2013 Dodge Journey

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$7,380–$16,948 Inventory Prices

Key Specs

of the 2013 Dodge Journey base trim shown

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Limited body roll
  • Comfortable ride
  • Easy to maneuver
  • 8.4-inch display's simple interface

The Bad

  • V-6's automatic can be hesitant to kick down
  • Nonlinear braking response
  • Some low-rent dashboard buttons
  • Garmin-based navigation system's rudimentary graphics
2013 Dodge Journey exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2013 Dodge Journey

  • Seating for five or seven
  • Standard four-cylinder engine
  • optional V-6
  • FWD or AWD
  • Optional 8.4-inch touch-screen entertainment system

2013 Dodge Journey Road Test

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/64x64/80/-151469626-1425053040780.jpg
Aaron Bragman

The 2013 Dodge Journey is an aging but competitive midsize crossover representing significant value, but the trade-off of more space for worse gas mileage may be too much for more frugal shoppers.

When it was first introduced in 2008 as a 2009 model, the Dodge Journey didn't really impress, but big changes were made for the 2011 model year that got buyers' attention. Gone was the hideous dashboard, replaced by a far better one-piece design made of soft plastics and high-quality buttons. Gone was the outdated audio and navigation system, replaced by Chrysler's excellent Uconnect system, which we've praised in other models. The buzzy old 3.7-liter V-6 engine was punted in favor of a more powerful, more efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, which now appears in most of Chrysler's models across its brands. For 2013, Chrysler added more standard content to some of the Journey's upper trim levels but lowered their prices. See a comparison with the 2012 model here.

On paper, the Dodge Journey seems to cross competitor boundaries: It's priced better than a Toyota RAV4, but offers content more in line with the larger, more expensive Toyota Highlander. But does this segment-bending work in the real world? Can an older-but-updated model like the Journey truly be competitive?

A Familiar Face
From the outside, the 
Dodge Journey looks familiar because it hasn't changed much since its introduction as a 2009 model. For the 2011 model year, it receiv...

The 2013 Dodge Journey is an aging but competitive midsize crossover representing significant value, but the trade-off of more space for worse gas mileage may be too much for more frugal shoppers.

When it was first introduced in 2008 as a 2009 model, the Dodge Journey didn't really impress, but big changes were made for the 2011 model year that got buyers' attention. Gone was the hideous dashboard, replaced by a far better one-piece design made of soft plastics and high-quality buttons. Gone was the outdated audio and navigation system, replaced by Chrysler's excellent Uconnect system, which we've praised in other models. The buzzy old 3.7-liter V-6 engine was punted in favor of a more powerful, more efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, which now appears in most of Chrysler's models across its brands. For 2013, Chrysler added more standard content to some of the Journey's upper trim levels but lowered their prices. See a comparison with the 2012 model here.

On paper, the Dodge Journey seems to cross competitor boundaries: It's priced better than a Toyota RAV4, but offers content more in line with the larger, more expensive Toyota Highlander. But does this segment-bending work in the real world? Can an older-but-updated model like the Journey truly be competitive?

A Familiar Face
From the outside, the 
Dodge Journey looks familiar because it hasn't changed much since its introduction as a 2009 model. For the 2011 model year, it received a few minor tweaks, like LED taillights and a revised front end, but there isn't much to visually differentiate an original model from the latest one. Thankfully, it's a decent design that doesn't look terribly dated. The upright cabin and squared-off tailgate make for more-than-adequate headroom inside and maximize cargo space, as well. It definitely looks more like a wagon than an SUV, with a fairly low overall height and a seating position that isn't quite as lofty as some competitors, like the Ford Edge. The R/T trim I drove added 19-inch wheels, body-colored mirrors and grille, and a more aggressive lower bumper with fog lights. It also deleted the roof rack, all of which gave it a sportier look. For Dodge to gain some traction in this segment, however, a styling update wouldn't be a bad thing.

Powertrain, Ride & Handling
Two engines are available for the Journey. Standard is Dodge's 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. My all-wheel-drive test vehicle came with the 283-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, as all all-wheel-drive models do. It brings impressive power to the party, combining with the all-wheel-drive system to provide more than adequate motivation, with gobs of reserve power for passing on two-lane roads or confidently entering fast-moving highway traffic. The standard six-speed automatic transmission doesn't feel quite as sophisticated as the engine, however, alternating between slow and lazy shifts meant to keep fuel economy up, and abrupt gear changes if you suddenly need to floor it. There seems to be little middle ground in its operation — it's either lazy or aggressive.

The Journey's gas mileage is only average for an SUV; its big V-6 is estimated to get 16/24 mpg city/highway, 19 mpg combined, with all-wheel drive. Our testing returned an average of about 20 mpg in mostly city driving. Still, while the Journey may be one of the few vehicles in its class to offer a big V-6 and significant horsepower, the tradeoff in fuel economy versus its four-cylinder competitors is obvious. For that matter, the four-cylinder Journey is rated only 21 mpg combined, a mere 1 mpg better than the front-drive V-6 version, which gets an estimated 20 mpg combined.

