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2012 Jeep Patriot

Overview
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2012 Jeep Patriot Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.1

Porsche 911 enthusiasts have their Cayenne to bear/loathe/ignore (pick one or all); Jeep loyalists have their Patriot and Compass. No one, of course, suggested love of your off-road brand would be easy. Jeep's Patriot is the perfectly appropriate corporate response to a market (quickly) realizing that while gnarly SUVs might look the business, few in the consuming public are actually doing the business. In short, the public wants the "outdoorsy" look, but is rarely venturing off-road. For those users, car-based SUVs such as the 2012 Jeep Patriot are perfect, while for the Jeep loyalist this Patriot would more appropriately be labeled "Traitor."

You'll Like This Car If...

If all-season driving means you need power to each and every wheel, the Jeep Patriot with 4WD is a viable contender in the category. With enhancements to the drivetrain in 2011, Jeep's Patriot has received the "Trail Rated" designation. Those living in Utah, however, should note that Trail Rated is not the same as "Boulder Rated." Avoid large, round objects at all costs.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your ideal Jeep provides both off-road capability and long-lived durability, buy a Wrangler. Based on Chrysler's Caliber platform, the Patriot is far closer to its econobox roots than anything emanating from Jeep's main plant in Toledo.

What's New for 2012

Aggressively freshened in 2011, the 2012 Jeep Patriot offers four new exterior colors, along with calibration improvements to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). The retuned CVT improves launch acceleration and pedal responsiveness, while reducing engine noise.

Driving the Patriot

Driving Impressions The rework of the Patriot and its platform sibling, the Compass, in 2011 was significant. It wasn't, however, a clean-sheet approach, and at this point in the competitive segment a...

clean-sheet approach is what's needed. We're told one is coming, but in the interim anticipate the Patriot to provide benign handling on pavement, along with credible capability – with Freedom Drive II – off-road. Jeep loyalists won't understand four cylinders mounted transversely, nor the buzzy CVT transmission. But this one isn't for them; it's for those more timid souls wanting to be like them.

Freedom Drive I (On-Road Package)
For those venturing no farther off-road than a McDonald's drive-through, but confronting seasonal climate issues (at least) seasonally, Freedom Drive I provides a full-time, active 4WD system designed to give drivers year-round assurance in virtually all types of weather. You won't, to be sure, tackle the Rubicon with Freedom Drive I, but you could tow your ATVs to its trailhead.

Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package
For those preferring the road less traveled – or no road at all – Jeep offers the optional Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package. The package is comprehensive, and includes a second-gen CVT transaxle with low range, a 19:1 crawl ratio, 17-inch all-terrain tires mounted on alloy wheels, a full-size spare and an abundance of skid plates, tow hooks and foglights.

2012 Jeep Patriot Details
Interior

Having benefited from much-needed interior upgrades in 2011, the 2012 Patriot soldiers on with those enhancements, along with a veritable cornucopia of available technology. Some of what Jeep terms "cool" available features include a Uconnect media center with iPod interface, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation with Sirius Travel Link and a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers. Very cool.

Exterior

Given what they had (the aforementioned Caliber) to work with, Jeep's design team did an admirable job of combining traditional Jeep proportions with a front-wheel-drive architecture. And unlike so many of today's crossover/car-based SUVs that attempt to imitate a 4-door GT, the Patriot's upright architecture provides reasonable visibility in combination with an unabashed "spunk" factor.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Despite its very affordable starting point of under $17,000, Jeep's 2012 Patriot Sport is well equipped. Standard features include electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-Start Assist, ABS, audio jack, fold-flat rear seats, deep tint glass and roof side rails. Standard power is a 2.0-liter four connected to a 5-speed manual transmission.

Optional Equipment

You want options? Jeep's marketing team has supplied them, most of which are obtained via bumps in trim level or package selection. The move from Sport to Latitude provides the buyer with A/C, power windows and door locks, 17-inch aluminum wheels, remote start, front heated cloth seats, body-color exterior door handles and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and speed controls. Opt for the upscale Limited and you'll enjoy the larger 2.4-liter four, leather seating, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and Jeep's Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC).

Under the Hood

Within its three trim levels reside two engine choices (2.0- and 2.4-liter fours) and three transmissions (5-speed manual and two CVT automatics). The 2.0 liter is standard on 2WD Sport and 2WD Latitude, while the 2.4 liter is fitted to 4WD Sport, 4WD Latitude and both 4x2 and 4x4 Limited. Those Patriots with the Freedom Drive II Off-Road package are equipped with the CVT2L transmission, which incorporates a low range for aggressive off-roading.

