By on June 24, 2012

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the Jeep Patriot was the Cherokee reincarnated; the last utilitarian Jeep with solid axles, four doors and a real back seat. Instead, this boxy “baby Jeep” is the most unlikely offspring of the Chrysler/Mitsubishi alliance that gave birth the “plastastic” Caliber and the Compass (aka the Lady Jeep). Unlikely how? Because the Patriot is as attractive as the Caliber is ungainly.

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Exterior

From the outside, the Patriot hit the nail on the head when it was released in 2006 with slab-sides, horizontal tailgate, trapezoidal wheel arches, “Wrangleresque” headlamps and high beltline. While 2011 brought major changes to the hot mess that was the Compass’s exterior, only minor tweaks were applied to the Patriot. Those tweaks followed the “don’t fix it if it ‘aint’ broken” mantra; the only exterior tweaks are revised fascias and some standard equipment like fog lights and an increased ride height on the base 4×4 model. (Models with “Freedom Drive II are unchanged.) The overall form screams Jeep, and that’s just how Jeep shoppers like it.

Interior

As a testament to how awful the interior was on the 2007 Patriot, Chrysler hasn’t refreshed the interior once but twice. In 2010 Chrysler killed the awkward “silver effect” center stack and replaced it with a monochromatic hard plastic dash with round vents. 2011 brought another raft of improvements ditching the old steering wheel and Mercedes-like cruise control stalk for the thick-rimmed corporate steering wheel, better upholstery, revised doors, armrests and switchgear. While plastics are a notch below the Honda CR-V and the new Ford Escape, the Patriot starts $6,500 less than the Japanese competition and $2,500 less than even the Kia Sportage. Given what you find in other $16,000 vehicles, the plastics finally are firmly (and honestly) competitive. However, should you option your Patriot Limited up to the nearly $30,000 ceiling, the plastics may seem out-of-place for the price tag.

The Patriot delivers excellent cargo capacity despite being shorter than the RAV-4 and CR-V. As we have said at TTAC before, pay little attention to the official cargo numbers from each manufacturer – the way they are measured doesn’t always translate to real-world useability. While the Patriot is around 10 cubes behind the RAV-4 and CR-V, the square cargo area makes the space extremely useable for bulky items. With the rear seats folded, the numbers are essentially a tie in my real-world comparison and the Patriot trumps with a folding front passenger seat for schlepping those long IKEA purchases. If your cargo is primarily of the human persuasion, the Patriot’s boxy form provides adequate headroom and for a quartet of 6’5″ Americans which is more than can be said of the competition.

 

Infotainment

With a low starting price and a focus on off-roading, corners had to be cut somewhere and the gadget fund took the hit. The base radio and speakers are adequate for people who need basic entertainment; for others, stepping up to the “Media center 430” gets you a 6.5-inch touch screen and the ability to browse your tunes off USB drives. Fortunately, we had no problem playing iTunes AAC files on the head unit. A further bump up to the 430N model (only available in the Limited) gets you the same head unit with a Garmin designed navigation system on the 6.5-inch screen. Moving up the option list to the more expensive head units does nothing to the stock speakers, so if you are looking for a bit more boom, a 548-watt, 9 speaker Boston Acoustics system is also available. The navigation system is easy to use but lacks voice command for destination entry that Ford’s SYNC offers. Buyers beware that to get the integrated flip-down “tailgate boombox” pushed heavily on Jeep’s web page, one has to opt for the $1,295 “sun and sound” package (which includes a moonroof and those Boston Acoustics speakers).

As before, if you need some Bluetooth/Apple iDevice love, be ready to pony up $475 for the uConnect package to add these items. This is a serious omission when most states in America have a hand-held phone ban in place and the competition is starting to offer Bluetooth as standard on some models. Despite the gadget options being somewhat limited, package costs can add up rapidly with the fully loaded Patriot Limited ringing in at $29,260 (just a whisker away from a Grand Cherokee Laredo) so shop wisely.

