Which Dodge Journey Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The Dodge Journey is a mid-size crossover SUV that was built and sold by Stellantis’s Dodge brand. It features some different types of things for different needs.

However, the overall ratings of Dodge Journey are average. And there are some years that you should avoid. 

In this article, I will talk about those worst years of the Dodge Journey and also some best years of the SUV.

Dodge Journey Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Dodge Journey is a good SUV with large space and comfortable seats. But there are several issues found by users of this SUV including interior water leaks, engine malfunction, gear problems, prematurely worn-out brakes, etc. 

Here are the worst years of Dodge Journey that you should avoid buying:

  • 2009 Dodge Journey
  • 2010 Dodge Journey
  • 2011 Dodge Journey
  • 2012 Dodge Journey
  • 2013 Dodge Journey

2009-2011 models have some common brake problems that you should be aware of. They also have engine problems that can be troublesome for many people. Steering issue is yet another common problem of these three models.

The most common problem of 2012 and 2013 model of Dodge Journey is the bad transmission. You may see the brake issues and electric system malfunction as well.

Worst Years of Dodge Journey: 

Dodge Journey 2009 model is the worst year that you need to avoid. According to Carcomplaints it has the most complaints reported by the users. Even they have recognized it as the worst model of Dodge Jounery.

What Makes These Dodge Journey Years Worth Avoiding?

Now, let’s go through the problems of these models one by one and see why you should avoid these SUVs.

2009 Dodge Journey Problems:

The Journey’s inaugural model year was 2009, and it received the most complaints among its other years.

As a point of perspective, since the 2010 model year, Car Complaints has only received fewer complaints regarding the Journey, with the majority of them being concerning the 2010 model year.

On the other hand, 2009 received about a thousand complaints.

When the brakes were applied, they wore down quickly and make a great deal of noise as well. The repair costs rise as a result of this.

There are also reports of engine problems such as slow run, not starting at all, etc.

The electrical system failed according to a lot of users, preventing the car from being able to be powered up. Some customers also claimed that the battery was draining too quickly.

There are also safety issues reported by many drivers. The airbags are sometimes delayed to open. And there are also brake issues which is a big safety concern.

Hence, you should avoid buying this SUV without thinking twice!

2010 Dodge Journey Problems:

Dodge Journey updated its look with the release of the new 2010-year Dodge Journey, which followed the release of the worst model by Dodge Journey in 2009.

Despite the fact that the model year received several upgrades, it was ranked as the second-worst model year of all time. It even received 3 recalls for safety issues.

Just like the previous one its major issue stays in the brake system. Premature worn-out brakes with brakes not working at all were reported by many users.

There were reports about the ignition switch which did not work properly. Sometimes even turning the on switch would not start the ignition. 

The engine of this SUV is laggy and not the best you can get in the market. durability is also low for this engine.

The steering is bad according to many users. And it was one of the reasons for the recalls of Dodge Journey 2010. 

2011 Dodge Journey Problems:

The Dodge journey 2011 could not fix the previous issues with its brakes. This model’s brakes have been the major source of worry. A shaky steering wheel is an outcome of using them. When used, they’d make a squeaking noise.

Another common problem was related to interior accessories. The radio was broken, according to the claims. It would also reduce wait times, which isn’t a big deal but may add to the frustration of owning a car.

The ac is also broken in some of the SUVs which needed repairing.

Engine problems and transmission malfunction are also reported about the Journey 2011. Due to these problems, the cooling system did not work properly and caused overheating, the gear shifting became rough, and so on.

2012 Dodge Journey Problems:

It seemed that Dodge Journey did not put much effort into solving the previous problems as needed other than some changes in the design.

The brakes problem still was a prominent issue of this SUV. Other than that, the electric system failure which caused damage to some interior electric devices was reported by many users. Some Journey 2012 could not start due to electric problems.

AC/heater was found bad by some users after using them only a few times. This was a quite low-grade product used in this SUV.

There were also complaints about the wheels and transmission. However, the number of reports was very few.

2013 Dodge Journey Problems:

The company, in this new model, put some effort and solved the brake problems and air conditioning issues but that was not good enough to solve all the problems. However, the total reports were less than the previous models.

The major problem that remains in this SUV is the transmission issue. Shaky driving and hard-to-move steering came with this issue. The gear shifting was not smooth and people had trouble at times.

Interior accessories such as the sound system, radio, lights, etc. were facing different problems and needed to be repaired. The maintenance cost was high in terms of the small fixes.

The electrical system breaking down was also mentioned by some users causing various problems including engine not starting, battery drain, light problems, etc. Few reports were made about the suspension. 

Overall, this SUV is not worth buying as you can get better ones with just a few more bucks.

Which Dodge Journey Years are Safe to Buy?

There is some good Dodge journey that you can buy too. As the production of the SUV has been canceled you can get a second-hand Journey.

2020 Dodge Journey:

The most dependable vehicle of Dodge Journey was the 2020 model, which had no reliability issues reported.

Even if the acceleration isn’t outstanding, it’s good enough for carrying several people on a budget to consider buying one of them.

The SUV’s inside is spacious and well-appointed as well. You won’t need to take a break every so often since the seats are so comfy. In terms of noise isolation, Dodge has done a good job.

The only issue that can be said is that the engine is not top class and thus, the speed will stay low than fast cars.

2019 Dodge Journey:

The 2019 Dodge Journey is a good buy if you want a roomy SUV with a better engine. This may not be the best pick, but not the worst also. 

It has a V-6 engine to power the SUV and speed up the acceleration. In terms of steering and handling, the 2019 Journey is not the best one.

It has ample space in the back with three rows of seats. You can put many things in the back as well. For daily use and a family trip, this car is a good choice.


Dodge Journey series is not a great pick if you consider the major or minor issues bugging this series. Even the engine in most of the models of the series is sluggish.

However, for a safe and slow journey with your family and friends, this can be a great option! And the price of the SUVs is quite low. And when you are buying a Dodge Journey, avoid the mentioned years.

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