The Dodge Journey's handling is quite respectable. Upgrades made for 2011 resulted in a remarkable change in behavior; it's gone from being a soft, ponderously handling slug to a taut and communicative vehicle. Body roll is well-controlled in corners, and steering feel is direct, not sloppy. It's no BMW, but no longer will the Journey embarrass itself when roads get twisty, or scare its passengers in an emergency maneuver. This is especially true in the Journey R/T, thanks to its sport suspension and optional 19-inch wheels and tires, which are unique to the sportier trim level. Unfortunately, the Journey's brakes are not as improved as the rest of the vehicle, with long stopping distances and mushy pedal feel inspiring little confidence. Heat the brakes up with some aggressive driving and they exhibit significant fade. It would seem this area didn't receive much attention in the big 2011 upgrade.

Interior
Inside is where the new 
Dodge Journey really shows how much it has improved. After years of Chrysler — under its previous owners, Daimler and Cerberus — taking content and cost out of its vehicles, Fiat finally gave designers the mandate to put money back in. The results are immediately obvious: Gone is the multi-piece instrument panel, replaced by a stylish one-piece affair that feels more solid, looks fully modern and successfully transforms the Journey from rental fleet filler to driveway dweller. Chrysler's 8.4-inch Uconnect touch-screen is front and center in the R/T, featuring one of the best entertainment and application systems on the market. It's easy to use and works reliably well, and its position makes it convenient while driving.

Large, bright gauges sit behind the heated steering wheel and flank a multicolor trip computer and information display. My tester had a navigation and sound package that included a rear park assist system, backup camera, Garmin navigation system and a year's worth of SiriusXM satellite radio with Travel Link.

The seats in the R/T feel larger than those of many competitors, with power adjustments for both the driver and passenger, and are smartly trimmed in sporty red and black leather in the R/T. The Journey has an optional third row, as well, making this one of the smallest seven-seat crossovers on the market, but my tester did not come with this option. The audio system was decent for a vehicle in this category, with a six-speaker, premium setup. The rear seats feature an optional 9-inch overhead video screen with remote control and wireless headphones for two, for keeping little ones occupied (and sedated) on longer trips.

Trim Levels & Features
Fitting the 
Dodge Journey into a category is a little difficult, given its breadth of content options and price. Pricing is also more than a little confusing. The range starts at the SE model but includes a standard "American Value Package" for $19,990 (including a $995 destination charge), which buys you a respectably optioned model that includes the four-cylinder engine, an ancient four-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick, seating for five, Uconnect Bluetooth system, power doors and locks, keyless entry with push-button start, and dual-zone climate control. But you can also add black roof rails, tinted glass and LED taillights for $2,000 more in a model also referred to as the SE, making this one of the worst trim package decisions imaginable. Moving up to the SXT at $24,090 makes a bit more sense, with its optional V-6 engine, all-wheel drive and six-speed automatic transmission, standard fog lamps, more aggressive styling, standard 17-inch wheels and some more niceties inside, like floor mats, cargo covers and satellite radio. The luxury version is the Crew at $29,190, which includes the V-6 and six-speed transmission standard, along with a touring suspension, 19-inch wheels, power driver's seat, an 8.4-inch touch-screen and automatic climate control. The top of the line is the R/T performance version, which swaps out the touring suspension for a performance suspension and adds a standard sporty black leather interior, starting at $29,990.

Safety
The 
Dodge Journey earned at least four stars in all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, with a scattering of five-star ratings in select tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Journey Good across the board and named it a Top Safety Pick. The Journey comes with all the requisite electronic safety equipment, including traction control, stability control and antilock brakes. Seven airbags are standard: front, front-seat side-impact, driver's knee and full-length side curtains.

See all the safety features listed on the Specifications page.

In the Market
As for who the 
Dodge Journey's competitors are, that gets a little tricky. At the lower end of the price spectrum, the base Journey undercuts smaller compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 by thousands of dollars. The entry-level Journey starts a full $4,155 less than a RAV4, making it an exceptional value if you prefer space and people-hauling capacity over efficiency. The Journey's standard four-speed transmission can't hold a candle to the five- and six-speed automatics its compact competitors employ; combined with a 300- to 500-pound weight disadvantage, this results in a significant fuel economy disadvantage for the Journey, even in its four-cylinder models. Cargo room behind the second row is surprisingly similar to the compact competition, but legroom both front and rear is inferior despite a significant advantage in length. The Journey is wider and taller than most of its competitors, however, resulting in greater overall interior volume. See how the Journey stacks up to the competition here.

The Journey really makes its play on the value card, however, with Dodge suggesting that the content available in a well-optioned model brings features unavailable in competitors at similar prices. A loaded Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD can top $30,000, as can a loaded Journey Crew AWD — but the Dodge Journey has seating for seven, a far more powerful V-6 engine and more interior room. As long as you can live with the compromises in fuel economy, the Journey represents a considerable value in the small-crossover class.

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Latest 2013 Journey Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Latest Reviews

(2.0)

Worst car I've had

by JN from Iowa on May 16, 2018

I have had my 2013 dodge journey for almost three years. I bought it used from a dealer in 2015. It was an impulse buy and I have definitely learned my lesson. Either my dad or I do the maintenance ... Read full review

(3.0)

Money pit

by Dodgeit from Woodbridge,va on May 15, 2018

Battery dies for no reason, Electronic throttle control pops up after 300.00 battery replacement and transmission seal and new brakes including rotors at 20,000 miles Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Dodge Journey currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Dodge Journey SE

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Dodge

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, Carfax vehicle history report, rental car and 24-hour towing, and first day rental

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    7 years/100,000 mile warranty on all certified vehicles
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 125 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Journey received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker