2012 Dodge Journey

Several drivers liked the 2012 Dodge Journey. This affordable compact SUV does many things well, including sufficient cargo room and features that are aimed to provide comfort and ease.

The surprisingly affordable base price is attractive. Still, though there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, reviewers are reluctant to recommend it.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV Base Price: $18,995.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 20.5 gallons (77l) MPG: 19 city / 26 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 192.4 in. (488.7 cm) Wheel Base: 113.8 in. (289 cm)
Height: 66.6 in. (169.1 cm) Width: 72.2 in. (183.3 cm)
Curb Weight: 3818 lbs (1731 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.3 in. (18.5 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 39.7 cu ft behind 2nd Maximum Seating: 7 people
Performance
Engine: I4 DOHC Dual VVT Displacement: 2.4 Liter
Horsepower: 173 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 166 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 1000 lbs (453 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:SE MSRP: $20,995; MPG: 19 city / 26 hwy
Option:SXT MSRP: $22,995; MPG: 19 city / 26 hwy
Option:SXT 3.6L V6 AWD MSRP: $26,395; MPG: 16 city / 24 hwy
Option:Crew 3.6L V6 RWD MSRP: $28,195; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy
Option:R/T 3.6L V6 RWD MSRP: $29,995; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy

Some found the engine weak and felt the second and third row seats weren’t roomy enough for tall people. All in all, the Journey is a good family compact SUV for people who want to move the kids, pets and their stuff around with just a little more panache than usual.

The Journey comes in five trims: the American Value Package, the SE, the Crew, the SXT and the R/T.

Engine

The Journey’s American Value Package and SE models have 2.4 liter, four cylinder engines that bring 173 horsepower with a three speed automatic transmission. The other trims have a 3.6 liter V6 engine that will deliver 283 horsepower with a six speed automatic transmission.

The front wheel drive four cylinder trims get about 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The V6 models get a little less.

People tend to like the power brought by the V6 engine, but they feel the standard four cylinder engine is feeble and the fuel economy uninspiring.

Performance

The 2012 Journey handles well, especially the V6 trims, but the base, four cylinder engine just isn’t powerful enough to give even a compact SUV the vim and vigor it needs. Overall, the Journey gives a good, smooth ride. Most agreed that the steering was properly weighted and the braking was confident and responsive.

Interior

The Journey was updated in 2011, so there’s nothing brand new about it. However, Dodge does offer optional heated front seats on the Crew trim and an optional DVD system for the rear seats. There are also optional child booster seats and a third row, though seating for five is standard on all models. The trim is also pleasing to the
touch.

The SUV boasts a keyless entry and start up, dual zone climate control, an impressive UConnect system and a USB port. The vehicle also has sufficient cargo space. With the third row installed it has 10.7 cubic feet available for cargo. With only the second row the Journey provides 39.7 cubic feet for cargo. With the second and third row folded away, there's about 67.6 cubic feet available. There are storage bins for all types of uses.

Safety

The 2012 Journey received high marks for safety. One institution gave it its highest marks for all crash tests, while another gave it an overall four out of five stars.

Reliability

J.D. Power gave the Dodge Journey two out of five stars for reliability. It has a standard, basic three year or 36,000 mile warranty and a five year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

The Journey provides a three year warranty for rust damage. Unfortunately, it has been subject to two recalls. One was for a problem with the service brakes and hydraulic fluid, the other was for the engine cooling system. Both recalls were form 2011.

Pros

Reviewers thought the 2012 Journey’s cabin was superior and the features surprisingly easy to use.

Cons

Reviewers complained that the second and third rows were too small for tall adults and the base engine is weak.

Competition

The similar Kia Sportage (MSRP $18,500; 21 city / 29 hwy) shared the Journey’s low price but had sexier standard features like Bluetooth. The GMC Terrain (MSRP $25,560; 22 city / 32 hwy) and the Chevrolet Equinox has more room in the second row. Their fuel economy was also superior to the Journey’s. The Honda CR-V (MSRP $24,595; 23 city / 31 hwy) and the Toyota RAV4 (MSRP $22,650; 22 city / 28 hwy) also delivered better fuel economy as well as a more muscular driving experience.

Joining in this ever growing market segment are the likes of the previously mentioned Chevrolet Equinox (MSRP $23,530; 22 city / 32 hwy), the Nissan Murano (MSRP $29,960; 18 city / 24 hwy), and the Ford Edge (MSRP $27,770; 19 city / 27 hwy). All of these are worth considering; it all depends on your personal preference.

Overall Rating
69 out of 100

What others say:

“We say vanlike in the best possible way here: the 2012 Dodge Journey has flexible seating with good passenger space, and plenty of small-item storage in unexpected places.”Car Connection

“Steering is alert and reactive. Journey feels fairly poised when cornering; little lean is noticeable. All models have responsive brakes with a reassuring pedal feel.”Consumer Guide

“Dodge's midsized SUV seats five, with an optional third row that increases seating to seven. The new 3.6-liter V6 got only 16 mpg in our testing. The noisy 2.4-liter engine is only available on front-wheel-drive versions.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 2012 Dodge Journey SUV fits comfortably between a full-size and compact SUV, giving it the room to hold up to seven passengers in a package that is not unruly to drive or park.”KBB

“Sophisticated interior; family-friendly size; available built-in booster seats; strong V6 engine; smart touchscreen interface…Overmatched four-cylinder; less utilitarian than competitors.”Edmunds