Drivetrain

Power numbers remain unchanged at 158HP and 141 lb-ft for the 2-liter and 172HP and 165 lb-ft for the optional 2.4-liter engine. With Jeep’s renovation budget being tight we won’t see the revised “Tigershark” engines with improved NVH characteristics under the Patriot’s hood for a while. While both engines can still be described as “gutless and unrefined”, Jeep improved the CVT tuning and sound isolation making the cabin quieter than before. With 3,346lbs to motivate, acceleration in our tester was leisurely but interestingly faster than the “non Trail Rated” model, scooting to 60 in 8.4 seconds vs 9.0 thanks to the lower gearing provided by the Freedom Drive II package.

Jeep would like shoppers to believe the Patriot is the cheap, fuel-efficient alternative to the rest of the Jeep lineup. However the reality is somewhat different because of the Dodge Caliber based AWD system. Unlike the rest of the Jeep lineup, the Patriot has no transfer case, no low-range gearbox, no locking differentials and no center differential. Like most FWD biased systems, the open front and rear differentials are connected via an electronically controlled wet clutch pack. This means that if all wheels have traction and the system is fully locked, the power is split 50/50 (front/rear). While this operation is essentially the same as the systems on the competition, what Jeep does to make the system “Trail Rated” is drop in a lower final drive ratio, tweak the traction control software and raise the ride height to 9-inches. The drop from a 6.12:1 to 8.1:1 final drive is what allows Freedom Drive II package to advertise a 19:1 “rock crawl” ratio (still considerably lower than the rest of the other Jeeps). This is also the reason fuel economy dives from 21/26MPG  to 20/23MPG. FDII’s tweaked traction control system applies the brakes to the wheels that are spinning without reducing engine power to imitate a limited slip differential. Because this essentially “consumes” engine power (because the braking wheel is turning the energy into heat in the brakes) the wheels that do have traction don’t really get a larger share of the power than if all wheels had traction. This also means that if you are using the feature for a long time, especially in combination with steep down-hill runs, brake overheating becomes a worry.

Drive

On the road, the tall and narrow proportions of the Patriot and tall ride height conspire to make the Patriot less nimble in the corners than most other crossovers. The flip side is a soft ride that is more comfortable than many CUVs with sporty aspirations. We took the Patriot to Hollister Hills SVRA and it acquitted itself on the basic traIls, as well as some very moderate ones without issue. As with most stock SUVs, the limitation isn’t snazzy AWD systems, but ground clearance. While the “brake lock” system proved helpful in off-camber situations (deep diagonal ruts), it demonstrated that plenty of slip is needed before the system intervenes. Also, because the brakes essentially consume their wheel’s share of engine power, it leaves the Patriot feeling somewhat out of breath. Despite these short comings I have no doubt that none of the competition except perhaps the Range Rover Evoque (which uses similar software) would have been able to follow us. While our foray into the mud proved the Patriot isn’t the efficient replacement for your lifted Wrangler, it is a vehicle that can handle life on a farm, ranch, or rural countryside without getting stuck as easily as the competition.

While I have to agree with the “forum fan boys” that the Patriot isn’t a real Jeep despite the trail rated badge, it is probably the most capable CUV on the market. The combination of utility, fuel economy that isn’t abjectly horrible, a low starting price and an interior that no longer makes me want to put my eyes out is finally competitive makes the Patriot a CUV that should be at the top of your list if you live in the country. If you’re a city dweller, the off-road looks and low price of the FWD Patriot is also quite compelling. After spending a week with the Patriot, the only problem I foresee  with the baby Jeep is convincing shoppers to take that second look at the Jeep dealer.

 

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Jeep provided the vehicle, one tank of gas, and insurance for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 3.2 Seconds

0-60: 8.38 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 16.66 Seconds @ 82.2 MPH

Average Fuel Economy: 19.9 MPG over 675 miles

 

 

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56 Comments on “Review: 2012 Jeep Patriot Latitude...”


  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    How does the Xterra compare? It seems like that’s the most direct rival, not the CR-V.

