Jeep had one more debut up its sleeve, with an all-new entry-level crossover called the Patriot. A 2007 model, this Jeep features a flexible interior and lots of standard safety features, although it’s the lowest-priced Jeep available, at under $16,000. The trademark seven-slot grille adorns every Patriot, but we expect the 17-inch alloy rims will run extra. Jeep promises the Patriot will come equipped with a “second-generation” CVT automatic, and dual variable valve timing. A “Freedom Drive Two” off-road package will be offered, with a locking center coupling, another inch of ground clearance, hill descent control, off-road ABS and traction control, skid plates, and a tow package. So equipped, the Patriot is said to be able to ford water 19 inches deep. ESP, brake assist, and curtain airbags are also promised.
Perhaps most revolutionary is the interior, which features a 60/40 split rear bench that reclines for comfort and versatility. There’s also a 9-speaker Boston Acoustics stereo system available, with mp3 capability, an iPod jack, and articulating speakers in the tailgate that can be pointed outwards to inflict your tunes on a tailgate party.