2007 Jeep Patriot Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
I bought a 2007 Jeep Patriot Sport 4x4 with the CVT transmission, used, just over a year ago as a "certified used vehicle". Thankfully, I also bought an extended warranty. The vehicle is ideal in concept; small fuel-efficient SUV that seats 5, can haul a lot of cargo for its size (including a full length ladder if you fold down the passenger front seat and back seats), and great snow/ice handling too, at a reasonable price.
In reality? Chrysler's cutting corners everywhere ruins things. My CVT transmission is shot, after less than 70K miles, and had bad ball joints/tie rod ends at 37K miles. Interior is full of cheap plastic everywhere, too. Even the factory battery wore out in 40K miles.
Best thing about this is it's a real Jeep. A "trail rated" version can complete Jeep's official off-road test course, which would leave most vehicles stuck. Even the regular 4x4 like I have drives right through snow and ice like it's not even there.
Since Fiat took over, the cheap plastic interior of the Patriot was greatly improved (for 2012 models) - but more could be done. The Jatco CVT transmission is clearly not reliable in the long-haul, though it works well enough while it's working properly. The factory Chrysler stereos are nothing special either. Even the most expensive version has really cheap tailgate speakers that are hardly worth paying extra for. (It looks like the Patriot may just get discontinued next year rather than updated, actually.)
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