In Defense Of: The Jeep Patriot (2022)

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Matt Pericles, a.k.a. FormerFF, as the first reader featured during TTAC’s Reader Submission week. We’ll post more submissions throughout the week. Stay tuned!

Consider the Jeep Patriot, whipping boy of automotive journalists everywhere, number 18 out of 18 in U.S. News’s “ Best Compact SUVs” list.

Does it deserve such scorn?

How did I wind up with one of America’s lowest rated vehicles on my driveway?

Not too long ago, I was shopping for a late-model used car for my daughters to drive. In my mind, the right car for a teenaged girl is a compact sedan. But I am not a teenaged girl. To my dismay, I found that Crossover Madness had infected my household, claiming both of my daughters and my wife, so a-crossover shopping we went.

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As you can imagine, getting two teenagers plus one mom to agree on a car is not the easiest of tasks.

Daughter Two, who is still a year away from getting her learner’s permit, was leaning toward the Escape, but she wasn’t that interested in making a choice. My wife had developed a thing for Subarus, but prices of the all-wheel-drive machines weren’t very favorable, and my youngest said, “No teenaged girl wants a Subaru.” Daughter One, only two months away from her license, saw a CR-V online, which she liked and wanted to check out, necessitating a stop at the local Honda dealer. Once at the Honda store, she rather quickly decided she didn’t like the CR-V, and I can’t say I blame her. While it’s a very nice vehicle, it’s also more of a mom-mobile than a righteous teen ride

Down the street we went to CarMax to see what it had. As it turns out, CarMax has pretty much everything, and we sat in everything.

Daughter One gravitated to the Patriot much to my dismay. I’ve read the reviews, and I know they say it’s not good. It’s not a vehicle I’d have put on my list, but I felt I owed it to my daughter to give it a test drive, which we did. I was prepared to dislike it rather a lot. As you can probably guess, I didn’t dislike it at all. That’s how we wound up buying a Jeep Patriot.

I come not to bury the Patriot, but to praise it

Let’s start on the outside. The first thing I noticed was the Patriot’s size. At 173 inches in length, it’s 7 or so inches shorter than most of compact crossovers the motoring press compares it to, and 4 or 5 inches longer than the average subcompact crossover. It’s also a little shorter and a couple of inches narrower than most compacts, about the same width as the subcompacts. Part of the Patriot’s height comes from its 8 inches of ground clearance, which is on the upper side of the range for CUVs in this size range. It also looks like a Jeep, and nothing else. You could remove all the badging and the majority of drivers would be able to instantly identify it as a Jeep.

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Open the driver’s door and have a seat. The dash is austere, but well put together. The controls are straightforward and easy to use. The instrument panel consists of fuel, speedometer, tachometer, and coolant temperature gauges, in a simple, legible format. The front seats are comfortable and spacious. Ours are cloth, and the center part of the seat is made of a grippy material that keeps you in place. Headroom is generous, but the windshield is not overly large. It’s more upright and closer to the driver than most of the recent cars I’ve driven. Add all this together and you have a comfortable cockpit with a bit of a vintage car feel. Ours has an aftermarket stereo with a backup camera, so I can’t comment on the factory infotainment setup.

Step out and open one of the back doors. They’re not very wide in and of themselves, but they open wide to make ingress and egress easy. The back seat is as comfortable as the front — at least for two — and offers plenty of legroom. I wouldn’t recommend the middle back seat for long trips, but that’s true of any vehicle in this class. There’s also a reasonable amount of cargo space for a vehicle of this size, and if you’re carrying more stuff than people, the back seat has a split-folding feature.

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Time to drive. Put the key in the slot, turn to the start position, and crank. The starter motor efforts ignition for as long as it needs to, which is not long, and the much-maligned World engine starts and immediately settles to a smooth idle. Grab the shifter, put the also much-maligned CVT in Drive, and get ready to go.

I say get ready to go, because it takes about a second for the transmission to engage once you’ve moved the shift lever, so keep your foot on the brake for a beat. Depressing the accelerator a little spins up the engine to 2,000 rpm quickly, and stays there during initial acceleration.

For a typical suburban drive where the travel speed is 35 to 45 mph, as you reach your cruising speed and back off of the throttle, the engine slows to 1,600 rpm or so, depending on load. Like most cars these days, the drivetrain is tuned for economy, and it takes a firm press of the pedal to get the Patriot to hurry. I’ve floored it exactly once. The engine spun up to 5,000 rpm quickly and pulled nicely once it got there.

