If you live in an area where the roads remain covered with snow for a significant period of time in winter, you’d have to make a witty choice while purchasing your car. Not every car performs well in snow, and the wrong vehicle can land you in inconvenient situations. Some car brands have also been adding a special “snow mode” to make the cars more compatible to drive in snowy weather. Dodge Journey is a great family car for this purpose, and is definitely a good choice if you are looking for a car that is reliable in snow.
Is Dodge Journey Good For snow and winter driving?
Dodge Journey is an amazing car for winter driving, with excellent safety features. The car is available in a front-wheel-drive version as well as an all-wheel-drive one. Both these versions perform quite well in the snow. However, the performance varies depending on the type of road.
When driving on slippery icy roads, the all-wheel-drive Dodge Journey is a more suitable car. This is because of the efficient power distribution, which instantly transfers power between the wheels as needed. On the other hand, the front-wheel-drive version of the vehicle is a better choice for driving over loosely packed snow and gravel. The engine’s position directly above the front wheels ensures better traction and fuel efficiency.
Overall, both versions of this car deliver commendable winter driving performance and are worth purchasing. You may choose the car based on the type of roads you generally drive on, or any personal preferences between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive.
Why Dodge Journey is considered good in snow and winter driving?
Dodge Journey is much better than just “good enough” for winter driving. Especially if you are shopping for a family car, the Dodge Journey is one of your best options with its three-row seating. So, what makes this car so good for driving in snow? Well, it has several features that make it perfect for winter driving:
The slippery conditions that snowy or wet roads present prove to be a major hazard to drivers, as the wheels can potentially lose their grip on the road. Such a situation makes the car unstable and can potentially lead to an accident. The traction control system is a technology that prevents the front wheels from spinning excessively when grip is poor, by regulating the power sent to these wheels. This makes it easier for the car to stay connected to the road’s surface properly.
As pointed out earlier, the all-wheel-drive version of Dodge Journey is excellent for driving on slippery roads. This feature offers exceptional stability, making the car much safer to drive in such conditions. When the car gets on a slippery surface, the system quickly moves more power to the front wheels and withdraws it back to the rear wheels when needed. Moreover, a key advantage of the all-wheel-drive system is that even when one of the wheels loses grip, the rest can pick up the slack.
Anti-lock brake system (ABS)
Applying emergency brakes while driving on a snowing surface can cause the car to skid or spin out of control. As you might guess, this can potentially lead to a major accident where your car skids into another vehicle, a person, or any obstacle because you cannot control it after hitting the brakes. The anti-lock brake system (ABS) prevents this from happening, and is a crucial feature for winter driving. With this feature, you can still steer the car after braking, maintaining control and preventing the vehicle from skidding/spinning.
Electronic brake force distribution
The electronic brake force distribution system enhances the braking performance of the rear wheels and makes the application of brakes much smoother. A subsystem of the anti-lock brake system, it keeps the car steady while braking and helps prevent it from skidding. This, in turn, makes the whole braking system much more effective and safer.
All these features contribute to making Dodge Journey one of the best family cars for winter driving. However, do note that this car lacks hill-start assist control, a feature that prevents cars from rolling backward down a slope when driving uphill on snowy roads.
Does your Dodge Journey Have Snow Mode?
Although various cars have a designated snow mode to assist with winter driving, Dodge Journey doesn’t offer this feature. This driving mode adjusts the car’s dynamics to make it more suitable for driving on a slippery, snowy surface, regulating the engine’s throttle and the braking system. However, although snow mode does make the car easier to drive on snow, it isn’t a necessary feature for winter driving.
In case you are specifically looking for a car that has a snow mode, Dodge Journey might not be your favorite option. However, the other safety features that the car does offer are quite good too, and make up for the lack of the snow mode to some extent.
How Much Snow Can a Dodge Journey Handle?
When buying a car for winter driving, it is also imperative to check out its ground clearance and how much snow it can handle. Dodge Journey can easily tackle up to five inches of snow, after which it starts struggling. However, the car does have a ground clearance of 7.2 inches. Using snow tires rather than standard tires will help the car handle the snow much better.
Does Dodge Journey need additional snow tires?
Yes, if you are planning to drive your Dodge Journey on snow, it is highly advisable to use additional snow tires. Stock tires are poorly suited to winter driving and can’t handle snow efficiently. In fact, standard tires aren’t your safest option when driving over snow either due to the lack of adequate grip.
Here are some of the key features of snow tires that make them ideal for winter driving, compared to all-weather tires:
- Snow tires consist of softer compounds that offer greater friction, and in turn, better grip. Do note that the use of soft materials also causes snow tires to wear out faster.
- These tires have more tread than all-weather tires. The key purpose of the tread is to offer traction, which perfectly makes sense considering snowy roads are slippery.
- The zigzagging tread patterns on snow tires are different too, optimized for better grip over snow. Some snow tires also have metal studs to improve the grip further.
It is a good idea to swap your tires depending on the season. While regular tires don’t perform very well in snow, snow tires wear out much faster on dry roads and during summer.
Best year for Dodge Journey
Several versions of the Dodge Journey have proven to be very reliable and worth buying. Thankfully, these also include latest versions, such as the 2019 and 2020 Dodge Journey. You’d be able to buy a great car without having to opt for a version that’s too old.
- 2020 Dodge Journey: The 2020 edition, which happens to be the latest model of Dodge Journey to hit the market, is the most reliable. In fact, there have been no complaints regarding the reliability of this model. The SUV features very roomy and comfortable interiors. The seating is quite comfy too, something you’d always want in a family car. Thanks to the great soundproofing, almost no outside noise makes it to the cabin.
- 2019 Dodge Journey: The 2019 Dodge Journey is perfect for buyers looking for a relatively more powerful SUV. Besides the power it packs, this edition also offers the option to install a V6 engine. This can give the ride quality and acceleration a significant boost. Besides these, the 2019 Dodge Journey is quite similar to the 2020 edition. Another notable feature is the ample cargo space available in this version of the Dodge Journey.
Worst year for Dodge Journey
Not every edition of Dodge Journey is worth your money. The 2016 and 2018 models of the SUV are the ones you should avoid at all costs. While the 2018 Dodge Journey received a poor reliability score, the 2016 Dodge Journey fared badly in safety tests. If you are planning to buy an older edition of Dodge Journey, make sure to check out reviews regarding that specific model.
Overall, Dodge Journey is a great car to buy for winter driving, as long as you pick one of the best editions. Its ample safety and comfort features make it the perfect family hauler in snowy weather. The SUV also delivers a pleasurable driving experience, which is yet another reason to buy it.