Vehicle Overview
Sharing a platform with the Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber, the Patriot is supposed to be the most rugged of the three. It seats five people. To give its macho looks some teeth, the Patriot is available with two four-wheel-drive systems. The more capable of the two gets Jeep's Trail-Rated designation, meaning it's capable of meeting certain offroad standards for traction, water fording, ground clearance and more. The Patriot comes in Sport and Limited trim levels; its competitors include the Ford Escape and Kia Sportage.

New for 2009
The Patriot has a redesigned instrument panel, door trim panels and center console; retuned suspension; and new sound deadening techniques. Option packages also have been simplified.

The Patriot has a seven-slot grille, rounded headlights and trapezoidal wheel-well openings. Trail-Rated Patriots have an extra inch of ground clearance, as do models with the 17-inch wheels.

The Patriot is 173.6 inches long and 69.1 inches wide, which is smaller than the Escape but bigger than the Sportage.
  • 16-inch steel wheels (standard on Sport)
  • 17-inch alloy wheels (standard on Limited)
  • Standard body-colored grille, front and rear bumpers
  • Optional sunroof
  • Optional fog lamps
  • Optional dual power mirrors

Two rows of seats provide room for five, and the interior is trimmed in shades of gray or beige. For 2009 there's a new instrument panel, door trim, soft-touch armrests and LED instrument gauges. The Patriot has several unique options, including a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system with speakers that can swing down from the liftgate, plus a cargo-area dome light that can be removed and used as a flashlight.

Passenger volume comes in at 101.7 cubic feet, which is about the same as its competitors. The Patriot's cargo volume is less than both its competitors. Cargo volume behind the rear seat is 23 cubic feet, 54.2 cubic feet with the standard 60/40-split folding rear bench down. The folding rear bench has a reclining option, and there's an optional passenger seat that folds forward for a flat surface.
  • Available vinyl, stain-resistant cloth or leather seating
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Standard illuminated cupholders
  • Optional voice-activated navigation and/or audio system (including touch-screen, voice commands and 30GB hard drive)

Under the Hood
For 2009, the Patriot receives new floor and engine compartment insulation as well as a revised exhaust resonator for a quieter ride. Revised suspension tuning also provides a smoother and more comfortable ride. Buyers have three drivelines to choose from: front-wheel drive; Freedom Drive I four-wheel drive with lock mode; and Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package, a Trail-Rated four-wheel-drive system. Freedom Drive II has a continuously variable automatic transmission, which incorporates a low range for offroad driving. It also has Hill Descent Control and Brake Traction Control.
  • 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 141 pounds-feet of torque
  • 172-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 165 pounds-feet of torque
  • Five-speed manual or continuously variable transmission
  • Front- or all-wheel drive

Safety features include:
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Standard electronic stability program with electronic roll mitigation
  • Standard antilock braking system
  • Standard traction control
  • Standard smart key that immobilizes the engine in cases of attempted auto theft
  • Optional seat-mounted side-impact airbags (front only)