2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2019 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Explorer and Journey have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Explorer has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Journey’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Explorer has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Explorer has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Journey doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Explorer ST/Platinum has standard Reverse Brake Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Journey doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Explorer 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Journey doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Explorer’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum has a standard 360-Degree Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Journey only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The Explorer’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Explorer’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Journey doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Explorer has standard 911 Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Explorer 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

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

There are over 26 percent more Ford dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability

The Explorer has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Journey doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 8th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 3 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Journey:

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid

318 HP

322 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Platinum 3.0 turbo V6

365 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Explorer ST 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

Journey 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

173 HP

166 lbs.-ft.

Journey 3.6 DOHC V6

283 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer gets better fuel mileage than the Journey:

MPG

Explorer

RWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/24 hwy

ST 3.0 turbo V6

18 city/24 hwy

Journey

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/24 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Explorer Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Journey doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Explorer’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Journey doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Explorer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Journey doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Explorer, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Journey.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Explorer

Explorer ST

Explorer ST opt.

Journey

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

12.9 inches

The Explorer ST’s optional 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 Explorer has larger standard tires than the Journey (255/65R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (275/45R21 vs. 225/65R17).

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Journey Crossroad/GT’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Journey SE. The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Journey Crossroad/GT.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the Explorer can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The Journey doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Explorer has vehicle 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.

The Explorer’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Journey doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the Journey (119.1 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 5.1 inches wider in the front and 4.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Journey.

Chassis

The front grille of the Explorer (except 3.3 V6 non-Hybrid) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Journey doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Explorer Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Journey doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Explorer has 31 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Journey (152.7 vs. 121.7).

The Explorer has 2.2 inches more front legroom, 5.4 inches more front hip room, 4.3 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 4.7 inches more rear hip room, 5 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.2 inches more third row headroom, 8.8 inches more third row legroom, .9 inches more third row hip room and 11.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Journey.

Cargo Capacity

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

Explorer

Journey

Behind Third Seat

18.2 cubic feet

10.7 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

37 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

67.6 cubic feet

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the Journey’s in every dimension:

Explorer

Journey

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

20.8”/49.8”/83.9”

16”/41.5”/75”

Max Width

59”

55.5”

Min Width

48.1”

41.4”

Height

33.7”

33.1”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Explorer’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Explorer has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Journey doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Explorer’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Journey’s (3000 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Dodge Journey is only 2500 pounds. The Explorer offers up to a 5600 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Explorer 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 three different drivers share the Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The Journey doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Journey doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Explorer’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Journey’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Explorer’s front power windows 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 standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. The Journey GT’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer’s exterior PIN entry system. The Journey doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Journey’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Explorer has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Journey only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Explorer detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Explorer Platinum has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Journey doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Explorer ST/Platinum has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Journey has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Explorer and the Journey offer available heated front seats. The Explorer also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Journey.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum 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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Explorer, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Journey doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Ford Explorer outsold the Dodge Journey by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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