2019 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2019 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the 4Runner SR5/Limited 4x4’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Journey doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

The 4Runner Limited has standard Parking Assist Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Journey doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the 4Runner and the Journey have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available four-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota 4Runner is safer than the Dodge Journey:

 

4Runner

Journey

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

41

97

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

89

156

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

381 lbs.

972 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The Toyota 4Runner has a better fatality history. The 4Runner was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 6.9% lower per vehicle registered than the Journey, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty

The 4Runner’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Journey runs out after 60,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4Runner for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Journey.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 4Runner’s reliability 59 points higher than the Journey.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 19th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Dodge is ranked 21st.

Engine

The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 97 more horsepower (270 vs. 173) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 166) than the Journey’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 260) than the Journey’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota 4Runner is faster than the Dodge Journey V6:

 

4Runner

Journey

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

8.1 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

85.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The 4Runner has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Journey FWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 20.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 4Runner has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Journey AWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 21.1 gallons).

Drivetrain

The 4Runner has A-TRAC, a true four-wheel-drive system, which uses a four-wheel traction control system to redirect engine power to the axle and wheel that still has traction to keep the 4Runner moving if even only one wheel still has traction. The Journey doesn’t offer a true all-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 4Runner’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Journey:

 

4Runner

Journey

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 inches

The 4Runner’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Journey are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 4Runner has larger standard tires than the Journey (245/60R20 vs. 225/65R17). The 4Runner’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (265/70R17 vs. 225/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4Runner Limited has standard 20-inch wheels. The Journey’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Dodge Journey only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The 4Runner has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Journey, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Journey doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 4Runner has engine speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Journey doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 4Runner is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Journey.

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Journey SE’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.5 feet). The 4Runner’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Journey GT/Crossroad’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Passenger Space

The 4Runner has 6.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Journey (128 vs. 121.7).

The 4Runner has .9 inches more front legroom, 2.7 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear hip room, .9 inches more rear shoulder room, 5.9 inches more third row legroom, 3.3 inches more third row hip room and 14.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Journey.

Cargo Capacity

The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the Journey.

 

4Runner

Journey

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

37 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

39.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

67.6 cubic feet

The 4Runner’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The Journey doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Journey’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Payload and Towing

The 4Runner’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Journey’s (5000 vs. 1000 pounds).

The 4Runner has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Journey (1625 vs. 1187 lbs.).

The 4Runner has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Journey (1700 vs. 1362 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The 4Runner uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Journey uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the 4Runner is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Journey. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

When different drivers share the 4Runner Limited, the memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Journey doesn’t offer memory seats.

The 4Runner’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Journey’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. With the Journey GT’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

Consumer Reports rated the 4Runner’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Journey’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

Standard air-conditioned seats in the 4Runner Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Journey doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

The 4Runner will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4Runner will retain 64.99% to 80.19% of its original price after five years, while the Journey only retains 36.8% to 42.12%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the Journey because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4Runner than the Journey, including $862 less for a muffler, $73 less for front brake pads, $128 less for a fuel pump and $198 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota 4Runner will be $1305 to $3300 less than for the Dodge Journey.

Recommendations

The TRD Pro was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2015 4x4 of the Year. The Journey has never been chosen.

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the Dodge Journey by 48% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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