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Patriot2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
Posted by Anonymous on 2007/2/6 9:52:52 (1837) reads

From Rockcrawler.com:

As we headed into the canyons, the pavement disappeared, the roads got rough and the drop-offs got closer and scarier. But hey, we were in a Jeep, right? Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! We made our charge around the twisty, turny "roads" and they got worse and worse as the miles went on. Mile after mile, though, the Patriot sucked it up. Amazed, I was, at how well it handled the worst washboard and potholed roads I had ever traveled. The shocks staved off fade, the steering stayed true and the wheels never fell off! To top it off, we held a conversation the whole way without wavering voices, without yelling, and without losing our teeth.

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jpcj-725562
Posted: 2007/2/7 8:37  Updated: 2007/2/7 8:37
Just popping in
Joined: 2002/10/4
From: Ohio
Posts: 4
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
I just saw one yesterday and I couldn't believe how small it was! Not much bigger than the Compass!

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MarkH
Posted: 2007/2/7 9:12  Updated: 2007/2/7 9:12
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
No big surprise there.
Caliber & Compass & Patriot = same platform & same basic "New World Engine" 4-banger powertrain.

I priced out some Patriots on the www.jeep.com website & there's no problem getting into the low-mid $20Ks. The mid-$20Ks also can get you a 4dr JKL. I'll be surprised if they sell a lot of Patriots, after the sales from its initial intro die down. Standby for the 2007 Fall Rebate Extravaganza, sure to follow...

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/2/7 11:51  Updated: 2007/2/7 11:51
Home away from home
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From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
But people shopping for a Patriot or Compass probably aren't going to be shopping for a Wrangler in the first place, and vice versa.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/2/6 11:57  Updated: 2007/2/6 11:57
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
I still take issue with DCX calling the Patriot the "spiritual successor to the Cherokee". No it's not. The new JK Unlimited is. And technically, the Liberty was the actual successor/replacement to the Cherokee, and most of the rest of the world calls the Liberty the Cherokee anyway... bit of a contradiction on DCX's part then, calling the Patriot the "spiritual successor to the Cherokee".

Size-wise, the Patriot may fill the Cherokee's slot in the line-up (again though, what about the Liberty?), and it appears to be a capable little vehicle with lots of "sport", IMHO it comes up short in the "utility" aspect when compared with it's "spiritual" predecessor: no 6-cyl motor, and a measly 2000# towing rating, that's the same as a Wrangler! The XJ was rated for up to 5000# towing capacity.

Don't get me wrong, I DO like the Patriot. It should prove to be more capable offroad than its competition (the article on Rockcrawler attests to that), it looks way better than the Compass, and it's got low-range capability, but with only a 4-banger powerplant available, and towing capacity less than a Subaru Forester, it's no successor to the XJ Cherokee, spiritual or otherwise.

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MarkH
Posted: 2007/2/6 12:24  Updated: 2007/2/6 12:43
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Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
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 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
Hmmmmm. Here's my $0.02, for what it's worth.

1) I agree the Patriot is not a "spiritual successor" to the Cherokee. At most, I'd call it a "mini-XJ"... though its 2.4L 4-banger has almost as much HP as the early 4.0L's!!
2) The Liberty is not either. It was originally slated to be sold alongside the Cherokee, up until DCX spontaneously cancelled future production of the XJ (to save $). Since then everyone keeps saying the Liberty is the Cherokee's replacement. It was NOT originally intended that way. Since the two look so different, and appeal to different buyers (predominantly guys vs. predominantly chicks), I don't buy the comparison.
3) The JKL (4dr Wrangler) is certainly NOT a replacement for the XJ. I never bought the analogy that the XJ was a "Jeep and a half" BS. The XJ doesn't have a removable top, never did, and doesn't have the same utilitarian feel as the Wrangler/CJ heritage. So that doesn't fly either.

My money is on the Commander as the "spiritual successor" to the XJ... OK a "supersized-XJ"... but alas, it too has been canceled & looks destined for ancient Jeep history... The resemblance between the two is amazing. My hat's off to the DCX design team for taking a chance and going old school. If the price was lower, a bare-bones version with a 6-spd stick mated to the Hemi, I'd get one.

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jeepxk
Posted: 2007/2/6 13:07  Updated: 2007/2/6 13:07
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/13
From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
I have never read where the Liberty and Cherokee were going to be built along side each other. I think that was just wishfull thinking among XJ lovers. In reality the XJ was supposed to be replaced back in 1993 when the new Grand Chrerokee was introduced. The ZJ was the real "spiritual successor" to the XJ. I don't know how the Partriot fits into the "spiritual successor" title but it is the closest thing since the XJ in terms or size and looks to our beloved Cherokee.
Who cares about all of this anyway. We have a Commander and a 99 Cherokee and I would love to add a Partriot with FDII to our driveway. But then I would also love a Wrangler Unlimited also.
Love our Jeeps!

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MarkH
Posted: 2007/2/6 15:38  Updated: 2007/2/6 15:48
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Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
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 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
jeepxk stated: I have never read where the Liberty and Cherokee were going to be built along side each other. I think that was just wishfull thinking among XJ lovers.

