Dodge / Ram
The Jeep Patriot and Compass shared the basic Caliber design, but also had toughened bodies and Trail Rated versions with low-gear AWD and skid plates.
Styling was similar to the old Jeep Cherokee and the 2008 Jeep Liberty; Testers were surprised by its abilities at rock-climbing, trail-traversing, and stream-crossing. They weren’t in the same class as the Cherokee, but they were better than expected.
Interior space was aided by the utilitarian form: the Jeep Patriot had 54.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded flat (62.7 if the front passenger seat was also folded). It could hold an 8-foot ladder, skis, or eight-foot lumber. The 2007s had two-tone interiors in dark and light gray or beige.
Jeep Patriots sold in the United States and Canada had standard traction control, three-mode stability ontrol, electronic roll mitigation, and anti-lock brakes with rough-road detection. Braking distance from 60 mph was 134 feet on dry pavement.
The Jeep Patriot started out with a standard 2.4-liter World Engine that produced 172-horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of torque, using variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust. With the CVT, its buzzy noise because rather noticeable and was harshy criticized.
The engine was hooked up to a Chrysler-engineered T355 five-speed manual transaxle and an optional CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission). A 2.0 liter diesel with a six-speed manual transaxle was sold outside North America.
The Patriot was available with front wheel drive, with two optional full-time four wheel drive packages: Freedom Drive I and the Freedom Drive II.
Freedom Drive I had a lockable center coupling for deeper snow and sand. Freedom Drive II, used for the Trail Rated Patriots, used the continuously variable transaxle, adding a low range for a 19:1 crawl ratio; it came with 17-inch all-terrain tires, air filtration, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps, and a seat height adjuster.
Off-road traction control, using the antilock brakes, kept the Patriot going when one wheel lost traction. Hill Descent Control applied the brakes automatically to keep a safe speed off-road. The Patriot had three-mode stability control and off-road-tuned anti-lock brakes (ABS).
2013 Patriot off-road
2009 Patriot test drive
2008 FWD Off-Road
by Bob Sheaves, suspension engineer
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.
Suspension tuning and geometry are superior in the Evoque, not due to more travel, but because the suspension controls the ground contact patch more accurately, without excessive toe change, caster change, or camber change, at the limits of travel. The Evoque not only keeps the tires perpendicular to the traction surface; it keeps the tires pointed in the proper direction, relative to the direction of travel, although not always where the driver intends.
The spring rate on the Evoque is a little soft - I would have used a slightly stiffer spring to lessen the jounce issues, but this would cause a noticeable increase in onroad ride harshness. The shock stiction is a bit high on the existing shocks, a minor point.
Overall, the Land Rover Evoque and Jeep Patriot are so close, they can be considered equal on or off road.
The Compass and Patriot had always shared an interior; for 2009, it was given more padding, better materials, and more graceful lines and curves, with sharp edges addressed. The suspensions were also retuned for a better on-road feel.
Changes included updates to the instrument panel, and new door trim panels and center consoles. The vents and shift bezel gained chrome accents. Floor mats replaced the vinyl load floor, and LED-illuminated cupholders were added.
The option list also gained an optional 30-gigabyte-hard-drive music system which could play movies on the screen while in Park, along with a nav/traffic system. The option packages were rejiggered. Finally, the liftgate appliqué was switched to mold-in-color for scratch resistance.
More sound insulation slashed unwanted noise; to cut exhaust noise, the company added a resonator to AWD Patriots and put a larger resonator on front drive versions.
For 2010, a 2.0 engine option with the five-speed stick-shift raised gas mileage by 1 mpg, highway. Active head restraints were standard on the front seats. Automatic climate control was optional on Limited, and remote start was optional with the Security Group. The Patriot was a 2010 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick.
The changes of 2009 were hefty and transformed the feel of the Patriot, making it a far better deal, but buyers didn’t seem to notice, so work started on exterior changes and further improvements.
The 2011 Jeep Patriot had its corners rounded off, and the back muffler mostly covered or blacked out. The 2011 Patriot had revised front and rear fascias, and an increased (by 1 inch) 4x4 ride height. Other changes include standard fog lamps within the headlights, four new colors, and optional 17 inch wheels.
