The Dodge Journey is a model wholly reflective of its maker’s niche-straddling strategies. At Dodge, they don’t believe in fitting into niches, they aim to fit in two niches. In other words, the planners at Dodge typically look at two niches in a given segment and slot their product in between them. In the case of the Journey, it’s smaller than Honda’s Pilot, but it’s larger than the Honda CR-V; similarly Journey is smaller than Toyota’s Highlander, but it’s larger than the Toyota RAV4.
Interestingly though, while Journey, is billed as a midsize crossover suv, if you squint and look at its front or rear ¾ views you don’t see SUV; you see minivan. And just in case you think we’re blowing smoke, note how Dodge’s short wheelbase minivans were discontinued when Journey came to market, essentially making Journey their replacement. Of course, had Dodge classified Journey as a minivan the Dodge boys might have averted their eyes in shame. After all, this is the company that touts its remaining minivan offering as a “man-van”.
The term “minivan” has come to radiate a stigma similar to that emanating from the phrase “station wagon”. With each successive generation of the car-buying public, it seems automakers have to come up with a new name for their family hauling vehicles, as the young up and comers eschew their parent’s device of choice.
Baby Boomers hated station wagons so they got Minivans, Gen X considers minivans passé so they get Crossover Utility Vehicles, and so on, and so on, and so on, until enough time passes to where we can start the cycle over with station wagons being considered cool again.
Don’t laugh; it’s already starting to happen.
So for now the Dodge Journey is considered a mid-size crossover utility vehicle, its minivan profile notwithstanding.
Introduced in 2007, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Journey went on sale in March of 2008 as a 2009 model. The Dodge Journey is still technically in its first generation, although significant upgrades were made to the model for the 2011 model year as part of the renaissance of all Chrysler divisions.