Two Jeeps made the top ten list for the most fuel-efficient trucks and SUVs. The Jeep Patriot and the Jeep Compass are the smaller offerings of the Jeep models; both are four cylinders with 2.4L engines. The Patriot model scores high with 25/29 mpg, and the Compass with 24/27mpg. (Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency)
Jeep offers standard manual or optional CVT transmissions on these models, but manual transmissions showed better performance, higher gas mileage and quieter rides than the models equipped with CVT. The CVTs tend to growl and acceleration is sluggish say the review editors.
In the diesel engine class, the Jeep Liberty turbodiesel equipped with a V6 engine scores high with an EPA fuel economy of 21/27 mpg. The Liberty model scored that mileage with an automatic transmission and 4WD, for a fifteen to twenty percent efficiency gain over the gasoline version. The diesel powered Liberty is in a class of its own with 210hp.
The gasoline powered Patriot and Compass are four cylinder engines with 172hp. They have less power but great mileage. There is a marked difference in the performance capability of the Compass and the Patriot. The Compass has sleek styling, is a car-based crossover comparable in body style to the Outback and it is not trail rated. If you love off road driving the Compass is not for you.
The Patriot is a Jeep in appearance and in trail ratings. The standard grill and square type body readily identify it as a Jeep. With a low base price and lots of headroom, the Patriot has above average off-road capability, but review editors from Edmunds.com say that the CVT robs it of performance, cites the interior with cheaper material, and the cargo space is limited.
Consumers, in their own reviews, liked both models better than the review editors. Scores on performance and style for both models were from 8.5 to 10. It’s interesting to note that all the reviews were made by customers who bought the standard transmission on both Jeep models.
Where the review editors gave lower ratings on the interior, and cargo space, most customers seemed to like them or at least were satisfied with them. Two separate customer reviews stated that after buying the first Jeep, their spouses went out shortly thereafter and bought a second Jeep for the household. You can surmise that they were very satisfied with Jeep performance.
The following is a list of the top ten trucks and SUVs for 2008 with their EPA fuel economy: (only the Ford Escape is allowed two appearances on the list)
1.Ford Escape Hybrid 36/31*
2. Mercury Mariner Hybrid 32/29*
3. Lexus RX 400h 32/27*, Toyota Highlander Hybrid 32/27*
4. Saturn Vue Hybrid 27/32*
5. Jeep Patriot 25/29
6. Ford Escape 24/29, Ford Ranger 24/29, Mazda B-Series 24/29
7. Honda CR-V 23/30*
8. Jeep Compass 24/27*
9. Saturn Vue 23/29
10.Toyota Tacoma 23/28, Hyundai Tucson 23/28, Kia Sportage 23/28
List is from http://www.Edmunds.com
Caranddriver.com lists the base prices as:
Base price for the Patriot- $14,985.
Base price for the Compass- $15,985.
If you’re a Jeep fan, you have several models to choose from that will give you a great base price and better fuel economy by sacrificing some power and performance. From the customer reviews I read, that sacrifice didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for Jeeps one bit. In this day of soaring high prices, economy prices look good.