Best & Worst Dodge Journey Years

We've ranked each Dodge Journey model for every generation so you can avoid picking the worst Dodge Journey years and pick the best one.

In this guide, we will showcase the Dodge Journey’s best and worst years, breaking down the features, reliability, and considerations for each generation.

Leveraging data from industry-leading sources like NHTSA, Kelley Blue Book, and others, our insights are supported by in-depth research and expert reviews, ensuring accuracy and credibility.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a thorough understanding of which model years stand out, and crucially, why they do so, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

You’ll also learn which Dodge Journey years to avoid at all costs.

Let’s dive right in.

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Table of ContentsShow

Dodge Journey Generations

The Dodge Journey, since its inception, has seen its evolution primarily through one major generation. This crossover SUV, which debuted in 2009, has been a key player in Dodge’s lineup, serving the needs of families and individuals alike.

To provide you with a better comprehension of its journey, here’s a table outlining its generation.

1st generation (JC)2009-2020

Listing out the generations is crucial to provide a clear overview. The reason being, a lot of changes often occur between generations, and understanding these shifts could be the deciding factor for many prospective buyers.

Dodge Journey Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In order to determine our rankings and categorizations, we take into consideration a wide array of factors, ensuring that our evaluations are comprehensive and thorough. These factors include:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

To visually represent the combined insights from the sources mentioned above, we’ve made this detailed graph for easier comparison.

Dodge Journey Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next, to simplify our findings, we’ve categorized each model year as either best, neutral or worst:

Best YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years

When we mention “Neutral Years”, we’re referring to those model years that neither excelled nor performed poorly across most parameters but were generally satisfactory for most owners.

It’s essential to highlight that some of these factors can negatively impact a car’s reliability score. For instance, a higher number of NHTSA recalls or complaints implies lower reliability, hence a reduced score.

With that clarified, let’s delve deeper into the specifics of each year, shedding light on the best, neutral, and worst Dodge Journey models.

Best & Worst Years for Dodge Journey 1st Generation (2009-2020)

Dodge Journey 1st generation 2009 model
The 2009 Dodge Journey

Introduced in 2009, the Dodge Journey’s 1st generation marked the brand’s ambitious entry into the midsize crossover SUV market. Designed to cater to families desiring space without opting for a full-fledged minivan, the Journey came with a pledge of comfort, technology, and performance.

However, as with many pioneering endeavors, it faced its fair share of challenges. From significant breakthroughs in interior design and infotainment enhancements to persistent issues with electrical systems and engine performance, this generation was a blend of commendations and critiques.

The Best Years: 2011, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2020

The 2011 Dodge Journey marked a significant improvement from its predecessors. Key enhancements included a revamped interior, the introduction of the renowned Uconnect infotainment system, and the inclusion of more safety features such as advanced airbags and stability control systems. There was also a noticeable drop in reported issues compared to the previous years.

By 2013, Dodge further refined the Journey, offering features such as push-button start, a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, and improved fuel efficiency. It was also praised for its value, balancing affordability with feature-rich offerings.

The 2016 model stood out for technological enhancements, notably in its infotainment capabilities. The integration of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay made connectivity seamless for drivers. Performance improvements and an expanded range of trim options made it a popular choice among consumers.

As for the 2019 and 2020 models, Dodge ensured a fitting culmination for the 1st generation. They boasted advancements in driver-assistance features, a smoother V6 engine option, and retained the roomy interior that users had come to appreciate. These years also saw minimal complaints, indicating consistent quality and performance.

The Neutral Years: 2017, 2018

The 2017 and 2018 Dodge Journey years, while not as celebrated as the “best” years, held their ground with reliability.

They continued the tradition of offering a spacious three-row seating option, the versatile Uconnect infotainment system, and an available V6 engine that provided a mix of power and efficiency.

Minor adjustments in design and the addition of a few more driver-assist features kept these models relevant, although they didn’t introduce any revolutionary changes.

The Worst Years: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015

Launching the 1st generation in 2009, Dodge encountered several hiccups. Predominant issues surrounded the electrical system, airbags, powertrain, and engine.

 The 2009 model was particularly plagued by a significant ignition switch recall, posing a potential risk in deactivating key safety systems including but limited to air bags, power steering and power braking.

The 2010 Dodge Journey had its struggles too. With over 1000 complaints registered with the NHTSA, the electrical system again became a focal point of criticism.

A severe recall for 23237 different vehicles including 2009-2010 Dodge Journey models was announced, linked to a power steering fluid leak, threatening both power steering failure and potential fires.

By 2012, while Dodge attempted to resolve previous concerns, new ones like brake problems arose. The engine and electrical system remained consistent pain points, resulting in various recalls and consumer grievances.

In 2014 and 2015, there were still some troubles. A significant problem was the recall of about 275000 Dodge Journey cars from 2012-2015 due to the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). Water entering the system could deactivate the ABS and/or the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which could jeopardize the vehicle’s safety.

See NHTSA 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 Dodge Journey recalls and complaints.

Dodge Journey Average Resale Values

Below, we’ve charted the average resale values for various model years of the Dodge Journey. This graph offers a clear insight into how the vehicle’s value has held or depreciated over time.

Dodge Journey Average List Price


Transitioning from the detailed breakdown of the Dodge Journey’s model years, it’s evident that informed purchase decisions are key. We recommend the 2011, 2013, and 2016-2020 models for their standout features and reliability.

Have you ever owned a Dodge Journey from one of the mentioned best years? What was your personal experience like with its features and performance?

We value your insights! Share your experiences in the comments, helping others in the community to make a well-informed choice when considering the Dodge Journey.

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.