    • 0 avatar
      JKC

      Not really… the Xterra is a body-on-frame old school SUV with a V-6 and a transfer case. The Escape, CR-V, and RAV-4 are this Jeep’s competition.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      We looked at a ton of SUVs and CUVs when my wife wanted to retire her 2008 Highlander Limited 4X4 (75K+ hard, mountain-driving miles), and among them were the 2012 Patriot, 2012 CR-V, Acadia, Enclave, Pilot, Highlander and 2012 Grand Cherokee.

      We didn’t care for the Patriot for a lot of reasons but the CVT was the most prominent reason. Just didn’t care for the monotonous engine drone at any speed and the banana-peel/rubber-band acceleration effect of the CVT. Both the CR-V and Patriot were so much smaller than her Highlander so we looked elsewhere.

      The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit 4X4 V6 with the 5-speed automatic won hands down. Ours was not cheap, but with a price range of $26K-$64K, and choice of V6, 5.7 V8 or 6.4 V8 and 5-speed or 6-speed automatics, there’s got to be one that matches a buyers wants, needs and budget.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        Do you sell those Grand Cherokees for a living or what?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Toucan, no I don’t sell anything. I was never a Chrysler fan either. Owned several used Jeeps for mudding but thought they were very high maintenance. I buy my wife what she wants because if she’s happy, I’m happy.

        This all started because an old retired Air Force buddy of mine bought a 2012 JGC and my wife liked it. She had to have one. Since I bought my wife this JGC, I know of two more that were bought because they liked my wife’s JGC so well.

        A lady friend of the family whose CVT Murano went belly up for the second time in five years bought a JGC Limited with the 5.7/6-speed auto, and one of my sons bought a JGC SRT8.

        They knew a good thing when they saw it.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        After reading your response, I think I HAVE to buy the GC too.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Toucan, were I ever to buy one for myself, I would choose to buy the one that our lady-friend bought for herself:

        The Limited with the 5.7L – dual exhausts, 6-speed automatic, Quadra-Trac II with skid-plates (Trail-Rated), the electric tailgate, Class IV hitch and tow rigging, in Dark Cherry Red Metallic with the Black interior (either cloth or leather). Sweet!

        If you want performance, and I really mean performance, I recommend an SRT8 with the Quadra-Drive system. It’s not set up for towing or serious rock-crawling, but its performance had me screaming like a little girl when my son took me around the local race track. It was the first time ever that I drifted in a CUV, with all four wheels spinning. Awesome!

        The Overland Summit is a CUV for a pampered lady. Too luxurious for me. I’d be afraid to drive it. If you ever see one, you’ll know what I mean.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Put a diesel in it, and put a light-duty trailer hitch on the back and I’m interested. Lower it, and I’ll love it!

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    This vehicle is more what a Jeep used to be than the fanboys want to admit. It is cheap (if you get the bare minimum options to snag 4×4), highly capable (how many actually drive the Rubicon?), and will get you there and back without getting stuck.

    For those people who absolutely have to have 4×4, like the boxy utilitarian-ness of the interior, and have realized that the Wrangler has gotten to the point where its price is just plain silly. No you can’t modify a Patriot like a Wrangler but every review I’ve ever read has found the biggest limitation to be the stock tires.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, entirely. In a conversation with a roommate a while back, we went over which offerings on the market today actually came close to rugged, cheap, old-school SUVs and trucks. The Patriot’s name came up more than once. With a stick and a diesel, it’d be ideal.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    Not a Jeep
    Crude and weak part-time drive system (try to load it even slightly and it is toast)
    CVT is a ticking bomb.
    Aesthetics are subjective, but to this eye proportions are way wrong, details tacky and it screams CHEAPSKATE once you start looking beyond soft-touch dash and “chrome” bezels.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The CVT in our Prius has been reliable for the last 8 years and 140k miles (and so.e change). Yes, the Prius HSD’s ppwer-split device provides a different kind of CVT than this jacked up Caliber wagon – but after 8 years of trouble-free ownership of a CVT, I can’t let the CVT==death meme go without some kind of comment.

      I can see why people wouldn’t like the CVT (it is a change), but after 8 years in the Prius, my wife thinks thwt cars wothout CVTs are weird and she prefers not to drive them. The abrupt changes in engine RPM make her wonder if there’s a drivetrain. It’s all in what you’re used to, I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The abrupt changes in engine RPM that occur with conventional automatic transmissions make her wonder if there’s a problem with the drivtrain.

