Cars that should sell better

2013 Dodge Journey

This is the latest in a series about cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs that we think more people should consider purchasing. Also see reports on two other such vehicles: the Suzuki Kizashi and Honda Ridgeline.

Test Drive: 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad

Dodge Journey sales January-September 2012: 59,351

Rival sales during the same time period:
Chevrolet Traverse: 67,042
Ford Explorer: 113,655
Honda Pilot : 85,288
Kia Sorento: 88,164
Toyota Highlander : 90,481


Midsize SUVs might be second only to midsize sedans when it comes to competitiveness in the marketplace. This category is filled to the brim with excellent choices that will surely please any family. The Dodge Journey is one that deserves more scrutiny from shoppers.

Dodge was fairly late to the midsize-crossover SUV party. Journey arrived for the 2009 model year. It offered the choice of 5- or 7-passenger seating, a 4-cylinder or V6 engine, and some rather innovative features. It included in-floor storage bins behind the front seats, and you could order one with child boosters built into the 2nd-row seats.

In our initial review, we praised Journey for its forward-thinking passenger and cargo accommodations, innovative features, and aggressive prices. We were less fond of the sluggish 4-cylinder engine, poor-for-the-class V6 fuel economy, and some assembly quality gremlins.

Dodge gave Journey a significant freshening for the 2011 model year. Though you could still order the pokey 4-cylinder engine, the updated model got a more powerful and fuel-efficient V6 and a much nicer interior (with available integrated booster seats), while retaining its family-friendly features and accessible pricing. We recently tested a 2012 Journey SXT with all-wheel drive, a 283-horsepower V6 engine, and a fairly modest level of features. The test vehicle did include a power driver seat, remote engine start, and Chrysler’s Uconnect Bluetooth system. The price on the window sticker? Just $26,685.

Even a fully loaded Journey R/T (the top model) with 3-row seating, navigation system, rear DVD entertainment, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, and power sunroof will leave you lots of change from a $40,000 bill. It might not quite have the space of some of its rivals, but Journey is comfortable, refined, and an amazing value for the money. It deserves a top spot on your shopping list.

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