Jeep Patriot Off Road Capability (Full Review)

White Jeep Patriot Off Road

Ranked as the number one most affordable SUV on the market in 2014 by Kelly Blue Book, the Jeep Patriot is known for its price point and prestigious name brand. It has also won the 2007 Green 4×4 Award and the 2008 4×4 of the Year in the UK. But apart from its low cost of ownership, superior engine performance, and Jeep DNA, this compact crossover is also famous for its off-roading capabilities, which this article will further explore.

The Jeep Patriot is remarkable off-road. Its proven ability to handle various tracks and adverse conditions has earned it its Trail Rating badge. Plus, its two engine options and 4WD systems provide excellent traction control and a 19:1 crawl ratio.

Despite its underrated status, this 2-in-1 SUV is still one of the best options out there when purchasing used vehicles. Not quite convinced? Let this article persuade you with information on the Patriot’s history, specs and features, off-roading mods, and more.

Jeep Patriot Off Road Capability

The Jeep Patriot (fondly called Pattie by Jeep Patriot’s loyal following) is a front-engine five-door compact crossover SUV known for its versatility and capability off-road. Its multiple trim levels were in production from 2006 to 2016. Like any other Jeep model, it provides drivers with superb traction control needed for off-road trails and slippery road conditions – thanks to its available 4WD systems, namely the Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II. Roomy interiors offer ample passenger and cargo space. Its 60/40-split-folding second-row rear seat allows you to choose your preferred seating arrangement and increase your cargo space to 53.5 ft³ for hauling and transporting larger items. Other standard features include curtain airbags, Sentry Key theft deterrent system, vinyl load floor, six-CD stereo with auxiliary output jack, tilt wheel, and sliding center console armrest.

A Wrangler Alternative

Despite its terrific attributes, the Patriot was not the crowd favorite when it debuted in 2007. Consumers were unimpressed that it did not come with A/C as a standard. FCA corrected this the following year, along with adding a CVT and auto stick manual transmission. Additional features included side-seat airbags, power locks and mirrors, satellite radio, trailer tow package, and the MusicGate speaker system. However, critiques were still not dazzled with its interior styling and squared-off look. Along the way, the Jeep Patriot eventually became popular due to its reasonable price point and insurance cost. It became the go-to vehicle for consumers who wanted to own a premium Jeep model but couldn’t afford one.

End of Life for the Off Road Jeep Patriot

FCA phased out the Jeep Patriot in 2017 to make way for the 2nd generation Jeep Compass. It was very timely indeed, as the Patriot and Compass models had been around for quite a long time that these models started to feel lackluster. The replacement Jeep model was fondly called the Compatriot before its official release and was a snug fit between the Renegade and Cherokee.

Jeep Patriot Parked
Flickr – RL GNZLZ

Despite the end of life for both the Patriot and Compass models, these cars still dominate the used vehicle segment in the U.S. and other countries – this leaves consumers a difficult choice between the two when buying a quality, pre-loved vehicle. Choosing one over the other depends on your preference as a consumer. The Patriot and Compass ride on the same platform, so the difference between the two is close to negligible. Both these models even tap on the Freedom Drive II for their off-roading credibility.

