This is the kind of sub-$20k SUV we expect from Jeep, rather than the Compass that’s barely trail rated to cross the street let alone a rocky fjord. The Patriot, however, will share much of its mechanicals with the Compass, including the 2.4L World Engine four-cylinder that produces 172 hp and 165 ft-lbs. of torque and your choice of either a standard five-speed or CVT transmission. The Patriot can be had in mild mannered FWD trim or with two other more capable off-road packages that do a passable job of impersonating a real Jeep.

The first is called Freedom Drive I and features available full-time, active four-wheel drive with a trick Lock mode that acts like full-time four-wheel drive. The Freedome Drive II package jacks the Patriot up an inch and comes with a second-gen CVT that’s got  a “low range” mode, skid plates, tow hooks, a full-size spare and such electronic off-road nannies as Hill-Descent Control, Off-Road Brake Traction Control and ESP.

The Patriot will go on sale in the third quarter of 2006 and will be built by the prodigal employees of the Belvidere assembly plant.

There’s lots more details on the Patriot in Jeep’s full press release after the jump, as well as a full gallery of pics.

[Source: Jeep]



All-new 2007 Jeep® Patriot Delivers Traditional Jeep Styling, Best-in-class Capability
 
 .    All-new Jeep® technology gives Patriot more capability than any other vehicle in its class, providing confidence in all driving conditions
 .    Patriot introduces rugged, classic Jeep styling at an affordable, entry-level price
 .    Jeep Patriot’s interior features utility, flexibility and many cool innovations
 .    Value abounds with excellent fuel economy and a long list of standard safety features
 
Auburn Hills, Mich., Apr 9, 2006  -
The Jeep® brand continues its expansion into untraveled territory with the 2007 Jeep Patriot. This all-new compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) delivers fun, freedom, utility and best-in-class Jeep 4x4 capability, as well as a new entry-level price point for the Jeep brand.

Based on the Jeep Patriot concept first introduced at the 2005 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, the 2007 Jeep Patriot is a modern interpretation of traditional Jeep styling. Jeep Patriot combines the packaging and interior flexibility of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a compact car or small pickup. Safety features, such as standard side-curtain air bags and standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), add to Jeep Patriot’s tremendous value.

All-new Jeep technology gives Patriot more capability than any other vehicle in its class. Jeep Patriot will be available in the United States and Canada in three drive configurations: front-wheel drive, Freedom Drive I™ (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with Lock mode) and Freedom Drive II™ Off-Road Package (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with low range that provides true Jeep 4x4 Trail Rated capability).

“The Trail Rated Jeep® Patriot will be the most capable 4x4 in the compact SUV segment,” said George Murphy, Senior Vice President — Global Marketing, Chrysler Group. “Jeep Patriot’s capability, combined with its classic Jeep design, interior flexibility and terrific fuel efficiency, will attract new buyers to the Jeep brand.”

The 2007 Jeep Patriot and Jeep Patriot Limited models will be available in U.S. dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2006 and in global volume markets in both left- and right-hand drive starting in the first half of 2007.

Most Capable Vehicle in its Class
Jeep Patriot is available in three drivetrain configurations. In addition to the standard front-wheel-drive system, Jeep Patriot also is available with Freedom Drive I and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package.

Freedom Drive I is an available full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with Lock mode designed to give drivers year-round assurance, as well as the ability to handle rough weather and low-traction conditions. This active four-wheel-drive system is recommended for daily use, including driving in snow and rain. Freedom Drive I features a lockable center coupling, giving drivers the ability to put the Jeep Patriot in four-wheel-drive Lock mode to handle deeper snow, sand and other low-traction surfaces.

The Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package is an available four-wheel-drive system that makes the Jeep Patriot a Trail Rated 4x4, creating the most capable vehicle in the crowded compact SUV class. The Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package includes a second-generation continuously variable transaxle with a low range (CVT2L) that engages when the off-road mode is activated, 17-inch all-terrain tires and aluminum wheels, a full-size spare tire, air-filtration system, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps and seat height adjuster. The available Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package is recommended for true off-road situations that include steep grades, wheel lift and rock or log climbing.

