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When he started driving, my son learned on my XJ and wanted one for himself. During this time, he received several scholarships for college - the best being a full-ride ROTC one from the US Air Force. He Commissions as a 2nd Lt. in 5 days!

It was time for him to get a newer vehicle as his old XJ was getting very long in the tooth. As his first assignment is WPAFB in Ohio, he wanted something AWD or 4x4.

Now, before I continue, he is NOT a gearhead like his father. He sees transportation as a method to go from point A to point B. He does not off-road but does like and use all-weather capability. Gas mileage is a concern for him as is visiblitity, road manners, comfort, and some minor features.

We discussed numerous vehicles, including Subarus, the Ford Escape, etc. He kept coming back to wanting a Jeep. Now, before the "real" Jeepers weigh in, again - he's not a Wrangler off-road guy, just a no-nonsense driver that wants basic transportation. The MPG and the IHS Safety rating also was a selling point for him.

He met my sales person at the dealership that I've used for the past 3 vehicles and drove the 2013 with the CVT. While it was "ok" in his opinion, the CVT felt hard to judge speed in for him. Probably due to the lack of shift points. He just felt rather indifferent about it. I was helping him do the research and knew the 2014s have the new 6-speed and that's what he decided on.

He purchased a 2014 Latitude in True Blue with a Pebble interior, the 6-speed, 2.4 motor, the 130 stereo with USB and bluetooth, and heated seats. He was able to get several discounts (graduating college, $500 back, and our Costco membership discount) and it came out in the low $23k range.

So, what does that buy? Surprisingly, a very decent piece of transportation! It is quiet, smooth, fairly quick, has a fantastic turning radius, and is very easy to drive. We were very surprised by the overall fit and finish as well as the upgrades that have been made over the past few years. He is very happy with the 6-speed, the AWD and 4WD capabilities of it and how nice it is. The seats are very nice and the reclining back seat is something I WISH my JKU had.

Anyway, while this vehicle might not be around much longer, it has definately matured in a good manner. Nice "little" Jeep for someone that wants reasonable capabilities and the Jeep brand.
 
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I've had good luck with a 2008 Patriot with the FD-1 CVT. I live in eastern NE and do light off-roading in CO several times a year. I probably wouldn't take any Patriot or Compass on the Devil's Punchbowl or Black Bear Road but its 700 mi each way from here to where I go in CO. The Patriot rides and handles better for the 700 highway miles each way and gets enough better gas mileage to have sold me on it vs. a Wrangler Unlimited. I have optional tires and wheels and have just over nine inches of road clearance [which I estimate costs me about 1.6 mpg]. I get around well in snow up to about ten inches deep. The Patriot with FD-II runs the engine 500-600 rpm faster on the highway than the FD-I does.

The brake wheelspin mitigation works pretty well once you get the feel of it. You have to turn off the radio and sometimes get passengers to be quiet so you can sense it working and give it just the right amount of gas.

One thing that would be better off-road on the FD-II than on the FD-I is something I've never seen in any forum: On rough places, even rough "roads" in some places the separate L notch on the FD-II would be handy, not because of the gear ratio but because the inertia of the shift knob itself is enough for the "tap, wiggle, or pat" shift to self-activite and upshift. You hear the rpm drop and see it in the tachometer but the first couple of times it happens on a downgrade the reduction of compression braking gets your attention in a hurry.

If the Patriot were offered with the 9-speed transmission from the 2014 Cherokee and 4 to 5 inches of hydraulic or pneumatic suspension lift for off-road that should keep me happy for a long time.

I don't mind the hard plastic in the 2008 Patriot. I've had cars and trucks in the past with painted metal interiors. I think the hard plastic is suited to the Spartan, Viking, Samurai, or Klingon in some of us.

What I would really like to see would be the vehicle body in the article "5 Missing Mopars of 2013" called the Jeep XJ2 Classic; put onto the platform of the 2014 Cherokee with the wheel travel of a Wrangler (maybe long-arm ifs and irs) and 4 to 6 inches of pneumatic or hydraulic suspension lift for off-road. I would want 25 mpg highway with at least a 16 gal fuel tank. I would like to see it offered with hard plastic or painted metal interior, a good radio without touch screens, skid plates, tow hooks, heat, A/C, a rear wiper, and a roof rack with over 200 lb capacity for $30k.