        That’s what I get for posting from a smartphone with a soft keyboard!

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        CVT in Hybrid Synergy Drive is a completely different story. It is basically a reversed differential gear (two inputs, one blended output) and, like a differential gear, it will last forever.

        CVT is, technically, the best transmission possible – the engine can always come as close to its peak efficiency at any load or it can accelerate with full power all the time. Germans went to great lengtht to achieve the same with stepped transmissions by mating boost to valve timing to produce maximum power over rev range (say, 5500-6500 rpm), not peak maximum power at one point.

        The only reason for CVT not to become the transmission of choice was the lower efficiency which canibalized all the savings and shorter service life. Both aspects are getting better now.

        And the Jeep. Lots of crappy car for the money. I’d never spend 17k on something so awful from the start but for those who need that SUV instead of some 60% more fuel efficient modern compact it is an option.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The CVT in the Prius is nothing what-so-ever like a “conventional” belt or chain-drive CVT used in non-hybrids. They are completely different in how they function, and do not have the same issues.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Audi’s CVT (as used in the A6 in Europe) actually does “shifting” — the engine RPMs increase as you accelerate, and drop down again, closer to a conventional gearbox than to a DAF-style “pure” CVT.

        Combined with the 3.0L TDI engine, it actually makes for a very nice (though not sporting) combination for the A6. And, no, it hasn’t been particularly troublesome in Europe, at least relative to Audi’s usual reliability (everyone can make their own personal claims about that).

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe Mr. Karesh can tune in on this but I have been looking at Pats on and off for a few years and have been watching the forums and talking to owners for awhile. The CVT from the caliber/campass/pat appears to be very reliable in fact issues seem to hardy ever come up in the forums I found it funny that there are more threads on issues with the 5 speeds then the CVT’s. There are some people that are starting to think this is the next cockroach vehicle aka one whose driveline will go far longer then anyone is actually willing to drive it.

  • avatar
    mik101

    Does anyone have know any more about the traction control AWD setup? I’m not so sure about Alex’s comment about the open differential not transferring all of the available power to the opposite side. (Obviously front to back is limited by the 50/50 wet clutch system in the center).

    The open differential will transfer all power to one side if only one wheel is moving, hence the classic one wheel peel. LSD just guarantees a power split. Thus I would think you could actually get more power to the other side by using the open diff. Once the wheel is locked with the brakes on that side the power tends to flow to the one that’s freely moving. Now all of this is at risk of throwing the differential pins out of their respective cases.

    Anyone else with some engineering experience have any thoughts on this?

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Mik, this is somewhat complex. I will use the front diff as an example because it simplifies the model (center coupling open). There is only one instance where nearly 100% of the power would go to one wheel: if the other wheel is stopped. This doesn’t get you anywhere however because if the wheel is up in the air, and the other wheel is stopped, the wheel in the air spins and gets most of the power (some is consumed by friction in the diff. In order to move the vehicle the car has to slow the freely spinning wheel down. IF the car were to 100% stop the spinning wheel, you would then send all available power (minus frictive losses) to the wheel with traction. However that’s not the best case because the system wouldn’t know when to let the wheel spin again, so what it does is it applies braking force to the “spinning” wheel until both wheels spin at the same rate.

      Let’s say you had 100lbft of torque. If the diff is open, the freely spinning wheel gets all 100. If you brake the spinning wheel completely, then the other wheel gets all 100. If however you slow the spinning wheel down to the point where both wheels are spinning at the same rate, both are getting 50lbft. The one wheel is using 50lbft to move the car while the wheel that is in the air is having its 50lbft consumed by the barking system and converted into heat.

      • 0 avatar
        mik101

        Gotcha. So it’s not the systems intention to completely stop the other wheel, just eat up some of the power? Yay for more brake jobs at the Jeep dealers. Haha.