The run up to 5,000 rpm took less time than would a conventional automatic to do its downshifting, particularly for one of the newer autoboxes with six or more gears.

There’s no particular drama from the engine bay during a full throttle run, but you will be treated to a bit of torque steer. The Patriot comes equipped with a somewhat large and thick rimmed steering wheel. The steering is a little less boosted that what you may be used to, and seems a bit slower than most other recent cars I’ve driven. Bend it into a turn and it responds pretty much as you’d expect, but a little extra turn of the wheel is needed to point you where you want to go. The steering isn’t particularly sharp or precise, but this is a Jeep, and slicing up apexes is not high on its list of priorities.

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Out on the highway, the blocky shape and upright windshield combine to generate wind noise, but it’s not intrusive. You can also expect it to return a couple of miles per gallon less than one would with one of the more aerodynamic entries in this class.

It’s not for everyone. Could it be for you? Many years ago, I worked for a small-town new car dealership. One day, we took an elderly AMC Gremlin in on trade. The used car manager was looking it over, and I came up to him and remarked that I thought it would be a tough sell. The used car manager, who was never one to shy away from a challenge and also was never at a loss for words, looked me in the eye and said, “Son, there’s an ass for every seat.”

He did wind up selling that Gremlin, and I never again questioned if any used car would sell. Truly, there is an ass for every seat. So, whose buttocks should the Patriot’s roomy front seats cradle?

First and foremost, the Patriot is a Jeep, and an inexpensive one at that. It skews more towards utilitarian than luxurious, simplistic versus sophisticated. It’s not a capacious mom-mobile like the RAV4 or the Rogue, and isn’t urbane and sleek like the Escape or Hyundai/Kia offerings. Think of it as the good-natured country cousin of this family.

It exudes a fun, funky, outdoorsy vibe that seems to be irresistible to teenagers; it seems like half of the ones I know would like a Patriot. And you know what? It’s probably the ideal teenager car. It’s not fast in a straight line, it’s doesn’t encourage aggressive driving, and it’s not going to make a young driver want to go out and see how fast he can get around the local Dead Man’s Curve. In addition, I’d think there would be a lot of young singles and couples that would enjoy the Patriot. Our Patriot is what my eldest will take with her when she’d done with her schooling, and I can certainly picture her loading it up with two or three friends and heading for the beach. If you’re so inclined, the Patriot can be equipped for some fairly serious offroading at a realistic price.

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I enjoy driving ours, I think it’s fun to drive, and I think it captures the intent of “Sport Utility” much better than nearly all of its competitors. There’s a certain honesty and playfulness about it that I don’t see in many cars these days, and its low purchase price doesn’t hurt. I like it, my daughters like it, and all of the other parents (and their teens) who I know that I’ve shown it to like it. It’s not for everyone, but what car is? As far as I’m concerned, the Patriot has gotten a bum rap from the motoring press. No, it’s not all that good of a CR-V, but it’s a pretty good Jeep Patriot.

FAQs

Is Jeep Patriot a girl car? ›

The Jeep Compass and Patriot are fraternal twins. Their parents are the same, but the twins don't necessarily look like it. The Patriot is the good son, the Compass the wayward daughter. Put another way, the Patriot is more of a guy's vehicle, a traditional Jeep that reminds some of the much-missed Cherokee.

Why did the Jeep Patriot get discontinued? ›

One of the biggest reasons the Jeep Patriot didn't sell was the lack of technology. Why Jeep decided not to add any modern tech is bizarre. It might have had to do with keeping the price point down, but with other crossovers in the same price point that did offer tech, it may have spelled the end for the Patriot.

Is the Jeep Patriot a good vehicle? ›

Overall: The Patriot is one of the least expensive compact SUVs on the used car market, but there is a reason for that. The overall reliability is not better than average. The 2013+ Patriot has fewer reported problems.

Why are Jeep Patriots so popular? ›

The Jeep Patriot Is A Commuter Vehicle

Jeep is known for having more powerful engines, detailed interiors, and smooth suspension built into most of their models, so the Patriot was a bit of a departure from the form when they first released in 2006.

