2007 Jeep Patriot

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$2,832–$9,972 Inventory Prices
Key Specs
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2007 Jeep Patriot. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Stability control standard
  • Variety of trim levels
  • Offroad or on-road performance option

The Bad

  • Looks like Jeep's Liberty

Notable Features of the 2007 Jeep Patriot

  • Trail-Rated off-road model available
  • Choice of three drivetrains
  • Cargo-area dome light doubles as flashlight

2007 Jeep Patriot Road Test

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Joe Wiesenfelder
As a car-based yet offroad-capable model, the Patriot, Jeep's newest SUV, is exactly what the brand and its buyers need, for three reasons. One: It's long overdue, because the heavy-duty Liberty and Wrangler weren't built to challenge light, unibody compacts, which got their start 10 years ago. Two: Its gas mileage estimates are impressively high, and that's an important characteristic for a company that only builds SUVs. Three: It's attractive enough to buyers — in more ways than one — to cast a long if somewhat boxy shadow over the Jeep Compass, a newer model that has found no fans among our staff, and few among people we've shown it to.

Exterior & Styling
The Patriot's styling breaks no ground. Its triumph is that it looks like a Jeep. That might seem minor, but even today this vehicle class carries a cute-ute stigma, and one of the Compass' problems is that it doesn't look like a Jeep — at least not in any of the ways one might want it to. As the photos show, there's a passing resemblance between the two because they and the Dodge Caliber share the same platform, and all are assembled at the same Illinois plant.

One could argue that the squared-off Patriot most resembles Jeep's flagship, the Commander, but it more strongly honors old-school Cherokees and Grand Cherokees.

The two trim levels are Sport and Limited, with few visible differences. The Limited adds a metal-look cover to the front and rea...

As a car-based yet offroad-capable model, the Patriot, Jeep's newest SUV, is exactly what the brand and its buyers need, for three reasons. One: It's long overdue, because the heavy-duty Liberty and Wrangler weren't built to challenge light, unibody compacts, which got their start 10 years ago. Two: Its gas mileage estimates are impressively high, and that's an important characteristic for a company that only builds SUVs. Three: It's attractive enough to buyers — in more ways than one — to cast a long if somewhat boxy shadow over the Jeep Compass, a newer model that has found no fans among our staff, and few among people we've shown it to.

Exterior & Styling
The Patriot's styling breaks no ground. Its triumph is that it looks like a Jeep. That might seem minor, but even today this vehicle class carries a cute-ute stigma, and one of the Compass' problems is that it doesn't look like a Jeep — at least not in any of the ways one might want it to. As the photos show, there's a passing resemblance between the two because they and the Dodge Caliber share the same platform, and all are assembled at the same Illinois plant.

One could argue that the squared-off Patriot most resembles Jeep's flagship, the Commander, but it more strongly honors old-school Cherokees and Grand Cherokees.

The two trim levels are Sport and Limited, with few visible differences. The Limited adds a metal-look cover to the front and rear bumpers, and upgrades the Sport's respectable 16-inch steel wheels to 17-inch alloys. The Patriot Sport has standard black roof rails, but the cross-members are optional. The Limited has aluminum rails and cross-bars as standard equipment.

Drivetrain Choices
The Patriot offers a choice of two engines, two transmissions and three drivelines. Standard are the familiar 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the Caliber and Compass, a five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. The automatic option comes in the form of a continuously variable transmission. Four-wheel drive is available with either transmission, in two forms: Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II. They were originally called French Drive until that country declined to participate in the Iraq invasion. (I might have made that part up.)

Already employed on the Compass and Caliber, Freedom I is the simpler option; it's arguably all-wheel drive because it transfers up to 60 percent of the torque automatically between the front and rear axles when needed, and it lacks a low gear — though it has a 4WD Lock lever that splits the torque 50/50 between the front and rear wheels. (You shouldn't need this unless you get stuck on a slick surface.)

Freedom Drive II has a dual-range transfer case, which is one of the features that turns any Patriot that has it into a true off-roader, or as Jeep dubs it, Trail Rated. (I suspected a few years ago when Jeep introduced this designation that it meant future models might not be. At that time, every Jeep model — throughout history, arguably — had been fully off-roadable. Sure enough, the Compass and any Patriot not fitted with Freedom II Off-road Package 4WD are not Trail Rated.) I drove a few drivetrain combinations, but before I expand on that, wasn't there another engine?

