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At first glance, the Jeep Patriot will probably remind many people of the upright, boxy Jeep Cherokee of old. And that's the way Jeep wants it. But underneath, the Patriot utilizes the same platform as the Jeep Compass and the Dodge Caliber, two vehicles that get wobbly-kneed at the first sight of a dirt road. Setting the Patriot apart are steeper approach and departure angles, a low-range gear, slightly higher ground clearance and the availability of an optional package that adds protective skid plates.
The heritage styling and extra smidge of off-pavement ability combine with a low price to make the Jeep Patriot a potentially attractive package for some buyers. However, there's not a whole lot else to the Patriot to make it a stand-out choice for the majority. Other vehicles in this segment offer roomier interiors, more cargo space, better fuel economy, available V6 engines, superior fit and finish and even off-road capability. Overall, we think most shoppers will be best served by looking at other choices.
Current Jeep Patriot
The Jeep Patriot SUV is available in three trim levels: a base Sport model, Latitude and Limited. The standard engine for front-wheel-drive models is a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 172 hp is available as an option and comes standard with four-wheel-drive Patriots. Both engines feature a five-speed manual transmission, with a continuously variable automatic offered as an option.
Since the Patriot is billed as the rugged entry-level Jeep, the four-wheel drive is intended primarily for light off-road or inclement weather conditions. Those who like to drive on more demanding terrain will likely benefit from the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group package that adds an extra-low "off-road" gear, all-terrain tires, skid plates, hill descent and start control, front and rear tow hooks and a full-size spare tire.
Due to a slim profile and high load floor, there isn't a whole lot of space inside the Patriot. The rear seats are on the tight side and storage space is limited. The rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split to increase rear storage up to 54.2 cubic feet, which is still far less than the other vehicles in the class.
In reviews, we found the Jeep Patriot to offer a comfortable and quiet ride. Driven moderately, the vehicle feels well-balanced, even over bumps, and corners capably, with limited body roll. The Patriot's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is rated near the top of the class in terms of power, but the optional CVT snuffs much of the life out of this vehicle and makes it feel like one of the slowest in its class. Another major complaint about the Patriot involves the disappointing quality of its interior materials.
Used Jeep Patriot Models
The Jeep Compass was introduced for 2007. Some features were added a year later, but 2009 saw big changes in the form of a new and improved interior. Prior to that, the crummy hard plastics created one of the worst cabins on the market. For 2010, the 158-hp four-cylinder could be paired to the five-speed manual for the first time. These 2007-'10 Patriots lack the upgrades made to the 2011 model; these include minor exterior styling changes, improved interior trim, reworked steering and suspension systems, and a taller 4WD ride height.
Read the most recent 2014 Jeep Patriot review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Jeep Patriot page.