Flash Drive: 2009 Jeep Patriot
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2007 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Jeep is the strongest brand in the ailing Chrysler Corp. stable, and I really want the company to succeed. But vehicles like the Patriot will not help. Sharing a platform with the Dodge Caliber, the Patriot is a weak crossover wearing a brand that is supposed to represent the ultimate off-road vehicles. This just seems wrong to me. Yes, it has the proper styling — looking a bit like the original Cherokee — and there are some nice features inside like the chilled bottle holder, rechargeable flashlight and light-up cupholders. However, the Patriot doesn't feel like it could handle any kind of tough terrain. There are a host of available off-road options, like a skid plate and a trim level that offers a higher ground clearance. But the stock 172-horsepower engine just doesn't have much oomph, and the continuously variable transmission only makes matters worse. It makes the small ute's engine rev high without anything to show for the effort. Even worse, fuel economy is rated at only 22 mpg highway (for the 4-wheel-drive trim), which doesn't make this small crossover very competitive in the segment. –Perry Stern
The 2009 Jeep Patriot Sport 4x4 is a compact crossover that claims to be a rugged off-road vehicle, but there is nothing about the way the Patriot drives to support that claim. In fact, it feels more like a car than an off-road vehicle. Powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a CVT, the Patriot Sport is available with Brake Lock Differential, Hill Descent Control and 17-inch off-road tires. An Off-Road Crawl Ratio for the CVT is also onboard, but there is no low range. The Patriot's styling does evoke some of the legendary off-road mystique of Jeep. However, is a vehicle for the person who wants to acknowledge the Jeep heritage but needs a fuel-efficient compact car for everyday driving really going to save the faltering company? –Mike Meredith
The Jeep Patriot is a great competitor in the crowded compact SUV segment. With its fuel-efficient engine, nicely equipped interior and compact stature, the Patriot is fully suited for a family on the go. Owning a Jeep gives you accessibility to a competent off-road SUV. With its trail-rated qualifications, you can be assured that weather or terrain won't be able to deter your driving plans. In mixed driving, I was able to achieve 25 mpg, which is great for a nonhybrid SUV. While the Patriot's interior space is decent, it is still tight for five passengers and really only suitable for four people and luggage. –Joe Chulick