While I'm dreaming, add a structural unitary floor pan made of carbon fiber that would allow good road clearance; passenger, engine, and drivetrain placement that would keep the center of gravity low; and really good corrosion resistance where road salt is used.

If enough could be sold to amortize the tooling costs, the price point could be met. I certainly hope the carbon fiber floor pan wouldn't take the curing time required by fiberglass boats and Corvette bodies.
 

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I don't see new Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass all surviving into the 2015 model year. If the Patriot body or its twin were put onto the new Cherokee it might be called a Cherokee Classic [is that laughter I hear?]

I think a Patriot with the 9-speed transmission and 4WD system from the new Cherokee and about four inches of pneumatic or hydraulic suspension lift for off road and deep snow that would be lowered for normal driving on public roads --- fuel consumption and highway safety considered --- would keep a lot of us reasonably happy for a few years.
 

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Cornupenuria said:
I don't see new Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass all surviving into the 2015 model year. If the Patriot body or its twin were put onto the new Cherokee it might be called a Cherokee Classic [is that laughter I hear?]

I think a Patriot with the 9-speed transmission and 4WD system from the new Cherokee and about four inches of pneumatic or hydraulic suspension lift for off road and deep snow that would be lowered for normal driving on public roads --- fuel consumption and highway safety considered --- would keep a lot of us reasonably happy for a few years.
The problem with air or hydraulic lifts, is that they limit articulation, because they limit jounce and rebound.
Just because a suspension gets taller doesn't mean it has improved performance. If the suspension is limited in motion, and is unable to compress and flex, it serves little purpose.
 
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MoparNorm said:
The problem with air or hydraulic lifts, is that they limit articulation, because they limit jounce and rebound.
Just because a suspension gets taller doesn't mean it has improved performance. If the suspension is limited in motion, and is unable to compress and flex, it serves little purpose.
I can see that articulation would be more of a problem with hydraulic systems than with air. Air is a whole lot more compressable than hydraulic fluids and oils. I can remember vehicles with after-market air lift shocks back in the 1960s and early 1970s. I can't remember if they limited articulation or not. They certainly helped road clearance with heavy loads and if memory serves well they had a more comfortable ride than booster springs with the same amount of lift. Of course, they were higher maintenance than booster springs.

I've looked a little bit at suspension geometry and spring rates for dirt track race cars and have seen self-levelling air lifts boosting leaf springs on large RVs. I also remember some British cars years ago with "hydrolastic" suspensions but don't remember how much wheel travel they had.

I'm thinking some kind of coil spring and air or air-over-oil strut combination might have potential. The strut might even have concentric inner and outer cylinders. I wonder if anything like that exists in the aircraft industry?
 

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Cornupenuria said:
I can see that articulation would be more of a problem with hydraulic systems than with air. Air is a whole lot more compressable than hydraulic fluids and oils. I can remember vehicles with after-market air lift shocks back in the 1960s and early 1970s. I can't remember if they limited articulation or not. They certainly helped road clearance with heavy loads and if memory serves well they had a more comfortable ride than booster springs with the same amount of lift. Of course, they were higher maintenance than booster springs.

I've looked a little bit at suspension geometry and spring rates for dirt track race cars and have seen self-levelling air lifts boosting leaf springs on large RVs. I also remember some British cars years ago with "hydrolastic" suspensions but don't remember how much wheel travel they had.

I'm thinking some kind of coil spring and air or air-over-oil strut combination might have potential. The strut might even have concentric inner and outer cylinders.
Again, no. To quote a knowledgeable suspension engineer, "FYI- at 4 inches of travel adjustment, you have just pulled the inner tripod CV joints apart and with the tires turned, the Rzeppa outer joints are also pulled apart."

So, besides destroying a suspension not designed for that range of movement, simply lifting by either air or oil, or gas, doesn't serve any useful, "full suspension range use".
To site your example, leveling or load carrying is but one aspect of the suspension purpose, unless you had an extremely expensive and fast acting system that would allow rapid movement of the air or other media, the amount of air or media needed to support the vehicle, is simply to great to allow shock rebound.
In layman's terms, you would beat the occupants to death.

