By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 7/8/2011
The Patriot is Jeep's answer to the compact crossover SUV challenge from such heavyweights as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Ford Escape. But, being that this is Jeep, after all, the Patriot takes a decidedly off-road approach, adhering more closely to traditional Jeep principles. Indeed, the Patriot's more rugged suspension and powertrain options deliver enough off-road performance for it to earn Jeep's "Trail Rated" badges.You'll Like This Car If...
Need an everyday vehicle that's as comfortable plowing through deep snow as it is capable of off-road adventuring? If so, the 2011 Jeep Patriot deserves a closer look.You May Not Like This Car If...
If refinement and resale top your must have list, the Patriot's course four-cylinder engine and modest resale value probably won't impress.What's Significant About This Car?
For 2011, The Patriot receives new front and rear end styling, a revised interior with more soft touch points, a new three-spoke steering wheel, and retuned steering and suspension systems. Cruise control is now standard on all trims.Driving It Driving Impressions
Thanks to its new suspension and steering calibrations, the rugged Patriot delivers a very car like ride. Although rapid maneuvers and sharp corners still produce a noticeable amount of body roll, in tight curves the Patriot never feels top heavy or tipsy. The cabin is somewhat noisy, but not annoyingly so, with most of the noise provided by the rowdy and rude 2.4-liter engine, especially when the throttle is wide open. Where the Patriot truly shines is off-road. Equipped with the Freedom Drive II four-wheel drive system, the Patriot was able to traverse small boulders and deep ruts with ease. The system employs a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with an integral low range and a four-wheel drive LOCK mode that uses the ABS, traction control and engine computer to allow for rock crawling and low speed descents.Favorite Features
Freedom Drive II (Trail Rated) Off Road Package
"Trail Rated" Patriot models include a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT2) with low range and 19:1 crawl ratio, skid plates, tow hooks, hill descent control, heavy-duty cooling system, nine-inch ground clearance and 19-inch water fording capability.
As part of the 458-watt Boston Acoustics premium audio system, the Patriot's rearmost speakers flip down from the open liftgate to project outward. Outdoorsy Jeep types will find it an especially alluring option.
If the Patriot had one weak spot, it was its interior. For 2011, Jeep has remedied the Patriots interior malaise by replacing hard surfaces with soft ones, revising the dash and center console and adding steering-wheel controls for cruise and audio. New fabrics grace the seats, while door switches for the windows, locks and mirrors are now backlit. Highlights for the Patriot's interior include a fold-flat front passenger seats, 115-volt outlet, available nine-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system with flip out rear liftgate speaker bar and a removable and rechargeable LED flashlight.Exterior
Unlike the Jeep Compass, which has a softer appeal, the newly redesigned 2011 Jeep Patriot's sharp edges and boxy shape bear a faint resemblance to the old Jeep Cherokee. The traditional Jeep seven slat grille is color-keyed to match the Patriot's body, while new standard fog lights take up residence just below the grille. 4X4 models gain an extra inch in ride height, making the Patriot even more capable off road. The rear hatch opens low over the bumper for easy loading, and additional storage can be had in the form of an available cargo carrier that attaches to the roof rack.
A base 2011 Jeep Patriot Sport comes equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, cloth seats, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD-MP3 sound system with auxiliary audio input, 16-inch styled steel wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and a collection of standard safety equipment that includes front and side-curtain airbags, electronic stability and traction controls with rollover mitigation and four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist. The Latitude trim adds heated front seats, steering wheel audio controls, heated outside mirrors, power windows and locks and a fold flat passenger front seat, while the Latitude X includes leather seats, a six-way power driver's seat and automatic temperature control.Notable Optional Equipment
Options vary according to trim and include power windows/locks/mirrors, automatic climate control, remote start, front side-impact airbags, remote keyless entry, sun roof, stain-resistant cloth seats, leather seats, heated seats, 458-watt premium sound system, six-disc CD changer, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT2) with Auto Stick manual shift mode, Freedom Drive I all-wheel drive, Freedom Drive II Off Road Package with low ratio capable CVT2, Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Uconnect gps navigation radio, Sirius Satellite Radio and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.Under the Hood
The Patriot's powertrain lineup consists of 2.0- and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines, two- and four-wheel drive systems, plus a five-speed manual and two continuously variable transmissions (one with a low range). The 2.0-liter engine is available on the Sport and Latitude 2WD models; all others are powered by the 2.4-liter unit.
A five-speed manual is standard with both engines, while the "Trail Rated" moniker is available only on four-wheel-drive Limited models with the CVT2. The Patriot's maximum towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.
2.0-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
141 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/27 (automatic), 23/29 (manual)
2.4-liter in-line 4
172-horsepower @ 6000 rpm
165 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 (2WD, manual), 21/27 (2WD, automatic), 22/28 (4WD, manual), 21/26 (4WD, automatic), 20/23 (4WD, automatic, off-road package)
The 2011 Jeep Patriot's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $17,000 and can climb to more than $28,000 when fully equipped. To make your best deal, be sure to check our Fair Purchase Price, which reflect real-world transaction prices being paid in your area. Alternatives to the lower-priced Patriot Sport include the Kia Sportage and Jeep's own Compass. Competitors for the better-equipped Patriot Latitude and Latitude X include the Ford Escape and the capable Subaru Forester Limited. We expect the Patriot to maintain a similar better-than-average resale value to its Compass stablemate, notably better than the Suzuki Grand Vitara and Ford Escape, on par with the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, but well below the Subaru Forester.