Jeep Patriot : Used
Feb 23, 2014
Jeep Patriot : Used
by Justin Pritchard , Auto123.com
Model: Jeep Patriot: Used
Vehicle Type: SUV
The Verdict: Lower-than-average resale values and good bang-for-the-buck will make the Patriot an appealing buy for budget-minded 4x4 shoppers. The most likely problems and issues should be easy for a test-driver to identify, and even easier for a mechanic to dig up in a pre-purchase inspection. Opt for a model with the five-speed manual gearbox for maximum long-term confidence.
Price: Look for basic, older, high-mileage units to be available in the used market from about $4,500, with newer, low-mileage units or demos commanding upwards of $24,000. Look for plenty of selection between about $10,000 and $15,000.
History/Description: The Jeep Patriot’s job was to bring the brand’s big, capable and handsome styling language to a value-minded shopper after an affordable and adventurous ride that provided low-cost access to four-wheel drive adventure seekers. With a launch for model-year 2007, Patriot arrived as Canadian shoppers were getting into fuel-efficient little SUV models in a serious way.
Jeep made sure there was a Patriot for just about any shopper. Bluetooth, premium audio, heated seats, a driver computer, auto climate control, a household power outlet and plenty more features were all available. Folding rear seats? Check. Lots of storage spaces? Check. Trunk mounted rechargeable flashlight? Check. Chill-box lifted from the Dodge Caliber? Check, check and check.
From 2009 and on, Patriot got an interior refresh to brighten and soften up the cabin. It had earned a reputation for being boxy and bland and made of melted-down margarine containers finished in fifty-shades-of-grey-plastic.
Most used units will be powered by a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts good for 172 horsepower. That’s available teamed up with either a five-speed manual or a Continually Variable Transmission (CVT) with either front or four-wheel drive available. A 4x4 / manual transmission combination was, delightfully, available.
What Owners Like: Typically, owners like the overall value presented by these machines, as well as the confidence enabled by the slick 4WD system in slippery conditions. The clever and unique features, on-board flexibility and even all-around visibility are also rated highly.
What Owners Dislike: Earlier models got plenty of complaints about interior design and materials selection, and a decent number of owners wish for a more powerful engine. A louder-than-expected highway ride is often griped about, too.
Taking The Used Jeep Patriot For A Test Drive: Once you’ve confirmed that the stereo and climate control system work properly, turn both off and head to a rough road to listen to the suspension for clunking, popping or grinding sounds while steering or traveling over bumps. Unwanted sounds likely indicate the presence of one or more worn-out suspension components. Numerous owners have reported premature wear of these parts, with sway bar links, ball joints, tie-rods and bushings listed as the usual culprits. These parts are easy for a mechanic to inspect and replace.
Drivability issues with Patriot’s Japanese-outsourced CVT transmission, including reduced or sluggish acceleration could be the result of a computer-related problem fixed by rebooting or re-flashing the computer brain that controls the transmission. Some droning and a strange, shift-less feeling to the power delivery is normal. Grinding sounds from the CVT transmission, or a bucking or ‘jerking’ sensation when decelerating are not. Opt for a manual transmission where possible—as the technology is considerably more proven.
Check the headliner around the map lights, as well as carpeting in the front footwells, for signs of moisture-- which could indicate a leaky sunroof or drain tubes.
Other checks include a visual scan of the power steering reservoir and pump to ensure no fluid is leaking, and listening for a high-pitched whine at speed on models with the CVT, which could be caused by a bad transmission mount.