Why Are Used Jeep Patriots So Cheap? Top reasons to avoid!

Two Jeep Patriots in the desert

The Patriot is a fun little-budget off-roader sold between 2007 to 2017. Despite being capable off-roaders and having incredible fuel efficiency, Jeep discontinued the Patriot after a decade of sales. The Patriot was intended to be a budget SUV, and while it did that job well, the rest of its sales numbers were not good and ranged from bad to dismal.

Almost 5 years after being off the assembly line, used Jeep Patriots are still being sold for bargain prices. So, why are used Jeep Patriot so cheap? Today we will take apart the reasons for this and tell you what to avoid when buying a used Jeep Patriot!

Why Are Used Jeep Patriots So Cheap?

Jeep Patriots are cheap because they lack many of the more expensive and luxurious features. They are also known to have many reliability issues and owners of used Patriots would be willing to take a large loss on the car just to get rid of it.

About the Jeep Patriot

There is nothing more patriotic than Jeep manufacturing a bare-bones off-roader that delivers great performance at a low price-point. At launch, the Patriot was a respectable off-roader but came with too many compromises.

Despite its caveats, the Patriot won numerous mentions and awards during its decade of production. Competing directly with other compact SUVs, the Patriot came at a lower price tag, offered decent off-road performance, came in multiple trim levels, and was more comfortable than other off-roaders.

In December 2016, the final Patriot rolled out of the manufacturing plant, closing the curtains on one of the most exciting off-roaders to exist in the North American market.

What to Avoid When Buying a Used Patriot

Every year that the Patriot was released, there were new problems with it. If you’re looking to buy a preowned vehicle, these are some signs you should avoid in every model year:

2007- In 2007, the Patriot was new to the market and had body issues that caused the roof to leak, thereby causing the vehicle’s subframe to rot. Water entering the Jeep also led to interior damage. The model also had issues with body paint, which would peel off and cause the vehicle to rust.

This model was notorious for sluggish acceleration, and the car randomly stalled while driving.

2008- With the highest number of user complaints for any Patriot, the 2008 models have leaky sunroofs that cause the vehicle to rust, and power windows tend to fail. Similar to the previous year, these vehicles also had faulty paint jobs.

2009– The 2009 model year carried forward the issues with poor paint and water leaking into the interior. However, a new problem arose since engine components would often rust and drive up ownership costs.

2010- Despite the Patriot ironing out the issues in previous models, the 2010 Patriot had transmission issues. A whining sound could be heard from the transmission, while other users complained of gears grinding and slipping.

2011- With engine problems being the most significant issues of the 2011 Patriot, this is the model year that you should avoid. The engine would often  while driving, not start, and the engine would seize up, even with regular maintenance.

2012- Along with all the problems that the 2011 Patriot had, the 2012 one also had transmission problems.

2013- In 2013, Patriots had the same issues as the 2012 model, with multiple reports of the transmission overheating and dying.

2014- 2014 was a step back for the Patriot since many of the body and paint issues of previous years were back for this model. New issues in the engine and the electrical systems also made this model highly unreliable.

2015- Engine problems continued to plague the Patriot in 2015, with customers reporting fires in the engine compartments. Many Patriots would stall during regular driving that was indicative of engine trouble, while paint and body issues from the previous year impacted this model.

2016- After several bad years, the 2016 Patriot addressed some of the more hazardous issues, yet new ones arose. The body and paint-related problems dominated user complaints, while the brakes, engine, and electrical systems continued causing issues for owners.

2017- The 2017 Patriot carried the legacy of issues that the 2016 model started. However, there were fewer user complaints about this model.

Jeep Patriot on a dusty desert roadOverall Issues with the Jeep Patriot

Despite being a reasonably well-received vehicle, the Patriot lost many customers due to certain compromises that Jeep made to cut costs.

  • Earlier models had an uninspiring interior design that used cheap materials.
  • The 4-cylinder 2.4L engine with a 4WD option pushed out a modest 172 horsepower leading to the vehicle feeling sluggish. There were less powerful 2.0L configurations and FWD variants as well.
  • Inferior materials used for insulation led to a noisy ride, particularly on highways.
  • The Nissan CVT technology used in older models was unreliable.
  • The tech in the vehicle was far behind its competitors. The gauge cluster barely saw any upgrades since the 2007 model.
  • The awkwardly placed steering column made the Patriot uncomfortable to drive.
  • Hard plastic on the Patriot’s dashboard makes it more likely to crack due to prolonged exposure to sunlight.
  • Low-quality materials are used, especially for the weather strips.
  • Higher-end models that had more options than the bare-bones base models cost way too much, leading to people buying another brand that offered better features for the price.

Additionally, reliability issues plagued most Patriot models.  The most common problem was the CVT gearbox failing and eliciting high replacement costs. The CVT gearbox also has poor fuel efficiency since the gearbox fails to engage the appropriate gear for the vehicle’s speed. Since CVT gearboxes are irreparable, replacements can cost a lot of money.

Luckily, Patriot models from 2014 use a Hyundai 6-speed automatic gearbox and ditch the Nissan CVT to improve reliability and performance.

Things the Patriot Did Right

Regardless of its flaws, the Patriot did many things right to last a decade and remain successful. Like most other Jeep vehicles, the Patriot has a cult following as it sold 3 units in 2020: almost 4 years after  Jeep stopped production of the vehicle.

