I knew what I was buying.
by far the most important thing said in this whole thread. I think that some of the negative sentiments I've read here come from somebody who didn't know what they were buying and had the wrong expectations.
Have you ever told somebody you were going to give them milk, but without them seeing what you are giving them, gave them O.J. in stead? It will make people puke.
O.J. is amazing and in some ways far better than milk, However, if you are expecting one thing, and get something else, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth, despite the qualities of the product.
Is there a lemon here and there? sure, but that's with ALL vehicles from ALL makes. Period. That's why they sell them with warranties and there are lemon laws (at least in the US). so you can fix the issues.
anyways, anybody who is realistic about it, the patriot is a great value for the money for a 4x4/awd vehicle. I don't think there is another one that can come close to it on price. There was a suzuki that could, but it is no longer sold in the US. It can fit 4 adults, or 2 and 3 kids easily (I've done that plenty) and it can carry a bunch of cargo, it was by far the easiest car to get our kids strollers in and out of. and it gets OK gas mileage (to get better you have to spend a lot more $$ and you can buy a lot of gas for that extra $$)
anyways. I think most of the reviews are unfair to the patriot, as they put it up against cars costs thousands more, and are much newer platforms. however it is dated, and there are better cars on the market (but not for the money). Set the correct expectations, and you'll be set.
just for example, the hyundai tucson (which I think somebody mentioned replacing their patriot with) for a base 2.0l (same world engine platform as the patriot) with the same 6 speed auto and 4x4, STARTS at 4k more than the patriot, before taking any incentives into account. once you do that its as high as a 9K difference in price. you can almost buy a whole other brand new car for the price difference between the two entry level awd cars with basically the same drive train. and if you were to go with the 1.6l turbo (similar horse power to the patriot) then you could buy a chevy spark or nissan virsa for the price difference between the two. So yeah, I sure as heck hope that the tucson is a nicer car than the patriot (which it is not) for that kind of money.