Still alive. For now.
The Patriot is based on a rather lackluster platform that doesn’t excel on- or off-road. This is the least expensive Jeep, and it’s noticeable, although the revised interior is much better than that of previous Patriots. Neither of the Patriot’s two four-cylinder engines is particularly refined, an impression that’s exacerbated by the CVT automatic. Even the Wrangler seems quieter on the road, although the Patriot feels more buttoned up behind the wheel. The Patriot’s only real selling point is price. It used to have an advantage over the Compass because it arguably looked better and because it offers a modicum of off-road ability (enough to earn Jeep’s Trail Rated badge) with the off-road package, but now the Compass offers those same mechanicals and was restyled to the point where it might be the better-looking of the two. As with the Compass, the best bet is to wait and see what Jeep replaces the Patriot with later in 2013. This platform has gone about as far as it can go, and it still comes up short in comparison to the rest of the small-crossover/SUV segment. If you must choose a Patriot, take solace in the fact that your little Jeep has a bit more room inside than a Compass and can cost a whole lot less.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
new for 2013
Mechanically, the Jeep Patriot is a twin of the Jeep compass, so it’s no surprise that the only changes for 2013 are the availability of winter chill and black forest green paint and a 30-mpg highway rating for the 2.0-liter, manual-transmission-equipped model.
Front and side curtain air bags, active front head restraints, ABS, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, and brake assist are standard. Side air bags are optional, and hill-descent control is available with the Freedom drive II off-road package.
A 30-mpg Jeep!
Starts under $17,000
Platform feels ancient
Base Price Range: $16,920–$26,355
DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: Sport 4x2, Sport 4x4, Latitude 4x2, Latitude 4x4, Limited 4x2, Limited 4x4
BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 2.0L I-4, 158 hp, 141 lb-ft
2.4L I-4, 172 hp, 165 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 5-speed manual, continuously variable
PASSENGER VOLUME: 101.4 cu ft
CAPACITIES: Towing 1000–2000 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 23.0/54.2 cu ft