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Gatriel

Is the Journey right for me/Is it really that bad?

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Hey everyone! 

 

I am an American expat living in Germany with my wife and new baby and we need more space!  We currently have an e91, which is a fantastic vehicle, but its far too small for our needs and we have by all measures outgrown it, sometimes.  60% of the time its just perfect for our daily use, at at over 50mpg with the 4 cylinder diesel, its also super practical.  However about 40% of the time we need more storage space, seven seats or a combination of the two. We'll be keeping the e91 even after our crossover purchase and it and not the crossover will function as our daily. 

 

That being said -- I *HATE*/*LOATHE* debt.  I refuse to go into debt for a depreciating asset.  I want to pay for the next vehicle in cash, and me being stingy -- I'd ideally like to part with as little of it as possible. 

 

So I've stumbled upon the 2017+ Journey GT AWD.  I think it looks good, its got a lot of super practical features, the price is definitely right and seems much safer than 90% of the vehicles on German roads I see.  

 

My largest hesitations are:

 

1) The constant and unending complaints about the Journey reliability online.  While most of the comments I see relate to the 2009 -> 2011 vehicles, I occasionally see material "the thing won't start I'm on battery #7 in 12 months" complaints about later model Journeys. While I appreciate FCA vehicles lack the longevity of Toyota/Honda, they are on the other hand essentially half price. I am not planning on driving the thing 40,000 miles a year and will likely put around 10,000 miles per year on the vehicle and would probably dump it after 5 to 7 years or so.  Will this vehicle, with anal-retentive maintenance -- last 7 years and 70k miles without leaving my wife and kids on the side of the road?  What do you Journey owners actually say on this topic? Do you regret your purchase? 

 

2) Dodge quality.  Part of it is me remembering the Dodge vehicles of 10 years ago, part of it is everyone in my US-based family I bring up the Journey to think I've lost my mind.  How do these vehicles actually hold up? 

 

Thanks in advance & schöne Grüße aus Deutschland! 

Edited by Gatriel
typos

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i had a 2011 and loved it traded it in with 70 k on it for my 2014 and love it and i now have about 74 k on this one, now can it give you problems yes and no just depends on how it has been treated before you buy it, personally i think you will like it, also we dont have diesels here so not sure what you are looking at either gas or diesel in all city friving the 3.6 doesnt get real great mpg but that is that good luck.

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17 minutes ago, 2late4u said:

i had a 2011 and loved it traded it in with 70 k on it for my 2014 and love it and i now have about 74 k on this one, now can it give you problems yes and no just depends on how it has been treated before you buy it, personally i think you will like it, also we dont have diesels here so not sure what you are looking at either gas or diesel in all city friving the 3.6 doesnt get real great mpg but that is that good luck.

 

Thanks for the reply.  Yeah, the gas mileage is horrible, but my plan is to convert it to use natural gas, which further reduces fuel economy about 20% -- but it costs about $1.20 a gallon here or about 70% cheaper than normal gas, so I get myself the biggest tank possible, and LNG is so cheap -- I couldn't care less about mpg.  

Edited by Gatriel

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I have a 2015 with 22k miles (35k km) which has had nothing done with it other than oil and filter changes (besides a few collision repairs - none of the events happened while I was even moving!)  Fuel economy is starting to fall off from original, but I'm replacing the spark plugs this summer which should clear that up.  I've spent under $150 on maintenance in the 3 years I've owned it.

 

I don't know what your reliability will be using LNG, but otherwise I've been very happy with mine.

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Decisions, decisions, decisions. I've had my 2015 for two years now. I bought it with just over 20K miles on it, but all maintenance records included (which is really not much in these cars). I had never seen this vehicle before and had read my fair share about them before making the final decision. I also read about the other choices and figured out that if I read enough about any car, I will get nervous about buying any of them (unless I was ready to spend $50K or more). Ultimately part of my decision was based on what you get for the money, the over-all performance of the car (mostly good and positive), and how I liked the style of the car. I have literally had no issues in the two years I have owned it other than a flash that had to be redone. When I bought my DJ my co-worker bought a Honda Pilot for almost three times the price (brand new) and she has had multiple issues already. Half of the issues have been 'known' issues according to her dealer, and they have been taken care of, but that would make me nervous. I am now at almost 50K miles and still feel great about my decision. I got a great deal when I bought it and when I went in to just look at the Durangos (thinking I needed more tow capacity and room) a couple of months ago, I was actually offered $500 more than what I originally paid for it. Felt great about that. Anyway, I'm very happy and still love driving it daily and on our family trips.

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One of the big issues to consider is whether you have access to a good dealer and to parts;  Not so much because of qualitative issues, but simply because of the inherent complexity of modern vehicles generously endowed with many dozens of microprocessor, which makes diagnostics complex, especially for mechanics, who may not be the best computer and network diagnosticians.

I am on my 2nd Journey - the first was an '11 'SE Plus' with the 2.4 litre 4 cylinder engine which had about 55K when my dealer forced me to replace it with a newer one by making a deal I couldn't refuse.  I have about the same mileage now on the '14 Crossroad FWD with the 3.6 litre 6 and with the exception of some relatively minor issues (oil sender shorted out, steering linkage was loose, requiring adjustment of 'a link') and some recalls, only oil and filters have needed changing.  I did replace my tires when I killed a single sidewall and found that it was cheaper to replace all 4 tires with Bridgestone Dueler Ecopia tires than to buy 2 of the original Kuho tires in my market.

And that is one thing to consider that applies to most AWD vehicles and to vehicles with traction control;  When you replace tires you will need to change them in pairs (with 2WD vehicles) or all 4 at a time (with AWD vehicles) if there is any significant wear on your tires and you manage to damage one.  Note that this is not unique to the Journey, nor to Dodge.

I DID, however purchase Chrysler's 7 year bumper to bumper extended warranty that will run to 115K kilometres - and I am on track to run out of miles about the same time that the policy expires as things stand.

I also spend the C$90 or so it costs to have the vehicle 'rustproofed' each year.  This minimises corrosion of the various body panels and the frame and coats any exposed electrical connectors and such - the coating also helps damp out any body rattles that may develop outside the cabin.

Would I buy a third Journey?  Fair question.  The dealer DID try to get e to repeat the scenario for my '14 late last year, but this time they actually wanted to make a profit off me to offset what they lost last time around, so no deal.  Will there even be a '19 Journey?  We keep hearing rumors each year about a Fiat-inspired replacement . . . and they can't keep rolling out the same 10 year old body forever.  So probably not, though it won't be because I didn't like the vehicle.

 

 

 

Edited by bramfrank

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