        That doesn’t sound like it would be too good for the differential either, but I know many companies have been using torque vectoring systems like this for years, since it’s something they can offer at little to no added cost to the company.
        I’ll keep my aftermarket LSD though. :)

        Edit: Thanks for the video. I can understand how this would work very well on snow. Trail rated might be taking things a touch far though.

      • 0 avatar
        Alex L. Dykes

        Correct, the intention is to make all the wheels spin at essentially the same rate. This makes for the best traction / handling / control combination.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > but I know many companies have been using torque vectoring
        > systems like this for years, since it’s something they can offer
        > at little to no added cost to the company.
        > I’ll keep my aftermarket LSD though. :)

        Exactly. A serious torque vectoring uses one side override gear and costs a lot of money (used in BMW X6 or Audis quattro with “sport” rear differentials).

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s called a poorman’s limited slip. It keeps it cheap and besides, adding an LSD or E-lockers would start to cannibalize or undermine the precious Rubicon.

    • 0 avatar
      oldworntruck

      These systems work very very well for 99% of every day usage.I had 2 1992 crown vics over the years one pv model with a lmited slip diff and one lx model with brake traction control and hands down the one with the braking traction worked better in uphill snowdrift driving than the lsd did.
      It never let the rear end brake loose around a corner and it never let you dig a rut in the snow either.The pv model was a real handfull in either wet or snow due to spinning both back tires at the same time and inducing severe oversteer.
      I would love to have this system in my full size truck as the limited slip diff [locker] z71 doesent work half as well in low traction environments ie pulling my boat up at a wet unpaved launch.
      the diff only [locks] after you get some pretty serious wheel spin and by that time you are already stuck.

  • avatar
    redliner

    This is not the ultimate rock crawler but it is very capable considering it’s humble origins. Its not an all-road car so much as an all-weather car, which honestly is what most people are looking for anyways. If you want real off-road gear, jeep will gladly sell you one of it’s other, more heavy duty offerings.

    Found this video that shows how the “4WD” is actually an open diff with brake based torque vectoring. For getting out of the snow, it’s a viable and economical solution. http://youtu.be/yKF625QsCGM?t=51s

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s a truck so I’ll give a pass on the hard plastics, but even for cars, it’s not really rational. I know Derek simply reports it because people will ask, but plastics can’t get soft enough for your knees to knock against.

    We asked for harder materials back when dash tops, armrests and door panels had lots of foam padding covered with vinyl. Doors also had stylish fabric decor.

    Yeah they looked good and felt nice, but car interior would start to look like fried hell in no time. Cracks, stains, grime, fading, rips. Yuck.

    I’d rather have simi hard plastic interiors that looks as good as new, years and 100K miles down the road. Who buys DashToppers any more? Are they still in business?

    Anyways, I’ll Velco on rubberized blocks were my knees strike the interior panels then I’m set.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    What is that thing next to the engine with the red handles?

  • avatar
    spyked

    For people that want a “4×4″ specific brand of crossover this would be a fine choice. However, another brand out there offers as much or more off-road credibility (heritage and actual capability) in it’s crossover offering. Not sure who would buy a Jeep Patriot over an Evoque unless you dig the old Cherokee exterior shape. If you don’t care about the brand that opens up your choices to vehicles like the Tiguan, which even though it’s been out for years, it’s miles ahead.

    If it were my money…I’d probably just buy a used T-reg or save up for a few months and get the Grand Cherokee Laredo.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Patriot 4×4: $20,000
      VW Tiguan: $25,000
      Evoque 4×4: $55,000
      Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo: $27,000

      Cheapest prices I could find in 500 miles of me on AutoTrader… no further comment.

      • 0 avatar
        spyked

        I don’t agree that the cheaper car is the better car, but in DC you can get Tigs for less than $25k, and Patriots can reach almost $30k.

        I just don’t see the value in the Patriot. In the Grand Cherokee, absulutely.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        My goal in posting that was more of a WTF on calling the Evoque a compeditor to a vehicle costing 1/2 the price. I could litterally get two Patriots for the cost of an Evoque.

        I agree the Tiguan is a Patriot compeditor, especially depending on trim levels and how hungry the VW dealer is to move the metal (although the Jeep dealer is likely hungrier).

