The all-new Jeep Patriot debuted at the 2006 New York Auto Show looking very similar to the concept model shown at this year's Frankfurt Show. The 2007 Jeep Patriot will offer three separate driveline choices, all utilizing the new 2.4-liter I-4 also used in the Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass, producing 172 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque. Jeep tells us the Patriot has the soul of the old, now extinct, Cherokee with the visual cues of the also-new Jeep Commander.
With traditional-looking boxy side panels and relatively squared-off windshield and hood, the Patriot will come standard with front-wheel drive, offering two different four-wheel-drive systems. Freedom Drive I will include all-wheel drive with a separate locking center differential, and a standard CVT2 transmission. Freedom Drive II will also use all-wheel drive but use the CVT2L transmission, that includes a "Low" setting on the shift lever to allow for more controlled slow-go trail navigation, effectively acting like a low-range gear in a conventional transfer case. In addition, these Freedom Drive II Patriots will have skid plating, tow hooks, and a one-inch taller ride height.
The end result is that these specific Patriots will have the "Trail Rated" badging, just like any other Rubicon rumbler. But don't be fooled. This is not a Rubicon-ready Jeep. This is still a variation of the Dodge Caliber car platform and new territory for a Jeep.
Click here for the 2006 New York Auto Show Photos & Coverage that includes dozens of debuts and image slideshows!