Patriot Engines
StandardOptional
Type2.4-liter 4-cylinder2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower (@ rpm)172 @ 6,000158 @ 6,400
Torque (lbs.-ft. @ rpm)165 @ 4,400141 @ 5,000
Required gasolineregular (87 octane)regular (87 octane)
Source: Manufacturer

Ah yes, the optional, less-powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Its appeal is indeed narrow. Offered only on the Sport with front-wheel drive and a CVT, it gives you a $200 discount off the standard engine's price and automatic operation with the gas mileage of a 2.4-liter manual.
EPA-Estimated Gas Mileage (city/highway, mpg)
5-speed manualCVT automatic
2.4-liter FWD26/3024/27
2.0-liter FWD26/30
2.4-liter 4WD25/2923/26
2.4-liter 4WD
w/Off-road Package
21/23

On the Pavement ... and Off
My first drive was in the manual 4WD, which I enjoyed. The shifter juts out from the center of the dashboard — a location that some people find objectionable, but the knob was exactly where I wanted it. Though it's not a rocket, the 2.4-liter Patriot is quick enough, and the handling proved exhilarating in the curvy mountain roads outside of Phoenix — both paved and compacted-dirt surfaces. As with any SUV, the Patriot must be driven more conservatively than a car, but it's still a far cry from the high center of gravity one finds in truck-based styles like the Wrangler and Liberty. I was most impressed by the at-the-limit balance and grip, with less understeer than expected from a model based on front-wheel drive. The specs confirm that the 4x4 version's weight distribution is 56/44 (front/rear). Front-drive cars are typically 60/40, with only a point or two's difference with AWD.

You definitely know when you're driving on bumpy surfaces, but after a period of taking it for granted, I realized the driving effort could have been much greater and the comfort lower. The four-wheel independent suspension paid off here, but it comes at a price on challenging offroad trails (more on that later). On-pavement performance is firm but comfortable, with moderate noise levels in the cabin at highway speeds — much of it wind noise from the boxy shape and upright windshield.

With this drivetrain configuration there was a bit more engine noise than I wanted to hear, but I really noticed it in the CVT-equipped Patriot. On some level, this noise seems intrusive because it comes at unexpected times as the CVT chooses the most powerful or efficient engine speed and gear ratio for a given condition. With the manual, it's at least tied to your actions. Maybe drivers need to adjust, but it would be wise for automakers to double-down on the noise treatment in CVT cars. The technology in the Patriot and its sister models is one of the best I've driven; it reacts quicker than most and uses a conventional torque converter so it has a natural feel when accelerating from, or coming to, a stop. The CVT technology is key to the relatively high mileage estimates.

In the Cabin
The Patriot's interior quality isn't class-leading, but it's acceptable for a car of this price — bearing in mind that the starting price is for a seriously stripped-down Sport model. (Option packages that flesh it out will set you back a grand or two.) Of note is the faux-metal trim, which is textured and not as cheesy as some of the stuff we've seen in earlier Chrysler and Dodge models.

Vinyl seats are standard, and stain/moisture/mold-resistant cloth upholstery is optional on the Sport trim level. Heated leather seats and a driver's lumbar adjustment are standard on the Limited, and Jeep kindly offers heaters for the front cloth seats — a rarity — though an expensive option package is a pre-requisite. Power seats aren't available.

A driver's seat height adjustment is standard on the Limited but comes only in option packages on the Sport, including the Off-road Package. The steering wheel tilts but unfortunately doesn't telescope. Still, visibility is pretty good all around, and smaller drivers said they were comfortable with the fit; I was too, at 6 feet tall. As for interior space, it's comparable to the Ford Escape, the most significant difference being in legroom: an inch less in the front but almost 4 inches more in the rear of the Patriot.

As expected, this cuts into the cargo volume behind the backseat: 23.0 cubic feet compared to the Escape's 29.2 cu. ft. The Patriot Sport's 60/40-split folding backseat is standard, and the Limited's backrests also recline. With backseats folded flat, the volume is 54.2 and 66.3 cu. ft. for the Patriot and Escape, respectively. Only with the front passenger seat folded (standard on Limited, optional on Sport) does the Patriot realize its maximum 62.7 cu. ft. cargo capacity.

Safety
Standard safety feature highlights include ABS with brake assist, an electronic stability system with traction control and side curtain airbags. Notable safety options include front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags designed to supplement the standard curtains with added torso protection, and a tire pressure monitoring system. As of this report, the Patriot has not been crash tested.

