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2010 Jeep Patriot Preview

2010 Jeep Patriot Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009

2010 Jeep PatriotCritical Facts:
  • Introduced in 2007
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Jeep "Trail Rated"credentials
  • Standard 4-cylinder powerplants
  • Available continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Six trim levels available
  • Assembled in the United States

Introduction

Introduced in 2007, the Jeep Patriot is a compact 4-door crossoverbuilt on the shared DaimlerChrysler/Mitsubishi GS platform. The front-or all-wheel-drive chassis is also used by the DodgeCaliber,MitsubishiLancer and the Chrysler Sebring convertible, among others.The Patriot is considered the automaker's entry-level off-road model,and while it is about the same size as the Jeep Compass,thatparticular compact crossover is not designed for rugged off-road use.


Overview
Jeep sells its Patriot in six different trim levels: Sport 4x2, Sport4x2 E Package, Sport 4x4 E Package, Sport 4x4, Limited 4x2, and Limited4x4. Standard models are fitted with cloth upholstery while Limitedmodels feature leather-trimmed bucket seats. A 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3audio system is standard. The Limited model upgrades the stereo toinclude a 6-changer CD player and Sirius satellite radio.

The Jeep Patriot is offered with two different engines and threetransmission choices. The standard engine on "Sport" and "Limited" trimlevels is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder rated at 172 horsepower and 165lb.-ft. of torque. It can be paired with a 5-speed manual transmission;the CVT2 (continuously variable transaxle with AutoStick shifter); or asecond variant of the CVT2 that includes a lower 19.1:1 first-gearcrawl ratio for off-road use. The optional engine is a smaller2.0-liter 4-cylinder rated at 158 horsepower and 141 lb.-ft. of torque.It is offered with a 5-speed manual transmission or Jeep's "CVT2."

Suspension is an independent MacPherson strut design in the front andmulti-link independent design in the rear. Standard wheels are 16-inchsteel, while 17-inch cast aluminum alloy wheels with rugged off-roadtires are optional. The Jeep Patriot is rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds.

 Technology

The Jeep brand has historically been associated with rugged off-roadvehicles-the company has even branded the "Trail Rated" capabilities ofits vehicles. While the Jeep Patriot is essentially a front- orall-wheel-drive platform (a powertrain not commonly associated withoff-road abilities), the automaker has gone out of its way to ensurethe ground clearance, suspension articulation, maneuverability,traction, and ability to ford water are up to its standards. That said,the automaker gives the Patriot a "Trail Rated" label and says the trimlevel with the Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group package offersbest-in-class off-road capabilities.

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