The Dodge Journey had an extremely short life on the market. It was introduced in 2008, with it being discontinued in 2020. It proved itself to be a relatively reliable model, which cannot be said for many three-row SUVs on the market.
This article will be looking at the best and worst years for Dodge Journey. Although it has been discontinued for quite some time, people out there would like to get their hands on a used one.
If you are one of them, then you have come to the right place. If you are serious about buying one, it is recommended to read every section of this article.
But before, let’s list down all of the years that will be discussed.
Best Years for Dodge Journey:
Worst Years for Dodge Journey:
If you have checked out the list, you may have found something interesting. The reliability improved as the end of the Journey came closer. The next two sections will take a detailed look into what makes them so good.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
List Of The Best Years For The Dodge Journey: What Years To Buy
This section of the article will take a closer look into the top years of the Dodge Journey, which also have been mentioned above. These models can be bought without hesitation because they have proven themselves reliable.
#1 Best Year: 2020 Dodge Journey
The 2020 Dodge Journey was the most reliable model, with no complaints related to reliability. Coming in the first place is the last model of the SUV to ever grace the market.
Although the acceleration is not that great, it is decent enough for people looking for something for their families while being relatively low on budget.
The interior of the SUV is roomy and comfortable too. The seating is comfortable enough that you will not need to rest every few minutes. The manufacturer has done a decent job isolating the cabin from outside noises.
#2 Best Year: 2019 Dodge Journey
Coming up next is the 2019 Dodge Journey model of the three-row SUV. This is a great option for people looking to get a little more power.
There is also an option for getting a V6 engine, which will improve the ride quality and the acceleration. The steering and handling are good but not great.
Other than that, this model is vastly similar to 2020 one. It has many features, but Dodge’s infamous Uconnect infotainment system is not present here. That is a bit of a downside, but it is usable. The cargo space can house most stuff people require.
#3 Best Year: 2018 Dodge Journey
Coming up next is a year older model of the Dodge Journey. This model showed that Dodge desperately needed to bring huge upgrades to this aging SUV.
They did discontinue it all together but not before they introduced models lacking in many regards. But it has also proven to be surprisingly capable. The 2018 Dodge Journey model is proof of that.
Thanks to the option of getting a V6 engine under the hood, you will be able to get better acceleration and overall driving experience from this vehicle.
The interior is spacious. The steering and handling are responsive, but other competitors surpass it in this range.
#4 Best Year: 2017 Dodge Journey
The 2017 Dodge Journey is another one loved by the people who bought it.
You have two engine options, with the first one being the weaker 4-cylinder option while the second one being a beefy V6 engine. The only problem with both of these is that the transmission is slow to respond while driving.
The 2017 Journey boasted high-quality materials. The cabin has also been designed in such a way that it provides maximum space. Cargo space can touch 68 cubic feet, which is on par with other SUVs on the market.
#5 Best Year: 2016 Dodge Journey
The 2016 Dodge Journey model, which is six years old, has also made its way onto this list.
The only reason its successors have pulled ahead is that it does not have a good fuel economy and lacks safety features. Other than that, it is a fantastic three-row SUV.
I recommend buying the V6 engine instead of its weaker four-cylinder brother. It is a decent engine and will provide you with a pleasant driving experience.
The seats are comfortable enough for long rides. The infotainment system is great, but modern standards may feel a bit outdated.
#6 Best Year: 2013 Dodge Journey
Finally, coming in the sixth and final place is the 2013 Dodge Journey. This model is almost a decade old, nine years to be exact, but it still holds up pretty well. It has earned the last spot on this list because of its weak 4-cylinder engine.
The fuel economy on this model is bearable, at 22 mpg. There are more than enough features for most people when talking about safety. So, the vehicle will keep you protected at all times.
For the time being, the 2013 Journey’s interior was the best in its entire class.
