By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 5.4
It made sense at the time: Offer a whiff of that rugged Jeep ethos at a cut-rate price. The original Jeep Patriot was created in 2007. To be fair, effort did go into providing a degree of off-road capability, but it was built on an economy-car foundation, which tells you most of what you need to know about the 2013 Jeep Patriot. If your budget and your expectations – especially for comfort, performance and refinement – are modest enough, this is about the lowest-priced SUV on the market. Its much-needed replacement arrives in a year or so.
If you need 4-wheel drive, either because of snowy winter roads or regular off-road excursions, and that really is all you need, the Jeep Patriot offers decent value. Or if you want to dabble in the Jeep lifestyle at a minimal cost of entry, this could be your ticket.
If your ideal Jeep provides real off-road capability and long-lived durability, buy a Wrangler. Based on Chrysler's Dodge Caliber platform, the Patriot is far closer to its econobox roots than to anything coming from Jeep's main plant in Toledo.
This close to the end of the platform's life cycle, there is little investment going into upgrades. For 2013, some software recalibrations give the Jeep Patriot a slight boost in fuel efficiency and a couple of new colors join the paint palette. Sport, Latitude and Limited are the trim packages.
Driving Impressions You can't deny your roots, and neither can the Jeep Patriot. The Dodge Caliber econocar platform probably made sense for a low-priced, light-duty Jeep in 2007, but this class is...too competitive for that formula to still work. The Patriot can hold its own in modest off-roading when equipped with the Freedom Drive II package, but almost all drivers spend the vast majority of their time on public pavement, and there the Patriot is simply outclassed. Neither of the 4-cylinder engines feels very strong, and the CVT transmission does more for fuel economy than it does for performance. Highway ride and handling are okay, as long as you don't compare the Patriot to a more refined small SUV – of which there are plenty. The all-new (probably Fiat-based) platform for the Patriot can't come too soon.
FREEDOM DRIVE I (ON-ROAD PACKAGE)
For those facing seasonal road conditions, Freedom Drive I provides a full-time 4WD system designed to give year-round peace-of-mind. You won't be tackling the Rubicon with Freedom Drive I, but you could tow your ATV to where the trail starts.
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. It includes a second-generation CVT transaxle with low range, 17-inch all-terrain tires and an abundance of skid plates, tow hooks and fog lights.
Hard plastic surfaces aren't the most inviting but they are easy to clean, which is one benefit of the Patriot's utilitarian cabin. Still, there are some nice techy features to enjoy (a Uconnect media center with iPod interface, SiriusXM satellite radio and navigation with Sirius Travel Link) and a couple of truly clever ideas, such as the cargo-area lamp that pops out to become a rechargeable LED flashlight and the speakers that flip down from the raised liftgate to energize those tailgate parties.
Jeep's design team did an admirable job of sculpting traditional Jeep proportions onto economy-car, front-drive architecture. Requisite Jeep-family features show up, including the seven-slot grille and "can-do" fender flares. The Patriot's upright layout provides reasonable outward visibility as well as some visual character.
Despite its very affordable starting price of under $17,000, Jeep's 2013 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 tinted glass and roof side rails. Standard power is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine connected to a 5-speed manual transmission.
You want options? Jeep has supplied them, mostly in the form of upgrades in trim level or package selection. The move from Sport to Latitude adds air conditioning, 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 top-line Limited and you'll enjoy the larger 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, leather seating, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Jeep's Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC).
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, one with low range). The 158-horsepower 2.0-liter is standard on 2WD Sport and 2WD Latitude, while the 172-horsepower 2.4-liter is fitted to 4WD Sport, 4WD Latitude and all Limiteds. Patriots with the Freedom Drive II Off-Road package get the CVT2L transmission, which incorporates a low range for slow-crawling off road.
158 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
141 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg (2WD, manual), 22/28 mpg (2WD, automatic)
172 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
165 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (2WD, manual), 21/27 mpg (2WD, automatic), 22/28 (4WD, manual), 21/26 mpg (4WD, automatic), 20/23 mpg (4WD, automatic w/ Off-Road package)
By SpHa on Friday, August 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
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."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By dadezbombz on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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 :)"
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By RD on Saturday, July 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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"
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By mr.doering on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "2nd week I owned it -16 and fired right up"
Cons: "wish it did not have carpet so I could hose it out"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned thus 2014 Jeep Patriot for 6 months and it is no nonsense SUV that will take me wherever I want to go; moreover, It truly is an all-purpose vehicle without all of the bells and whistles. Last week I drove it non stop for 800 miles each way and it was comfortable and got about 27 miles per gal. It is in the top 3 of the least expensive autos to insure."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Jeep Lover on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great gas mileage. Easy to Drive Handles Great."
Cons: "It does not have Power Windows or Doors."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my Jeep Patriot. It has a Split Shift Transmission which makes it cheaper on Gas. Even though it is very cheap on Gas anyway. I had never took my Jeep any father than a 160 mile Round Trip. I left out of here back in October 2013 and went to Florida in it. I never had a problem with it. It took me on average $50.00 in Gas There and Back. I would recommend any type of Jeep to anyone. I love A JEEP."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By imagoodgirl on Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, good on gas"
Cons: "Eats tires, front end needs work 24/7."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased this Jeep brand new in 2008, I drove it from Northern NY to Colorado and back three months after I purchased it, and drove it for one year back and forth to work 52 miles each way, five days a week. Otherwise it was only driven approximately 2 miles a day during the week and occasional local trips within 50 miles on weekends. I have faithfully had the oil changed, and had it serviced when necessary. The CONS: I have had to purchase a set of tires a year, had the front end replaced entirely, and have had three sets of balljoints put on the front end since I purchased it. I've also had a tie rod, and some sort of stabilizer arm replaced also. This thing eats tires like Cookie Monster eats macaroons. I have them rotated as recommended by the manufacturer, and finally put a different size on, as recommended by my local tire place, and those tires lasted me two years. At almost $200 a tire, it makes for a steep expense yearly. The tires always wear in the inside, specifically on the front tires, but since I have them rotated regularly, I have to replace all four. The stereo will NOT work in subzero temperatures, and never has since the first winter I owned it. If the mercury drops below -10, the weather has to warm up at least 10 degrees before the stereo will work, even if you leave it on the night before. Just a quirk for me, but a VERY annoying one. I will NEVER purchase a Jeep product again. The front end replacement came out of my pocket, despite the fact that it was within 16 months of purchasing the vehicle, as the manufacturer insisted there was no factory defect. I have more than $8000 in this car, after purchase price in parts, labor, and that doesn't include that someone side swiped me and I had to replace the mirror. The PROS: It's GREAT on gas, I averaged upwards of 34 miles a gallon while traveling across country. It's still great on gas today. I can fill it once a month and drive it around town daily and not have to worry about filling it again til the following month, but I usually top it off whenever it gets to 3/4 of a tank. It's comfortable to ride in. I have degenerative disk disease and three ruptured disks, and I have to admit, this is one vehicle that I can ride in the front or back seats without having to get out and walk around to loosen up my back. It heats up fast in winter. I live in an area where it's usually subzero temps from mid December until March, and I never have to worry about a cold car. It has NEVER not started for me. I've replaced the battery once. Other than the front end, and eating tires this vehicle is great."
9 people out of 20 found this review helpful