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2012 Jeep Patriot

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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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2012 Jeep Patriot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 452 Ratings for the 2007 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

The Cheaper Jeep

By on Monday, February 08, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Trade in for Wrangler

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Cheap price tag for a Jeep, Great family car"

Cons: "Bad resale value, not the best quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Jeep is well known for off road capabilities and overall the patriot will do the job off road. I recently traded in my patriot for a wrangler. I liked driving my patriot and only had a complaint about the quality of certain things in the car such as the weather molding coming undone after 6 months. Little things like the radio would randomly act up and cause minor headaches. Although I generally liked my patriot the most alarming thing is how horribly these patriots hold their value. Upon wanting to trade I was told my Jeep had depreciated over $9,000 and had to trade in with negative equity. They had over 20 patriots on the lot and only 2 wranglers. Simply put I think if you can afford a little higher payment it is worth investing in a wrangler. The resale value stays extremely strong for wranglers and I personally just love owning a wrangler! Although the patriot makes a great family car for a cheaper initial price tag."

Couldn't be happier for the price!

By on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Great SUV for the price!"

Cons: "Needs a hitch and crossbars."

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

Patriot out at the Great Sand Dunes!

"This is a fantastic vehicle. The 4WD version with steel wheels and the 2.4L is the way to go. It performs well on all surfaces and all conditions with good tires. I put General Grabber AT2s on my Pat. Those tires plus the traction system get me anywhere and everywhere. Colorado has thrown some tough stuff at it including rock and mud paths and 12 inches of snow. I highly suggest in order to get he Patriot to actually perform the way it is built to, you need to invest in the best tires possible for the type of driving you will do. Before putting the AT2s on, I was getting 28 MPG with the all-season tires. I am still averaging above 20 with the larger AT2s."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Patriot out at the Great Sand Dunes!

Great budget CUV

By on Friday, January 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliable and stable daily driver"

Cons: "side to side driver leg rm tight, windows fog up"

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

"I bought this new. This vehicle is a mountain goat in the wintertime. It's fun to drive and when I first got it I would take it out for long drives just to enjoy being in it. I've had no maintenance problems. I have the 4x4 2.4 l engine, 5 spd manual sport version and added the tow hitch, tow hooks, oil cooler myself to make it more capable. Fuel economy is better than advertised, I can easily get 30 - 31 MPH on highways and 28 - 29 on the expressway. City driving gets down to 22 - 25. Acceleration in 5th gear is good for passing. The Patriot corners well and has a tight turning radius, I can get into parking spaces that other smaller vehicles can't without stopping and backing. It has room for four adults and some baggage. The back seats fold down, both or just one of them and then you'll have room for three and lots of baggage. It's limited in towing ability so don't get this expecting to haul heavy trailers around, 2,000 lbs is the limit. I'm 6'4" and have plenty of head room and leg room but side to side gets a bit tight after several hours. The windows fog or frost up on the inside and it does sometimes take a considerable amount of time to warm up enough to clear them with the blowers. At below zero temps though you'll probably want to let it warm up anyhow. All in all it's a god vehicle."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Like a stick? Here's how to get the best 4x4 value

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Value and reliability"

Cons: "Rear exterior visibility"

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

"The enthusiastic reviews here aren't shills, I can assure you. While the venerable Patriot doesn't much impress the car writers who throw around jargon like "daily driver"-- as if 95 percent of us had anything but -- dollar for dollar, there's still not a better value in a reliable, adequately powered 4x4 crossover. Here's the total maintenance I've had done in three and a half years: oil changes and fluid top-offs. That's it. I nervously bought mine in 2012, after Chrysler had already announced the model's demise in 2013. But guess what, they had a problem -- the (2011) re-styled Patriot kept selling far more units each successive year, so I did not end up with an orphan after all. Here are the U.S. sales figures: 2011 - 54,647 2012 - 62,010 2013 - 75,797 2014 - 93,462 2015 - 107,258 It looks as though Fiat may finally replace the Patriot/Compass models next year, but you can still get one now. And with over a million Patriot/Compass/Caliber models -- all essentially the same CUV -- still on the road, parts and maintenance shouldn't be a problem anytime soon. I wanted the 5-speed manual transmission 4x4 with the nice wheels and manual windows. (Do you REALLY want to skid into an icy body of water with electric windows shorting out, or ride around in the summer ten years from now with malfunctioning seat warmers coming on? Hmmmm? Yeah, the fob-operated locks would be nice but they're only available with the package.) But that configuration was on NO car lot in North America--I looked. So, here's what I did. Through my credit union's dealer, I ordered the base Sport model--the ONLY one with the 5-speed stick--with the 4x4 option, A/C, and the winter package, which provides the wheel upgrade, engine warmer, rubber floor mats (hey--it's a JEEP!), fog lamps, and tow hooks. Cagey, huh, but don't forget the tow hitch like I somehow did. (I see Latitude model owners all the time who paid for the pricey standard stuff that comes with that model and then saved a few bucks by getting the ugly, small wheels! WTF!?) I paid just under $22,000 to drive it away. Couple of miscellaneous notes: If you're over 5-10 you may feel cramped--it's a bit narrower than most CUVs and has less head room. And, if you don't need quite as much cargo space (50.8 vs 63.4 cu ft with back seats down), the new Jeep Renegade looks like a sweet buy. I average only about 23mpg, but the thousands I saved over the next lowest-priced 4x4 buys lotsa gasoline."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great SUV Great price Great Value Try one

By on Monday, December 21, 2015

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, reliable, visability"

Cons: "would like to see some brighter colors like orange"

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

"I find this Jeep a better value than the competition. If I pay more money I could get a Honda or Toyota but this Jeep is good enough. It is quiet, reliable, good visabilty, roomy and great in snow. The power is good and the 6 speed automatic just right. The stability control control is nice. With the extra money I saved I added satellite, heated seats and remote start. Nice options for the winter here."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Good value

By on Thursday, December 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort, size, mileage"

Cons: "cup holder could be a bit bigger"

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

"I was looking for an SUV that could carry my yard sale finds and a total of 4 people. This did the trick. Pretty roomy for a small SUV. The seats are comfortable, even in the back with my seat far back. Very basic interior but it is what it is. My vehicle only has a/c as an option (excellent by the way, even in hot summers in the desert) and I am happy with it. The engine is fine with the manual transmission. Mid 20s average mpg. Would I like power windows and an automatic? Probably, but the price was right on this and nothing similar was even close. I understand the 2016 may be the last year of this model. Too bad, I probably won't be ready for a new one by then but would certainly consider getting another. I also like the classic style. Like the competition says, everything you need and nothing you don't holds true here."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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