“The Jeep Patriot’s innovative Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package uses all-new Jeep 4x4 technology to achieve Trail Rated capability,” said Larry Lyons, Vice President — Front-Wheel-Drive Product Team. “This four-wheel-drive technology, developed by Jeep engineers, provides many of the benefits of a traditional transfer case without the additional weight.”

This all-new Jeep technology includes the CVT2L’s best-in-class 19:1 low ratio, which is ideal for crawling over obstacles. Off-road Brake Traction Control maintains forward mobility during heavy articulation or on split-friction surfaces where one wheel loses traction. Hill-Descent Control modulates brake hydraulic pressure without driver intervention for downhill assistance at a safe and controlled rate of speed. Three-mode ESP and off-road anti-lock brakes (ABS) also add to the Patriot’s off-road capability.

The Trail Rated Jeep Patriot sits 1 inch higher than non-Trail Rated versions and meets Jeep off-road capability requirements for traction, water fording, articulation, maneuverability and ground clearance, including 9 inches of ground clearance, a 29-degree approach angle, a 33-degree departure angle and a 23-degree breakover angle. This version of the Patriot also has additional body sealing and high-mounted drivetrain vents to support 19-inch water fording capability. In fact, the Jeep Patriot’s body and chassis were developed and tested over numerous rugged off-road terrains to meet the requirements of the enthusiast Jeep customer.

“From its approach and departure angles to every sealant and chassis component in between, Jeep Patriot is engineered to be the most capable vehicle in its class,” added Matt Liddane, Chief Engineer — Jeep Patriot. “Whether climbing rocks, stair steps, logs or steep grades, Jeep Patriot drivers will have the confidence of knowing they’re in a Jeep 4x4.”

All Jeep Patriot models available in the United States and Canada include standard Brake Traction Control, driver-controlled three-mode ESP, Brake Assist, Electronic Roll Mitigation and anti-lock brakes with rough-road detection. Patriot’s standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes provide a competitive 60–0 mph stopping distance of 134 feet on dry pavement.

A Modern Interpretation of Classic Jeep Styling
Strong and capable, Patriot is unmistakably Jeep, designed to appeal to compact SUV buyers who want traditional Jeep styling with best-in-class off-road capability. Jeep Patriot is rugged, exuding the brand’s key attributes of mastery, authenticity, freedom and adventure, while also offering excellent fuel economy, interior flexibility and utility at a great value.

“Simple yet distinctive geometric forms and planar surfaces define Jeep Patriot’s timeless proportions” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President — Design. “Combined, these features give Jeep Patriot its robust, strong, capable off-road image.”

Jeep Patriot is built for maximum cargo volume, rugged driving conditions and excellent utility. Patriot’s face is classic Jeep, featuring the brand’s signature seven-slot grille, a robust bumper and round headlamps.

A stiffer windshield and upright backlight combine to create Patriot’s easily identifiable side view. Classic Jeep design cues include available 17-inch aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires housed inside signature Jeep trapezoidal wheel openings. Jeep Patriot’s high beltline completes the vehicle’s protective side profile.

The rear of the vehicle features an upright backlight and a bold bumper that further illustrate the Jeep Patriot’s interior spaciousness and add to its rugged appearance and capability. Four doors and a rear liftgate provide easy access to Jeep Patriot’s spacious and functional interior.
Jeep Utility From the Inside and Out

Jeep Patriot’s flexible interior gives buyers the capability to do more in terms of seating friends and storing gear. A command-of-the-road seating position gives drivers an added feeling of control. Jeep Patriot has 39.6 inches of rear seat leg room, 54.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded flat and 62.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the front passenger seat back and rear seats folded flat, giving plenty of room for an 8-foot ladder, skis or two-by-fours from the lumber yard.

