor storage bins, a power sunroof, leather seats with a mesh insert, and a superior 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes Bluetooth but not Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, curiously. The popular equipment package for the Crossroad model includes remote start, heated front seats and steering wheel, navigation, and a premium audio system.
Both trims come in below $30,000, but we’d have almost any used crossover for the same price before the Journey.

Fuel Economy
The 2020 Dodge Journey earns subpar EPA ratings.

The 2020 Dodge Journey still isn’t efficient despite getting rid of its more powerful and thirstier powertrain. We give it 4 out of 10 here.

The front-drive 4-cylinder Journey earns EPA ratings of 19 mpg city, 25 highway, 21 combined. Those would be low figures for a large crossover SUV with a big, powerful V-6 engine.

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