As for hydraulics and oil, that is exactly what we use, along with nitrogen gas (because of heat) its a near perfect media and is nearly infinitely tunable.
Our off road race car will run true and smooth at 110 mph+ and also work well in the technical climbing sections at the KOH race.
 

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Yes, I'm sure you're right that either the inbord tripod joint or the outboard Rzeppa joint would come apart at some point with the wheels turned to full lock. The left front should come apart first because it is on a shorter shaft and works at larger angles. I went ahead and searched for engineering papers on ths subject. I found what I think is a good one but the text is in French. The diagrams and math are the best I found. There were English language papers with color pictures but dumbed-down math. http://philippe.boursin.perso.sfr.fr/pdgtran1.htm

What you said and the paper explain why the active suspension on the Grand Cherokee Overland only has 4.2 inches of total range, 2.6 up and 1.6 down from "normal" ride height. It looks like the FWD Citroens with hydropneumatic suspensions had only about four inchs of travel usable during driving. Their big lift was for changing tires --- I don't know if there was a transmission interlock to stop fools or not. The only hydropneumatic suspension Citroen I've ever touched in person was an ID17 an acquaintance had in 1968. The suspension wasn't the only strange thing about the car. If I remember right it rode nicely.

The most unusual thing I saw in that whole paper was a half shaft from a really old Citroen; it had two cross and yoke universal joints with a double Cardan joint between them, all in a self-centering cage. That implies to me that the car had some kind of swing axles in the front. I've driven cars and kombis with swing axles in the rear and know first-hand about getting into curves too fast at highway speeds. It was a learning experience. Getting into a curve too fast in a vehicle with front swing axles might be a REAL learning experience. I used to take leaf springs (both front and rear) off cars, trucks, and one motorhome; take them to a spring shop; get leaves added or replaced; and get the springs re-arched. If I ever thought about doing similar things to a vehicle with struts I would first buy a high-quality spring compression tool. These days I can, barely, afford to take the whole thing to the spring shop, not just the springs.
 

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Since the Patriot has a 0.43Cd and the Compass has a 0.40Cd; why aren't the 4 cyl KLs going to replace both by the 2015 model year? From the preliminary fuel economy numbers the KLs must have a 0.36Cd except for the TrailHawk which must have around 0.39.
 

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Cornupenuria said:
Yes, I'm sure you're right that either the inbord tripod joint or the outboard Rzeppa joint would come apart at some point with the wheels turned to full lock. The left front should come apart first because it is on a shorter shaft and works at larger angles. I went ahead and searched for engineering papers on ths subject. I found what I think is a good one but the text is in French. The diagrams and math are the best I found. There were English language papers with color pictures but dumbed-down math. http://philippe.boursin.perso.sfr.fr/pdgtran1.htm

What you said and the paper explain why the active suspension on the Grand Cherokee Overland only has 4.2 inches of total range, 2.6 up and 1.6 down from "normal" ride height. It looks like the FWD Citroens with hydropneumatic suspensions had only about four inchs of travel usable during driving. Their big lift was for changing tires --- I don't know if there was a transmission interlock to stop fools or not. The only hydropneumatic suspension Citroen I've ever touched in person was an ID17 an acquaintance had in 1968. The suspension wasn't the only strange thing about the car. If I remember right it rode nicely.

The most unusual thing I saw in that whole paper was a half shaft from a really old Citroen; it had two cross and yoke universal joints with a double Cardan joint between them, all in a self-centering cage. That implies to me that the car had some kind of swing axles in the front. I've driven cars and kombis with swing axles in the rear and know first-hand about getting into curves too fast at highway speeds. It was a learning experience. Getting into a curve too fast in a vehicle with front swing axles might be a REAL learning experience. I used to take leaf springs (both front and rear) off cars, trucks, and one motorhome; take them to a spring shop; get leaves added or replaced; and get the springs re-arched. If I ever thought about doing similar things to a vehicle with struts I would first buy a high-quality spring compression tool. These days I can, barely, afford to take the whole thing to the spring shop, not just the springs.
Wow ... I never rode in, nor drove, a Citroen; but I fully appreciated their DS ( here in the US the D21? unsure) and their suspension. ( All of their innovations, really ).

Someone who shops at the same grocery store I frequent occasionally (rarely) drives their Citroen SM and I get to admire it in the parking lot.
 