2.0-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
141 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/27 (2WD CVT2), 23/29 (2WD 5-speed manual)

2.4-liter in-line 4
172 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
165 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 (2WD 5-speed manual), 21/27 (2WD CVT2), 22/28 (4WD 5-speed manual), 21/26 (4WD CVT2), 20/23 (4WD CVT2L Off-Road package)

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Buying this car?

2012 Jeep Patriot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 390 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

The TIMEX of SUVs - Takes a lickin-keeps on tickin

By on Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great value. Simple to maintain. Always reliable."

Cons: "A tad noisey. Not as nimble or quick as a BMW."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is the TIMEX of Compact SUVs - It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. I have the 70th Anniversary Edition Version, so it has nicer trim - leather, floor mats, sound system, etc. At its core, however, it is a simple no-nonsense vehicle. The instruments and controls are simple, intuitive and all easy to access and operate. The seats are a bit thin on padding but not uncomfortable. Front and back seating are just fine for four. I compared this to a newer Ford Edge which seemed nicer, but was more cramped, but had a much busier, more confusing dash. And a much higher sticker. This proved to be reliable (bullet-proof!) transportation through the harshest Michigan winter in my 42 years of driving here. Would I prefer a BMW X1 or an Audi if I could afford one? Sure. Is this Jeep an incredible value for the money, and a vehicle I can count on anytime under any condition? Absolutely!!"

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great buy for my first New car ever!

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Decent gas mileage, nice options, good 4wd"

Cons: "Key built into remote, Gauges could be improved."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Jeep made an SUV affordable and with decent quality. Has every available needed options and is simple. Power windows, power locks and A/C. The only thing I would request if I could would be to make the keyless entry remote separate from the key and the Temp gauge separate from the mileage so you can see both at once. Otherwise this Jeep is spot on for a Great quality Low priced 4wd SUV"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great vehicle for driving around town

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Roomy, great interior, smooth ride"

Cons: "No get up and go, no grab-bars."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This vehicle has an awful transmission. The CVT sounds like it is screaming in pain when going up steep grades. Maintining the speed limit for long distance uphill driving is not possible. I must rent a car to go out of town. Only about 22 mpg; not so good for a 4 cylinder."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

DO NOT BUY ANY YEAR PATRIOT WITH CVT TRANSMISSION!

By on Friday, August 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Reliability issues completely overshadow any Pros"

Cons: "Transmission is total junk and unsafe"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I am the original owner of this vehicle. Yes it has 140k miles on it, but I was just told that I would have to have the transmission replaced for the 3RD TIME. Previous 2 replacements were under warranty, but replaced with 'rebuilt' transmissions w/ only 12-yr 12k mile warranty. Now Chrysler Jeep says they won't replace it because the defect is on an "external" part of the transmission without fluids. Was on freeway, trans temp light came on, and suddenly without warning computer took control of the car and abruptly slowed the car down to 40 MPH WITH TRAFFIC BEARING DOWN AT 70 - 80 MPH! This is a terribly unsafe 'safety' feature. Second opinion from transmission joint: "They shouldn't be selling these cars with these transmissions and they know it but continue to sell them anyways." Quoted $5k to replace transmission from 2nd party, $9k from the dealership. Car is only worth $3k. Will never buy anything from Chrysler again."

18 people out of 30 found this review helpful

My first "new" car and I love it!

By on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great in the snow,good gas mileage,easy to park"

Cons: "None yet"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought my Jeep in October of last year with about 45,000 miles on it. It was owned by a guy who actually worked at the dealership. So it was very well maintained. It does have that split transmission use, but I have no clue how to use that. Last winter here in CT was HORRENDOUS with over 3 ft of snow for a few weeks. This Jeep barreled right through it. I get decent gas mileage, about 22 miles per gallon. It only costs about $50 to fill (when it is close to $4 a gallon) which is decent. So far it has been reliable, great on gas and I love how comfortable it is. I even drop the seats in the back to take my 2 dogs with me wherever I go, they love it too :)"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

2013 Patriot

By on Saturday, July 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "4wd full time, easy to clean inside and out."

Cons: "a bit noisy with road noise at highway speeds"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"11k on my Patriot. Find it to be exceptional. Good looking, all arounder. Have FD 1 and it has kept me going in the winter. I am sure there are better vehicles out there, but this is American made and doesn't break the bank"

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?