Once again, the ride and handling were refined through retuned suspension systems — higher spring and damping rates, added rebound springs, and a thicker rear sway bar. The Patriot listed a 19-inch water-crossing capability (at very low speeds).
Highway mileage jumped by 2 mpg with the 2.4 liter engine and CVT for both FWD and 4x4 (except with Freedom Drive II). That gave the Compass the title of best AWD vehicle in its class
Interior enhancements included new front-door trim panels with a padded upper surface; a new center armrest; a new steering wheel with integrated controls for the radio, cruise control, and phone; better cloth seats; standard speed control on all models; backlighting of door switches, door locks, windows and power mirror controls; and standard automatic temperature control on the Latitude X.
The changes in 2011 made a huge difference in sales, which went slowly but surely upwards through 2015, more than doubling from its pre-change high.
For 2013, Patriot had a new wheel design. See our Trail-Rated 2013 Jeep Patriot (and Compass) off-road test drive.
As oh2o predicted, the 2014 Jeep Patriot finally carried a conventional six-speed automatic transmission — though buyers could still get the manual transmission, and if they wanted Freedom Drive II or skid plates, the CVT was required. There were few changes for 2015, 2016, or 2017, other than content juggling.
The 2016 Patriot the base price was $18,290 including destination; content was added, and new Sport SE and High Altitude packages were created.
The Jeep Patriot was to end production during calendar-year 2014, with the launch of the Renegade, but it kept going until there was a new Jeep Compass ready for production. The last 2017 Jeep Patriot was built on December 23, 2016; by that time, the model range had been slashed back to just Sport and Latitude.
The first vs second generation:
Frank Ewasyshyn, head of manufacturing, said, “Thanks to Belvidere's ability to build multiple models off one assembly line, we expect the production of three all-new models to cost significantly less than the initial investment we made in the plant to build one product.”
The company found new ways to move material, with three models on one line and 1,800 different parts. A 500,000 square foot in-plant parts sequencing center, connected by a tunnel, provided parts metering, kit creation, and container management. That kept in-plant stocks at good levels, lowered delivery time, and reduced costs.
For 2007, there were two models, Patriot and Patriot Limited. Both had side-curtain air bags, stability and traction control, electronic roll mitigation, anti-lock disc brakes, radio-key theft-deterrent system, audio jacks, foldaway mirrors, tilt steering, and a rear defroster. The Jeep Patriot had black side roof rails, 16-inch styled steel wheels, and all-season tires.
Options included seat-mounted side airbags, rear seats that both folded flat and reclined, a fold-flat front passenger seat, power foldaway mirrors, 110V AC outlet, satellite radio, Bluetooth, tow prep, nine-speaker stereo with speakers that could fold out of the liftgate, and the Off-Road Group (low range transmission, 17-inch all-terrain tires, full-size spare tire, air filtration, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps, and seat height adjuster).
The Limited added air conditioning, power windows, power locks, keyless entry, power fold-away mirrors, deep tinted glass, rubber floor mats, the fold-flat, reclining rear seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, driver height adjuster, 110V AC outlet, removable/rechargeable cargo lamp, speed control, fog lamps, compass, garage door opener, and tire pressure monitoring.
The Limited was distinguished by bright silver appliqués on the fascia, body-color bodyside moldings instead of contrasting moldings, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and all-season touring tires.
First, let’s look at gas mileage, complicated by the generations and FWD vs AWD.
In 2014, the automatic transmission ratings were 21/28 FWD, 21/27 AWD with the 2.4 engine. The CVT ratings (Freedom Drive II) were unchanged.
Headroom without Sunroof
Front Seat Travel
Driver Recliner Angle Range
SAE Front Seat Volume Index
SAE Interior Volume,
EPA Interior Volume Index
Min Cargo Space Width
The 2.0 engine could not tow; with a tow package, the manual 2.4 could tow 1,000 pounds, with the 2.4 automatic at 2,000 lb. The payload was around 1,300 lb. Production began in late 2006 at the Belvidere plant, using engines built in Dundee, Michigan. The concept had been shown in 2005 in Frankfurt.
2011 Patriot test • 2013 Patriot off-road test • 2009 Jeep Patriot test drive / car review • T355 transmission • 2008 review • 2008 Off-Road
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