2009 Jeep Patriot SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Jeep Patriot SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Jeep Patriot Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 172 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Jeep Patriot

  • Unless you require the Trail Rated bushwhacking brio of the 2009 Jeep Patriot's available off-road package, this car-based Jeep wagon should be near the bottom of your list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low base price, Jeep-lite styling, decent off-road ability.

  • Cons

    CVT saps power and produces tiresome engine drone, lackluster interior materials, meager cargo capacity.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Jeep Patriot receives an available uconnect multimedia integration system, additional sound insulation, a spruced-up dash layout and a new center console and door panel design with padded armrests.

Full 2009 Jeep Patriot Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Jeep Patriot receives an available uconnect multimedia integration system, additional sound insulation, a spruced-up dash layout and a new center console and door panel design with padded armrests.


It's probably not a good idea to base a compact crossover SUV on the underachieving Dodge Caliber wagon, but Jeep didn't ask us for our opinion -- it just went ahead and gave the world the 2009 Jeep Patriot. In fairness, the Patriot's plebeian roots are well disguised. It certainly looks like a Jeep, from the Wrangler-esque round headlights and vertical grille slats to the squared-off rear end. Heck, it's even Trail Rated when the off-road package is specified, so this is one cute ute that can actually walk the walk when the going gets rocky. At the end of the day, though, the Patriot is a pumped-up rendering of a subpar econobox, and that hurts its chances in this highly competitive segment.

The 2009 Jeep Patriot enters its third year of production with a smattering of updates designed to blunt criticism of its el-cheapo interior. The armrests on the doors and the center console are now padded (they used to be hard plastic), the dashboard's appearance has been tarted up a bit and the Patriot can now be had with Chrysler's hard-drive-based uconnect multimedia integration system, which enables everything from Bluetooth connectivity and MP3 ripping to movie viewing on the dash-mounted LCD screen. We like the uconnect system, but Patriots so equipped can get pricey, and this Jeep's low entry price is one of its only claims to fame. Moreover, while the padded armrests are pleasant, they should have been there in the first place -- and the Patriot's ostensibly improved dash layout is still one of the chintziest in the business.

Perhaps the only compelling reason to buy a Patriot is its respectable off-road ability with the optional off-road package. If you venture off the beaten path with regularity, the Patriot will get the job done like few others in its class. Forget the Freedom Drive I four-wheel-drive setup with its lockable active full-time system for winter-weather use -- it's little different from what you'll find in off-road pretenders like the Nissan Rogue. Step up to the Freedom Drive II off-road package, however, and you'll get an elevated ride height and low-range gearing, which give the Patriot some decent trail-busting chops.

Unless you really dig that boxy styling, though, we wouldn't recommend the tarmac-biased versions of the Patriot. There are numerous competing models that are superior to the 2009 Jeep Patriot in virtually every roadgoing respect, such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4. If what you're looking for is a practical urban or suburban runabout, there's not much to be said in this Jeep's favor.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Jeep Patriot compact SUV is available in base Sport and upmarket Limited trims. The price-leading Sport comes with wimpy-looking 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning and a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack. Moving up to the more luxurious Limited nets 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, privacy glass, chrome exterior accents, leather trim, heated front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, reclining 60/40-split rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and optional uconnect GPS, a high-tech bundle that includes Bluetooth connectivity, a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and 30 gigabytes of music storage, DVD playback on the LCD screen (when the vehicle is in Park) and voice-recognition capability. A 115-volt outlet, full power accessories, cruise control and remote keyless entry also come standard. Many of the Limited's features are available on the Sport as individual or packaged options.

Both trims can be equipped with a sunroof, a six-CD changer and a Boston Acoustics premium audio system with satellite radio and flip-down speakers in the liftgate. 4WD models can be had with an off-road package that includes skid plates; a low-range ratio for models with a continuously variable transmission (CVT); hill descent control; and an additional inch of ground clearance. The Limited model also qualifies for a navigation system and hands-free phone connectivity.

Powertrains and Performance

Most Jeep Patriots are powered by a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a CVT is optional. Buyers can choose from either front-wheel drive or one of two four-wheel-drive configurations -- light-duty Freedom Drive I or off-road-ready Freedom Drive II, the latter of which is available only with the CVT. Front-wheel-drive Sport models with the CVT can also be equipped with a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-banger.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 21 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for Patriots equipped with the CVT and Freedom Drive I. Opting for Freedom Drive II drops those numbers to 20/22/21 mpg. Front-drive Patriots with the CVT and 2.4-liter engine are rated at 21/25/23 mpg, while the 2.0-liter engine improves fuel economy to 23/27/24.


Antilock brakes, traction control, stability control with roll-over mitigation and side curtain airbags are all standard on the 2009 Jeep Patriot. Front-seat side impact airbags are optional on both trims. In government crash tests, the Patriot earned four stars out of five for driver protection and a perfect five stars for passenger protection in frontal impacts, while side impact testing yielded a five-star rating for both front and rear passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Patriot its top "Good" rating in its frontal offset crash test. The Patriot was deemed "Good" in side impact testing when equipped with the optional side impact airbags, but without those bags, it was rated a second-to-worst "Marginal."

