Used Car Review

2008 Jeep Patriot: Used Car Review

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author photo by Ron Sessions January 2016

As one of the first car-based cute utes from the fabled SUV maker, the 2008 Jeep Patriot blends traditional Jeep styling with a compact-car chassis. As a result, the Patriot's ride and handling, step-in height and fuel economy are more akin to a car's, with two versions rated at 30 miles per gallon on the highway by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Along with the Compass, the Patriot is the first Jeep available with front-wheel drive. Being a Jeep, two 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems are also offered. The 5-door hatchback will carry five passengers (only four comfortably) and 29.2 cu ft. of cargo (up to 54.2 cu ft. with the rear seat folded flat). For 2008, the Patriot adds standard air conditioning and a few chrome accents.

What We Like

Decent fuel economy; traditional Jeep styling; choice of two 4WD systems; Uconnect infotainment system; fold-down front passenger seat; standard stability control

What We Don't

Buzzy engine; disconnected feel of the continuously variable transmission (CVT); hard-plastic interior trim; numb steering; side airbags are not standard

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2008 Patriot is available with a choice of two engines. Standard on all models is a 2.4-liter double-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 4-cylinder with 172 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque. 2008 fuel economy ratings are downgraded a few mpg from the 2007 Patriot: With standard front-wheel drive, it received an EPA rating of 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with the 5-speed manual transmission and 21 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with the CVT. Four-wheel-drive models are rated at 22 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with the 5-speed manual, 21 mpg city/24 mpg hwy with the CVT or 20 mpg city/22 mpg hwy with the CVT and Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group. It runs on regular unleaded.

Optional only on the Patriot Sport with front-wheel drive and the CVT automatic is a 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder rated at 158 hp and 141 lb-ft of torque. This drivetrain combo is intended for buyers who won't venture off road and are willing to trade acceleration for improved fuel economy. EPA estimates are 23 mpg city/27 mpg hwy. It also runs on unleaded regular fuel.

Standard Features & Options

The 2008 Patriot is available in Sport and Limited trim.

Although it adds standard air conditioning for 2008, the bare-bones Sport comes standard with just the basics: vinyl seats and cargo load floor, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, a tilt (no telescope) steering wheel, a 60/40-split fold-flat rear bench seat, 205/70R16 tires wrapping 16-inch steel wheels, black roof side rails, a rear-window wiper/washer and manual windows, mirrors and door locks. Standard safety gear includes dual-front airbags, overhead airbags, electronic roll mitigation, stability and traction control and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. Popular Sport options include cloth seats, heated front seats, SiriusXM radio, a 6-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system and front-seat side airbags. Most Limited features, such as power windows, door locks and mirrors, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control, deep-tinted sunscreen glass and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, are available on Sport models as options.

Moving up to the Limited trim adds cruise control, leather seat trim, deep-tinted sunscreen glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, heated front seats, a height-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, remote keyless entry, fog lamps, 215/60R17 tires on 17-in alloy wheels, a reclining 60/40-split rear seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 115-volt outlet, a removable interior flashlight, map lights, bright roof rails with adjustable crossbars and power windows, door locks and mirrors. Options available only on Limited include a sunroof, Uconnect hands-free communication, a trip computer, a cargo tonneau cover and a navigation system.

A 2000-lb Trailer Tow package includes an engine oil cooler and a rear wiring harness.

All Patriots can be equipped with 4-wheel drive. Freedom Drive I is a full-time, active system that can be driven year-round. A lock mode for the center coupling provides extra traction in deep snow and sand. Freedom Drive II is a trail-rated off-road package with an extra inch of ground clearance for traversing steep terrain and fording water up to 19 inches deep. Skid plates, 17-in all-terrain tires, tow hooks, Hill Descent Control, Brake Traction Control and a CVT2L continuously variable transmission with a 19:1 low ratio are included.


Seldom accepted by the traditional Jeep crowd, the Patriot doesn't enjoy the resale value of a Wrangler or Grand Cherokee. Therefore, previously owned examples can be used-car bargains. And since these are rarely taken off road, they're less likely to be banged up with trail damage.

To get a good idea of the prices of 2008 Jeep Patriots, check out the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recall for the 2008 Jeep Patriot:

Marathon-brand extra-thick Superhide front-seat covers may interfere with the operation of the front-seat side airbags, which could result in increased injury risk in a collision.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2008 Patriot four stars for driver's-side frontal impacts and rollover performance and five stars for front-passenger front impacts and side impacts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2008 Patriot a Poor rating for small-overlap front impacts, a Good rating for moderate-overlap front impacts, an Acceptable rating for head restraints and seats and a Good rating for roof strength. As for side impacts, it rated the Patriot as Marginal without the optional seat-mounted side airbags but Good when equipped with those side airbags.

The Chrysler Group covered the 2008 Patriot with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty including roadside assistance, a 5-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty and an unprecedented unlimited miles/unlimited distance powertrain warranty. The catch is that the unlimited powertrain warranty is for original new-car owners only.

The 2008 Patriot is too old to qualify for certified pre-owned status.

Other Cars to Consider

2008 Ford Escape -- Ford restyled this popular-selling urban runabout for 2008. The Escape is offered with a 153-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder or a 200-hp 3.0-liter V6. There is also a hybrid version. It has carlike road manners and a roomy interior. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are offered.

2008 Subaru Forester -- All Foresters come with 4-wheel drive and have a good reputation for all-weather traction and durability. The roomy crossover wagon is available with a 173-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 224-hp 2.5-liter turbo.

Autotrader's Advice

The Patriot has always been the red-haired stepchild of the Jeep lineup, shunned by Jeep loyalists, but it's a good all-around transportation buy with lots of interior room for its size and decent fuel economy. Few were sold with the 5-speed manual, so make sure you extensively drive a Patriot that you may be buying to make sure you are OK with the somewhat disconnected feel of the CVT automatic. To get cruise control and power windows, mirrors and door locks, look for a Limited or a Sport with an upgrade package. Always get a Carfax vehicle-history report. Look for a Jeep that's seen obvious care and stay away from modified examples. Check with the dealer to make sure the Patriot you're shopping for has had all safety recall items addressed.

Find a Jeep Patriot for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2008 Jeep Patriot: Used Car Review - Autotrader