List Of The Worst Years For The Dodge Journey: What Years To Avoid
Next up are the worst models of the Dodge Journey that one can buy. These models should be avoided at all costs because they have had too many issues.
You will be surprised with how these models are placed, but you will understand better once I get into their details.
Let’s jump straight into it!
#1 Worst Year: 2009 Dodge Journey
The first-ever model of the SUV was also the worst one to ever enter the market. Unfortunate owners of the 2009 Dodge Journey had several complaints, most of them related to the brakes and the electrical system.
The brakes would wear down prematurely while also creating a lot of noise when applied. This drives up the maintenance costs.
The electrical system would malfunction and would prevent the vehicle from starting. Some owners also complained that the battery would drain fast. This issue is so common that it has also been discussed in the next section of this article.
#2 Worst Year: 2010 Dodge Journey
The 2010 Dodge Journey is more than a decade old at this point and is also one of the worst models yet. The very next model did not bring any major improvements.
It had similar issues, such as the brake wearing down and the vehicle vibrating a lot while applying them. The 2010 Dodge Journey also had a ton of engine issues.
The TIPM would become faulty. The engine would also not start, which made using this vehicle very frustrating. There were also complaints about the battery draining very quickly.
#3 Worst Year: 2012 Dodge Journey
Two years later, in 2012, the Dodge Journey was also a pretty unreliable model.
It had many issues, with the most common related to the brakes and the electrical system once again. The brakes would wear down very quickly, which would result in them not working adequately.
The AC system would also cause many problems for its owners. This is a frustrating problem, especially for people who live in areas that have extreme temperatures.
There was also a complaint about the blower motor emitting a lot of noise when being used. This was not frequently reported, so you don’t need to worry about it.
#4 Worst Year: 2011 Dodge Journey
The predecessor to the 2012 model has scored a better place. This 2011 Dodge Journey model did have its fair share of issues, but there were very few complaints related to the electrical system compared to the other models.
The brakes were the main cause for concern in this model. Applying them would result in the shaking of the steering wheel. They would also squeal when applied.
The interior accessories were also known to cause many issues. There were reports that the radio would stop working. It would also speed uptime, which is not a major issue but does make owning the vehicle a bit frustrating.
#5 Worst Year: 2013 Dodge Journey
Coming in fifth place is the 2013 Dodge Journey. Although the manufacturer finally fixed the electrical and brake issues, there were still problems related to the air conditioning and the transmission system. The transmission would slip, and many reports of it failing.
The air conditioning would turn on by itself for some people. This is a very annoying problem. The AC system would also fail, which would lead to an expensive fix.
The radio was also known to fail frequently. Although these problems are not major, they make this vehicle’s experience less positive.
#6 Worst Year: 2015 Dodge Journey
The final model on this list is 2015 Dodge Journey model. Although it is a seven-year-old model, it has proved itself one of the better models on this list.
There were engine and transmission issues, which helped this model, earn a spot on this list. The engine would suddenly die while driving. The CEL would also turn on frequently.
The transmission system would also frequently fail on the 2015 Journey. This problem is frustrating because transmission issues are often the most expensive to fix. It is also recommended to replace the whole engine if the system fails.
What Are The Most Common Problems With The Dodge Journey?
Now that we are done with all of the important years, this article will focus on the most common problems that Dodge Journey has faced over the years.
It is recommended to read this section of the article in its entirety because it can influence your decision to buy the SUV.
Let’s get started!
1. Ignition Issues
The first problem on this list is also one of the most common ones. Owners of the earliest models of the Dodge Journey, the 2009 and 2010 ones claimed that they could not start their SUV’s engine at times.
They also reported that a small click would be heard, which indicates a fully drained battery. Some people figured out the solution: to start the vehicle in neutral instead of in park mode.
If this does start your vehicle, then either the shifter cable or due to dirt and debris.
The control wire terminal could also be corroded, leading to this issue. Battery terminals can also be subject to corrosion, which prevents the batteries from producing and sending voltage.
