I've owned my '08 Patriot 5spd manual for 3 weeks now. I'm still in the "Honeymoon" stage. I've already hand-washed it this morning!
Anyway, I sold my '04 Mazda b2300 Pickup Truck because of an expanding family. I done my research, looked at all the options for vehicles that sat 5 people under $16,000. It came down to three: Scion xD, Kia Sportage, and Jeep Patriot.
What really finally sold me on the Jeep Patriot was the $2500 cash back. That made it cheaper than either of the 2.
It also felt more roomier than the Scion xD, and I liked the styling better than the Kia Sportage. It also had a better MPG than the Kia. I've filled up the tank twice now, and kept track of mileage and gallons. I'm getting around 27-28mpg in city!
The Jeep also has stabillity control, 4-wheel ABS, and side-airbags for their standard base model! (In the past, ABS has saved my butt more than I'm willing to admit! I like to think I'm more a mature driver now).
It has a pretty short shift. Takes-offs are quick, but acceleration is lacking a bit. Not really a big thing for me. The engine noise is pretty quiet UNTIL you reach about 70MPH. Then you really hear it whine. It almost sounds like it needs a 6th gear. I'm sure it's fine, just a bit loud.
The rear seats are roomy as well. I sat back there on drives while my fiance drove. The rear seats takes up some of the very rear storage space. I recently was in the back seat of my friend's Jeep Cherokee, and was cramped! The rear seats of course fold down if I need some expanded space.
Anyway, the sale price for the Patriot Sport "D" package came out to $13,029 after the rebate. I also talked the salesman to drop the destination charge with saved me an additional $500. I sold my truck for $5500 and also had an additional $4000.
After TTL (8.1% sales tax) and dealer junk fees, total was $14,592 out the door. I put a total of $9000 down and just financed $5,592. I used the extra $500 to tint the windows ($170), buy a bug shield ($62), crossbars ($112), and Mopar Speed Control ($200).
All in all, I'm extremely happy with what I got for the price.