A relic of a DaimlerChrysler marriage that no longer exists, the Dodge Journey is a 7-passenger, mid-size crossover suv that is sold in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Dodge boldly introduced the Journey on the international stage in Frankfurt, Germany, and the SUV arrived in U.S. showrooms for the 2009 model year. The Journey was a tough sell back then, mainly because it looked like a 1980s minivan on the outside, and like a Tupperware party on the inside. But shortly after it went on sale, FIAT rescued Chrysler and set about turning the Journey, and other models developed under severely restricted budgets, into something people actually wanted to buy.
Fast-forward half a decade, and the 2013 Dodge Journey is a much better and more compelling vehicle than it was when it first went on sale. That’s important, because the Journey is pitted against the bigger models from the compact crossover SUV class, such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4, as well as against the smaller models from the midsize crossover SUV class, like the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, and Nissan Murano.
Because it straddles two classes in terms of size and price, you could call the Journey a “tweener.” Does this positioning make the Journey a smart choice, or is this SUV an amalgamation of compromises? To find out, I borrowed a 2013 Dodge Journey Crew to use for a week of suburban family duty.