By KBB.com Editors
Based on the same platform, the 2009 Jeep Patriot and Compass have similar measurements, similar price ranges and offer almost identical sets of comfort and convenience features. So why would Jeep produce such similar vehicles? Well, the Compass is intended as an asphalt-tuned ride for city slickers, while the Patriot adheres more closely to traditional Jeep principles. Indeed, the Patriot's more rugged suspension and powertrain options deliver enough off-road performance for it to earn Jeep's "Trail Rated" badges.You'll Like This Car If...
Whether you're looking for a daily driver with a rugged streak or a nimble off-roader that you can comfortably take to work, there's a Jeep Patriot model for you.You May Not Like This Car If...
Especially compared to the vehicles with which the higher-priced Patriot models compete, the Jeep falls short in overall interior refinement.What's New for 2009
The 2009 Jeep Patriot receives some interior improvements including a new instrument panel design, soft touch materials on the door and center console and increased sound insulation around the engine bay and floor pan. Front-wheel-drive models now offer the option of a 2.4-liter PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) engine.Driving It Driving Impressions
With the increased off-road capability engineered into it, we might have expected the Patriot's highway ride to be rougher than those of its Compass and Dodge Caliber relatives. As it turns out, the Patriot might be the most comfortable cruiser of the three. The compromise seems to have been made in the cornering department; wisely, where we wouldn't expect or require much from a Jeep anyway. Where the Patriot really impressed us was out past the pavement, where our "Trail Rated" model was able to traverse bona fide boulders with unexpected ease and composure. As with all such devices, the unique behavior of the Patriot's two available continuously variable transmissions can take some getting used to.Favorite Features
Freedom Drive II (Trail Rated) Off Road Package
"Trail Rated" Patriot models include a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT2) with low range and 19:1 crawl ratio, skid plates, tow hooks, hill descent control, heavy-duty cooling system, nine-inch ground clearance and 19-inch water fording capability.
As part of the 458-watt Boston Acoustics premium audio system, the Patriot's rearmost speakers flip down from the open liftgate to project outward. Outdoorsy Jeep types will find it an especially alluring option.