The Used Dodge Journey Models to Steer Clear Of

Grey Sport Utility Vehicle

The Dodge Journey has been in production since 2008, and while it has found a place in the hearts of many for its affordability and family-friendly features, some model years have been less than stellar. Before you buy a used Dodge Journey, it’s crucial to know which models have faced the most issues and why.

The Dodge Journey: A Mixed Bag

The Dodge Journey, with its spacious interior, seven-passenger capacity, and versatile storage options, made a significant mark in the midsize crossover SUV segment. However, its journey (pun intended) has been riddled with highs and lows.

Models That Raised Eyebrows

1. 2009 – The First Model Year

As is often the case with the first iteration of any vehicle, the 2009 Dodge Journey had its set of teething problems. These included:

  • Brake Issues: Many owners reported premature brake wear.
  • Electrical Glitches: Problems ranged from faulty interior lights to malfunctioning ignition switches.
  • Transmission Woes: Some Journeys faced transmission failures or hard shifts.

2. 2010 – More of the Same

While one might expect improvements in the subsequent year, the 2010 model continued to face many of the same issues as its predecessor, with additional complaints about:

  • Engine Problems: Stalling and rough idling were among the chief concerns.
  • Airbag Malfunctions: In some cases, airbags didn’t deploy as they should, leading to safety concerns.

3. 2012 – A Slight Reprieve, but Not Quite

While the 2012 model saw fewer complaints overall, it wasn’t without its challenges:

  • Engine Concerns Continued: Issues from the 2010 model seemed to carry over, with some additions like excessive oil consumption.
  • Transmission: Some users reported transmission failures, especially in vehicles with higher mileage.

4. 2016 – A Surprising Step Back

After a few years of fewer complaints, the 2016 model saw a spike in problems:

  • Brakes: Once again, brake issues emerged, echoing the concerns of earlier models.
  • AC & Heating: Some users faced problems with the air conditioning, particularly a lack of consistent cooling.

The Bright Side: Models Worth Considering

While the Dodge Journey has had problematic years, some models stand out for their reliability:

  • 2013 & 2014: These years witnessed fewer complaints, with most being minor.
  • 2017-2019: Dodge seemed to address many of the persistent issues in these years, making them a safer bet for potential buyers.

Tips for Buying a Used Dodge Journey

car on a parking lot

  1. Research Specific Models: As we’ve seen, some years are better than others. Always check user reviews and expert opinions.
  2. Insist on a Vehicle History Report: This will inform you of any previous accidents, recalls, and service history.
  3. Extended Test Drive: Instead of a quick drive around the block, take the Journey on various terrains to identify any underlying issues.
  4. Independent Mechanic Inspection: Before sealing the deal, have a trusted mechanic examine the vehicle. If you’re looking for a dependable used SUV, it’s wise to avoid these used Journey SUVs due to their history of frequent mechanical issues.


The Dodge Journey, like many vehicles, has its peaks and valleys. By knowing which models to avoid and which to consider, combined with diligent research and inspection, you can make a wise decision on your journey to purchasing a used Dodge Journey.

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