In addition to interior spaciousness and flexibility, Jeep Patriot has many clever and unique available interior features that add functionality not typically found in a compact SUV, including:
 .    Standard side-curtain air bags
 .    Available nine-speaker Boston Acoustics Premium Sound Group that includes two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate; when the liftgate is open, the speakers swing down to face rearward for tailgating and other activities
 .    Auxiliary audio input jack for MP3 connectivity on standard radio
 .    Available dual purpose, self-recharging removable cargo lamp, which is mounted in the headliner above the cargo area and can snap out of the bezel to serve as a flashlight
 .    A sliding center armrest that moves forward 3 inches to accommodate shorter drivers. The armrest lid includes a unique flip pocket for storing a cell phone or an MP3 player
 .    Available 115-volt outlet in the center console that powers small electronics
 .    Available fold-flat front passenger seat that creates a table-like surface for versatility
 .    Standard 60/40 rear seats that fold flat and have an available recline feature
 .    Ultra Floor™ — a washable and removable vinyl load floor in the rear cargo area with a 250-lb. load capacity
 .    YES Essentials™ Fabric —a n easy-care, soil-repellant and anti-microbial textile that protects seats from stains, odors and discoloration
 .    Available Navigation System

World-class Engineering
The 2007 Jeep Patriot’s powertrain is designed to deliver world-class performance, fuel economy and refinement, all at an affordable, entry-level price.

Patriot features a standard 2.4-liter World Engine that produces 172-horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of torque. This 2.4-liter World Engine has dual Variable Valve Timing (VVT) on both intake and exhaust camshafts, which helps optimize the torque curve at all speeds and produces more power, better fuel economy and smoother, quieter operation than engines without dual VVT. Dual VVT is a technology typically not available on vehicles sold in the United States in the Jeep Patriot’s price class.

Jeep Patriot also features a standard five-speed manual transaxle and an available CVT. The Patriot’s CVT2 is a second-generation CVT that Chrysler Group engineers calibrated for pleasing engine response and precise ratio control. CVT2 contributes to a fuel economy improvement of 6–8 percent compared with a traditional four-speed automatic. Patriot’s CVT2 also improves vehicle performance compared with a traditional automatic transaxle because of optimized gear ratios, especially in the 30–60 mph range during passing maneuvers.

A 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine, paired with a six-speed manual transaxle, will be available for Jeep Patriot in key diesel markets outside North America.

Conquering New Territory
Jeep Patriot will compete in the compact SUV segment, which is expected to almost triple in the next 10 years, giving the Jeep brand the opportunity to grow with it. Annual compact SUV volume in the United States for the 2004 calendar year was 297,000 units or 1.7 percent of the market. The compact SUV segment is expected to nearly double to 568,000 units by 2010, and triple to 814,000 units by 2016.
With the all-new Jeep Patriot, Jeep in the United States is targeting single and married educated professionals in their early 20s to early 40s who earn a median income of $65,000. Fifty-five percent have a college education. These upwardly mobile Patriot buyers are confident, independent, rugged individuals who enjoy the outdoors. Safety and security and the confidence that come with Jeep 4x4 capability rank high on their priorities. They like the Jeep brand and want a vehicle that is unique, and with its one-of-a-kind traditional Jeep styling and best-in-class off-road capability, Patriot is designed and engineered to meet their needs.

Jeep Patriot Model Line-up
The newest Jeep will be available in both Patriot and Patriot Limited models. Both are available in the United States and Canada with front-wheel drive, the Freedom Drive I full-time, active 4x4 system and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package full-time, active 4x4 system with low-range capability.

