2015 Dodge Journey Five-Point Inspection

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

The Dodge Journey feels like it’s been around forever. In reality it’s only existed since 2008. Still, that is a long period of time without any major updates. While I was attending a FCA full-line winter driving event in Montreal, Canada, I had no intentions of getting behind the wheel of the Journey.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Dodge Journey R/T AWD Review

After a day sliding around in Jeep Renegades, Ram Power Wagons and Dodge Chargers, I decided I would take the Journey for a spin after all. It’s a very popular crossover and I wanted to see if it can still deliver the goods, specifically in wintery conditions. After spending some time driving around in the white stuff, I found it does. Here are five reasons why the Journey still makes for a decent winter family hauler

It may sound trivial, but it only takes a few features to make winter motoring so much more enjoyable. Items like optional heated front seats and automatic three zone climate control makes things more comfortable for all passengers. As well, higher trim level Journey’s can be had with a remote starter to help heat the vehicle up before anyone even has to step foot into it.

There are a few options that aren’t available that would make the Journey that much better in cold weather. A personal favorite of mine, a heated steering wheel, is not offered on any trim level. The second-row seats also can’t be equipped with seat heaters; a feature now being offered in a lot of the competition.

Warm or cold, long distance driving can be taxing on families, especially ones with young children. Like most modern minivans and crossover, the Journey can be had with a rear entertainment package on mid to high trim models. Unlike a lot of the competition, there are also built in booster child seats for the second row that can be added to any trim level.

At a length of 192.4 inches, the Journey is deceivingly long. That’s slightly longer than the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Like those two crossovers, the Journey offers a third row of seats, expanding total passenger capacity to seven people.

Crossovers are built to be easy to drive and the Journey continues to excel at this. With predictable throttle behavior, braking performance and steering response, the Journey is a vehicle nearly anyone can drive.

SEE ALSO: 2009 Dodge Journey FWD SE Review

It also strikes a nice balance when it comes to ride height. It’s not too tall like some other crossovers, but it still has enough stature to let its driver sit higher up than a minivan, further extenuating its already good sight lines.

Strapping myself in behind the wheel of the Journey, I expected a predictable, dull, driving experience. With a front-wheel drive bias AWD set-up and stability control system that can’t be fully defeated, how much fun could this family hauler be?

Well, a lot apparently. Using an older AWD system, the Journey will send 50 percent of the torque to the rear wheels when it detects wheel slip. This allows for big sideways slides to occur in the snow.

The stability control cannot be fully defeated, but in the “off” position, the beefy 283 HP 3.6-liter V6 engine has plenty of power to override the system and pitch the crossover sidewise. The older AWD system is very predictable in its power distribution and sideways slides can be controlled for long periods of time. It is worth noting that too much sideways action will overheat the Journey’s electronically-controlled center differential. When this happens, it will flash a message stating the AWD system needs to be serviced and the Journey defaults to front-wheel drive only. Usually, after the Journey cools down and is reset, AWD returns.

As much fun as I was having sliding the Journey around, most owners will not be doing this. Maybe their teenage children will, but I expect most owners will care more how it handles snowy conditions from a safety and control aspect.

Equipped with the proper winter tires like my test vehicle, the Journey it’s incredibly grippy and sure footed on snow and ice. On a few portions of the snow courses I was driving well over 60 MPH without issue. When a corner came, the Journey slowed down in a predictable fashion.

Part of the reason it is so easy to slide around and fun is because the driver always feels in control of the Journey which boosts confidence in snowy conditions. It may be an aging crossover that’s definitely due for an update, but Journey continues to be a value packed crossover capable of tackling any climate in North America.

Interested in purchasing a Dodge Jounrey? Then head over to our New Car Buying Page, where you can see the whole Dodge Journey lineup and pricing.

Fast Facts:

  • Engine: 3.6 L V6, 283 HP, 260 lb-ft.
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Fuel Economy (US, V6 AWD): l6 MPG city, 24 MPG highway
  • Fuel Economy (CDN, V6 AWD): 14.5 L/100 km city, 9.9 L/100 km highway
  • Pricing (US): 2015 Dodge Journey AVP starts at $21,290 after destination charges, Journey R/T AWD begins at $33,790
  • Pricing (CDN): 2015 Dodge Journey CVP starts at $23,190 after destination charges, Journey R/T Rallye begins at $37,590
Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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Join the conversation
  • Jake Jake on Mar 18, 2015

    Mine has a heated Steering wheel. We got a great deal on ours and enjoy driving

  • Guest Guest on Mar 19, 2015

    I left my previous job and now I have a profit of Eighty-five bucks each hour. How i did it? I'm working online! My previous work was making me miserable ,so I chose to take my chance with something different 2 years have passed since And I say it was the wisest decision i ever made! Heres what I do--->