I don't make this stuff up. Here's an old news release from Allpar's archives:
December 21 [2000?] (PM) - Happy Hanukkah Pictures of the new Jeep Liberty have been published ahead of schedule at http://www.jeepclub.co.uk/news/newcherry.html . The Liberty will replace the Cherokee in Europe and possibly other parts of the world, and will actually be given the Cherokee name, which has decent recognition. The old Cherokee will be sold in the United States at least through 2003 if current plans remain stable, alongside the Liberty. It has a fairly traditional look to the body, with a new nose that looks like an Audi take on the Jeep Cherokee.

Sad truth be known: the Liberty was really DCX's marketing answer to the skyrocketing RAV4 sales. XJ sales started to sag in the face of lots of SUV imitators/competitors. At the final moment, they pulled the plug on the XJ and did a bait & switch with the Liberty.

The irony was, when DCX did finally announce the death of the XJ, they was a spike in new factory orders with devoutees trying to get the last ones!

Nonetheless... I want to revise my previous statement. The Commander is NOT the closest "spiritual successor" to the XJ. That title may belong to the NEW boxy Liberty -XJ-look-alike! Look at the photos for the redesigned Liberty. Does that say XJ all over it, or what?! Some people are just determined to shove that KJ into the XJ family tree. This new design may do just that... Hand out enough turkey patties and eventually someone will call it a hamburger...

OK, I'm sick of this spiritual stuff...

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/2/7 11:49  Updated: 2007/2/7 11:49
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
That old press release plainly states that the Liberty was replacing the XJ as the next-gen Cherokee:

The Liberty will replace the Cherokee in Europe and possibly other parts of the world, and will actually be given the Cherokee name, which has decent recognition.


[conspiracy theory]I fully believe that DCX has no intent to keep the XJ through 2003, I think they just said that so that all the XJ faithful here in the US would be happy until they were able to get the KJ out and established a bit. It was just a ruse for the American market -- the rest of the world already knew that the KJ was the new Cherokee.[/conspiracy theory].

When Chrysler designers penned the KJ, the current styling trent in SUV's was curvy. Just look at the original Rav4, or the Explorer from the late 90's. So Jeep followed the trend and made both the XJ's and ZJ's replacements curvy. But by the time they came out with the KJ and WJ, the styling trend in SUV's had swung back to boxy, thanks in great part to Hummer. So then Jeep was stuck with these now odd-ball bubbly SUV's that didn't match traditional Jeep wagon styling or current SUV styling. So now they're [finally] back to boxy with the Commander and next-gen KK Liberty (aka: the baby Commander), both of which bare strong visual resemblance to the XJ, even though both have IFS and are much more road-oriented than the XJ was.

That's where the new JK Unlimited comes in. Other than being a 4-dr 'wagon' style Jeep, it bares little resemblance to the XJ, but with solid axles front and rear, utilitarian design, and room for 4 people plus cargo, I think it's the best-fit XJ replacement for most Jeepers. Of course, this is coming from a guy with a fairly modified XJ on 35's (soon to be 36's), so I'm probably a bit biased towards certain design aspects. ;)

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MarkH
Posted: 2007/2/7 12:50  Updated: 2007/2/7 13:22
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
There's too much evEEdence: http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2001-jeep-cherokee.htm
This old solider was supposed to trudge on for at least a year after introduction of its eventual replacement, the Liberty. Instead, Cherokee goes out of production in summer 2001. The earlier execution reflects Chrysler Group's recent massive losses and its urgent need to trim costs as much as possible. Faltering demand may also have hastened Cherokee's demise, as calendar 2000 sales fell more than 14 percent from 1999 to some 141,500. While even that volume is still quite respectable for a vehicle that's been around 17 years, it apparently wasn't enough for Chrysler managers now struggling to slash expenses and get their company back into the black.

Now if we want the TRUTH about the XJ to KJ transition, that's another story. All we have are press reports and Jeep spokespeople talking of INTENT to sell the two side-by-side...The final decision was supposedly driven by former Mercedes execs based on economics (i.e., the downward trend of XJ sales).

As we know, the OEMs don't give much notice on slashing products/jobs. So, as you say, that may have been a ruse from the get-go. Who knows?

The MY08 Liberty certainly fits the looks of a nuevo-XJ!

Following a string of CJs & YJs, I now have an XJ, too (5spd manual 4.0L '98) but... c'mon!... a JKL it ain't! I don't have a frame... and I can't take my top off... Well, I could, but only once...

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/2/7 14:49  Updated: 2007/2/7 14:49
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
That's why the new Unlimiteds are so great! The size/space us XJ'ers need, with all the other stuff most XJ'ers I know would love to have! A real frame and easily removable top and doors. Everything the XJ was, and should have been, lol.

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icat28340
Posted: 2007/2/6 10:56  Updated: 2007/2/6 10:56
Just popping in
Joined: 2003/4/22
From:
Posts: 1
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
Thanks for reading, Mark. We did catch that error this morning. It was a mis-typed sentence, saying you could not get 4x4 and a 5-speed. You can, but it won't have low range. It was supposed to say you cannot get a Trail Rated 5-speed with Low Range. This has now been clarified.

Michael Cohn
ROCKCRAWLER.com

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MarkH
Posted: 2007/2/6 10:11  Updated: 2007/2/6 10:11
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2007 Jeep Patriot First Drive
The article appears to have a blatant error:
There is no transfer case on any Patriot, therefore you cannot get a 4x4 with a manual transmission...

According to the Jeep websiote, you CAN! I think the author meant that you can't get 4X4-LO with a manual tranny.
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