        FYI a LOADED Tiguan is $39,140 according to VW “Build and Price” and a LOADED Patriot is $28,045. A base Patriot with 4×4 (cause lets face it if you don’t get 4×4 in your CUV/SUV you really should have bought something lower to the ground with better fuel economy) is $17,745 and a base Tiguan with 4Motion is $26,295.

        Now I’m not saying one is better than the other BUT don’t automatically declare the VW the better value because of the badge on the grille.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Why would you buy a Patriot over a 4 door CJ with a hard top?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Because, like most people, you don’t need a real SUV.

      I like the hackability and timelessness of the classic style of Jeeps, but since I have no need for offroading, they don’t have much going for my lifestyle. My AWD Escape is overkill for my offroading and allweather needs, so drawbacks of driving a real Jeep would hit me where it matters.

      I want to love Jeeps, but solid axles and poor MPGs make it hard. Something like the Patriot is largely amiss at guys like me – I need a family station wagon (not an SUV), but must be easier to sell small SUV to wagon people, then to sell wagons to SUV people, so these little crossovers are what I have to choose from. I’m not happy about it being jammed into a segment this way – but my Escape.was designed to help young families do what I do with a car, and so was the Patriot.

      We really need a “crossover” with a diesel engine, and where you can pick it with a carlike ride height, or an off-road ride height. People who live somewhere without snow removal can take the tall one, I’ll take the short one. And modern diesels are very nice to drive, with the torque of a gasoline V6 and MPGs better than the gas-driven 4-banger. If you want to win drag races in family cars, the V6 will beat the I4, but if you want good driving with good MPGs under one hood, my year of Volkswagen TDI ownership showed me that it’s possible.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        P.s. I’m also waiting for news on the C-Max Energi. I love small diesels, but getting me to work on electricity could take the cake if the rest of the vehicle can replace my Escape. (I actually do tow stuff with my Escape.) I’m eagerly awaiting the full specs on this vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Were she still a real estate agent, the Patriot would have been perfect for my wife. Just like the two Cherokee’s (with a Grand Wagoneer as a backup) were. Here total off-roading was taking clients onto new construction site subdivisions. And those Cherokees came home muddy at time. No massive climbing, or hiking the Rubicon trail, just getting the client to another corner of the property without getting their precious feet dirty.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Your review reminded me of one of the main reasons I enjoy sitting in today’s Jeeps: headroom (and legroom).

    At 6’6″, there are precious few vehicles I can sit in the front, let alone in the back. I’ve never owned a Jeep, but this feature could induce me to buy one someday, particularly with the trend toward smoother lines in cars.

    I’m not a trail guy, so the el-cheapo 4×4 in this car is OK with me, even though I’m not a fan of brake burning to achieve traction.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    This vehicle would do well to make a Pentestar V6 optional.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    What fortuitous timing. My wife and I were talking about what to replace my old beater with (when it expires of course). We had been considering the Chevy Equinox, the Jeep Compass and this one. Between the three, I like the Patriot the best, but she likes the ‘Nox and the Compass, confirming the ‘women like the Compass better’ comment.

    In my neck of the woods (Western Michigan) the cars that are actually on the lots are very closely priced, considering the large gap between advertised prices of the two models on the ‘net. I would go for the Pat on pricing principles, but the Compass is essentially the same vehicle, and if mama aint happy, aint nobody happy…

    I had some experience with the old Cherokees, and this car reminds me of them a great deal. Since we’re not ready to pull the trigger on something like this for a while, this issue will have to stew…

    Regardless, great review, lots of important points covered. Thanks again for using the suitcases as gauges for us to see how the space in the car looks.

    • 0 avatar
      spyked

      One thing to consider…..I think the Patriot and Compass are discontinued after this year. The replacements are Fiat-based I believe.

      Resale value and parts availability are things to consider.

      • 0 avatar
        99_XC600

        The new Liberty will debut in 2013. The Compass and Patriot will be combined into a single entity and the “PatPass” will be debuted in 2014.

