Jeep Patriot Test Drive and Review

We took an opportunity to run a new Jeep Patriot through it’s paces (well street paces anyway). When our friends at Sands Auto Group Jeep in Quakertown contacted us to say they had received a few new Patriots it wasn’t long til’ we were there.

First, some quick details about the Patriot.

Based on the Jeep Patriot concept first introduced at the 2005 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, the 2007 Jeep Patriot is a modern interpretation of traditional Jeep styling. Jeep Patriot combines the packaging and interior flexibility of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a compact car or small pickup. Safety features, such as standard side-curtain air bags and standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), add to Jeep Patriot’s tremendous value.

All-new Jeep technology gives Patriot more capability than any other vehicle in its class. Jeep Patriot will be available in the United States and Canada in three drive configurations: front-wheel drive, Freedom Drive I™ (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with Lock mode) and Freedom Drive II™ Off-Road Package (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with low range that provides true Jeep 4×4 Trail Rated capability).

It’s not quite a modern-day version of the 1984 to 2002 Cherokee, but it comes close. What sets it apart from the Compass, though, is the optional Trail Rated Freedom Drive II all-wheel-drive system.

Like the Compass, the Patriot is front-drive standard, with optional Freedom Drive I and its electronically controlled coupling (ECC) to the rear differential, transmitting torque through a two-clutch system. The driver can lock the center differential with a T-handle to ensure up to 60-percent torque to the rear wheels.

The Patriot was almost “cute”, quite a bit smaller than was expected but not as small as a Compass. It’s appearance resembles a mini Commander or more a classic 84-01 Cherokee. Keeping in mind that this Jeep will never be a serious off-road vehicle but will be a fun Jeep for those who leave the pavement but stay on the beaten path.

The interior is nice, not too cramped, and functional. There are several variations on seating choices. The front passenger seat can fold completely flat and the split rear seat can be folded to keep room for one or two rear passengers. Both front and rear seats recline.

The instrument panel is nicely laid out and the tire pressure monitoring system was a nice gimmick. On road performance was good. The engine provided plenty of power with a bit more engine noise than expected. The CVT transmission is something to get used to for those of us that notice the absence of a shifting transmission.


rear seats folded up

rear seats – both down

front seat folded down

rear seat recline

Conclusion

This is a fun vehicle, perhaps a good start for those new to the Jeep community. Good fuel mileage and ample cargo space make this little Jeep a winner.

For more information about the Patriot visit jeep.com or Sands Auto Group