The 2008 Jeep Patriot Sport 4x4 is an affordable, rugged-looking SUV with such standard features as anti-lock brakes, traction control, an electronic roll mitigation system, and side-curtain airbags. It's powered by a 170-horsepower, 2.4-liter, double-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. A five-speed manual transmission is standard.
Of course, to achieve its affordable price, something had to give, and in this case it's a number of features standard in other mid-level and compact SUVs. Although stripped down, the Patriot Sport 4x4 still includes bucket seats, a four-speaker AM/FM stereo system with a CD player, a tilt steering wheel, intermittent wipers, an anti-theft system, rack-and-pinion steering, halogen headlights, and brake assist, which provides maximum braking in emergencies.
Options include air conditioning, power windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power door locks, an illuminated entry system, and a premium nine-speaker stereo system with a six-disc CD changer and MP3 player.
The Patriot 4x4 is available with a choice of two four-wheel-drive systems. The base system is the Freedom-Drive I, designed for light off-road capability. It's a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a lock mode, which can handle deep snow, sand, or other difficult surfaces at speeds under 10 miles per hour.
For more aggressive off-roaders, the Trail-Rated Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group is an available as an option. The system merges four-wheel-drive capability with an optimized engine and transmission for rock crawling, as well as such features as hill descent control, brake lock differentials, a one-inch higher ground clearance, a heavy-duty cooling system, and body-sealing for water-fording capability.