The Jeep brand is continuing its expansion into new territory with the European premiere of the new Jeep Patriot at the Geneva Motor Show this week.

The Jeep Patriot will be the new, entry-level price point for the Jeep brand in the UK when it launches this summer. Patriot combines the packaging and interior flexibility of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a family hatchback.

Peter Lambert, Managing Director of Chrysler Group UK, said “You can’t escape the fact that the new Jeep Patriot looks like a classic Jeep – but there is nothing old-fashioned about the performance and fuel economy of this compact SUV or its state-of-the-art four-wheel drive system.

“The market place is changing and the Jeep brand is leading that change as the Compact SUV market grows. Our research shows that the Jeep Patriot appeals to younger customers that want more from their traditional family car – young families want a vehicle that looks different but still offers plenty of room and practicality, together with great performance and fuel economy.”

Safety is also increasingly important for customers and the Jeep Patriot is loaded with many standard safety features, including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Electronic Roll Mitigation and the ‘Freedom Drive I’ full-time, active four-wheel drive system, all of which add to Patriot’s tremendous value.

Peter Lambert added: “Small family cars with four-wheel drive systems are becoming more sought after as they offer better handling and enhanced safety on the road. The higher seating position of the Patriot, together with the new four-wheel drive system that automatically switches from front to four-wheel drive if you lose traction, offers drivers a real advantage in everyday driving conditions. The Patriot is as much at home on wet and icy tarmac as on mud, sand or snow and still manages to achieve a class-leading 43.5 mpg.”

Two Jeep Patriot models, Patriot Sport and Patriot Limited, will be offered in the UK and will be priced below the Jeep Compass Limited model. The Patriot range will launch in the UK in July 2007 with a VW-sourced 138 bhp 2.0-litre six-speed manual diesel engine and a 168 bhp 2.4-litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox.