Worst & Best Years for Jeep Patriot – 11 Model Years Ranked

Worst & Best Years for Jeep Patriot

If you’re in the market for a used Jeep Patriot, it’s important to know which model years to avoid due to issues. The Patriot compact SUV was made from 2007 to 2017, and over those 11 years, some model years definitely stand out as the worst options.

In this comprehensive guide, we review common jeep patriot problems across all Patriot model years and identify the worst and best choices. Read on to learn which jeep patriot years to avoid, which models are most prone to transmission problems, and which years offer the most reliability.

What Are the Worst Jeep Patriot Model Years?

These three model years stand out as the top ones to avoid when searching for a used Jeep Patriot due to frequencies of issues reported:

1. Worst: 2009 Jeep Patriot

The 2009 Jeep Patriot is among the worst model years for this compact SUV. The 2009 model year has the highest number of complaints logged on the NHTSA database of any Patriot year, with 382 issues reported.

Many owners of the 2009 jeep patriot suffered from problems with the clutch and electrical system. Transmission issues were also frequently documented, including jerking, grinding, and slipping between gears. Additional common 2009 patriot problems involved the engine stalling or not starting.

With so many mechanical problems reported in just the second year of the Patriot’s generation, the 2009 model year is one to definitely stay away from.

2. 2007 Jeep Patriot Problems

As the first model year of a new generation, the 2007 Jeep Patriot unsurprisingly had some issues to work out. Many drivers reported problems with the fuel system, powertrain, and electrical components in 2007 Patriots.

Issues with the Patriot’s CVT transmission were also common in 2007 models. Symptoms ranged from delayed gear engagement to complete transmission failures. The water leak issue resulted in some totaled 2007 Patriots.

While not as bad as 2009, the 2007 jeep patriot model year still had well above average issues reported. It’s best to avoid early model year bugs and go with a newer Patriot.

3. Problems with the 2012 Jeep Patriot

The 2012 Jeep Patriot saw an uptick in issues compared to 2010 and 2011 models. Transmission problems were most common for 2012 Patriot owners, with symptoms like jerking, hard shifting, and shuddering.

The powertrain and AC/heating system also had higher complaint rates for the 2012 patriot model. Overall build quality seemed to decline this model year, with more problems related to fit and finish than in previous years.

While not terrible, the 2012 model year represented a step backward in reliability for the Patriot line. It’s not the worst but also not recommended.

Which Jeep Patriot Years Are the Most Problematic?

In addition to the top three worst model years outlined already, there are a few other Jeep Patriot years buyers should be wary of due to higher than average issues:

2007 – As covered already, the first model year had more flaws than average.

2008 Jeep Patriot – The 2008 improved somewhat over 2007 but still had well above average issues logged.

2009 – As outlined previously, 2009 was the overall worst Patriot model year.

2012 – Saw an increase in transmission and fit/finish issues versus prior years.

2015 Jeep Patriot – Reliability declined this model year with more engine, electrical, and powertrain issues reported.

The above model years had the most NHTSA complaints logged from Patriot owners and are most likely to experience mechanical problems. If you’re looking at used Patriots, try to avoid these problematic model years.

Jeep Patriot Years with Transmission Problems

One of the most common issues impacting Jeep Patriots is transmission problems. Here are the model years most frequently affected by faulty transmissions and related issues:

2007 – As a first model year, the 2007 Patriot had a higher rate of transmission issues. Symptoms included rough shifting, gear slippage, and complete transmission failures in some cases.

2008 – Transmission problems were the number one complaint for the 2008 Patriot. Hard shifting between gears and jerking motions were commonly reported in this model year.

2009 – The faulty CVT transmission continued to plague 2009 Patriot models. Premature wear and expensive repairs were a headache for many 2009 owners.

2012 – After improvement in 2010 and 2011, transmission issues spiked again in 2012 models. Hard shifts, hesitation, and stiffness were common symptoms indicating transmission problems.

In general, the Jeep Patriot’s CVT transmission was a weak point across all model years. But buyers should be especially wary of transmission issues in the above model years when shopping used.

Avoid These Jeep Patriot Model Years

To recap, here are the jeep patriot years to avoid if you want the best chances of finding a reliable used model:

  • 2007 Jeep Patriot – Issues as the first model year
  • 2008 Jeep Patriot – Improvement over 2007 but still many issues
  • 2009 Jeep Patriot – The overall worst model year, with the most problems
  • 2012 Jeep Patriot – Decline in reliability and increase in issues
  • 2015 Jeep Patriot – Saw an uptick in reported problems

Jeep Patriots from these years are more likely to need expensive repairs and have chronic issues. You’re better off looking at 2010-2011 and 2013-2014 models, which had fewer overall issues reported.

The Best Jeep Patriot Years

While some model years were problematic, other Patriot model years proved more reliable. Here are the best years if you’re searching for a used Jeep Patriot:

1. The Best Jeep Patriot Year: 2014

The 2014 Jeep Patriot stands out as the top model year across the board. This late model year had the fewest issues reported to NHTSA of any Patriot generation.

By 2014, Jeep had worked out most of the Patriot’s bugs and problems. The 2014 model year saw improvements to the transmission, interior fit and finish, and electronics versus previous years.

For the best chances of a reliable used Patriot, focus your search on the 2014 model year. 2014 Patriots hold their value but are worth paying more for considering their fewer issues.

2. 2011 Jeep Patriot

Coming in second for reliability is the 2011 Jeep Patriot. This model year benefitted from many improvements made by Jeep from 2007 to 2010.

Key upgrades for 2011 included:

  • A more refined and efficient 2.4L engine
  • Upgraded suspension and steering
  • Improved interior materials and noise reduction

Very few major issues were reported with the 2011 Patriot. It represents a solid model year choice before 2014’s improvements.

3. 2016 Jeep Patriot

As the Patriot’s final model year before discontinuation, the 2016 also proved to be a reliable choice. Jeep further refined the Patriot after 2014, continuing to improve the model’s weak points.

Pros of the 2016 Patriot:

  • Fewer transmission and engine issues than early models
  • Features like rearview camera and touchscreen standard
  • Good value as a last model year before discontinuation

Since it was only made for one year, the 2016 Patriot can be harder to find used than a 2014 model. But it’s worth searching out for its blend of value, features, and reliability.

Tips for Buying a Used Jeep Patriot

Keep this advice in mind when searching for and choosing a used Jeep Patriot:

  • Test drive extensively and listen for transmission issues
  • Review maintenance records if possible
  • Consider a late model year 2014, 2015, or 2016 for fewer issues
  • Well-maintained Patriots can reliably reach 150k+ miles
  • Get a prepurchase inspection from a mechanic

Patriots from model years with known issues can still be good choices if properly maintained. But sticking with a 2014+ model gives you the best shot at avoiding headaches down the road.


In reviewing all 11 model years of the Jeep Patriot, some clear winners and losers emerge when it comes to reliability and issues. The key jeep patriot years to avoid are 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2015 due to higher rates of mechanical problems.

On the other hand, model years like 2014, 2011, and 2016 proved to be the Patriot’s best years, with fewer owner complaints. If you want the best used Jeep Patriot, try to find one from 2014 or later model years, or a well-maintained 2011.

While no car is problem-free, choosing the right Jeep Patriot model year can help avoid the stiff repair bills and headaches that plagued many owners. Focus your search on the good model years outlined here as you shop for your used Patriot.

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