Jeep: Good American car or junker?


I have to get a new car. I am looking at the Jeep Patriot. I keep getting differing opinions. Are Jeeps quality vehicles that I can depend on? Or are they a money pit of repairs and problems?


It all depends on your point of view, and how you take care of your car.

If you don’t mind opening the hood and checking things periodically, and you follow the maintenance schedule religiously, you might have good luck with a Jeep.

If, on the other hand, you want a vehicle you can depend on that requires a minimum of owner involvement, buy something built by Honda or Toyota.

Personally, I’d stay away from a Jeep, but that’s just my opinion.


The Jeep Patriot is too new to have any track record. Its based on nothing they have produced before so its too early to tell. Its close cousin is the Dodge Caliber.


anything with a Chrysler badge is JUNK!!


This is a Jeep not a Chrysler. I disagree on your point.


Edmunds estimates repairs at $976 on average over the first 5 years. The Rav-4 estimate is $797 for 5 years and the CR-V estimate is also $797. The Jeep is about 20% higher than the usual list of high reliability competitors. That’s not a terribly high price to pay for the car you like.

BTW, Edmunds estimates the repair cost from the extended warranty cost, theorizing that no one wants to lose money selling extended warranties, yet they still want to sell them. Therefore, they price them to cover the average cost of repairs, a profit, and a seller’s fee. If the seller’s fee and profit are always the same, the only variable is the estimated average repair cost.


I wonder what % of it is made in the US. I believe that many of the parts used in their US assembly plants are imported. I believe they are importing quite a few of the frames for example.


I drive a 1990 Jeep Wrangler with the 4.2 inline 6 engine. I love it. A lot. That said…

These Jeeps and motors have a reputation for needing work periodically…not a biggie if you’re okay with doing a few repairs, but few people I know would be able to keep one in good tune without going crazy (I personally like tweaking my vehicle a little bit).

Once again…that said…

…Although I find Jeeps to be fun and reliable, other people have disagreed. The 4.2s and 4.0s have several common, predictable problems, but I think the patriot has the new V6 (as does the new 2007 Wrangler). They’re both still new and relatively untested. I would say (most likely) that as long as you follow scheduled maintenance and so forth, you’ll have relatively few problems.


So when edmund’s estimates higher repair costs for Jeep, it also has factored in that the parts for Jeep should be cheaper than Toyota and Honda. That might mean higher repairs altogether for Jeep.

Having said that I think if the car is well maintained you should be fine. Economically the Jeep would probably depreciate more, so you better get a significantly lower purchase price.


Whether you look at statistics from J.B. Power, Consumer Reports, or whoever, they all seem to agree that Jeep vehicles have worse reliability than most other US-made vehicles. But, in addition to that factor, I think that there is another consideration before buying a Jeep:

         Do you plan to drive off-road?

There is no question that Jeep products are superior for off-road driving. However, since vehicles are designed to optimize their usefulness for a specific set of driving conditions, this also means that Jeeps are not especially comfortable or economical vehicles for the type of driving that most people actually do.

I think that we can all agree that it would be ridiculous to consider a Chrysler 300 or a Ford Crown Victoria to be an ideal vehicle for off-road driving. In a similar sense, it is almost as inappropriate to buy a Jeep if one is going to be driving on paved roads every day.


All Jeeps have a below average reliability record, going back to when they were built by Amarican Motors. Having said that, if you keep fixing them they will run virtually forever. The main reason you see so many old ones ia that parts are readily available, and reasonably priced. All jeeps are less than comfortable, so they are bought by people who desire a cerain lifestyle (real or imagined) and the Jeep reflects that. I was raised on a farm in a snowy area, and now live in a city. I have no desire to own a pickup truck or a Jeep. The last time I was in one was in rural Bolivia in an oil field. That was a Toyota jeep. And, yes, it was uncomfortable. If a Jeep is what you really want because of your real or imagined lifestyle, go ahead, buy one; there worse choices. The most rediculous use of a Jeep was in a Tom Hanks movie where he is an advertising executive working in downtown Chicago and driving a Jeep. Even his father, played by Jacky Gleason, makes fun of it. The small increase in unreliability of a Jeep will be offset by the ease of finding a place to get it fixed. Your absolut worst choice would be a used Land Rover, Mitsubishi, or German/Austrian military jeep, as desired by a previous poster. The Land Rover will bankrupt you, and the German machine will be both unreliable and difficult to repair. The Mitsubishi is likewise very expensive and difficult to service.


And Jeep vehicles are made by…Chrysler! (At least for the present.)

While there are rumors that the new owners of Chrysler Corp may sell off the Jeep division, this is still a Chrysler product.


I have a brother-in-law who’s a ex Plant manager for Chryco…Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s they stream lined their assembly line and added more robotics for automation.

EVERY SINGLE Robot was made in either Korea or Japan. Replace American workers with Asian robots.


"Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s they stream lined their assembly line and added more robotics for automation.

EVERY SINGLE Robot was made in either Korea or Japan. Replace American workers with Asian robots."

And, this is different from other automobile factories in what way? Unless you are looking at an auto factory in…maybe…Uzbekhistan, you would undoubtedly find the same type of robotic machinery for welding, painting, etc. in every auto plant.


Jeep is essentially a Chrysler brand now, sort of like Hummer and GM. I personally can’t really comment on Jeep’s recent or future reliablity, but it will be closely related to the other Chrysler nameplates.


He is referring to the badge not the parent company. After looking at a current Consumer Reports article there are some duds and real winners in the mix for both Jeep/Chrysler. They have a good amount of models with at least average reliability currently.


VDC on driving off road, the Patriot is a car based SUV that is can be used off road with certain packages. Jeep is realizing they need to expand their brand to cover those who never go off road(likely 90% of their ownership).


Let’s not forget that you have a nearly 18 year old vehicle. Most vehicles that age require tweaking. My '89 Civic sure did. And it was the only car I’ve ever owned that burned oil.

The Patriot uses one of the new “world engines” developped with Hyundai and Mitsubishi. There were three developped, I’m not sure which of the three are available on this vehicle.


I mean the parent company to!