        As a current 2005 Liberty owner, my wife and I are both waiting to see what the specs will be. We have a feeling it’s going to be something like the Murano, which would be a huge disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Well, I’m one of those guys who likes the Compass a lot.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Jeep could easily replace their small SUV triumvirate (Compass, Partiot, Liberty) with one model. Make it a boxy, jacked-up CUV, call it Cherokee, and push it out the door. If someone needs something more hardcore, they still have the Wrangler.

  • avatar
    Robert

    I would be surprised if they drop the tigershark in it for 2013 and then kill it for the single platform in 2014. Seems more likely they will just roll it over next year and try to get the PatAss out as early as possible.

    Shame though as fixing the driveline would really solve the last horrid pieces of this otherwise fabulous crossover.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    If I were in the market for a vehicle like this, the Patriot (hate the name) would be my choice, hands-down.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Because it was only alluded to, it’s worth noting that the Patriot’s dimensions are actually quite close to the original Jeep Cherokee, which in many circles is credited with starting the SUV boom. Frankly, it’s longevity is telling. For the money, this basic two-box design is okay.

    If only it weren’t built by Chrysler…

  • avatar

    As a few people have mentioned what the Pat offers is value for money. For those looking for a cheap reasonable good mpg small CUV that looks like an SUV The Pat is pretty much it now that the escape is going to more of a aero look. Yes you get better mpg with similar interior dimensions but it will be a car and some people just don’t like cars (my wife for instance) so this car has a market and since they have fixed the interior the sales do seem to be doing better.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    This is all the Jeep 90% of Jeep owners and admirers would ever need. Including me….

    12″ more of cargo space would allure me…..

  • avatar
    PJ McCombs

    I had one of these as a rental in 2007. The Sherman-tank view from the driver’s seat was fun, like a half-price Hummer without the curb weight or mileage penalties.

    But it drove just like an outsized Dodge Caliber: Tippy, tinny, floaty, and soft–and not in a trucky way, but an insubstantial econocar way.

    I always wondered how different this CUV feels with the 2.4, AWD, and a manual, as I got the lowest-common-denominator 2.0 FWD CVT version. But when I tried a Caliber R/T, it wasn’t night-and-day from the base model.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Luke- thanks, fellow Escape driver here. It’s not exciting but it sure is handy. I live in Charlottesville VA and the city, county, and state highway departments don’t quite understand snowplowing. 1-2 inches of snow equals school closings, mass chaos, and small dogs spontaneously bursting into flames. That’s when the AWD is useful. I also fly fish and the AWD has never kicked in getting to the fishing hole. For the 1-2 inches of snow; those of us who grew in the Midwest go “meh” and call work telling them we’ll be late.

  • avatar
    Banger

    I really like the Patriot in its basic form because it reminds me of what Jeeps used to be (well, most of them) when I was a kid: Rugged, somewhat economical, and time will tell, but hopefully like their progeny, they will be long-running. If only it had a simple inline six! But I digress.

    If I were able to keep my beloved Ranger pickup for garbage/scrap metal/home supplies hauling, I’d definitely rock a Patriot base model as a daily driver. I’d consider a two-wheel drive but would really be happier with a four-wheel drive model just so I could justify putting some more aggressive tires on it in a couple years to make it look even more Jeepy. I’d pass on the CVT not because I’m inherently afraid of that type of transmission– we have one in our Nissan Cube and generally enjoy it for its intended purpose of smooth, no-jerk driving– but rather because I love shifting for myself much more.

    Maybe we can pay off our Cube semi-early and I can snag a leftover Patriot base 4×4 in the $15,000 neighborhood. I’d call that a pretty awesome deal, to be honest. You’re not going to get a more capable nor a more attractive crossover for the price, even at the MSRP of nearly $18,000 on a base 4×4 Sport model.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    I’m stuck scratching my head at the point of this vehicle. The new Escape beats the snot out of it in the MPG area, as well creature comforts. Toyota and Honda are arguably much more reliable than anything from Chrysler. Real Jeep cultists hate it. Somebody must be buying it, but it seems like a vehicle orphaned in it’s own brand and middle of the pack in it’s class.


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