Let’s see all the good things that Jeep included in the Patriot.

Be Worry-Free Off-Road

If you want a vehicle that offers a 4×4 option on a budget, the Patriot has you covered. With Jeep’s incredible traction control trickling down into this inexpensive vehicle, you could take it through slippery trails or drive on wet roads without any worries.

Jeeps’ Freedom Drive I and II trims allowed the Patriot to deliver incredible off-road performance comparable to more premium vehicles of its time. The Freedom Drive I trim enables you to lock the 4×4 system to handle all sorts of climate conditions and terrains.

Freedom Drive II included more premium features such as hill-start assist, descent control, body seals that allowed the Patriot to cross deeper water bodies, and improved braking traction off-road. Packing a 19:1 crawl ratio, the Freedom Drive II trim allows for incredible hill climbing and rock crawling abilities.

It Won’t Burn a Hole in Your Wallet

The Patriot delivers immense value at an unbeatable price and won the award for being the most affordable SUV on the market in 2014 by Kelly Blue Book. They also ranked the Patriot as having the lowest cost of ownership over 5 years for any compact crossover SUV.

You can buy a Patriot at pretty low prices since the vehicles do not retain their original value well. After purchasing one, you don’t have to worry about insurance costs since the Patriot is one of the most inexpensive vehicles to insure.

The manual transmission variant is a better option since it’s more reliable and fuel-efficient than the optional CVT gearboxes.


Whenever you want a reliable off-road vehicle to carry extra cargo, the Patriot’s rear seats allow a 60/40 split to increase the vehicle’s cargo capacity to 53 cubic feet. Jeep also equipped all Patriots with curtain airbags as a standard.

Off-roaders are not known for their fuel efficiency; however, the Patriot is an exception. The size of the Patriot also makes the vehicle an excellent choice for city driving.

The Patriot also comes standard with 4 speakers, with the option of 2 extra add-ons. The 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen supports AM/FM radio and allows you to connect to your phone’s Bluetooth.

Greater Comfort

Over other off-roaders, the Patriot offers a roomy and comfortable interior that makes it a great option for daily driving.


Enthusiasts and experts critiqued the first Patriot launched in 2007 for being too bare-bones since the vehicle came without air-conditioning. However, subsequent models came with more quality of life features, including:

  • Heated seats.
  • A Bluetooth system with high-end audio.
  • Auto climate control.
  • A household power outlet.
  • Plenty of space for cargo and your family.
  • A cooler box to keep your drinks cold.

Choosing the Right Trim

Are you contemplating buying a used Jeep Patriot but confused about what each trim level offers? We’re here to help you determine which trim suits your needs the best.


The Sport trim offers:

  • 0L DOHC engine.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
  • 5-speed manual transmission.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with access to 130 stations and Bluetooth connectivity to stream audio from your phone.
  • 16” silver or black wheels.

Sport SE

This variant has all the features of the Sport model and more:

  • A rear step pad improves access to the cabin.
  • Roof rails improve storage capacity.
  • Heated mesh front seats.
  • Leather steering finish.
  • Steering wheel controls for the infotainment system.
  • 17” gray aluminum wheels.

75th Anniversary Edition

Jeep released this trim as a special edition for their 75th anniversary with the following features:

  • Special badging.
  • Increased color options.
  • Bronze accents on various body parts.
  • 27” low gloss bronze wheels.


With these features, the Latitude trim stands out from the rest:

  • Automatic climate control.
  • One-touch power windows.
  • Heated seats.
  • 17” silver aluminum wheels.

High Altitude

The High Altitude is the most premium option for Patriot owners and packs the following features:

  • Leather seats.
  • Power driver seat adjustment.
  • Power sunroof.
  • More accent colors/
  • 17” granite painted wheels.

Should You Buy a Jeep Patriot?

The Patriot is a capable off-roader with decent quality features. If you can snag a good deal on a Patriot with a 6-speed automatic, or a 5-speed stick shift, it is probably worth going for. Despite not being as popular as the Jeep Wrangler, you can still get aftermarket parts for the Patriot to keep the car alive for a long time.

As long as you avoid the issues mentioned in the specific model years, you should be good to go. Do remember that Patriots have poor resale values, so do not overpay for a vehicle when other options might be available.

The more expensive trim options are usually more expensive to maintain and are not advisable to opt for unless you’re getting a really good deal. If you’re someone looking for a casual off-road vehicle or a project car, then the Patriot might be the right vehicle for you; however, for more intense off-roading, you’re better off looking for a Wrangler.

Since any Patriot you buy now would have been on the road for a few years, the odds of issues springing up in them would be higher compared to a newer or a more reliable car. One thing to note is that every car does need maintenance, especially older ones. If you can take care of your car, then buying a Patriot might work great for you!

Final Thoughts

Why are Jeep Patriots so cheap? The simple answer is that people don’t like them a lot. Browsing on different forums shows that people have a prejudice against the Patriot for not being as good as the Wrangler. When both vehicles are competing at different price points, it is not fair to compare the two. Others dislike the Patriot for the reliability issues that plagued a lot of the vehicles over the years.

Have any questions? Reach out to us over here, and we’ll be sure to get back to you!

Mark Anders

I love my Jeep and will share my years of knowledge with you here! Stay with me and read on!

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