2. Tapping Noise From The Engine
Another common complaint from the owners of the V6 variant of the Dodge Journey was related to tapping noises coming from the engine. This issue was present in models that were introduced in 2011 and later.
So, it can be found in the most recent models too. There are two possible reasons why these tapping sounds can be emitted from the engine. It can either be the camshaft or the rocker arms.
If the rocker arms are causing the issue, you need to get them replaced as soon as possible. If the camshaft is to blame, you can expect a costly repair.
The fix is relatively inexpensive, but you can expect to pay a lot if the camshaft gets damaged if it is not treated.
3. Blend Door Actuator
Coming in third place is a problem that many Journey owners had an issue with. They complained that their vehicle’s A/C system would stop working.
The interesting thing is only one side of the system would stop working. It was reported that the HVAC system was at fault over here. The failure is expected in all vehicles, but it is way too common on the Dodge Journey.
There were other similar issues too. Owners pointed out that the axle seals in the transmission system were also prone to leaking.
This was seen when oil droplets were seen under the SUV after being parked for a while. Oil leakage can cause engine failure if the amount drops by too much.
4. Parts Wearing Down
The final problem on this list is perhaps one of the most serious ones. Owners complained that their vehicles’ timing belts would wear off rather quickly. They reported that the belt had to be replaced every 100000 miles, which is not good.
A replacement is necessary if it is causing too many issues. If the timing chain is faulty, it can lead to severe damage to the engine, which may only be fixed by replacing it entirely.
The brakes on the Dodge Journey are also prone to wearing off rather quickly. This is due to a low-quality wheel bearing, which must be replaced. The fix is a bit costly, with each costing an average of $300.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How Many Miles Should A Dodge Journey Last?
The Dodge Journey is a great car that can last for a long time with the right care and maintenance. It has proven to be a reliable vehicle, especially in the last few models.
How you treat your car and how often you drive it can last anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Make sure to keep up with the necessary tune-ups and oil changes, and you should be good to go.
Q2. Are Dodge Journeys Good In The Snow?
The Dodge Journey is a great car for the winter weather. It has all-wheel drive capabilities that help it stay stable on slippery roads, and it has plenty of space for all of your gear when you need to transport supplies or equipment.
Plus, the heated seats are great for keeping you comfortable on cold days. If you’re looking for a reliable car that can handle the snow, the Dodge Journey is a great option, albeit not the best one.
Q3. Does Dodge Journey Have A Four-Wheel Drive?
The Dodge Journey is a crossover SUV available with a four-wheel-drive system. This system is designed to provide better traction and handling on rough terrain or bad weather conditions.
The improved traction is also perfect for driving in snowy terrains, where you can use as much handling power as possible. The Journey is a good option if you’re looking for an SUV that can handle any terrain.
Q4. Does Dodge Still Make A Journey?
This crossover was a popular choice for families or anyone looking for a spacious and comfortable ride. Sadly, as of 2019, Dodge has retired the journey from its lineup.
Production officially ended in 2020, which means if you do look for a used one, you can find a fairly recent model. Plus, they always cost less, so it is the perfect option for anyone looking to get a relatively inexpensive family SUV.
Q5. Are Dodge Journeys Good On Gas?
The fuel efficiency of the Dodge Journey is not that good. You can expect around 19 mpg when driving in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. This gives you an average of 22 mpg, which is average.
Considering that this vehicle does not perform as well and struggles in the fuel efficiency department means that Dodge did not do much to improve it.
If you were looking for the best and worst years for Dodge Journey, then I can assure you that you will not be able to find a more detailed article than this one.
From all of the important years to the most common problems that users faced over the SUV’s 12-year history, everything has been covered over here.
Overall, the Journey is a decent vehicle, but if you do settle for a used one, I recommend that you go for a 2019 or 2020 model. They have proven themselves to be the most reliable out of all.
I hope this article helped you decide which Journey model is good for you.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.