Jeep Patriot Specs and Features

  • Engine – It has a Gas I4 2.4L DOHC SMPI 16-valve dual-VVT I4 engine, or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder available in 4WD models. It has a Bore x Stroke ratio of 88 mm x 97 mm. Displacement is 1,999-2,360 cm3. The compression ratio is 10.5:1. Fuel capacity is 51 L (11.22 UK gallons or 13.47 US gallons).
  • Powertrain – Its 2.4-liter comes with a five-speed manual transmission (CVT optional) and later on with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.0-liter only comes with CVT. It spews 158-172 hp @ 6000 RPM with max torque at 191.17 Nm (141 lb-ft) @ 5,000 RPM for 2.0-liter and 223.71 Nm (165 lb-ft) @ 4,400 RPM for 2.4-liter engines. It has power-assisted rack and pinion steering, front-wheel drive, and two 4WD systems – Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II. Combined city and urban fuel efficiency top out at 26-30 US mpg; combined fuel consumption is 7.2-9.7 L/100 km.
  • Tires – Stock tire sizes on 17-inch alloy wheels are P215/65R17 front tires and P205/70R16 rear tires for the Sport trim; P215/60R17 for the Limited trim. Keep a Black+Decker Multipurpose Inflator (view on Amazon) handy in your vehicle. This all-in-one inflation and charging solution will keep your tires inflated during long weekend adventures.
  • Brakes – It has a four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system with brake assist. Front brake rotors are 11.5 in x 1.0 in; rear brake rotors are 10.3 in x 0.4 inches.
  • Suspension – It features an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension. Having a lift kit will increase your ground clearance, allowing for improved maneuverability on slick roads and dirt.
  • Dimensions – The overall length is 173.6 inches, and the width without mirrors is 69.1 inches. Its height is 64.4-65.6 inches; minimum ground clearance is 8.0-8.11 inches (203-206 mm); wheelbase is 103.7 inches. The base curb weight is 1410–1475 kg (3,108.5-3,251.8 lbs) for its Sport trim and 1437-1595 kg (3,168-3,516.4 lbs) for its Limited trim. GVWR is 2,012 kg.
  • Interior – The Jeep Patriot came with A/C, heated front seats, front reading lamps, cargo compartment lamp, and adjustable lumbar for driver seat. It offers 40.6-inch legroom and a 54.2 ft3 cargo volume to the first row. Bucket seats are made of cloth and repel stains well – this eventually changed to leather-trimmed seat covers for more recent models.
  • Exterior – Jeep Patriot came with side roof rails, body-color fascia, accent color liftgate applique, foldable manual mirrors, and front license plate attachment screws. Limited trims came with sunroof (power moon roof for 2017 models). All 2007 models had an auto-dimming rearview mirror lighting system, variable-speed intermittent wipers, universal garage door opener, and a luggage rack.
  • Infotainment – It comes equipped with an AM/FM radio with CD player, satellite radio, MP3 player, auxiliary audio input, steering wheel audio controls, and navigation system. Other trims and special edition releases came with Sirius XM radio and better audio and speaker systems.
  • Freedom Drive I – a full-time, active 4WD system that sends up to 60% of torque to the rear wheels when locked.
  • Freedom Drive II – a 4WD system that gives a 19:1 low-range 4WD mode, and comes with skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps, and manual seat-height adjuster. It also includes a hill-start assist, hill-descent control, off-road brake traction, and body sealing to ford increased water depths.
Black Jeep Patriot Sport
Flickr – RL GNZLZ

Jeep Patriot Models

  • Sport: Models came with 2.0L I4 Engine (4X2) or 2.4L I4 Engine (4X4). Standard features included anti-theft ignition, folding rear bench seat, and tinted windows. Cruise control was also part of the features, although not for all year models.
  • Latitude: Among the improved features were Power Windows with One-Touch auto-down feature, Power Door locks, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless entry with panic feature and security system. SIRIUS-XM Satellite Radio was an optional accessory. Air-conditioning came standard with the 2008 and newer models.
  • Limited: It had cloth seating surfaces, power front-driver seats, power sunroof, and U-Connect hands-free Bluetooth telephone system.
  • North Edition: A trim that is exclusive to Canada. It replaced the Latitude trim with slightly different equipment.
  • Sport Plus and Overland: These are two of four trims exclusively offered in European countries. Both trims had a 2.0 L Volkswagen PD Diesel Engine, which was later replaced by a 2.2 L Mercedes-Benz Twin-Cam Common Rail Diesel engine delivering 163 hp (122 kW).
  • 70th Anniversary Edition: This model was offered from May to October 2011 to commemorate the Jeep history. It was derived from the Jeep Patriot Sport off road model and came in olive or beige interiors. It also had a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics premium sound system with subwoofer and fold-down liftgate speakers, Sirius XM Radio, and leather seats.
  • Altitude Edition: It featured black leather upholstery with matching-color alloy wheels, a nine-speaker sound system, Sirius XM Radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and black-painted exterior accents. It was only available for a few months starting from May 2012. FCA produced a High Altitude limited-edition trim in 2015.
  • Freedom Edition: This model was offered in 2013 to commemorate Jeep’s commitment to the U.S. Army and military, and all soldiers who have served. It had a distinctive star hood decal, power leather seats, and dark-finished alloy wheels. It also featured Commando Green Metallic exterior paint not available on other 2013 models.

Pain Points – Jeep Patriot Reviews

If you’ve guessed that water leak is what customers frequently complain about, you’re right. The Jeep Patriot is a Jeep, after all (no pun intended) – its off-road design simply makes it prone to water buildup. In no way am I recommending shrugging this off. But to be fair with the manufacturer, this one area of flaw should not encompass people’s perception of the Jeep Patriot’s reliability.

Concurrently, knowledge of the Patriot’s trouble spots is something consumers should be made aware of. This information is crucial to making well-thought buying decisions. Ultimately, a healthy level of transparency would rarely fail at converting a cheapskate into a consumer willing to take reasonable risks to own a decent, budget-friendly reliable vehicle.