Do Jeep Patriots have transmission problems? ›

Most of the problems Jeep Patriot vehicles have are in its 4WD system called Freedom Drive, which connects to a Jatco-built CVT. Since the 2007 production model, this transmission has proven to have an unfortunate proclivity to failure.

Are Jeep Patriots good in snow? ›

Thanks to Jeep's Freedom Drive II drivetrain, the Patriot can perform very well in all types of road and weather conditions. With the ability to conquer deep snow, mud, and ford through 19-inches of standing water, the Jeep Patriot is more capable than many people give it credit for.

Is the Jeep Patriot a true 4x4? ›

The Patriot features two four-wheel drive systems both of which are electronically controlled. The basic four-wheel drive system is called Freedom Drive I.

Is the Jeep Patriot a real Jeep? ›

The compact Jeep® Patriot officially retired in 2017, but it leaves a legacy of efficiency and capability behind it.

Why is my Jeep Patriot so loud? ›

A failing or dirty sensor can send incorrect data, resulting in too much or too little fuel going to the engine. This can result in a rough running engine that is louder than normal. Bad or Dirty Spark Plugs: Bad spark plugs can cause the vehicle to misfire which will make it run louder.

Are Jeep Patriots expensive to maintain? ›

Cost. The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Jeep Patriot is $596, compared to an average of $521 for compact SUVs and $652 for all vehicle models.

Can Jeep Patriot go off-road? ›

The Jeep Patriot is remarkable off-road. Its proven ability to handle various tracks and adverse conditions has earned it its Trail Rating badge. Plus, its two engine options and 4WD systems provide excellent traction control and a 19:1 crawl ratio.

Are there any recalls on Jeep Patriots? ›

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2016 Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot vehicles manufactured May 9, 2016, to July 15, 2016. The crankshaft or camshaft sensor may only work intermittently, causing the engine to stall. If the engine stalls, there is an increased the risk of a crash.

What's the difference between a Jeep Patriot and a Jeep Patriot sport? ›

The Sport is the most affordable and basic model, whereas the Limited comes with all the bells and whistles you could want. The Latitude trim provides a step up from the Sport with added luxuries, but at the same time, is small enough to offer better gas mileage and off-road capabilities than the Limited model.

What are common problems with 2014 Jeep Patriot? ›

Top 2014 Jeep Patriot Problems
  • CVT Transmission. ...
  • Engine Will not Start Due to Wireless Control Module Fault. ...
  • Water Leaks From the Front and/or Rear Roof Area. ...
  • Manual Transmission Shifting Difficulty. ...
  • The Engine may Overheat Due to Debris in the Cylinder Head Coolant Port.

Why does my Jeep Patriot stutter when I accelerate? ›

An engine that is hesitating to accelerate is most likely dealing with a fuel/air mixture that is too lean. Engine's that are running inefficiently will begin to show signs like hesitation which will only become worse over time.

How many miles a gallon does a Jeep Patriot get? ›

MPG Rating

At its best, the Patriot can offer an EPA-estimated 23 MPG city and 30 MPG highway.

Can you sleep in the back of a Jeep Patriot? ›

Sleeping in 2015 Jeep Patriot! - YouTube

How much does it cost to replace a transmission in a Jeep Patriot? ›

Jeep Patriot Transmission Cost

The value of a new Jeep Patriot transmission could be over $3,500 depending on the vehicle, however, transmission services such as fluid changes and a transmission fluid flush are considerably less lavish, in some cases costing less than $150.

What year did Jeep Patriot stop using CVT transmission? ›

2014 Jeep Patriot: No More CVT (Mostly)

Can Jeep Patriot go on beach? ›

It's the perfect family vehicle, but can this reliable chariot go off-roading, too? You can go off-roading with a Jeep Patriot. The 4×4 option is a trail-capable Patriot that sits on 17-inch tires and has a ground clearance of 8 inches, making it perfect for conquering rocks, slight inclines, sand, and snow.

Do Jeep Patriots have skid plates? ›

The skid plate is new and fits perfectly for all versions of Jeep Patriot manufactured between 2007 and 2017. Made out of 2 mm thick steel plate. Screws, nuts, clips, all fastening accessories are included. All skid plates are powder coated to prevent corrosion.

