Jeep Patriot

2016 Jeep Patriot

As the boxiest member of the lineup, the Jeep Patriot has aged reasonably well. Open the door, though, and its evident that the stark interior has become quite dated since its debut as a 2007 model, followed by freshening for 2011. Compared to the far newer Cherokee and Renegade, the Jeep Patriot seems like a relic of the past.

On the other hand, if youre looking for moderately priced transportation and dont crave the latest equipment, this comparative old-timer still has a lot to offer.

In urban environments, the Patriot promises easy maneuverability. If an off-road journey lies in your future, this upright-stance Jeep can deliver authentic rural capabilities.

The original Patriot was noisy, austere, and sluggish on the road. Since then, Jeep has managed to enhance its appeal. Today, in the twilight of its lifespan, the sensible-size Patriot melds rugged Jeep lines with civility, resulting in a practical family transporter.

That boxy, still-bold exterior contains a highly useful interior, yielding ample cargo space. Rear seatbacks flip forward easily. Getting in and out is especially easy, helped by the Patriots high roofline. In both front and rear, passengers enjoy abundant headroom. Oddly, the seating position is somewhat low, facing a rather tall, encompassing dashboard.

A 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder serves as base engine. Four-wheel-drive models get a 2.4-liter engine that produces 172 horsepower. A 5-speed manual gearbox is standard with front-drive, but a 6-speed automatic transmission is available.

Also available is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), bundled with the Freedom Drive II four-wheel-drive system. That system gives Patriot Jeeps Trail Rated badge, as well as moderate capability for chugging through sand and mud. A suitably equipped Patriot can even handle mild rock-crawling, helped by the CVTs Low range (absent from the Freedom Drive I CVT).

For 2016, Jeep Patriot is available in Sport and Latitude trim levels. The Limited model is gone, replaced with option packages that include much of its equipment. A new Patriot Sport SE package raises ride height on front-wheel-drive models, adds tow hooks to 4WD models, and brings such upgrades as heated mesh front seats.

In federal crash tests, the Patriot received four stars for overall safety, including an especially worrisome three-star score in frontal-crash and rollover testing. Testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Patriot Good in most categories, but Poor in the tougher small-overlap frontal test.


2015 Jeep Patriot

Jeep Patriot is the most affordable model from the off-road brand. It looks the part with its square lines, seven-slot grille, and round headlights. Patriot and Compass are based on a car platform, but still offer moderate off-road ability, and a suitably equipped Patriot earns Jeeps rigorous Trail Rated label.

Patriot carries over largely unchanged for the 2015 model year. Garmin navigation is an option for the Latitude model, and a new dome light replaces the removable, rechargeable flashlight used previously. Launched as a 2007 model, along with the Compass, the Jeep Patriot was updated for 2009, 2011 and 2014.

A four-door compact SUV, Patriot offers a roomy cabin for front and back seats. The 60/40-split rear seat folds flat, and a flat-folding front passenger seat is optional, allowing room for an 8-foot ladder.

Patriot is available with front-wheel drive or a choice of two all-wheel-drive systems, including the CVT2L version that Jeep qualifies as Trail Rated.

Those who like to go off the pavement (or tow more than 1000 pounds) should choose the Trail-Rated Freedom II AWD system. This uses gearing 20-percent lower than the other models for steeper climbs and descents. But be warned: if you mistake it for a true 4WD with a low-range transfer case, like a traditional Wrangler or big Grand Cherokee, you may soon find yourself truly stuck.

Two four-cylinder engines are offered. We prefer the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 23/29 mpg City/Highway with the 5-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive and the 6-speed automatic transmission drop the estimate to 21/27 mpg, but we think Jeeps should have all-wheel traction. The 2.4-liter delivers good power; put the pedal down even while cruising uphill at 75 miles per hour, and it will accelerate with reasonable haste.

The smaller 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque with an EPA-estimated 23/30 mpg City/Highway with the manual transmission and 2WD or 22/27 mpg City/Highway with the continuously variable transmission.

Incorporating a crawl ratio for heavier-duty off-roading, a special continuously variable transmission (CVT2L) is optional on all-wheel-drive Patriot models with the 2.4-liter engine and Freedom Drive II package. This combination gets an EPA-rated 20/23 mpg.

Patriot is light and nimble on twisty roads. When maneuvering around town, turn-in is sharp. The body is well isolated from the wheels: You can hear the tires hitting expansion strips on the freeway, but you cant really feel the impact. The independent suspension works well. We found the Patriot delivered steadiness and comfort during a long day of driving on patchy two-lanes, hard-packed dirt roads, sandy off-road trails, shallow rivers, and deep gullies.


2014 Jeep Patriot

The 2014 Jeep Patriot is unmistakably from the Jeep garage, as demonstrated by its squared-off lines, seven-slot grille, and round headlights. Both the Patriot and its slightly more compact sibling, the Jeep Compass, are based on a car platform, but still provide at least moderate off-road ability. In fact, when suitably equipped, the all-wheel-drive Patriot earns Jeep Trail Rated 44 capability.

First launched for 2007, along with the Compass, the Jeep Patriot was significantly updated for the 2011 model year with fresh styling, upgraded suspension and steering, and new interior materials. Changes were few for 2012, while 2013 brought a special Freedom Edition to honor members of the military.

For 2014, a new 6-speed PowerTech automatic transmission, with Auto Stick, has replaced the previous continuously variable transmission (CVT) as an option. A special off-roading transmission (CVT2L) remains available. Newly standard are seat-mounted air bags for front occupants, which previously were an option.

The four-door Patriot has plenty of room inside. Theres adult-size headroom and legroom for rear-seat passengers. The 60/40-split rear seat folds flat, and a flat-folding front passenger seat is optional. With all the seats flat, you could slide an eight-foot kayak inside, for example.

Two four-cylinder engines are offered for the 2014 Patriot. Our preference is for the larger of the two, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 23/28 mpg City/Highway with the 5-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive, which are standard equipment. All-wheel drive and the 6-speed automatic transmission drop the estimate to 21/27 mpg. The 2.4-liter delivers good power; put the pedal down even while cruising uphill at 75 miles per hour, and it will accelerate with reasonable haste.

The smaller engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which makes 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque and is EPA-rated at 23/30 mpg City/Highway with the manual transmission and 2WD. With an automatic, the EPA estimate for the 2.0-liter drops to 21/28 mpg City/Highway, narrowing the gap further.

Incorporating a crawl ratio for heavier-duty off-roading, a special continuously variable transmission (CVT2L) is optional on all-wheel-drive 2014 Patriot models with the 2.4-liter engine and Freedom Drive II package. This package gets an EPA-rated 20/23 mpg.

In addition to its prowess for daily driving, a Patriot is light and nimble on twisty roads. When maneuvering around town, turn-in is sharp. The body is well isolated from the wheels: You can hear the tires hitting the expansion strips on the freeway, but you cant really feel the impact. The independent suspension works well. We found the Patriot delivered steadiness and comfort during a long day of driving on patchy two-lanes, hard-packed dirt roads, sandy off-road trails, shallow rivers and deep gullies.

The Patriot is available with front-wheel drive or a choice of two all-wheel-drive systems (including the one that Jeep qualifies as Trail Rated). Those who like to go off the pavement (or tow more than 1000 pounds) should choose the Trail-Rated Freedom II AWD system. This uses gearing 20-percent lower than the other models for steeper climbs and descents. But be warned: if you mistake it for a 4WD with a low-range transfer case, like a traditional Wrangler or a big Grand Cherokee, youll soon find yourself well and truly stuck.


 

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