What Changed for 2008:
- Engine and transaxle recalibrated to improve drivability and reduce noise
- Air conditioning becomes standard
- New chrome interior accents for all models
- Tire-pressure monitor now standard
- Manual shiftgate added to continuously variable transmission
The Jeep Patriot is a compact, 5-occupant crossover utility vehicle and a fraternal twin to the Jeep Compass. Both were introduced for the 2007 model year. Like the Compass, it is built on a car-style front-wheel drive (2WD) chassis and is offered with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system called Freedom Drive I. Unlike the Compass, the Patriot is also offered with Freedom Drive II, a \"Trail Rated\" AWD system with low-range gearing. Only 4-cylinder power is offered. The second-row seat folds down for 54.2 cubic feet of cargo room. An available fold-flat front passenger seat allows for loading larger items.
The 2008 Jeep Patriot is offered in Sport and Limited models, both with 2WD or AWD. Standard on Sport are vinyl upholstery; air conditioning; outside-temperature indicator; AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary audio jack; vinyl load floor; center console sliding armrest with cell phone or MP3 pocket; 60/40 split rear seat; tilt steering column; roof rails; and P205/70R16 all-season tires on steel wheels. The Limited version adds cruise control; leather upholstery; heated front seats; height-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment; fold-flat front passenger seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; Sirius satellite radio; power windows, mirrors and locks; auto-dimming rearview mirror; remote keyless entry; electronic vehicle information center; universal garage door opener; floor mats; fog lamps; and P215/60R17 tires on alloy wheels.
Options on the Patriot include a DVD-based navigation system; sunroof; premium sound system with 2 articulating liftgate speakers; 6 Boston Acoustics speakers and a subwoofer; YES Essentials cloth upholstery that Jeep says is stain-, odor- and static-resistant; 6-disc CD changer; and a towing package.
Standard on the 2008 Jeep Patriot is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 172 hp at 6000 rpm and 165 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. It comes with a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). EPA fuel economy numbers are 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway with 2WD and manual transmission; 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway with AWD and manual transmission; 21 mpg city/25 mpg highway with 2WD and CVT; 21 mpg city/24 mpg highway with Freedom Drive I and CVT; and 20 mpg city/22 mpg highway with Freedom Drive II and the CVT.
Available as a credit option for the 2WD Sport model is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 158 hp at 6400 rpm and 141 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm. It comes only with the CVT and its EPA fuel economy estimates are 23 mpg city/27 mpg highway. The Patriot's Freedom Drive I AWD system does not have low-range gearing but does have a locking center differential to send 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels. The Freedom Drive II system has low-range gearing, and comes with Hill Descent Control; one-inch-higher ground clearance; heavy-duty cooling system; skid plates; tow hooks; interior air filter; and P215/65R17 all-terrain tires on aluminum wheels.
Standard safety features on the 2008 Jeep Patriot consist of dual front air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags; tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist; traction control; and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Torso-protecting front side air bags are optional.
Freedom Drive II routes the power through the front wheels in dry conditions, according to Jeep. An electronically controlled center differential sends power to the rear wheels when needed. The system also uses Brake Traction Control to transfer power from one wheel to the other on the same axle when it detects slip. Pull up on the 4WD Lock handle and the system sends 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels. Freedom Drive II also comes with Off-road ABS, which locks the wheels longer so dirt or terrain builds up in front of the wheels to help the vehicle stop sooner, the automaker adds.