Which Jeep is best for snow? ›

Renegade. A powerful, four-wheel-drive vehicle, the Jeep Renegade looks ready to tackle the most rugged terrain in dire climatic conditions. It comes with multiple engine options, but the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is perhaps the best for winter driving.

How much can a Jeep Patriot pull? ›

We researched this popular SUV to provide all the answers you need in this post. The Jeep Patriot's latest year model, 2017, has a towing capacity of 1,000 pounds. However, with the addition of the towing package, the 2017 Jeep Patriot is capable of towing up to 2,000 pounds.

Do all Jeep Patriots have CVT? ›

Incorporating a crawl ratio for heavier-duty off-roading, a special continuously variable transmission (CVT2L) is optional on all-wheel-drive Patriot models with the 2.4-liter engine and Freedom Drive II package.

Does Jeep Patriot have low range? ›

There are no major differences between the Land Rover Evoque and Jeep Compass/Patriot in their basic powertrain layout and function. They both have all wheel drive, but the Jeep Patriot has a low range option.

Is a Jeep Patriot an SUV? ›

The Jeep Patriot is ready for adventure. Whether you're an urban explorer or an off-road enthusiast, this compact SUV is equally at home in the city and off the road. In this Jeep Patriot review, you'll learn more about this versatile vehicle and the key features in its 2014-2017 model years.

Who owns Jeep? ›

The Chrysler brand is part of Fiat Chrysler, which merged with the parent company of the Peugeot brand in 2021 to create a new company called Stellantis. Brands under the Fiat Chrysler umbrella include Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Lancia, and Maserati.

How many gears does a Jeep Patriot have? ›

Acceleration and Power. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard in the 2017 Patriot.

Do 2017 Jeep Patriots have transmission problems? ›

Such problems aren't hard to spot. 2017 Jeep Patriot transmission problems can show up as shifting delays, grinding or jumping during acceleration, a feeling of shakiness, or whistling noises and a burning smell coming from under the hood.

How do I know if my Jeep has a CVT transmission? ›

The best way to identify a CVT transmission in your vehicle is to look for the manufactures logos indicating one, such as Toyota's Synergy Drive, Honda's Multi Matic and Nissan's Xtronic.

Are Jeep Patriots unreliable? ›

Is the Jeep Patriot Reliable? Despite its unexceptional resale value, the Jeep Patriot has an above-average reliability rating, according to RepairPal.com. Major Jeep Patriot repairs are uncommon, and the frequency of visits to repair shops is 0.3 times a year, which is average.

How many miles can Jeeps last? ›

In general, a Jeep's longevity depends on numerous factors. Having said that, the more reliable Jeeps can easily reach 200,000 miles with reasonable care and maintenance. Many Jeep owners claimed that they were able to put north of 300,000 miles on their vehicles.

Is the Jeep 2.4 engine good? ›

Chrysler 2.4 inline-4 engines are solid engines, overall. They might not offer much power or performance (apart from SRT-4 versions), but they do offer a good blend of reliability, efficiency, and longevity.

What is Freedom drive II? ›

The Freedom Drive II adds an off-road four-wheel drive mode, traction control, optimized engine and transmission performance for rock crawling, hill descent control, brake lock differentials, disc antilock brakes, 19:1 crawl ratio, 1” of additional ground clearance, heavy-duty cooling, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps ...

What is the Jeep Patriot off-road package? ›

The Freedom Drive II off-road package includes: second-generation continuously-variable transaxle with low range (CVT2L) that engages when the off-road mode is activated, 19:1 crawl ratio, 17-inch all-terrain tires and aluminum wheels, a full-size spare tire, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps and manual seat height ...

Is the 2017 Jeep Patriot a good car? ›

The 2017 Jeep Patriot ranks near the bottom of the compact SUV class. It trails the competition with low-quality materials, clumsy handling, lethargic engine performance, poor crash test scores, and below-average predicted reliability.

How much does a Jeep Patriot cost? ›

The 2017 Jeep Patriot has an alluring Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $19,000, but you'll forgo such comforts as power windows and air conditioning. Better-equipped versions start around $21,000 for the Sport SE and $23,300 for the Latitude model.

Is there a recall on 2013 Jeep Patriot transmission? ›

Chrysler Group LLC is recalling 630,000 Jeep SUVs for transmission and restraint system problems just two days after it refused a federal request to recall 2.7 million vehicles for faulty fuel systems. In the U.S., the automaker will recall 254,000 Compass and Patriot SUVs from model years 2010 to 2012.