Interior Design and Special Features

The Patriot's cabin features large gauges and simple controls, but it remains awash in cheap hard plastic, despite Jeep's attempts to improve things for 2009. Fit and finish is another trouble spot: When we cranked up the optional Boston Acoustics stereo on a Patriot we drove recently, panels started rattling from every corner of the cabin. The front seats are nicely shaped, but the beltline is too high for an SUV wannabe, and the steering wheel lacks a telescope function. On the bright side, the uconnect multimedia integration system is pretty cool. Its touchscreen interface is mostly intuitive, and it offers high-tech features that aren't available on many competing models.

For camping trips and tailgate parties, the Boston Acoustics system features unique liftgate-mounted speakers that flip down so the sound projects outward. The Jeep's removable and easy-to-clean cargo floor is another nice touch. Unfortunately, maximum cargo capacity is barely more than 54 cubic feet -- that's a few cubes less than you'll find in the diminutive Honda Fit. An unusually high load floor is partly to blame here, and it also makes loading a chore.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Jeep Patriot's 2.4-liter engine boasts a respectable 172 hp, but it still feels rather lethargic when you put your foot in it. Much of the blame here goes to the CVT, which takes its sweet time responding to significant throttle inputs. Moreover, once it figures out that you want maximum power, it holds the engine speed at redline, which sounds unpleasant enough that you'll think twice about flooring it in the future. Not surprisingly, the 2.0-liter engine is even less gratifying.

To its credit, the Patriot remains composed over bumpy roads, and though this Jeep's steering is lifeless and vague, its handling is within the limits of acceptability for this class. The Patriot really impresses when fitted with the off-road package, which provides 9.0 inches of ground clearance and a low-range gear. Thus equipped, it's one of the most capable off-roaders in the compact SUV class -- if you care about that sort of thing.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

From wonderful to nightmare to

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Jeep Patriot Sport 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

It drove great until about 4 months ago & that's when things started going down hill. It started cutting out every time I would go to drive (started w/ 2-3x before it would drive & increased to 4-6x, even cut out while driving down the road). Talk about stress! Took it to a mechanic who fixed everything he could (throttle body, cam sensor) but it turned out to be a computer issue, which he could not fix it with out Chrysler's permission. Jeep, who after I told them what I already had fixed, was able to replace the computer (PCM) with ease. Also, Thank God for the Federal Admissions warranty that's out there bc this turned out to be a common problem with this model & would of cost $$$$$$$$

Buyers beware!!!!!

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Vehicle: 2009 Jeep Patriot Sport 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car new. It has been very gently driven, never off road, never in an accident and well maintained. I was very happy with it until it recently began making creaking noises. The dealer has informed me my 4 1/2 year old car with 72,000 miles needs struts, mounts, sway bar links, lower control arms, ball joints, rear toe links, and a front end alignment. Their estimate is $2090!!! The suspension should have lasted longer than this. I am heartbroken. This will be the last American made vehicle I own.

Worst jeep ever

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Vehicle: 2009 Jeep Patriot Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Worst car EVER.. I traded in my 2007 Sonata Limited V6 bought it brand new(which never gave me any type of problems @ 130,981miles besides oil/filter change and 4 new tires) for the 2009 Patriot needed a 4WD vehicle and it SUCKS. I got the Jeep a month ago and due to CVT trans problems I had to take it back to dealer and it been in the dealer since then only had for a week and gotta take it back this week cause now is the CVT trans plus shocks absorbers, axels, and struts....... I'm going to make the last 5 payments in August just to get read of it...... Worst Jeep EVER....... And BTW the Jeep only have 60,451 miles.....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

I'm tired of its bugginess.

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Vehicle: 2009 Jeep Patriot Limited 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I love Jeep products and was excited to buy this car. I've had it for 3 years but the little things wrong are getting annoying. 1. Leaky moonroof. I've been to the dealer 5 times, but stopped going after the warranty ran out. Water pours from the dome light after it rains. They told me it is because I park under trees and the drain pipe is plugged. I gave up and now just keep a towel handy. 2. Stalls when its cold. I'll drive down the road and get to the stop sign. I'll try to go and the engine is completely shut off. It quietly shuts down. 3. Temperature display is stuck on 73 degrees. 4. Radio is completely dead when it gets really hot out. (No display at all)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Wear a raincoat.

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Vehicle: 2009 Jeep Patriot Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I originally bought the vehicle because of the interior space. It had more backseat leg room than even the Commander. Like everything about the vehicle except the leaking sunroof. Had it to the dealer 8 times and they have not been able to provide a permanent fix. Dealers been fair but can't get anywhere with Chrysler

Patroit sunroof leaks even after

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Jeep Patriot Limited 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

My 2009 Partoit has a sunroof and leaks all the time. had it to the dealer 4 times prior to today and they said to stop parking by trees. Very poor customer service and the quality of this factory installed sunroof is unacceptable. Ours is a 2 wheel drive automatic model, but edmunds only thinks this model comes with a manual tranny.

Talk About The 2009 Patriot

2009 Jeep Patriot Discussions See all Started By

I recently went to look at a Patriot Jeep 2009 Limited and got a quote:...

Went to buy a 2010 Jeep Patriot today. Saw my first one 2 days ago, loved the look. Did the research on it, decided to buy if test drive went OK and trying to do my part to “buy American&...

Personally, between Patriot and Compass I like Compass' looks, but I've read where Patriot appeals to men more than women and for the Compass the opposite is true. It's too boxy for my taste, same rea...

Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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