The table below shows the Jeep Patriot’s top five issues based on 790 customer complaints received by CarComplaints.com:

Worst IssueWorst TopicsWorst Years
2008 Patriot sunroof leaks (43)Body (186)2008 (168)
2009 Patriot water leaking into interior (36)Windows (120)2009 (121)
2008 Patriot water leaks into interior (30)Transmission (113)2014 (90)
2009 Patriot leaking sunroof (27)Engine (107)2011 (78)
2015 Patriot water leaks into interior (22)Electrical (57)2012 (74)

The biggest problem category for Jeep Patriot is body/paint problems followed by water leaks. According to Patriot owners, body/paint problems occurred starting at 16,000 miles. Additionally, Jeep savants stay wary of the 2011 Jeep Patriot due to reported higher repair costs and problems at lower mileage. Although 2008 and 2009 models are seemingly the most troublesome, 2011 models top the list of most complaints received – a total of 443, which mostly consists of transmission and engine problems. Sadly, this also overshadows the fact that FCA released 46 technical service bulletins or TSBs that year to try to correct technical predicaments reported by customers.

Besides the most-complained issues you see above, here are other reasons that steered consumers away from the Patriot towards its competition:

  1. Lack of modern technology
  2. Poor acceleration
  3. Mediocre interiors
  4. Maintenance prone
  5. Noisy interior at highway speeds
  6. Below-par safety test scores

Jeep Patriot Off Roading

Here are four off-road tips on how to fully equip your Jeep Patriot for some off-roading fun:

  • A Jeep’s approach angle plays a big part in its off-road capability. The best way to improve this is by doing a lift or adding a skid plate, installing bigger mud-terrain tires, and getting a Jeep Patriot off road bumper (front and rear). The below video by RallyWrex915 shows how to install a 2-inch lift kit on a 2015 Jeep Patriot:
  • If you don’t want enormous tires, consider replacing your stock tires with a good set of Jeep Patriot off road tires like Cooper CS5 GRAND TOURING Radial Tire-205/70R16 97T (view on Amazon). The specific design of these tires spells comfort, agile handling, and a quiet ride. Airing down these tires 12-15 psi also helps with traction when driving on muddy forest tracks.
  • Adding a roof-mounted fog light assembly (view on Amazon) makes night camping more thrilling. It can also substitute for a bonfire if you do not have planks of wood nearby.
  • You may want better fuel mileage when riding on forest trails and fields, but turning off your Traction Control will not help you in this area. It is a safety feature meant to keep your vehicle upright and on course in the event of slippage and is best left alone.

Whichever year model of the Jeep Patriot you have, these recommendations will improve your car’s off-roading characteristics. Note that these are not exhaustive – there are plenty of Jeep Patriot off road parts that you can install on your Pattie to turn it into a trail monster. If you want to get the best out of this vehicle, experts recommend buying a 2017 Patriot – it already comes equipped with modern tech that is absent from the earlier models.

FAQ: Off Road Jeep Patriot

  • How much does a Jeep Patriot cost? Its original MSRP was from $14,550 to $21,555. The average price paid for used Patriots regardless of trim and model year is between $11,398 and $20,275. Some pre-owned 2007 Jeep Patriots sell for as low as $2,060-$7,880.
  • Is Jeep Patriot Trail Rated? The Jeep Patriot’s CVT-equipped 4WD version carries the Trail Rated badge.
  • How many miles does a Jeep Patriot last? A Jeep Patriot can last 150,000 miles or more with proper maintenance. Some Patriot owners claim to have up to 290,000 miles with their cars still running great.
  • What kind of gas does a Jeep Patriot take? The Patriot runs on gasoline. Depending on your car’s year model, you may need to check your owner’s manual as some of the Patriot trims require unleaded vs. regular gas/petrol. For best performance, FCA does not recommend using fuels with an Octane rating lower than 87 as these types do not burn correctly and might cause performance problems for your Jeep.
  • What is the difference between a Jeep Patriot Sport and a Jeep Patriot Latitude?  These two are different trim levels of the same car. Refer to the Jeep Patriot Models section of this article for the description of each trim.
  • Are Jeep Patriots good in snow? Engaging its 4WD systems to combat hydroplaning and gain added torque on all four wheels makes the Patriot perform well in ice and snow. So long as the snow is not four to five inches deep.
  • What tire size can I put on my Jeep Patriot?  For the Sport trim, you can use P205/70R16. For the High Altitude and Latitude trims, the recommended tire sizes are P215/65R17, P225/60R17, or P215/60R17. If you install a lift kit, however, you can go for bigger tire sizes.

Conclusion – Jeep Patriot Off Road Capability

The Jeep Patriot will not devour bumpy roads and deep mud pits the same way a Wrangler would. But if you’re looking to challenge its off-road limits, the Patriot will give you a worthy performance. With the right upgrades and proper maintenance, it can do a lot more than give it credit. If you’re searching for an economical vehicle that can provide off-road capability and dependable city driving, then the Jeep Patriot is the perfect model for you!

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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