2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4
2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4×4. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Jil McIntosh

Discuss this story in the forum at CarTalkCanada

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery: 2007 Jeep Patriot

Oshawa, Ontario – The venerable Jeep brand has always been about tradition. The Wrangler is a direct descendant of the Willys model that ferried troops in World War Two, eventually joined by the bigger and more comfortable Cherokee models that basically remained true to their heritage for more than four decades.

The more urban-friendly Liberty broadened the company’s line-up, and for 2007 Jeep introduced two new models, the entry-level Compass and the Patriot.

The two models share liberally with each other and with the Dodge Caliber, taking that compact’s wheelbase and its 2.0- and 2.4-litre engines (but not its 1.8-litre). The 2.0-litre is the base engine on the Patriot Sport and the Canada-exclusive Patriot North; the Limited comes only with the 2.4-litre and with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Styling follows the corporate Jeep cues, but where the Compass’ lines are smoother and more rounded, the Patriot is taller and marginally longer, and much boxier, as if it were the offspring of a Compass/Liberty mating.

All three trim lines base with front-wheel drive, or can be optioned to one of two all-wheel systems. Freedom Drive I (I’m surprised available colours aren’t limited to red, white and blue) and my tester’s Freedom Drive II Off-Road which runs mainly in front-wheel, but can transfer up to 60 per cent of torque to the rear wheels when needed, and can be locked into 50/50 at speeds under 15 km/h. Unlike many torque-transfer systems, Freedom Drive responds to accelerator position, and will reassign power when it is advantageous to performance, not just in response to front wheel slippage.

2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4
2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4
2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4×4. Click image to enlarge

The Off-Road option also includes a CVT with 19:1 low-range ratio, 17-inch all-terrain tires, skid plates, full-size spare, hill descent control, tow hooks, heavy-duty alternator and a ride height that’s 25 mm higher, which meets the company’s minimum water-fording ability and helps earn it the Trail Rated designation, the only Patriot model so named. (No Compass models earn the coveted moniker.)

Not all trails are rated equally, though, and I don’t expect too many Wrangler enthusiasts to be trading them in on Patriots just yet. It has a tight turning radius and the hill descent control slows it down nicely on inclines without hitting the brakes, but when I took it into a grassy ditch that the Wrangler and Hummer H3 conquered without breaking a sweat, the Patriot slipped and couldn’t get up the other side. That’s mostly the fault of the tires, not the mechanicals, but if a package comes with “off-road” in the name, every aspect of the vehicle should live up to it out of the box.

The 2.4-litre, a “World Engine” produced by a partnership of Mitsubishi, Hyundai and the former DaimlerChrysler, proved noisy and tepid under acceleration; it felt like the CVT needed some time to “catch up” to it and get the whole package moving. It also tended to idle roughly at stoplights; in combined driving it returned 10.7 L/100 km, against its published consumption of 10.0 L/100 km.

2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4
2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4
2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4
2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4×4. Click image to enlarge

The Patriot shares its interior with the Compass and Caliber, but the famous “Chill Zone” beverage compartment in those vehicles is a large, open cubby that I found just as handy in the Patriot, and there’s a conventional glove-box below it. There are numerous places to stash small items, and I like the rear cargo area, which comes with a tray that can be taken out and washed.

The instrument cluster is taken directly from the Compass, with decorative points that resemble a compass (as with its cousin, a real compass is optional, although it’s much less ironic on this model). Extra standard features on the Limited include heated leather seats, cruise control and leather-wrapped wheel. It’s attractive, but quality could be better: there’s a lot of flashing left on the plastic surfaces, and there’s a very sharp edge where the centre stack bezel meets the dash cover.

My vehicle was optioned with a Boston Acoustics Sound Group, which includes six speakers with a subwoofer, and a Music Gate, a unit containing two speakers that flips down out of the open liftgate to turn the Patriot into a boombox at outdoor parties. The plastic speaker looks cheap, but the system sounds very good, and the stereo is big-buttoned and easy to use.

2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4
2007 Jeep Patriot Limited 4×4. Click image to enlarge

Passenger comfort is good in both rows, but the rear doors don’t open very far and their trim panels are very wide, and access could be better for larger people. With the rear seat upright, the cargo floor is 85 cm long; fold it, and it’s 140 cm long. The front passenger seat folds flat on North and Limited trim lines, for a total cargo length of 250 cm – enough to bring home eight-foot boards with the liftgate closed.

All things considered, it’s hard for me to understand why Jeep has chosen to offer both of them; I see too much overlap in their target markets to justify two separate yet fundamentally similar vehicles. I can see more appeal to the Patriot, with its available Trail-Rated designation a selling point for those who want a Jeep but aren’t ready to commit to the ruggedness of a Wrangler. The company would do well to amalgamate these two models into one, and use the money saved to improve the fit-and-finish of the interior. There’s really nothing wrong with Jeep Lite; it just doesn’t make sense to further water it down with Jeep “Liter.”

Pricing: 2007 Jeep Patriot Limited

  • Base price: $24,235
  • Options: $3,275 (Boston Acoustics Sound Group, $395; Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group, $390; Luxury Floor Mats, $60; CVT with Off-Road Crawl Ratio, $1,700; six-CD/MP3 radio, $455; All-Terrain Tires, $275)
  • Freight: $1,100
  • A/C tax: $100
  • Price as tested: $28,710 Click here for options, dealer invoice prices and factory incentives


  • Click here for complete specifications


  • Buyer’s Guide: 2007 Ford Escape
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2007 Hyundai Tucson
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2007 Kia Sportage

Related articles on Autos

Crash test results

Manufacturer’s web site

Connect with Autos.ca