Towing
It may be offroadable, but the Patriot has the same shortcoming of most front-drive-based platforms: Its maximum towing capacity is a mere 2,000 pounds when equipped with the Trailer Tow package, which adds an engine-oil cooler as well as a trailer wiring harness. Without this option, the maximum trailer weight is 1,000 pounds.

Testing the Trail Rating
The CVT is your sole option if you choose the Freedom II Off-road Package. (The simpler 4WD is available with the stick.) By dropping the gear selector into the L position, also marked OFF ROAD, you change into Freedom II's additional low gear, which gives a 19:1 crawl ratio. Crawl I did — over boulders, ruts and tree limbs, giving the front and rear skid plates that come with this package a proper tryout. When properly equipped, the Patriot is definitely an off-roader. When in L, it seemed like the CVT had locked into a fixed gear ratio, so there was no unpredicted engine-revving funny business. An accompanying automatic change in the electronic throttle made for fine engine control.

In addition to the transfer case, which apportions power to the front and rear, four-wheel ABS-based traction control transfers it left and right, depending on which wheel has the most grip. While this always seems a wimpy way to do things, it's good enough for some other Jeep models, Land Rovers and similarly vaunted rock-crawlers. Compared to the Grand Cherokee's unflappable Quadra Drive II option, the brake-based control always brings more drama as the wheels alternately slip and then freeze, but the same can be said of this approach in other SUVs.

With Freedom Drive II and 17-inch wheels comes an increase of almost 1 inch in ride height for a minimum ground clearance of 9 inches. Instead of the rear axle, which is typically a truck's low point, the Patriot's unibody and four-wheel-independent suspension put the minimum clearance up front. The independent rear end exhibits drawbacks in some situations, where its suspension travel seems limited when compared to the solid, non-independent axles that purists prefer for off-roading. Having a wheel way up in the air, as in the photos, looks cool, but the lower it drops below the body, the greater the chance of getting purchase on the terrain.

Freedom Drive II includes hill-descent control, which helps you go down steep inclines by modulating the front and, particularly, the rear brakes. I didn't encounter an incline steep enough to warrant its use, and while traversing a patch of boulders it grunted away so incessantly that it seemed I was driving on the backs of hogs. Fortunately I figured out how to disable it.

When the uninitiated envision off-roading, they typically think of blasting down a sandy path at 40-plus mph, going sideways as often as forward and kicking up a smokescreen of dust, rally-race style. In truth, hardcore off-roading typically involves climbing slowly over obstacles and spending a whole day covering all of 5 miles. To my surprise, our offroad trail included a solid mile of sand, and I was able to, well, blast down a sandy path at 40-plus mph, going sideways as often as forward and kicking up a smokescreen of dust, rally-race style. Man, that's fun. (The stability system did its job, keeping everything nice and boring ... until I turned it off.) The Patriot made quick work of it, and I suspect the Off-road Package's augmented air filtration earned its keep.

Patriot in the Market
There's a lot to like about the Patriot. Even after you adjust the price to add the missing basic features — air conditioning, power windows, locks and side mirrors, etc. — it's pretty reasonably priced. As for its place in the market, this brand with ostensible SUV credibility is coming to this segment awfully late. At least a newfound interest in fuel economy is in its favor, particularly for a capable off-roader, most of which are heavy-duty and inefficient. That the Patriot can't tackle the toughest trails is irrelevant; knowing that one could go off-road has been more than enough to satisfy many an SUV buyer over the years. Authenticity — real or inferred — sells.

I was baffled that Jeep was building two models so similar in size and price off this platform. As it turns out, it's a good thing they did. The Compass itself is baffling enough. Before either came out, industry analysts and other random smarty pantses pondered if a lighter-duty model with Jeep's first-ever application of front-wheel drive would hurt the brand. The answer is no. A poorly executed model — of any configuration — would. Now at least buyers have an alternative.

Send Joe an email 



Latest 2007 Patriot Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Most practical, functional car I have ever owned.

by Bob from Flat Rock on July 12, 2018

It met every need, from hauling cargo to family vacations. I would highly recommend this Jeep for a family on the move. It never failed us. Read full review

(5.0)

Roxanne was my fav jeep

by JoDaveanie from Erie,PA on April 22, 2018

I loved my jeep. Never had to pay somebody to move me if I had to move. Only took a couple trips. I was in the army so this vehicle traveling for countries and four states. Was reliable and ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2007 Jeep Patriot currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2007 Jeep Patriot has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Patriot received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker