Very reliable car
Now at 103,000+ km.
Nothing, just regular maintenance:
- Engine oil + filter changes every 6,000 km.
- Front brake pads and rotors replaced at about 80,000 km; $200.
- Rear brake pads at about 94,000 km; $50.
- Ball joints replaced at 90,000 km; $150.
Bought it new in 2007.
It has the 2.4L inline 4 that makes about 175 HP with the CVT transmission.
The Dodge Caliber and Jeep Patriot share the same platform. The Dodge Avenger shares the same engine/transmission.
It's very smooth to drive. There is no shift points since it is continuously variable. It took me a while to get used to how the CVT operates. Simply push the gas to the RPM you want, then it will hold that RPM until you either give it more gas or let go of the accelerator.
Starts from a stop are a bit slow, but once you're going 20 kph it's as fast as any other car. The engine starts getting a bit noisy past 3,500 RPM. I usually drive it at 2,000-3,000 RPM. In that range it is quiet, and can hardly be heard with road noise. Very quiet and smooth at idle; I have to see if the car is still on. Idles at about 700 RPM.
It accelerates well, doesn't feel underpowered.
Interior quality is good. The hard plastic dash and side doors trim are quite sturdy. At over 100,000 km there are no squeaks or creaks. It still runs and drives like I bought it off the lot 5 years ago.
The interior has lots of room; I'm 6 ft 4 and still have plenty of front seat head and leg room. Front seats are very comfortable to me. Sitting in the back seat from where I am sitting in the front, still plenty of head and leg room. Back seats are firm but comfortable.
The doors shut nicely without having to slam them. A gentle nudge, let it go once past resistance, and it shuts by itself. Similar to the old Mercedes W123.
Suspension handling and steering is not too stiff or loose, just about right, has a direct feel to it.
It's good on gas. It averages 10L/100 km city and about 7L highway.
It has 4x4. A small T lever close to the hand brake engages it. The FWD version should do better for fuel economy.
The paint finish is excellent, still looks like new, no rust or peeling paint anywhere. Been good so far through 5 winters that last 5-6 months.
I've taken it on many summer road trips across Alberta, the Rocky Mountains and back through Coquihalla. Never had any problems.
The only two times I needed the A/C on it was very cold. That's good for you guys living down south of the border.
I have nothing but good things to say about this car. If you're looking for a nice SUV, don't overlook the Jeep Patriot. It's a much better value than say a Honda CR-V or any imports. For about $25,000 Cdn it had all power options, A/C, heated seats, 4WD. The AWD Honda CR-V was $35,000 with similar options.
The Patriot will be discontinued in 2014. If you wait till after 2014, then you could get a great deal.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th May, 2013