Originally Posted by 92XJCowboy
I am going in for an interview as a Salesman at a few local Jeep Dealerships and would like to know more than your average salesman about the vehicles. I am doing my own searches but I would like direct answers to my questions.
So if you can, answer as many of these as you want.
What are the bad parts of the Compass/Patriot? The good? (as compared to another brand/model)
What other vehicles did you consider?
What made you buy the Compass/Liberty over the others?
What kind of life/reliability are you getting from your Jeep?
Anything else you feel could be useful would be appreciated.
I can't comment on reliability at this point as I just got my 2011 Patriot in August. No issues to this point but I have only had it 3 months. As to the rest of your questions...
The competition for the Patriot and Compass would be vehicles like the Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain, Honda Pilot, Ford Escape, Kia Sorrento, and Toyota Rav4. Those are the vehicles for the most part that your customers would consider from other mfg's if a Patriot/Compass interested them. Of those the only ones I personally would consider would be the Equinox/Terrain. I did not actually consider them though as I wanted to stay with the dealer I use so the Patriot( Not a fan of the Compass looks = too female for my taste )was really the only vehicle I considered.
Good points to the Patriot and Compass would be...
1 - Fuel Economy. The Patriot and Compass actually get very good fuel economy for what they are. May not be the very best in the group but they are up there near the top. The MPG from these vehicles IMO is a selling PRO point. The FDII equipped models do take a MPG hit due to the lower gear ratio for off road use but the regular FWD and FDI 4WD models get very good MPG for what they are. My Patriot( 2.4L 4WD FDI )is rated at 21/26. I get 23-24 on average( I do about about 75% city/25% highway most tanks ). My worst tank was 19.2 but it was 1/2 tank and I towed my boat for most of it. Worst non towing was 21.4 and that was pretty much all city driving. I have done 2 all highway( 90%+ highway )trips so far. The 1st one was 29.7 MPG and the 2nd was an astonishing 34.7. These numbers are all hand calculated so they are accurate.
2 - Interior Room. I am 6' 3" and weigh 300lbs and I have plenty of leg and head room in my 2011 Patriot. There is actually more room in the Patriot than there is in the Liberty and Wrangler. I know the Compass is the same basic vehicle as the Patriot but for some reason it does not feel as roomy inside. Perhaps due to the rounded roof vs the Patriot's square roof. The Patriot/Compass would make a good family vehicle as there is plenty of room in the front and back. Cargo area is a little small but otherwise lots of interior room.
3 - Very Affordable. A big plus for the Patriot and Compass would be how affordable they are. My 2011 Patriot is a 4WD Latitude model. It has a whole list of options ranging from a premium sound system, to a sunroof, to remote start and it was only $24,700. A decently optioned 4WD model can be had for just $22K. You can get one well under $20K if you stay with FWD and don't go option crazy. The other vehicles mentioned above for the most part will run thousands and thousands more. I know to get an AWD Equinox/Terrain optioned out like my Patriot would be into the low $30K range minimum. Take some time to visit the other mfg's web sites and come up with some prices to compare their vehicles to yours. The bottom line for the Patriot and Compass should be a very big PRO point for you vs the class competition.
4 - Quality. Sort of to go along with #3 I want to talk about quality. To many people if you said look at this Patriot, it is $6K less than that Escape or Equinox you are looking at, they would probably think but it won't be as good quality if it cost that much less. I admit I would generally feel the same. However, the 2011+ Patriot and Compass models are really nice and the quality overall seems really good. The interiors are vastly improved over earlier models and my Patriot is as well built as any vehicle I have ever owned. It is really nice and seems to me anwyay like it should cost more than it did based on what vehicles sell for these days. I downsized to a Patriot after decades of full sized trucks. Ram's and Silverado's. My last Ram was $37K and my last Silverado was $35K. Both were very nice trucks with lots of goodies and were well built. The Patriot is just as nice. For what you pay you get a LOT in return. Another PRO point IMO.
5 - 4WD vs AWD. Most small SUV's/CUV"s these days are going AWD. Automated AWD where the driver has no ability to manually engage or disengage the system as well. The power split is usually 70/30 favoring the front wheels as well so it isn't as effective as 4WD that has an even split of power front and rear. The Patriot and Compass have a traditional 4WD setup with a 50/50 power split that the driver controls. It is more of a hybrid AWD system more than a real HD truck style 4WD setup( i.e. components )but the end result is real 4WD performance and off road capability that AWD vehicles just can not compete with. This was a HUGE factor for me. I had an AWD suv( 2008 Equinox ). It was very good in the snow on road when the automated system could handle what came at it but I hated not having any control over engaging the system. It needed wheel slippage to activate and anyone who has owned and needed 4WD knows once you slip and get stuck it is tooo late to use 4WD many times to save yourself. You need to engage it before when you know a bad situation is coming( slippery boat ramp, off road use, etc... ). Can't do that with automated AWD systems. So the Patriot and Compass 4WD setup is a definite PRO point over the AWD competition.
1 - Suspension woes. The front suspension( ball joints, lower control arms, tie rods, etc... )have been problematic for this platform( Caliber/Compass/Patriot ). It is a poor design and many people have had early failures. Mine is too new to have had this issue but it is a common gripe voiced by LOTS of owners. It is a shame Chrylser has not addressed it.
2 - Sunroof leaks. See #1. Common issue due to a poor drain design.
3 - Patriot Tires. I am commenting solely on the Patriot here not the Compass although some of what I say may apply there too. There is a big lack of quality tires available in the OEM tire sizes - AND - the OEM tires used( Goodyear Eagle LS, Goodyear Wrangler RSA, Firestone Affinity )all flat out SUCK! To get a decent tire for the Patriot you have to upsize. Both the OE 16" and the 2 OE 17" sizes only come in passenger car class tires. The one exception is the Goodyear Wrangle RSA which is a light truck/suv class tire BUT it is not an All Terrain as Jeep claims. It is an All Season and as said it SUCKS! You can get an appropraite quality tire for the Patriot however if you upsize but not in the factory OEM sizes. You are very limited in how large you can go before rubbing occurs though. Chrysler/Jeep really dropped the ball on the tires.
4 - Towing. Very limited towing ability in these vehicles. Again I am commenting specifically on the Patriot. I believe the Compass has the same spec's but not 100% sure. The max towing ability of a Patriot is just 2000lbs if you have the engine oil cooler. It is just a pathetic 1000lbs if you don't( some of the 2.0L models are limited to 1000lbs period ). That is really sad even for a 4cyl vehicle. 2000lbs is NOT a lot so be sure you ask people if they plan to tow with their Patriot or Compass if they know how much the weight is so they don't buy a vehicle that can't tow what they need it to AND so they don't exceed the max capacity and damage the vehicle.
5 - CVT Trans. Seems most people either love it or hate it. CVT's in general are notorious for problems and the one used in the Patriot and Compass( Jatco I think )is no exception. Lots of failures with them. Many do not care for the shift characteristics nor the way it makes the engine buzz and be so loud under load. It hasn't bothered me but many people complain about it. For 2012 Chrysler has tweaked the programming to improve shifting and reduce noise though( so they claim anwyay ).
Hope this helps you out. I applaud your efforts to become informed. Most salespeople haven't got a clue and know less than their potential customers.