2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
Jeep bridges the gap between Compass and Commander. With the Patriot, the American company wants to catch up on the sleepy development and win back customers.
By Stefan Grundhoff
Jeep no longer wants to remain the small but fine off-road brand. BMW, Toyota or Hyundai should not be the only ones who the station wagon switchers run into the muscular arms: The latest lure is the Jeep Patriot.
Make three out of two
The Jeep Patriot actually already exists - in three versions. His two direct twin brothers are called Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass: among other things, it shares the platform, drive and engines with them. One relies solely on American styling and low prices. The other lures with all-wheel drive, new Jeep dimensions and a rounded, modern appearance. The new Jeep Patriot also has a big brother. The Commander is much more generously sized, more powerfully motorized and has space for up to seven people. Thanks to its angular, robust styling, the five-seater Patriot clearly looks up to its off-road model.
After the Compass, the 4.41 meter long and at least 24,000 euros expensive Patriot is the second model with which Jeep wants to tap into those customer groups that have migrated to the competition in droves in recent years. Many of those who were previously enthusiastic about vans and station wagons have long had their hearts set on the all-wheel drive business. Thanks to the variety of brands, the range is almost overwhelming.
Only Jeep, next to Land Rover the oldest and most established 4x4 veteran, had simply passed the trend towards mass business in good old Europe and is now stepping up. The Compass, which has been on the market since autumn last year, faces north and this is where the Patriot will soon be. Technically largely identical, but optically a whole lot more robust than its brother, it should have a good chance of becoming a successful entry-level model for the brand. Muscular wheel arches, vertical lines and a powerful sideline - this is what successful off-road vehicles looked like in the past.
"With this, we want to win new customers in Europe in particular who previously had no access to the Jeep brand," explains Michael Manley, Vice President International Sales and Marketing at the Chrysler Group, "the classic design is particularly important. One should recognize at first glance that it is a real Jeep. There are deliberately optical references to the Jeep Commander."
Good-natured and uncomplicated
Therefore, Jeep has made the decision to position the Patriot as a real off-road vehicle. Even if technical details such as a hill descent aid or a reduction are missing, the entry-level Jeep can definitely convince off-road. An inexpensive front-wheel drive blender was deliberately avoided. For example, the 1.6-ton American is powered solely by the front axle on dry roads. However, if one of the two wheels spins, up to half of the engine power is transmitted to the rear axle via an electronic clutch. If you know in advance that the ground is slippery, you can also switch on the 4x4 drive manually and enjoy the 20 centimeters of ground clearance.
Regardless of whether you only have front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive - the new entry-level Jeep is good-natured and uncomplicated. It can handle unevenness in the road surface and heavy cross joints without any problems, as can be expected from a vehicle of its class. In fast corners, the strong body roll puts pressure on the pilot's mind. But overly sporty pilots will hardly opt for this soft off-roader, which for the time being is only available with 140 and 170 hp.
6.7 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers
The expected volume model Limited CRD is not exactly opulent, but definitely sufficient. The two-liter engine from VW, which is still quite rough, is convincing especially from the low rev range with a powerful pulling force. The maximum torque of 310 Nm is available from 1,750 rpm.
Even if the manual six-speed gearbox is anything but bad, you want an automatic quickly. But the direct shift gearbox (DSG / S-Tronic) offered by Volkswagen and Audi is left out at Jeep. Consumption of 6.7 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers is well within the limits and a top speed of 189 km / h should also be sufficient.
Interior as usual
The interior of the Patriot can hardly be distinguished from that of the Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber - unfortunately. Like its brothers, the third in the group offers impressive space thanks to its 2.64 meter wheelbase, but also an abundance of inexpensive plastic. The dashboard, center console, side panels or frame headrests - nothing like this is valuable.
The seats lack side support and leg rests, both in the front and in the rear. “The variable interior with adjustable backrests, foldable rear seats and a folding front passenger seat is particularly practical,” says Michael Manley. A lot can be stowed here and the maximum trunk volume is at least 1,357 liters. Six airbags, ABS with bad road detection, ESP and the high belt line ensure safety both subjectively and objectively.
Priced just below Compass
In Europe, the Jeep Patriot will be available from the end of 2007. According to Jeep press spokesman Markus Hauf, the prices for the well-equipped all-wheel drive will be just below those of the Compass. Thus, the 170 hp entry-level petrol engine should cost less than 24,000 euros. Standard on all models: sound system, up to six airbags, ABS, ESP and automatic air conditioning. The luxury model Jeep Patriot Limited 2.0 CRD should cost around 27,000 euros.
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