The rumored demise of the Dodge Journey is greatly exaggerated. This may come to a surprise to the American public since this crossover was discontinued in the 2020 model year.
But south of the border in Mexico the Dodge Journey is very much alive, through a most interesting plot twist.
No, production is not continuing at the Toluca plant, which was the home to the original Journey and its different iterations which included the Fiat Fremont, a rebadged version sold in Europe.
Stellantis did not continue building the Journey and selling it in Mexico, like other manufacturers do in that country with legacy models selling alongside more modern generations. For example, Nissan sells the current Versa sedan in Mexico alongside the previous generation, which has been renamed V-Drive.
The same but different
This, however, is not the case for the Dodge Journey. Stellantis took a different route — it made a deal to get a vehicle from another manufacturer and rebadge it under the Dodge brand.
So, the new Dodge Journey is actually a rebadged SUV from another source, which in this case follows a trend that is becoming usual in Mexico: A Chinese manufacturer.
GM is doing precisely this in Mexico with the Chevrolet Captiva, which really is a Baojun 530 made by the SAIC-GM joint venture in China.
Therefore, the second-generation Dodge Journey sold in Mexico is a GS5 from Guangzhou Automobile Corp., or GAC, and it sells under the Trumpchi brand in markets like China.
Makes plenty of sense
It seems like a natural fit, as GAC has a history with Stellantis through a joint venture with FCA making Jeep products like the Renegade, Compass and Cherokee. GCA also has joint ventures with Honda, Acura, Mitsubishi and Toyota.
It´s a very different vehicle from the original Journey because it does not offer an optional V-6 or all-wheel drive. The powertrain consists of a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder direct injection turbo engine with 169 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, coupled to an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission with three drive modes.
Only front-wheel is available. Suspension is McPherson up front while in the back it is a multilink design. Seating consists of only two rows, since this is a shorter vehicle. Length is 184.9 inches compared with the 192.4 of the original Dodge Journey.
Safety equipment includes blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure Warning, forward collision warning, tire pressure monitoring, six airbags, stability control and, in higher trim levels, a 360-degree Surround camera system.
The instrument cluster has analog gages with a 7-inch LCD screen but a 12.3-inch digital screen is available. Infotainment has an 8-inch screen, and it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as available Qi wireless charging for smartphones.
Looks like one, must be one
The OEM agreement between Stellantis and GAC yielded Dodge styling cues, like the front grille and the appropriate Dodge badging inside and on the exterior.
However, the design language is very different from the one that Dodge uses and in spite of the design cues, the new Journey can´t disguise the fact that it has been designed and made by a manufacturer other than Dodge.
Sourcing the Journey from another manufacturer was a necessity for Stellantis Mexico, since neither a compact or midsize crossover was not being developed by Dodge in the USA.
Since its introduction, more than 200,000 units have been sold in Mexico and, according to Stellantis, the Dodge Journey leads its market segment south of the border with a market share close to 20 percent.
The new model launches in Mexico at the end of October in three trim levels: SXT with a retail price of 555,900 pesos or $27,130. The Sport version sells for 615,900 pesos or $30,058. The top-of-the-line version is the GT, and it will retail for 645,900 pesos or $31,522.
So, though the Dodge Journey is history in the USA, it gets a new lease on life in Mexico, but sourced from China.