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Because it's not just about Cd numbers.

That and the KL is bigger than the Patriot & Compass.
I allowed for about a five percent larger transverse cross-sectional area at the beam. It would be interesting if some aeronautical engineering students had access to both a KL and a wind tunnel.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
Because it's not just about Cd numbers.That and the KL is bigger than the Patriot & Compass.
? What is the length of the cargo space behind the second seat in the KL vs. the Patriot?
While the floor dimension "might" be marginally longer, I wouldn't think there is more useable space in the KL, because the Patriot has a more upright deck hatch.
 

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Cargo capacity is listed as 23 for Patriot FWD, 24.8 for Cherokee FWD. Space between the wheel wells is listed as 38" for Patriot, 36.1" for Cherokee. Width between the walls is listed as 45.1" for Patriot, 41.4" for Cherokee.

Patriot appears to be wider inside the cargo area than Cherokee, while Cherokee appears to be longer in the cargo area.
 

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It appears to me that the KL is slightly larger than the Compass/Patriot but most of the extra volume has been allocated to rear seat legroom. That was probably shared with other users of the platform when the longer wheelbase was chosen.

Of course, a longer wheelbase usually makes for a larger turning circle---another compromise?
 

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Note that the wheelbase on KL Cherokee actually varies depending on the model.

Yes, KL Cherokee has a bit more rear legroom and a longer fore-to-aft cargo area than Compass/Patriot.

And yes, the KL Cherokee has a larger turning circle.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
Cargo capacity is listed as 23 for Patriot FWD, 24.8 for Cherokee FWD. Space between the wheel wells is listed as 38" for Patriot, 36.1" for Cherokee. Width between the walls is listed as 45.1" for Patriot, 41.4" for Cherokee.Patriot appears to be wider inside the cargo area than Cherokee, while Cherokee appears to be longer in the cargo area.
Thanks, however my concern is again with useable space. The rear hatch of KL slopes sharply forward, the Patriot is more vertical.
With Patriot being nearly 2" wider Im having a hard time reconciling the PR department dimensions with the real world useable space behind the KL rear seat seat. Patriot isn't exactly a cargo hauler unless the rear seat is folded, KL has to be even smaller.
With four passengers on an extended weekend, Patriot is taxed, but adequate, the KL needs to pass the ice chest, tent and four suitcases test first, before I can believe the stated cargo space.
 

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I've begun to wonder whether the 9-speed automatic transmission, new 4-cyl engine, and a little more rear seat legroom justify the price difference between a base AWD KL and a base AWD Patriot?!

From all I've read on the DOJ thread and the 2014 KL Cherokee Review thread I really wonder where everyone's headed. Having driven a Wrangler, a class 3 work truck with some off-road capability, VWs, motor homes, cars with 1.3L to 7.2L engines, and a Simplex motorbike with a rubber-belt CVT I bought a Patriot in 2008. I understood the weight of the vehicle with respect to horsepower, torque, and engine displacement. If I were entering a 75 mph freeway with a six-or-seven speed manual transmission I would keep the revs closer to the horsepower peak than to the torque peak too. If there were no traffic approaching, I'd keep it closer to the torque peak.

My gripes about the Patriot are: No oil pressure gauge, visibility to the left and right rear aren't great, and inertia of the shift lever knob sometimes self-shifts on mild off-road and some primitive road conditions. That last one is probably one reason the FD-II transmission gate has a separate "L" notch.

Wranglers and class 2&3 4WD pickups get around in deep snow better than the Patriot, if they are driven with finesse.

I think I'd like to test drive an IVECO Daily 4x4 and a Subaru with a Diesel boxer just to find out some things for myself.
 

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Your last sentence made me smile...there is about a 5,000 lb difference between an Iveco and a Subaru... ;)
 

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MoparNorm said:
Your last sentence made me smile...there is about a 5,000 lb difference between an Iveco and a Subaru... ;)
Yes, they both fall within the range of things I have driven, the IVECO is a work truck while Subarus with Diesel engines are passenger cars with primitive road capabilities. Both pique my interest in unusual technology. Both might be marketed in North America.

Isuzu has made work trucks with off-road capabilities for the Asian market. I don't know if they still make them and they would probably never be offered in North America.
 
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