I rented a Patriot last week, and was surprised at how well I like it. I really liked filling it up for $36 instead of the $75 my Tahoe requires. I spent a day or so in it, and it was comfortable. So I'm really thinking of purchasing a used one for a work vehicle. My Tahoe is approaching 180,000 miles and I'm ready for something less expensive to operate.
This was a 2014 model, not sure what engine, but it had the 6-speed auto. I drove it thru mountains, and it held up fine, and the manual shift worked great downshifting the descents, the 4-cylinder surprised me with power, really wasn't expecting much.
How are the Patriots holding with high mileage. Are the tranny's holding up? I believe I want to avoid the CVT, and not really interested in 4x4, I also have a Wrangler. Anything I need to avoid or look out for in buying. Not sure what year model I'll be looking at. Want to stay around $10,000-$12,000, so I'll probably be looking at 07-09's. Also, did much change in 2010 that I should go to the newer model?
Before I bought mine I did some research and was surprised to find that Consumer Reports (for what its worth) has rated the transmissions and engine as very reliable from the beginning of the model, including the CVT. The bigger issues are that pre-2011 the factory suspensions wore out pretty quickly and general fit/finish/noise concerns. So older models are going to have issues there that a newer model won't. From what I can tell there was a big improvement in '09 and another one in '11 as far as model refreshes go.
I got my '09 for $12k, but that was a pretty low price compared to what KBB says they should be worth (at least for a 4WD model). So good luck. As with any used car make sure you have it checked out beforehand by a mechanic.
My '13 has been great. I already have 7,500 miles on it since buying it with 2 miles. Making the move back into the city soon so I won't be putting so many daily miles on it. I agree on the gas. I was paying $75 three times a week with my Mountaineer but now it's more like $40 for the week. I've done some very light off road activity but the Patriot has been excellent; no scares.
We've had our '08 for about a year. Went from 83,000 or so to 103,000? I think on it this week. I researched the hell out of these before I bought one as it is the first domestic vehicle product I've purchased aside from pickup trucks. Ours is a 5 speed 4x4; I also have a company Patriot that is a 4x2 CVT 2012 model.
Reliability: Common failure items are few. Ball joints are notorious for failure; figure about every 60,000 for the OEM junk. MOOG makes replacements that do not require replacing the entire control arm like the ChryCo ones that have grease fittings, so in theory they should last far longer. Even if they don't, they are less expensive than the OEM. We had to do a real wheel bearing on ours recently but it gave plenty of very noisy warning; also not really expensive. The sway bar end links started to rattle (pretty common failure on a lot of modern cars), super cheap from NAPA and very easy to do if the things aren't rusted in place. The radio has taken a crap so I need to replace it with something that will play the wife's Ipod (cheaper to replace with aftermarket than buying a used OEM from the junkyard). I've heard of struts going bad near 100,000 but ours still rides pretty good. Depending on the wheel size you get tire choices may be limited. Avoid the sunroof models as they leak more often than not. That's pretty much the laundry list of failures...much better than worrying about timing belts and head gaskets like the Subaru it replaced.
Annoyances: the gas tank is small, so you'll find you're refilling it more than you'd think you should. MPG is typically mid-20s regardless of transmission type or 4x4 or not. The interior prior to (I think) 2010 is a little more plasticky than the newer ones; my fleet model is much nicer. The stock manual trans shifter feels as cheap as it looks so we replaced it with a leather MOMO knob. That's it for my list of annoyances!
5 speeds are harder to find but seem to be more common in the 4x2 models. Shifting and clutch action are good and not as vague or clunky as I would have expected. The CVT in the 2012 which I expected to loathe is actually darn good. The cheapest models will have vinyl seats which are easy to clean but not nearly as pleasant as the cloth in the better models. These things have quite a few surprising features so when you do get one be sure to read the owner's manual so you are actually aware of them!
As someone who expected little and was reluctant to trust the quality of a 1) domestic product and 2) a Chrysler product (my '81 Charger 2.2 is better left to distant memory) I've been surprised and pleased thus far with the Patriot and have no reservations about recommending them.
That's interesting about the CVT. I've never driven a car with CVT. Avoiding it because I have no idea what they are, if they are reliable or expensive to repair. On the other hand, I would hate to know what it would cost to overhaul a 6 speed automatic transmission.
I also noticed that about the small gas tank. How far do you go on a tank. I was usually getting close to 300 miles on the highway,
The CVT took some getting used to, and I am not a huge fan of the transition from slowing to almost a stop, then accelerating again, has a bit of a thunk. But once I learned how to drive it, i almost never get that thunk, and I even forget I am driving a cvt. Its the same unit used in nissan/suzuki/mistubishi vehicles, and is very bullet proof. I have heard of an extremely few failures out there. most issues seem to be with old fluid or over/under filled fluid, so making sure that fluid is replaced properly and by somebody who knows what they are doing is important. here is the site for the maker of that cvt: http://www.jatco.co.jp/ENGLISH/products/cvt/jf011e.html.
I have a FDII, and gas mileage isn't what I would really like to see, and having a lift and larger tires doesn't help. I get between 19 and 23 mpg, but average is closer to 20.5. And the summer heat doesn't help, as we often let the car idle to cool it down before cramming our kids into it. but I knew I was getting lower mpg's to get the added off road options.
with I rarely go below 1/4 of a tank and get at least 200 miles out of that, a lot of city driving. I don't have a super accurate mpg's since my wife drives it a lot, and will fill it up without resetting the trip or making note of the mileage when filling. If I go off roading, it will be less, and if I drive on the highway, it goes up. its gas tank is really too small to be honest... I would love if it was closer to 18 gallons, vs the 13...
I'm leaning back toward getting a Patriot because it seems to be a little bit bigger and possibly easier to see out of. So the news about the realiability is good; especially compared to the blown head gaskets, wheel bearing issues I've had with my Equinox.
Its good to hear all this. I've been wanting a smaller fuel efficient work vehicle, but wasn't going to spend a lot of money for something that gets 20mpg on the highway, when my Tahoe gets 17. I didn't care for the other options that get higher mpg, but I do like the Patriot. I'm going to start cleaning up the Tahoe for sale and look for a Patriot.
I think if you go with the FDI vs the FDII you can expect about 25-27mpg, average. at least that what people see on the other jeep patriot forum... (lots of discussion on it there) the FDII really takes a big hit on fuel economy, and unless you actually use it often, its not worth it. so that's a 8-10 mpg increase, or a savings of about 7 bucks per 100 miles driven on current gas prices (I just filled up tonight at $3.479)
I was curious about the CVT too... I knew it wasn't Chrysler built but couldn't remember where it came from. If it's the same CVT that Nissan uses it is a good unit, Nissan has used them for many years without issue.
Don't know who made the ones Ford used for some years but I didn't care for it at all when I drove one, and they have a nasty habit of grenading without warning at about 90-100k. The Nissan's don't.