The Jeep Patriot includes a standard 172-horsepower 2.4-liter World Engine coupled with a five-speed manual transaxle. Other standard equipment includes: standard side-curtain air bags, ESP, Brake Traction Control, electronic roll mitigation, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, Sentry Key theft-deterrent system, Vinyl Tech seats, rear 60/40 fold-flat seats, an Ultra Floor vinyl load floor, AM/FM single-disc CD radio with an auxiliary audio input jack, outdoor temperature display, 12-volt power outlet, manual windows, locks and foldaway mirrors, tilt steering wheel, dome and cargo lights, rear window defroster and a center console sliding armrest that moves forward 3 inches to accommodate shorter drivers. The armrest lid features a unique flip pocket for storing a cell phone or an MP3 player. On the exterior, the Jeep Patriot features a standard body-color grille and fascias, accent-color bodyside molding, black door handles, accent-color liftgate appliqué, black side roof rails, 16-inch styled steel wheels and all-season tires.

Optional features on Jeep Patriot include four-wheel-drive capability through either the Freedom Drive I or the Freedom Drive II 4x4 system, a second-generation CVT2, seat-mounted side air bags, flexible 60/40 rear seats that both fold flat and recline, fold-flat passenger seat, premium cloth low-back bucket seats with YES Essentials Fabric, air conditioning, power windows, including driver one-touch down feature, speed-sensitive power locks, power foldaway mirrors, Remote Keyless Entry, engine block heater, 115-volt outlet in the center console, a removable/rechargeable interior cargo lamp, map lights, passenger assist handles and illuminated entry, speed control, AM/FM radio with six-disc CD player and MP3 CD play capability, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, UConnect™ hands-free communication system, deep-tinted sunscreen glass, trailer tow prep package, Off-Road Group (which includes CVT2 with low range, 17-inch all-terrain OWL tires and aluminum wheels, a full-size spare tire, air-filtration system, skid plates with tow hooks, fog lamps and seat height adjuster), a Security Group (which includes a soft tonneau cover, security alarm and daytime running lamps) and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics Premium Sound Group (which features two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate; when the liftgate is open, the speakers can swing down from the trim panel to face rearward for tailgating and other activities).

The Jeep Patriot Limited features a standard 172-horsepower 2.4-liter World Engine coupled with a standard five-speed manual transaxle, an optional CVT2 or an optional CVT2L.

In addition to the standard equipment on the Jeep Patriot model, the Limited model features standard air conditioning, power windows with driver one-touch down feature, speed-sensitive power locks, Remote Keyless Entry, power fold-away mirrors, deep-tinted sunscreen glass, all-season floor mats, a standard fold-flat, reclining rear seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, driver height adjuster, passenger assist handles, 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, removable/rechargeable cargo lamp, speed control, premium cloth low-back bucket seats with YES Essentials fabric, fog lamps, rear-view automatic dimming mirrors, temperature and compass gauge, universal garage door opener and tire pressure monitoring system. On the exterior, the Jeep Patriot Limited model has body-color fascias with bright silver appliqués, body-color bodyside moldings, 17-inch aluminum wheels and all-season touring tires.

Beyond the options offered on the Jeep Patriot, additional options on the Limited model include 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, a power express open/close sunroof, heated cloth seats and a Leather Interior Group (which includes leather-trimmed bucket seats, manual lumbar adjuster, carpeted front and rear floor mats, heated front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls).
Full model details and specifications for markets outside the United States will be confirmed ahead of the vehicle’s introduction in each respective market.

All 2007 Jeep Patriot models will be available in Jeep Green Metallic Clear Coat, Light Khaki Metallic Clear Coat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Marine Blue Pearl Coat, Steel Blue Metallic Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Black Clear Coat and Stone White Clear Coat.
All models feature a two-tone interior color theme of dark and light shades of Pastel Slate Gray or Pastel Pebble Beige.
2007 Jeep Patriot Production

Production of the 2007 Jeep Patriot begins in the third quarter of 2006 at the newly refurbished Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant. The new 172-horsepower 2.4-liter World Engine that powers the Patriot is built in the state-of-the-art Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance Assembly (GEMA) assembly plant in Dundee, Mich.