Is Jeep Patriot a girl car? ›

The Jeep Compass and Patriot are fraternal twins. Their parents are the same, but the twins don't necessarily look like it. The Patriot is the good son, the Compass the wayward daughter. Put another way, the Patriot is more of a guy's vehicle, a traditional Jeep that reminds some of the much-missed Cherokee.

Do Jeep Patriots have a lot of problems? ›

According to RepairPal, the Jeep Patriot has a Reliability Rating of 4.0 out of 5.0. It ranks 15th out of 26 compact SUVs. Despite its above-average reliability scores, the Patriot had some glaring issues, including: Premature CVT failure - The Patriot's continuously variable transmission is prone to failure.

Which Jeep is better a Compass or Patriot? ›

The new Compass has better-quality interior materials, a stronger chassis, and improved suspension. Both the Patriot and Compass are solid picks when it comes to affordability. Both are ruggedly built and carry on the Jeep tradition of off-road capability.

Why did jeep discontinue the Patriot? ›

One of the biggest reasons the Jeep Patriot didn't sell was the lack of technology. Why Jeep decided not to add any modern tech is bizarre. It might have had to do with keeping the price point down, but with other crossovers in the same price point that did offer tech, it may have spelled the end for the Patriot.

Is the 2014 Jeep Patriot reliable? ›

How Reliable Is the 2014 Jeep Patriot? The Jeep Patriot has one of the lowest reliability scores in the class: 2.5 out of five. However, rivals such as the Subaru Forester, Nissan Rogue, and Mitsubishi Outlander earn the same below-average score.

Is the 2015 Jeep Patriot reliable? ›

How Reliable Is the 2015 Jeep Patriot? The 2015 Patriot has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is about average.

Is Jeep Patriot expensive to maintain? ›

Overall - the Jeep Patriot has yearly car maintenance costs total to $596 .

Are there any recalls on Jeep Patriots? ›

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2016 Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot vehicles manufactured May 9, 2016, to July 15, 2016. The crankshaft or camshaft sensor may only work intermittently, causing the engine to stall. If the engine stalls, there is an increased the risk of a crash.

How much does it cost to replace a transmission in a Jeep Patriot? ›

Jeep Patriot Transmission Cost

The value of a new Jeep Patriot transmission could be over $3,500 depending on the vehicle, however, transmission services such as fluid changes and a transmission fluid flush are considerably less lavish, in some cases costing less than $150.

Do 2016 Jeep Patriots have transmission problems? ›

2016 Jeep Patriot transmission problems can show up as shifting delays, grinding when accelerating, the car shaking at any speed, or whistling noises or a burning smell coming from beneath the hood.

Are Jeep Patriots good in snow? ›

Thanks to Jeep's Freedom Drive II drivetrain, the Patriot can perform very well in all types of road and weather conditions. With the ability to conquer deep snow, mud, and ford through 19-inches of standing water, the Jeep Patriot is more capable than many people give it credit for.

Are Jeep Patriots unreliable? ›

Is the Jeep Patriot Reliable? Despite its unexceptional resale value, the Jeep Patriot has an above-average reliability rating, according to RepairPal.com. Major Jeep Patriot repairs are uncommon, and the frequency of visits to repair shops is 0.3 times a year, which is average.

Why is my Jeep Patriot so loud? ›

A failing or dirty sensor can send incorrect data, resulting in too much or too little fuel going to the engine. This can result in a rough running engine that is louder than normal. Bad or Dirty Spark Plugs: Bad spark plugs can cause the vehicle to misfire which will make it run louder.

Are Jeep Patriots discontinued? ›

WHEN DID THE JEEP® PATRIOT GO OUT OF PRODUCTION? The Jeep® Patriot was discontinued in 2017.

Who is the manufacturer of Jeep Patriot? ›

Jeep Patriot
ManufacturerJeep
Production2006–2016
Model years2007–2017
AssemblyUnited States: Belvidere, Illinois, (Belvidere Assembly)
18 more rows

Is the 2017 Jeep Patriot a good car? ›

The 2017 Jeep Patriot ranks near the bottom of the compact SUV class. It trails the competition with low-quality materials, clumsy handling, lethargic engine performance, poor crash test scores, and below-average predicted reliability.

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